Shakespeare quote

‘Neither a borrower nor money lender be’.

William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616

The phrase, ‘neither a borrower nor money lender be’ is a famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, spoken by the character Polonius to his son Laertes. Polonius is giving his son some advice before he leaves for Paris, and he tells him not to lend or borrow money from anyone, because it can ruin friendships and lead to financial troubles.


‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry’.

The phrase means that we/you should be self-reliant and prudent with your money, and avoid getting into debt or lending money to others. It implies that borrowing and lending can cause resentment, dishonesty, and loss of trust between people. It also suggests that borrowing can make you lazy and wasteful, while lending can make you lose both the money and the friend. Thats’s true!


The phrase is still relevant today, as many people face the challenges of managing their finances and dealing with debt. It is often used as a proverb or a piece of wisdom to warn people against the dangers of borrowing and lending money. However, some people may disagree with the phrase, and argue that borrowing and lending can be beneficial in some situations, such as when one needs to invest in education, business, or emergency needs. They may also point out that borrowing and lending can strengthen relationships if done with honesty, generosity, and gratitude.

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