Last Straw


What does Last Straw mean?

Last straw is a popular reference to the expression “The last straw that broke the camel’s back” as well as its other variants, used for highlighting the final one in a series of misfortunate incidents, that result in a severe backlash, done in the Heat of Passion.


What's the origin of Last Straw?

The first known documentation of the aforementioned idiom comes from the theological debate on causality between Thomas Hobbes and John Bramhall in the late 17th century.

Since then, several variants have emerged in literature, including versions with feather and horse.

A similar expression to the “Last straw” is “The Last Drop” which also started appearing in the late 1600’s.

Spread & Usage

How did Last Straw spread?

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the phrase became widely recognized and used across the whole of the Anglosphere, appearing in all sorts of contexts, ranging from literary ones to everyday speech.

“Last straw” became even more popular in the 20th century, thanks to the countless products of the movie and music industry, as well as literature and television.

Today the phrase is still widely applied, and it was first defined on Urban Dictionary on January 18th, 2008.

External resources

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