The Plot Thickens

Meaning:

A situation or a story of sorts that has become way more interesting due to recently introduced complexities.

Example: Our boss went on vacation a few days ago. Right now, he should be in Hawaii, sipping down martinis. However, I thought I saw him walking around in his office as I was walking by. Did he lie about going on vacation? The plot thickens. Then again, I didn’t get a good look at the person walking around his office, so I could be mistaken.

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
1. More than meets the eye

Origin Of ‘The Plot Thickens’

The origins of this phrase are unknown. What, though, is a plot and how does it thicken? Well, the word ‘plot’ can refer to the story of something. Movies, for example, have events that take place in it that form its ‘plot,’ or story. As the story unfolds, things can become more complicated, thus the plot is becoming bigger, thicker.

The first known use of this phrase is believed to be from the 17th century. It was used in a play called The Rehearsal, 1671, by George Villiers. There’s a part from it that reads like so: 

“Ay, now the Plot thickens very much upon us.”

That means this phrase is nearly 350 years old


Example Sentence(s)

  1. I have a friend who I’ve known for two years. I didn’t think she had any children, but the plot thickened when I decided to unexpectedly drop by her house. Through the door, I heard the sounds of a crying baby. As it turns out, she was babysitting for someone.

Note: While this is not the case for allĀ common phrases and idioms, the origins for many of them are unknown. When this happens, what will generally be included on the page is either a theory as to how an expression may have come to be, or if not that, then I’ll usually try to find the oldest known quote of the expression and include that. The purpose of the quote is to give you an indication for how far back in history the phrase goes.

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