American Idioms and Expressions

A Burnt Child Dreads The Fire Idiom

This database is a comprehensive collection of all the American idioms and slang available. American Idioms are many and varied. We hope you enjoy our collection. We are adding more all the time. .

A Burnt Child Dreads the Fire
What does A Burnt Child Dreads the Fire mean?
One does not repeat a painful lesson twice.I've tried to get little Johnny to quit running and jumping on the furniture before he hurts himself, but only a burnt child dreads the fire.
Very similar in meaning to another proverb, "Once bitten, twice shy," today's proverb is an old one. It appeared in English literature as early as 1320, in "The Proverbs of Hendyng." Another proverb, which is similar, comes from the French: "A scalded dog fears cold water" carries an even stronger message; that those who have experienced a great deal of difficulty or pain will not only avoid it in the future, but will be afraid even where there is no cause.
Other languages also have like proverbs, such as, "One bitten by a serpent is afraid of a rope's end" (Jewish), "A man who has received a beating with a firebrand runs away at the sight of a firefly" (Singhalese), and "A dog which has been beaten with a stick fears its own shadow" (Italian).

Some Random Idioms
Jungle out there
What does "Jungle out there" mean?
If someone says that it is a jungle out there, they mean that the situation is dangerous and there are no rules.
A slice off a cut loaf is never missed
What does "A slice off a cut loaf is never missed" mean?
Used colloquially to describe having sexual intercourse with someone who is not a virgin, especially when they are in a relationship. The analogy refers to a loaf of bread; it is not readily apparent, once the end has been removed, exactly how many slices have been taken.('You never miss a slice from a cut loaf' is also used.)
on occasion
What does "on occasion" mean?
occasionallyWe go to my favorite restaurant on occasion.
Get on your soapbox
What does "Get on your soapbox" mean?
If someone on their soapbox, they hold forth (talk a lot) about a subject they feel strongly about.
do time
What does "do time" mean?
to spend time in prison The man was doing time when we first heard about him.

Up to the neck
What does "Up to the neck" mean?
If someone's in something up to the neck, they are very involved in it, especially when it's something wrong.
have (someone) eating out of (the palm of) one's hand
What does "have (someone) eating out of (the palm of) one's hand" mean?
someone is willing to do whatever you want him or her to do The woman has her supervisor eating out of the palm of her hand.

go to town
What does "go to town" mean?
to work fast or hard, to do something with much energyWe went to town last night and finished painting the bedroom.
as red as a poppy
What does "as red as a poppy" mean?
bright redThe mark on my arm was as red as a poppy.
down to earth
What does "down to earth" mean?
to be sensible and practicalMy mother is very down to earth.
Hold your own
What does "Hold your own" mean?
If you can hold your own, you can compete or perform equally with other people.
rain (something) out
What does "rain (something) out" mean?
to spoil something by rainingThe music festival was rained out yesterday evening.


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