Why do we say "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Well-Known Expressions

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst

Meaning:

Be optimistic but also be prepared for all possibilities

Background:

In or around 46 BC, Cicero wrote to a friend saying, "you must hope for the best"; but the first known use of the full expression is in The Tragedie of Gorbuduc by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville in 1561 which was performed by the Gentlemen of the Inner Temple before Queen Elizabeth in 1562. It is believed that Norton wrote the first three acts and Sackville the last two.

It is believed to be the first tragedy written in English and the first full length play composed in blank verse. According to shakespearesglobe.com: Gorboduc was a radical departure from "the jigging veins of rhyming mother-wits" of the plays that came before. It audaciously warns the young Queen of the dangers of misgovernment and depicts a family and a country torn apart by civil war.

Not considered a work of great literary merit, the play's subject matter is of an ancient British monarch who quarrels with his sons - a theme that Shakespeare would revisit in King Lear (1605), albeit with daughters.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...
  • Book Jacket: See What I Have Done
    See What I Have Done
    by Sarah Schmidt
    Sarah Schmidt's historical fictionalization of the Lizzie Borden story is a tsunami. From the ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Heart's Invisible Furies
    by John Boyne

    A sweeping, heartfelt saga set in Ireland from the author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.