"And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth" was a favored means of expressing dismay and horror among the populace at large in the Christian Bible. Whenever God would do something people didn't like, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. When they ran out of wine at a wedding, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and it's true -- I've seen it).

This line has long been a favorite of British satirists such as Rowan Atkinson and Terry Pratchett; it has the sort of melodramatic absurdity that suits them so well. The line is practically a joke in and of itself, since it translates so ridiculously into English. Good use is made of this line in "And Now, From Nazareth, The Amazing... ".

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