something is rotten in the state of Denmark
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
A line spoken by Marcellus in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I.
- Something is not right, rife with errors from top to bottom, leading to suspicion of motive.
- If the administration knew about the problems and chose not to prevent them, then clearly something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Hamlet quotation, used in other contexts to mean "something is not right."