even Homer sometimes nods

Micmanz Lanugage Improvement series

This is an expression which is not heard very often these days. Homer is the Greek poet who wrote two great epics: the Iliad and the Odyssey. The word ‘nod’ in this context means to ‘fall asleep’. What happens when you are at work and feel drowsy? As you are unable to think clearly, you begin to make numerous mistakes. What the idiom means is ‘nobody is perfect’: even someone as great as Homer ended up making mistakes in his two epics.

  • When I told Anjali there were a couple of errors in her report, she replied that even Homer sometimes nods.


  • Anand has been doing a brilliant job. Every now and then, he slips up. Even Homer sometimes nods, I guess.


The idiom is actually a translation of a line from the Roman poet Horace, who in his ‘De Ars Poetica’, wrote: “I think it is a shame when the worthy Homer nods: but in so long a work it is allowable if drowsiness comes on.”

Article source : The Hindu

Author : S. UPENDRAN
Contact : upendrankye@gmail.com

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