I've come across a Shakespearean phrase, 'galled jade' today. I've found out it is from 'let the galled jade wince'.

What is the meaning of 'let the galled jade wince'? And what is 'galled jade'?

  • 2
    I've answered your question, but you could have at least answered your last question by looking up the words in a dictionary as I did.
    – BobRodes
    Jan 23, 2017 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


A "jade" is an old term for a worn-out horse. "Gall" means generally irritation, but also has the specific meaning of a saddle sore on a horse.

In this part of Hamlet, the prince is putting on a play for his uncle in which a murderer kills a man by pouring poison in his ear, which is the same way his uncle murdered his father (as Hamlet was told by his father's ghost earlier in the play). He's metaphorically saying to let the guilty wince.

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