View synonyms for strange bedfellows

strange bedfellows

  1. Unlikely companions or allies; often used in the phrase “politics makes strange bedfellows.”

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Idioms and Phrases

A peculiar alliance or combination, as in George and Arthur really are strange bedfellows, sharing the same job but totally different in their views . Although strictly speaking bedfellows are persons who share a bed, like husband and wife, the term has been used figuratively since the late 1400s. This particular idiom may have been invented by Shakespeare in The Tempest (2:2), “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Today a common extension is politics makes strange bedfellows , meaning that politicians form peculiar associations so as to win more votes. A similar term is odd couple , a pair who share either housing or a business but are very different in most ways. This term gained currency with Neil Simon's Broadway play The Odd Couple and, even more, with the motion picture (1968) and subsequent television series based on it, contrasting housemates Felix and Oscar, one meticulously neat and obsessively punctual, the other extremely messy and casual.
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Example Sentences

Those opposition groups have some strange bedfellows, though, chief among them the Arkansas Beverage Retailers Association.

War makes strange bedfellows and the U.S. has certainly been promiscuous before choosing its allies in past wars.

These dual complaints have made for some strange bedfellows.

Politics and the Olympics have always made strange bedfellows.

Politics, as I noted, makes strange bedfellows, but only when circumstances demand it.

There's an old saying that misfortune makes strange bedfellows, but political friendship makes stranger alliances than misfortune.

Politics made strange bedfellows; Cabinets were sometimes the oddest hybrids.

"White-livered rascals; fear, like adversity, makes strange bedfellows," he exclaimed contemptuously.

They say that "misfortune makes men acquainted with strange bedfellows."

War, I thought, not only makes strange bedfellows, but strange combinations in the histories of bedrooms.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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