Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be Examples
This phrase, "neither a borrower nor a lender be," comes from Hamlet. It is spoken by Polonius to his son, Laertes. This is the context from the play by Shakespeare:
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."
Polonius is telling his son that loaning money to others often results in the loss of the money and the friend-because the money is never returned. When you borrow money, it means that you are leaving beyond your means and can face humiliation.
Today, people often use this phrase to warn others against the dangers of borrowing and lending money. For example, a parent may caution a child to "neither a borrower nor a lender be."
Shakespeare is not the only one who cautioned against borrowing and lending money. King Solomon, a wise king from the Bible also noted the dangers of borrowing and lending in Proverbs 22:7: "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender."
Literary Terms Examples