Bane of my existence is a cliché phrase, meaning someone or something is a constant source of misery and irritation, slowly poisoning our humor, turning our lives grim.
The expression has been used in this sense for over three centuries, thus it is considered banal.
The expression originates from the old English word, bana which literally translates to killer, murderer.
The word bane appears in several terms, especially names of poisonous herbs, like wolfsbane or henbane.
Bane, in its current sense of “cause of pain and woe” appeared in English during the late 16th century and one of the earliest written mentions of the phrase “bane of my existence” comes from Arthur Neil’s Adelaide: An Original East Indian Story, published in The Sentimental and Masonic Magazine in 1794.
Over the centuries, “bane of my existence” had appeared in countless literary works across the Anglosphere, slowly chipping away the meaning behind it, turning the expression into an over-cited cliché.
Despite this, people still use it today to express their utmost intolerance toward someone or something that is so maddeningly infuriating.
“Bane of my existence” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2012.
- 7esl.com – “Bane Of My Existence” Meaning with Useful Examples
- Whatis.techtarget.com – Bane (or bain) of my existence?