Submitted by Dyske on November 29, 2002

Gone to Seed

What does this mean? Where did it come from?


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It seems "gone to seed" has contradictory meaning.

Final stage of plant life seemingly expiring, on the one
hand, and a stage of coming rebirth, which is fecund,
on the other hand.

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"gone to seed" refers to the stage in gardening in which the flowers are not blooming and the leaves have fallen off the trees, like during the winter. So basically when refering to a person or thing, it means past its prime, not full of life any more. If a celebrity has "gone to seed" then they are thought of as a "has-been" and no longer what they used to be.

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Certain crops must be harvested before the plants reach this stage of their life cycle. When such a crop has gone to seed, all the effort put into that crop is wasted, and the chances for making a profit are all but gone - and this loss is entirely due to careless, easily avoided mistakes.

Laziness and neglect are defining factors in the phrase "gone to seed."

One might say "It's a shame ol' Betty's okra patch gone to seed while she was in the booby hatch after the horrible attack by that sasquatch," but usually when a field has gone to seed is it because someone failed, not because of a tragedy.

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A humourous side note.

I just searched for "hit a snag" "off his rocker" "gone to seed" in google, and got the Bobby Fischer article from URLdj. Wonder what Dyske's been reading...

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I would think that "gone to seed" actually ment more like a fallow field. I'm no wordsmith (so if that's not spelled correctly, I hope you know I mean: field left open for a season) What it means to me is that nature is taking it's course. The seeds will fall off of the plants that manage to grow there and the process starts all over.

Just my two sense. <---that was a joke.

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Anonymous got it, "gone to seed" means not fulfilling your potential.

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