Bane of Your Life

Meaning of “Bane of Your Life”

The phrase “bane of your life” means a source of destruction of someone’s life. The person might face life-threatening situations, injuries, or death by anything or anyone. As the word ‘bane’ means curse, the phrase means a source of a curse or harm. The phrase is also applicable when a person is leading another person towards a destructive lifestyle and choices.

Origin of “Bane of Your Life”

The phrase “bane of your life” might have originated from the word “bane” which means poison or sometimes curse. However, its printed record has been found in the book of Gabriel Harvey titled as Foure Letters and certaine Sonnets, published as back as in 1592 where the phrase goes thus; “He that like a Lacedemonian, or Romane, accounteth Infamy worse than death, would be loath to emprove his courage, or to employ his patience, in digestinge the pestilent bane of his life.”

Examples in Literature

Example #1

The Bane of My Existence by Matt Gotlieb

The bane of my existence
Is in the finer acts
The acts to small to recognize
The acts that I always surmise
In the finding of the lies

The bane of my existence
Is in the vain persistence
And the ever labeling
And the tormented fabling
And the strange laboring

The bane of my existence
Is in the act of love
It makes us a slovenly slave
To the unforgiving nave
And turns our souls concave

The poet describes the issues that his life demonstrates through simple but nasty acts. He hates various things in life, ranging from lies to love, from old age peace and from slow working to vain hope. He thinks that if he removes these things, he will improve himself. The phrase has been twisted to “bane of my existence,” replacing life with existence, though it retains its true meanings. The phrase is used as a literary device, refrain, which resonates throughout the poem in the shape of the first verse of each stanza.

Example #2

From Being Richard by Toni Allen

Even though I stopped prying into Richard’s life it didn’t stop me thinking about him, constantly. There was no news from the Landy Registry and impatience lured me to call them, but I halted my fingers on the keys and dug out some cash to go and buy a pay as you go phone. For centuries money had been the bane of my life. Not the lack of it, but the constantly changing shape of banknotes and coins. Once I’d been able to stash a hoard and not worry about the numbers on the notes, or the fact that the mind had a new design.

The narrator states that although he does not want to know what was happening in Richard Ridley’s life. However, to him, money was ‘bane’. He admits that he has been financially sound. In order to avoid that curse, he is forced to take an interest. He is fed up with checking with banknotes and coins whether they are usable. The phrase has been used in its literal meanings here.

Example #3

From “The Drunkard” by George Herbert

I found fault with her domestic economy; reproached her with not keeping her children decent; with being a slut in her own person, though she was neatness itself; with being ugly, disagreeable, stupid, tiresome, a millstone about my neck, the bane of my life, and the cause of all my misery.

In these lines, the narrator thinks that he does not like the domestic cash handling of the lady in question. So, he rebukes her over it. Although she has every other feature that he dislikes, he thinks that she is ‘the bane of his life’. The phrase has been used to describe her as if she is poison.

Example #4

The Bane of My Life – A Dad’s Diary by Darren Bane

Darren Bane recalls his visits and waits in St. Michael’s Hospital in Bristol when they had a premature baby, Matthew. The baby had to spend six months in the care unit. He has recollected those painful memories of how he and his wife managed their emotional pain and hassles of the hospital. The period has been very difficult for both the husband as well as the wife. Therefore, Darren has called that experience a ‘bane’ for him and has also used this phrase as the title of the book.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “Katie is becoming a bane of your life these days. Did you know she is disclosing all of your secrets to others.”

Example #2: “John is with me like a bane of my life. One day he becomes my savior, and the next day, he destroys my reputation at school.”

Example #3: “When I went through the forest, I didn’t find any wild animals. There were just mosquitoes, and they seem to be the bane of my life.”

Example #4: “John was Emily’s bane of her life until she left that job. He would constantly insult her in front of her colleagues.”

Example #5: “Herman has thrown out his friend who proved a bane of his life. He agreed that a bad friend can ruin his life and career.”