My whole life I’ve heard the phrase above (it’s sometimes given as “sea-change”), but never knew what it meant until I looked it up yesterday. It turns out that it simply means a big change. And, like so many other common phrases, it came from Shakespeare. Here’s the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition:
Since I just learned it, I thought maybe other people might not know of its meaning or origin, either.
That said, I don’t plan to use the phrase, as to my ears it sounds a bit pompous, and I’d rather say “big change”. I wonder if those who use it—I heard it somewhere the other day on the news—know what it means, or use it in the proper sense.
As long as I’m here, here, from Shakespeare Online, is a list of words invented by Shakespeare, along with the following note (go to the link to…
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