All that glitters is not gold

"All that glitters is not gold" is a well-known saying.

The expression, in various forms, dates from at least as far as the 12th century. [ [http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/28450.html The Phrase Finder] ; but see [http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/18/messages/56.html another view] ] . It might even go back as far as Aesop. [ [http://everything2.com/index.pl?node=All%20that%20glitters%20is%20not%20gold Discussion at Everything2] ]

The popular form of the expression is a corruption of a line in William Shakespeare's play, "The Merchant of Venice". The line comes from the secondary plot, the puzzle of Portia's boxes:

cquote
"All that glisters is not gold;
""Often have you heard that told:
""Many a man his life hath sold
""But my outside to behold:
""Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
""Had you been as wise as bold,
""Young in limbs, in judgement old
""Your answer had not been inscroll'd
""Fare you well, your suit is cold.
"

Note that Shakespeare used "glisters" rather than "glitters".

Cultural references

*In Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings", one of Bilbo's poems begins "All that is Gold Does Not Glitter".

*Thomas Gray's poem [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ode_on_the_Death_of_a_Favourite_Cat%2C_Drowned_in_a_Tub_of_Gold_Fishes "Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes"] ends with a form of the aphorism.

*Neil Young's song "Don't Be Denied" from "Time Fades Away" contains the lyric "All that Glitters Isn't Gold."

*The lyrics of Led Zeppelin's famous song "Stairway to Heaven" begin with the words:"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold"
:"And she's buying a stairway to heaven"

*"All that Glitters Isn't Gold" is a 1990 song by the Cover Girls.

*Marilyn Manson's song "Posthuman" contains the words "All that glitters is cold".

*Bruce Dickinson's song "Return of the King" contains the words "I know the king will come again when all that glitters turn to rust".

*Smash Mouth's song "All Star" contains the verse "All that glitters "is" gold, Only shooting stars break the mold."

*Kanye West's song "Family Business", contains the words in the intro "All that glitters is not gold, now gold is not a reality, real is what you live to be"

*Peter Tosh sings the line "it's not everything, you know, that glitter is gold" in the Wailers' "Brand New Second Hand"

*In "Diablo II," Warriv speaks of Gheed (after the mission The Forgotten Tower) as "All that twitters is not bold".

*The particularly unusual episode "All That Glitters" of "SpongeBob SquarePants" features a mysterious superimposed Spongebob delivering the quotation while his on-screen counterpart learns such a moral lesson.

ee also

*All That Glitters, list of shows whose name is derived from the proverb

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • all that glitters is not gold — This means that appearances can be deceptive and things that look or sound valuable can be worthless. ( All that glistens is not gold is an alternative.) …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • all that glitters is not gold — ► all that glitters is not gold proverb the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature. Main Entry: ↑glitter …   English terms dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold — ‘Glisters’, despite its Shakespearean authority, is now less often found than ‘glitters’. The variant form illustrated in quots. 1773 and 1987 is also common. L. non omne quod nitet aurum est, not all that shines is gold. c 1220 Hali Meidenhad… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold — Meaning A showy article may not necessarily be valuable. Origin The 12th century French thelogian Alain de Lille wrote Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold . Shakespeare and others have expressed the same notion. Shakespeare version… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • All that glitters is not gold. — British, American & Australian, British, literary something that you say to warn someone that sometimes people or things that appear attractive have no real value. This film has an all star cast, but all that glisters is not gold. It fails… …   New idioms dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold —    This means that appearances can be deceptive and things that look or sound valuable can be worthless. ( All that glistens is not gold is an alternative.)   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • all that glitters is not gold — proverb the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature * * * ˌall that ˌglitters/ˌglistens is not ˈgold idiom (saying) not everything that seems good, attractive, etc. is actually good, etc.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold — something that looks valuable is sometimes truly worthless …   English contemporary dictionary

  • all that glistens is not gold — ˌall that ˌglitters/ˌglistens is not ˈgold idiom (saying) not everything that seems good, attractive, etc. is actually good, etc. Main entry: ↑goldidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • All That Glitters (Adventures of Superman) — All That Glitters was the 104th and final episode of the hit 1950s action adventure juveniles series Adventures of Superman, based on the popular DC Comics flagship hero Superman. Directed by series star George Reeves, it aired on ABC Network on… …   Wikipedia


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