Thy name is

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"______, thy name is ______" is a snowclone used to indicate the completeness with which something or somebody (indicated by the second part) embodies a particular quality (indicated by the first part), usually a negative one.


In most instances, the usage is an allusion to the Shakespearean play Hamlet (I, ii, 146). In this work, the title character is chastised by his uncle (and new stepfather), Claudius, for grieving his father so much, calling it unmanly. In his resultant soliloquy, Hamlet denounces his mother's swift remarriage with the statement, "Frailty, thy name is woman."[1] He thus describes all of womankind as frail and weak in character.[2] The phrase is recognized as one of the "memorable expressions" from the play to become "proverbial".[3]

In the book Idiom Structure in English by Adam Makkai, the author asserts that the phrase is included among English idioms that are expressed in a "standard format" and whose usage "signals to the hearer that he is using an authority in underscoring his own opinion."[4] Researchers Andrew Littlejohn and Sandhya Rao Mehta acknowledged that the famous quote rendered not only a discursive use, but a constructional one as well,[5] noting that "the structure itself can be used a salient, but neutral equation formula...'noun thy name is noun.'"[5]



  • Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting from the Court's decision in King v. Burwell, upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, repeatedly used the construction to criticize the Court's majority opinion, stating: "Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!"; "Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!"; and "Contrivance, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!"[citation needed]



  • The poet Anne Sexton titled a poem "Divorce, Thy Name Is Woman".
  • Borrowing directly from Hamlet, Edmond Dantès (disguised as Abbé Busoni) utters the phrase "Frailty, thy name is woman!" in The Count of Monte Cristo after learning that his fiancée, Mercédès, has married his rival Fernand.
  • In the James Joyce novel Ulysses, Leopold Bloom utters the phrase, "Fraility, thy name is marriage," in response to a quip.
  • In the Clive Cussler novel "Plague Ship", Juan Cabrillo quips, "Ego, thy name is Gomez," to Corporation helicopter pilot Gomez Adams after he brags about his perfect takeoff.


  • The Half Man Half Biscuit song "Whiteness, Thy Name Is Meltonian", from the 1993 album This Leaden Pall, refers to a brand of None-More-White shoe polish.
  • The lyrics "Frailty, thy name is weakness. Vengeance, thy name is pain" appear in the Dark Tranquillity song "...Of Melancholy Burning".


  • In The Simpsons episode "Krusty Gets Busted", Bart Simpson says "Comedy, thy name is Krusty."[citation needed]
  • Ray Romano as Ray Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond says "Devil, thy name is woman!", referring to his wife.[citation needed]
  • William Petersen as Gil Grissom on CSI:Crime Scene Investigation says "Vanity, thy name is Hodges", referring to another CSI David Hodges after walking in on him trying to color some of his greying hair with a sharpie while looking intensely at his reflection in a piece of lab equipment.[citation needed]
  • In the Season 3 episode of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy entitled "When You Wish Upon An Ed", Jimmy says "Victory, thy name is Jimmy" referring to himself as he enters a race with the other Cul-de-sac kids.[citation needed]
  • In Scrubs, Dr. Cox says to Elliot Reid, "Hypocrisy, thy name is you," because she is giving patients advice which she cannot follow herself.[citation needed]
  • In Bewitched episode 8 of season 1, Samantha says to Darrin, "Vanity, thy name is human."
  • In Pokémon episode 75 of season 2, Ash says to Pikachu, "Pokémon, thy name is Pikachu."
  • In Futurama episode 15 of season 2, Professor Farnsworth says in his recorded message, "Oh vanity, thy name is Professor Farnsworth".
  • In Supergirl (TV series) episode 18 of season 1 Winn says to Olsen "Jealousy, thy name is Olsen" when Olsen denied he had a look after seeing how Kara talks to Barry Allen.



  1. ^ (2006). "Frailty, thy name is woman!" (accessed October 13, 2006)
  2. ^ Martin, Gary (2006). "Frailty, thy name is woman" (accessed October 13, 2006)
  3. ^ Lederer 2010, p. 89
  4. ^ Makkai 1972, p. 177
  5. ^ a b Littlejohn et. al. 2012, pp. 167-168


  • Makkai, Adam (Jan 1, 1972). Walter de Gruyter, ed. Idiom Structure in English. The Hague, The Netherlands: Mouton & Co. N.V. 
  • Lederer, Richard (May 11, 2010). The Miracle of Language. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0671028111. 
  • Littlejohn, Andrew; Rao Mehta, Sandhya (December 4, 2012). Language Studies: Stretching the Boundaries. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 1443839728. 

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