What Does the Phrase “Give No Quarter” Mean and Where Did the Expression Come From?

In battle, to give no quarter means to take no prisoners.

In this case, the word quarter has no numerical value but rather refers to the antiquated use of the word for a dwelling place or area, such as the Latin Quarter or a soldier’s living quarters or barracks.

To grant or give quarter would mean to show mercy and provide prisoners with shelter.

“No quarter asked and no quarter given” means this is a fight to the death.

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.

Leave a Comment