Good men and true


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Good men and true'?

Dependable men, of rank and honour. The phrase was adapted later to ‘twelve good men and true’, indicating the twelve (originally all men, now both sexes) of a criminal jury.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Good men and true'?

From Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, 1599:

DOGBERRY: Are you good men and true?
VERGES: Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul.

Trend of good men and true in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.