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something is rotten in (the state of) Denmark

Something strange or suspicious is going on. The line comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Why is Katherine being so nice to me all of a sudden? I'm telling you, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

something is rotten in (the state of) Denmark.

Prov. something suspicious is going on. (From shakespeare's play Hamlet.) Jim: Look, there's a light on in the office, even though it's way past the time everyone should have left. John: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Jane: I wonder why Fred is coming in so late every morning. Jane: Something is rotten in Denmark.
See also: Denmark, rotten

something is rotten in the state of Denmark

Something is seriously amiss; there is a smell of corruption. This expression is a direct quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (4.1). Eric Partridge suggested that rotten was originally an analogy to cheese, for which Denmark has long been famous, and that possibly the expression was a catchphrase even when Shakespeare used it.
References in periodicals archive ?
Wind Denmark is pleased to partner with the Energy Innovation Cluster to put a special focus on innovation at this year's WIND ENERGY DENMARK.
This Strategic Sector Cooperation is the newest in the portfolio of the Embassy of Denmark. Nevertheless, Ambassador Tove Degnbol expects that the collaboration will bring many of the same mutual benefits as the Embassy has seen in previous cooperation.
On Wednesday, Frederiksen reacted to Trump's cancellation of Denmark visit.
Trump was of the notion that Denmark faces an economic burden to support Greenland and since the U.S was an ally, it would eventually agree to the sale of the island which is home to more than 50,000 people.
"Trump threw doubt on whether he would in fact go to Denmark early in September as planned, but stressed this was not related to the recent fuss about Greenland.
"Viktor is one of the world's best badminton players and was the biggest medal candidate for Denmark for the upcoming World Championships.
The purpose of the Review is to stimulate learning, support relevant organisational development, and analyse and strengthen cost effectiveness within ADRA Denmark. The recommendations provide by the Review in that respect will be a critical input MFAs ongoing dialogue with ADRA Denmark.
"More recently, we've noticed that it is not just Denmark that tourists are looking to explore.
'The commodity group with the highest import value to Denmark in 2017 was petroleum, petroleum products and related materials worth DKK 365.3 million ($57m).
When you consider Denmark have only conceded one goal - and that was a penalty - during the finals, the pace and trickery of the Inter winger could be hugely important to his team's hopes of going through.Denmark ndash Andreas CorneliusRemarkably, all 29 of Denmark's World Cup goals have been scored from inside the box, which means Cornelius' role as poacher-in-chief could be critical.
Denmark and Australia played a 1-1 draw in Samara on Thursday that kept Denmark on course to qualify and left Australia far short of that.Denmark opened the scoring seven minutes in when Nicolai Jorgensen received the ball in the box and made a beautiful finesse chip to a charging Christian Eriksen.
Islamabad -- Denmark Ambassador to Pakistan Rolf Michael Hay Pereira Holmboe said Pakistan and Danish relations are at remarkable stage, we have been cooperating in many fields and expanding for long time.
Denmark is targeting a 10 percent rise in the number of Filipino tourists this year, as it intensifies its promotions in the Philippines, a top Danish official said.
Her Majesty, Queen Margrethe II, is the reigning Queen of Denmark. She is also the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and commander-in-chief of Danish Defence.