I have not slept one wink
What's the meaning of the phrase 'I have not slept one wink'?
I have not slept at all.
What's the origin of the phrase 'I have not slept one wink'?
The notion of getting not even a single moment's sleep has been in the language since the 14th century. Robert Manning of Brunne, in his work Handlyng synne, 1303, records the phrase in Middle English:
"Ne mete ete, ne drank drynke, Ne slepte onely a-lepy wynke."
In language that is a little more accessible to most readers in the 21st century we have Shakespeare's use of the idea in Cymbeline, 1611:
O gracious lady,
Since I received command to do this business
I have not slept one wink.
See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.