Good riddance to bad rubbish (sometimes simply good riddance) is an idiom, which is used to express that someone feels positively about losing something or someone, or in some cases stopping an action that previously had a negative effect on the person who uses the expression.
In other words, good riddance to bad rubbish is applied upon saying goodbye to something that will not be missed.
It is believed that the first person to ever combine the words “good” and “riddance” in a phrase was no other than William Shakespeare. He used the sentence “A good riddance.” in his 1606 play titled Troilus and Cressida.
As a proverb, good riddance to bad rubbish started to be a part of American printed and spoken English as early as the late 18th century.
Although the word “riddance” has systematically disappeared from modern English over the centuries, the expression good riddance to bad rubbish is known by most and is commonly used in everyday speech to this day.
On April 4th, 1999, the proverb appeared on the American TV cartoon series The Simpsons, precisely in the 18th episode of the 10th season, titled “Simpsons Bible Stories”. On later episodes, the expression good riddance made several other appearances as well.
Online, good riddance to bad rubbish is often featured on keep calm-type motivational posters and merchandise, as well as on image macros and animal advice posters.
- Nosweatshakespeare.com – ‘Good Riddance’, Meaning & Context