Augur Well

Meaning of “Augur Well”

The phrase “augur well” means to foreshadow, or see a good outcome of something, or some future incident or event. While using the phrase in written form, often there is a confusion with the word ‘Augur’ and ‘auger’. An augur is a fortune teller, and an auger is a carpenter’s tool.

Origin of “Augur Well”

The phrase ‘Augur Well’ might have originated from the English elite class of the 18th century. Its first record was found in the Parliamentary Register. The record belongs to the Duke of Richmond’s speech. It goes: “I augur well from the readiness with which it has been granted.” It was published in 1778. Later it has been interchangeably used with ‘bode well,’. ‘Bode well also means the same. The phrase is still the most popular form of the phrase used in written English.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Don Juan by Lord Byron

I had my doubts, perhaps I have them still,
But what I say is neither here nor there;
I knew his father well, and have some skill
In character – but it would not be fair
From sire to son to augur good or ill:
He and his wife were all ill-sorted pair—
But scandal’s my aversion – I protest
Against all evil speaking, even in jest.

The stanza has been taken from Lord Byron’s poem “Don Juan.” The speaker believes it is unfair to assess a person on any ill will or goodwill. He also makes it clear that his intention is not to be scandalous. To be fair in his judgment, he has used the phrase “augur good”. Here, it means the same as “augur well.” The poem indirectly says that the parents’ failure doesn’t always influence the child because they have the character of their own.

Example #2

Holly by Denise Feldmann

A gracious lady with a fine pedigree
Has stood with dignity for a century
A warm and welcoming face she displays
Which augurs well for a comfortable stay
The great Southern Alps she proudly envelops
With changeable seasons the picture develops
Pink snow on the peaks at the breaking of dawn
Heralding in a breathtaking morn

This stanza is written as the praise to the host of Holly Homestead, in the great Southern Alps. Denise Feldman was a guest in that hotel. And the poem is displayed on the hotel’s website. The poet has used the phrase to express that everyone who will stay there in the future will always enjoy the comfort of the place and hospitality.

Example #3

Society of Men, excerpt by Anthony Lane from The New Yorker on February 9, 2015

“Clement and Waititi are not just the stars of this enterprise but also its writers and directors. Flight of the Conchords fans will know Clement as one half of the band; he was also directed by Waititi in “Eagle vs. Shark” (2007). That augurs well, but it still doesn’t prepare you for the uncanny lure of “What We Do in the Shadows.”

The above paragraph praises two stars, Jemaine Clement and TaikaWaititi, and their role in the enterprise Flight of the Conchords and Eagle vs. Shark, respectively. The writer uses the phrase t augurs well for Waititi, which means that the author expects it is a good omen for the success of this horror-comedy. In other words, their participation or collaboration will make a film successful.

Example #4

“Is Revolutionary Fervor Afire—Again—in Tunisia?” by Robin Wright (December 31, 2018) from The New Yorker

“The combination does not augur well for Tunisia’s New Year. “It is easy to predict that Tunisia will continue to have roiling micro-protests,” Lawrence said. “The current wave will not threaten the establishment like 2011, but it is a harbinger of things to come if Tunisia does not improve its socio-economic situation.”

The above paragraph from the New Yorker, explains the situation in Tunisia after the death of its president and the new setup. He believes that the incident is not a good omen for Tunisia, which had become a stable country after the protests of 2011. The use of this phrase at the beginning of the paragraph has shown the negative meaning if the right leader is not elected.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “The appearance of the black clouds on the horizon does not augur well for the children who wanted to play football.”

Example #2: “Gloria knew she had given her best. She was confident that it will augur well for her when the results are announced.”

Example #3: “Miles was recovering really fast after surgery. His team knew it was an augur well for them as he will be ready to play next year.”

Example #4: “He is waiting for the moment to augur well for him to start the work.”

Example #5: “Well, it augurs wells for you to go on a pilgrimage as your health and well portend well.”