What does the expression “the land of Nod” mean and Where did it originate?

We are apt to forget that the expression “the land of Nod” comes from the Bible, in which “the land of Nod” is the place (Genesis iv, 16) where Cain dwelt after he had slain Abel.

Jonathan Swift, famous satirist of the seventeenth-eighteenth century, turned the biblical phrase into a pun when he wrote that he was “going into the land of Nod,” meaning that he was going to sleep.

It appears in a work of his, little known nowadays, “A complete collection of genteel and ingenious conversation”, (usually referred to as Polite Conversation), written between the years 1731 and 1738.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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