Where does the phrase “without rhyme or reason” come from and What does it mean?

The phrase “without rhyme or reason” means: lacking in sense or justification.

The French still say, ni rime ni raison; but we borrowed the saying from the French of the late Middle Ages, na Ryme ne Raison, as reported by W. W. Skeat some years ago in Notes & Queries.

English usage dates from the early sixteenth century.

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