Where Did the Phrase “Variety Is the Spice of Life” Come From and What Did the Expression Mean Originally?

When William Cowper wrote, “Variety’s the very spice of life” in 1785, he was reflecting on the ever-changing fashion of clothes.

The idea had been first expressed by ancient writers in different ways, but it was the genius of Cowper that caused “variety is the spice of life” to become an English proverb.

Other common Cowper idioms include “The worse for wear” and “God moves in mysterious ways.”

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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