no rest for the weary

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no rest for the weary

Post by Archived Topic » Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:39 pm

What is the correct saying? "There is no rest for the Weary" or "There is no rest for the Wicked"? I need to prove a know it all work mate wrong. Thanks.
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no rest for the weary

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:53 pm

I suspect you are both right! How's that for a happy ending. The Oxford Engl Dict. shows it first appearing in 1935 in the "The Nursing-Home Murders" by Marsh&Jellett in the form of "no rest for the wicked." However, in 1979, the double-barreled approach appeared in "Soon Done For," by M. Badson. It appeared as this: "No rest for the wicked, or for the weary."
I suuggest that both ways work very nicely and should not be a cause of strife between you and your work mate!

Leif, WA, USA
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no rest for the weary

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Aug 08, 2004 3:08 pm

Leif, Guess I don’t agree in principle that the two sayings should be interchangeable and the OED quote you cited does seem to make a distinction (says ‘for the wicked, or for the weary’). I think I have always heard ‘weary’ used, and am not familiar with (or have forgotten about) the ‘wicked’ one. The two sources I checked (below), however, imply that the expressions are synonymous, since they essentially give the same definition for both.

However, in my mind there is [or at least should be (<:)] a big difference between ‘no rest for the weary’ and ‘no rest for the wicked.’ I think that ‘no rest for the weary’ is talking about no cessation or interruption of mental or physical work, exertion, labor, toil. Whereas ‘no rest for the wicked’ is (or should be) referring to no tranquility or peace of mind for the ‘evildoer.’ Seems like these are two different concepts. The Bible connection (see below) is clearly discussing only the ‘wicked’ and not the ‘busy or hard-working’ concept – what could God possibly have against poor weary folks anyway – but then again, as some believe, ‘He works in mysterious ways.’

Partridge (wicked only) and Facts on File (‘weary’ and ‘wicked’) tried to make a connection to the Old Treatment . I agree that the sound of the words is there (sort of), but the connection to today’s usage is a bit tenuous [pretty lame stretch in my ‘book’!]. Here’s what they had to say, anyway, for whatever it’s worth. They do point out, though, that the British seem to favor ‘wicked’ and some other’s (U.S.) ‘weary.’
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The Shorter Dictionary of Catch Phrases by Fergusson from work of Eric Partridge & Paul Beale
[note: Partridge is a New Zealand /British-type fellow]

NO REST FOR THE WICKED! (THERE’S) said by or to somebody who is kept extremely busy. A catch phrase of the 19th – 20th centuries that originate in the Bible (Isaiah 48:22): ‘There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked!’
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Facts on File Dictionary of Clichés

NO REST FOR THE WEARY (WICKED): No peace and quiet for anyone; to be kept very busy. This term, dating form about 1900, today is used facetiously by or about a person who simply is kept very busy. It presumably echoes several biblical passages stating that God will take care of good people, but will provide no peace for evildoers [‘Isaiah’ 48:22 and 57:21, Bush 9:16:01 (<:)]. ‘Wicked’ is used more in Britain, ‘weary’ in America. After a two-foot snowfall and prediction of at least another foot of snow, meteorologist Michael Henry said, “ There’s no rest for the weary. Just when they . . . cleaned up after the last storm, here comes another.’ (‘Boston Globe,’ March 9, 2001).
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Note: the 2nd Isaiah passages referred to says:

57:21 ‘There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.’
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Ken G – January 26, 2003





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no rest for the weary

Post by Archived Reply » Sun Aug 08, 2004 3:22 pm

Hi, Ken! Didn't mean to say they both applied to the same thing. Perhaps, I should have made it clearer that the "weary" are not always "wicked." Unless they are really, really tired! *G*

Leif, as above

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Re: no rest for the weary

Post by rpurosky » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:26 pm

The intention of the bible passage is there will be no rest for the wicked in hell. So it doesn't really apply to the living who may be tired. The bible also calls the wicked in hell "weary" since they won't be allowed rest. So, if your coworker uses the phrase again, just state you aren't dead, yet.
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Re: no rest for the weary

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:23 pm

Robert,

You say:
The intention of the bible passage is there will be no rest for the wicked in hell.

How do you know that is the intention of the bible passage?

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Ken Greenwald - February 10, 2020
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