All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is a proverb. Its meaning is that without time off from work, a person becomes bored and boring.

The sentiment expressed by this proverb was first recorded thousands of years ago by the Egyptian sage Ptahhotep, who wrote in 2400 B.C.,

One that reckons accounts all the day passes not a happy moment. One that gladdens his heart all the day provides not for his house. The bowman hits the mark, as the steersman reaches land, by diversity of aim. He that obeys his heart shall command. [Battiscombe G. Gunn (trans.), "The Instructions of Ptah-Hotep", "AAA Encyclopedia" [http://www.kenseamedia.com/encyclopedia/ppp/instructions_ptah_hotep.htm] ] Verify credibility|date=August 2007
The more familiar modern saying appeared first in James Howell's "Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish" (1659), and was included in later collections of proverbs.

Some writers have added a second part to the proverb, as in "Harry and Lucy Concluded" (1825) by the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth: :"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,
All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy".

In popular culture

In the movie Charlie Chan at the Olympics from 1937 Chan explains for his son, in his typical proverb fashion, that "All work and no play make Charlie Chan very dull policeman."

The movie The Bridge Over the River Kwai a 1957 Academy Award Best Picture film makes use of this phrase as the Japanese Commander tries to blackmail the English Officers into building the bridge at the schedule due date.

The movie "The Shining" makes use of this phrase. There, Jack Torrance's wife looks over his typewriter to see what he has written, and finds the phrase repeated over and over on hundreds of sheets of paper in various layouts. This marks Jack's descent into insanity.

In "Now You Smurf' Em, Now You Don't", episode 81 of Hanna-Barbera's TV adaption of "The Smurfs", Papa Smurf says "All work and no play makes Papa a dull Smurf" after chastising the other Smurfs for playing and then engaging in some fun himself.

The cynical version is “All work and no play makes jack. And plenty of it.” "Jack" here is used as a slang term for money.

The phrase also appears as a list of writing that flashes across the screen in a 1997 episode of "The Simpsons" entitled "The Springfield Files" when Homer Simpson believes that he has encountered an alien. The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror V" also contained a parody of the phrase when Marge discovers Homer wrote "Feelin' fine" on a typewriter only to see "No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy" written all over the walls.

In the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode "Gone", a recently invisible Buffy Summers decides to haunt a social worker threatening to take away her sister by filling her report with pages consisting entirely of repetitions of "All work and no play makes Doris a dull girl".

In the "" episode "" there is a reference to this proverb on Gary`s blackboard: All work and no play makes Gary a bad boy.

In the videogame "Command & Conquer: Renegade", in the last mission, there is an announcement in the Temple of Nod that says "All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy."

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy — all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy) it is not good to work all the time. You need to get out and have fun you know, all work and no play …   New idioms dictionary

  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. — All work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy). something that you say which means people who work all the time become boring. You need to get out more in the evenings. You know what they say about all work and no play …   New idioms dictionary

  • all work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy) — all ˌwork and no ˈplay (makes ˌJack a dull ˈboy) idiom (saying) it is not healthy to spend all your time working; you need to relax too Main entry: ↑workidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy — 1659 J. HOWELL Proverbs (English) 12 All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. 1825 M. EDGEWORTH Harry & Lucy Concluded II. 155 All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy. 1859 S. SMILES Self Help xi …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy — Too much hard work without time out for play or enjoyment is not good for anyone. A proverb. * /Bill s mother told him to stop studying and to go out and play, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy — Too much hard work without time out for play or enjoyment is not good for anyone. A proverb. * /Bill s mother told him to stop studying and to go out and play, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • all\ work\ and\ no\ play\ makes\ Jack\ a\ dull\ boy — proverb too much hard work without time out for play or enjoyment is not good for anyone. Bill s mother told him to stop studying and to go out and play, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy …   Словарь американских идиом

  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy — do not work too long, take time for recreation, take time to smell...    When I picked up my overtime check, Karen reminded me that All work and no play …   English idioms

  • All work and no play. — (makes Jack a dull boy). something that you say which means people who work all the time become boring. You need to get out more in the evenings. You know what they say about all work and no play …   New idioms dictionary

  • all work and no play — (makes Jack a dull boy) it is not good to work all the time. You need to get out and have fun you know, all work and no play …   New idioms dictionary

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