Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows


      • unlikely alliances
        Describes the strange or unlikely partnerships that can form when people are in difficult or desperate situations

      • unexpected connections
        Indicates that people can form connections with others they would not normally associate with when faced with adversity

    Examples of Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows

    • John, a successful businessman, found himself sharing a jail cell with a notorious criminal after being wrongfully accused of a crime. As they spent long nights together, they discovered that they had more in common than they thought, and an unlikely friendship blossomed.

      This idiom highlights how difficult circumstances can bring individuals from varying backgrounds and circumstances together. It can also imply that sometimes, in the face of hardship, one may get a new perspective or a previously unseen side of another person. The term "strange bedfellows" refers to the unconventional and unexpected nature of the people who one may find themselves in compromised circumstances with. In this example, the situation of being in jail cell forces these two individuals to confront their preconceptions and prejudices about each other, leading to a newfound understanding and bond.

    • When John lost his job and fell onto hard times, he found himself in the company of individuals he would have previously considered undesirable. This experience of shared misfortune brought them closer together, as they commiserated over their predicament and offered each other support.

      The idiom "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows" refers to the idea that difficult circumstances can unexpectedly bring unlikely people together. This expression highlights how shared experiences of hardship can create unexpected alliances, as individuals learn to lean on one another for support during challenging times. In John's case, he found himself bonding with individuals he wouldn't have normally associated with due to the circumstances they found themselves in. While this experience was undoubtedly difficult, it provided John with a new perspective and the realization that misfortune often brings forth surprising opportunities for connection.


    The idiom "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows" suggests that unusual or unexpected partnerships can arise when people are in difficult circumstances. It can be used to describe the strange alliances that form in challenging situations, as well as the unexpected connections that people can make when facing hardship.

    This idiom can be applied to various situations, such as in politics, business, or personal relationships, to convey the idea that adversity can lead to unlikely partnerships and connections. It serves as a reminder that people can find common ground with others, regardless of their differences, when confronted with hardship.

    Origin of "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows"

    The origin of the idiom "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows" can be traced back to William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest." The line appears in Act 2, Scene 2, where Trinculo says, "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows."

    In this context, the phrase is used to convey the notion that difficult circumstances can bring people together in unexpected ways, forming unusual alliances and connections. Over time, the expression has become a commonly used idiom to describe the phenomenon of unlikely partnerships arising from adversity. Shakespeare's use of the phrase has contributed to its enduring popularity and widespread usage in the English language.