through thick and thin

through thick and thin

Meaning | Synonyms

  • under all conditions, no matter how challenging or difficult
  • to support someone through good and bad times
  • to do something even though the circumstances are not ideal
  • to stay by someone’s side over a long period of time, even when times are tough

Example Sentences

  1. My best friend has supported me through thick and thin.
  2. Even though there are rumours that the company is in trouble we plan to stick it out through thick and thin.
  3. If you really loved him you would have stuck by him through thick and thin. Instead, you left when things got hard.
  4. My husband has supported Liverpool through thick and thin. He is a true fan.


The phrase dates back to the 1300s. It is believed that it relates to entering a dark forest, in some places the trees are thick and overgrown while in other places it is sparse and easy to navigate. During this time the majority of England was covered in wooded areas.

It is derived from an old hunting expression “through thicket and thin wood.” The thicket is a group of trees or bushes that grow close together.

The first recorded use of the phrase can be found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, (1387 – 1400)

And forth with “wehee,” thurgh thikke and thurgh thenne.


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