et tu, Brute!

et tu, Brute!

You, my so-called friend, are also betraying me. This expression is generally credited to Shakespeare, who used the exact Latin locution (literally, “and you, Brutus”) in Julius Caesar (3.1) in 1599. However, Shakespeare actually was loosely quoting the real Julius Caesar, who reportedly said, “You too, my child?” when Marcus Brutus stabbed him in 44 b.c. Caesar made this dying remark in Greek (according to Suetonius’s account). Incidentally, “Brute” did not signify “brute” in the sense of animal; it simply is the proper Latin case for this name. A more recent version, with friends like that/you, who needs enemies, became current in America in the 1960s. It usually is a response to a far less dire betrayal—a tactless remark by a friend, for example.
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The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
His appearance must have come as a severe blow to Peter Law's chances of winning the seat and he may have been entitled to utter the words, 'Et tu, Brute! Then fall Caesar!' when confronted by this sinister group of political assassins, determined to apply the coup to grece to his political career.