eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die

A conflation of two biblical sayings: ECCLESIASTES viii. 15 (AV) Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry..and ISAIAH xxii. 13 (AV) Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die. There are a number of jocular variants (see for example quot. 2001).

1870 D. G. ROSSETTI ‘The Choice’ in House of Life, Sonnet lxxi. Eat thou and drink; tomorrow thou shalt die.

1884 E. LYALL We Two xii. 240 But far from prompting him to repeat the maxim ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!’ it spurred him rather to a sort of fiery energy, never satisfied with what it had accomplished.

1960 O. MANNING Great Fortune (1988) 42 Inchcape..complained: ‘I’ve never before seen this place in such a hubbub.’ ‘It’s the war,’ said Clarence. ‘Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may be starving to death.’

1975 N. GUILD Lost and Found Man 87 No point in getting morbid... What the hell. Eat, drink, and be merry, and all that crap. Lukas signaled the waiter and ordered another two croissants.

2001 New Scientist 22/29 Dec. 45 Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.


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