Where does the phrase “to the manner born” come from and What does it mean?

That is the way Shakespeare wrote it, m-a-n-n-e-r, not m-a-n-o-r.

The phrase occurs in Hamlet, Act 1, scene 4. The friends of Hamlet are amazed at hearing a flourish of drums and trumpets at midnight and ask him the meaning of it.

He says that it is a royal drinking custom, “But to my mind, though I am native here and to the manner born, it is a custom more honored in the breach than the observance.”

where does the phrase to the manner born come from and what does it mean

In other words, when you use the phrase, bear in mind that it refers to a habit or practice, a custom of the people; it has nothing to do with rank or aristocracy or high estate, as would be implied by the word “manor.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.