My Cup Runeth Over Was Started By Gord

Dear Ron,

Where does the expression, “my cup runeth over” come from? Everybody seems to be using it these days.

Question Mark

Dear Question Mark,

I have not researched this (no time), but I have an answer for you nonetheless. This expression comes from a fellow named Gord who loved to drink. He drank anything and everything, and the odd thing about Gord was that he always drank everything in his cup. He hated glasses. And he hated other people’s cups. So he carried his own cup with him all the time, which held the inscription”Gord’s.”

In fact, everyone in the village would always welcome Gord by asking him, “How’s the missus,” followed by  “and how’s the cup?”  whereupon Gord would excitedly produce his cup to show the person.  One afternoon Gord walked into the beer hall after work for a cold one and he was very thirsty. When he reached into his pocket for his cup he realized that his cup was missing.  He panicked.

He ran out of the beerhall and lo and behold  in front of him he saw his cup laying there forlornly in the middle of the road. He was elated.  But a horse and buggy was approaching the cup and his elation immediately turned to horror. It was then he realized how much he loved that cup.  He ran toward it, shouting like a man possessed, Please, Please, Mr. Horseman! Don’t run over my cup.”

But the horses were coming so quickly that he knew they would never be able to stop on time. So he leapt in front of the cup to save it and was trampled. The next day he woke up in the clinic dazed but not seriously injured. He only had a swollen tongue.

The first thing he saw was the nurse who was holding his cup, and she was smiling. He took the cup and pressed it to his heart, then he looked at the nurse with tears in his eyes and spoke the words, “My cup! It was nearly runeth over!”  The nurse replied with tenderness. “ I know. Now please don’t talk anymore. Your tongue is too swollen.”  Gord’s phrase was contracted to “my cup runeth over,” meaning that, like Gord, I am blessed.


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