mortal

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mere mortal

A human, and therefore capable of mistakes. The phrase emphasizes someone's humanity and fallibility. I have to make my expectations more realistic and realize that she's a mere mortal. Presidents are bound to make mistakes—they're mere mortals, just like the rest of us.
See also: mere, mortal

shuffle off this mortal coil

Euph. to die. (Often jocular or formal euphemism. Not often used in consoling someone.) Cousin Fred shuffled off this mortal coil after suffering a heart attack. When I shuffle off this mortal coil, I want to go out in stylebells, flowers, and a long, boring funeral.
See also: coil, mortal, off, shuffle, this

shuffle off this mortal coil

  (humorous)
to die
Usage notes: This phrase comes from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
I really want to see the Coliseum before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
See lost in the shuffle
See also: coil, mortal, off, shuffle, this

shuffle off

1. Get rid of, act evasively, as in They've tried to shuffle off public inquiries about the safety of their planes. This usage, dating from about 1600, also appears in the oft-quoted shuffle off this mortal coil, from Shakespeare's Hamlet (3:1), where it means "become freed from the turmoil of life," that is, "die."
2. Move away reluctantly, dragging one's feet, as in The prisoners shuffled off to their work detail. [Late 1500s]
See also: off, shuffle

shuffle off

v.
1. To go with short sliding steps, without or barely lifting the feet: The sleepy children shuffled off to bed.
2. To leave; depart: Toward the end of the evening, the guests shuffled off one by one.
3. To rid oneself of something; dispose of or relocate something: I have not been able to shuffle off my embarrassment. The computer program automatically shuffles the outdated files off to another disk.
4. To evade or shirk something, such as a responsibility: He shuffled off his responsibilities and went to the beach. She shuffled her work off onto others because she wasn't feeling well.
See also: off, shuffle

shuffle off this mortal coil

Die. This phrase that appears in Hamlet combines the archaic meaning of two words. “Shuffle” meant “rid,” while “coil” meant “troubles.” As Shakespeare put it, “What dreams may come / When we have shuffled off this mortal coil / Must give us pause.”
See also: coil, mortal, off, shuffle, this
References in classic literature ?
It is fated, moreover, that he should escape, and that the race of Dardanus, whom Jove loved above all the sons born to him of mortal women, shall not perish utterly without seed or sign.
The dread alarum should make the earth quake to its centre, for the herald is about to address mankind with a summons to which even the purest mortal may be sensible of some faint responding echo in his breast.
There they will doubtless find that they have been working each for the other's cause, and that every well-delivered stroke, which, with an honest purpose any mortal struck, even for a narrow object, was indeed stricken for the universal cause of good.
109-120) First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven.
121-139) But after earth had covered this generation -- they are called pure spirits dwelling on the earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth; for this royal right also they received; -- then they who dwell on Olympus made a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far.
140-155) But when earth had covered this generation also -- they are called blessed spirits of the underworld by men, and, though they are of second order, yet honour attends them also -- Zeus the Father made a third generation of mortal men, a brazen race, sprung from ash-trees (4); and it was in no way equal to the silver age, but was terrible and strong.
And Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men also when they come to have grey hair on the temples at their birth (6).
For upon the bounteous earth Zeus has thrice ten thousand spirits, watchers of mortal men, and these keep watch on judgements and deeds of wrong as they roam, clothed in mist, all over the earth.
Let a slave follow a little behind with a mattock and make trouble for the birds by hiding the seed; for good management is the best for mortal men as bad management is the worst.
And now after his long suffering came prosperity, which lasted to the end of his life; but he never got back the magic ring, nor has it ever again been seen by mortal eyes.
They said that your eminence was suffering from a mortal disease; I have the consultation signed in my portfolio.
But Adam would not take 'em, Nor the ships he wouldn't make 'em, Singing:--"Water, Earth and Air and Fire, What more can mortal man desire?
But Adam did not crave it, Nor the flight he wouldn't brave it, Singing:--"Air and Water, Earth and Fire, What more can mortal man desire?
If you can suppose a disembodied spirit to appear in earthly clothing--of silk or merino, as the case may be--it's no great stretch to suppose, next, that this same spirit is capable of holding a mortal pencil, and of writing mortal words in a mortal sketching-book.
Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a strong wind ever come victoriously unto all mortal weariness: of this thou art thyself the pledge and the prophet!