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Don't judge a book by its cover

Discussion in 'English Only' started by susanb, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. susanb

    susanb Senior Member

    Catalan-Catalonia
    Hello,
    I understand this expression, but my question is: Does it always have a negative meaning? Can it also mean you can get a pleasant surprise?
    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
    Absolutely.:)

    She may not say much but still waters run deep--Don't judge a book by its cover.
     
  3. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    No, it;s not negative?!
    It's just giving advice, it IS telling someone to be more open, but I would never say it was negative.
     
  4. susanb

    susanb Senior Member

    Catalan-Catalonia
    Do I understand that I can use it both ways? The result/discovering of the truth can be positive or negative?
    To be more clear:
    A)"Oh, I thought she was a very honest person!"
    B)"Oh, I never would have said I would like her so much!"
     
  5. Macymoo Senior Member

    London
    London, England (English)
    Don't judge a book by its cover ends up with a pleasant suprise!!
    that's what the saying means....don't assume a person is one way because of the way they look.....
    Don't condemn the person in a bad way until you have got to know them....you usually only say this saying when your original negative thought was wrong.

    You see a teenager with scruffy clothing, with earings in his ears, brightly coloured dyed hair and tattoos...you think he looks like a drop-out ....but you find out he is actually a trainee doctor who does charity work in his spare time!... you judged him wrongly by the way he looks and he is actually better than what you thought of him.

    Taking someone at face value is an expression that means you trusted them or took a gamble on them despite not knowing them...
     
  6. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I agree with Macymoo, that was a perfect explanation.
     
  7. Macymoo Senior Member

    London
    London, England (English)
    Oh I though she looked like a very honest person and she turned out to be a theif...i took her at face value and I was wrong...... you are better to use the exprssion at face value here.


    To use the expression don't judge a book the person has to be better than what you first suspected
     
  8. susanb

    susanb Senior Member

    Catalan-Catalonia
    And what about the opposite? I meet a lovely-looking person and after a while he/she decieves me. Could I use this expression?
     
  9. susanb

    susanb Senior Member

    Catalan-Catalonia

    Oh, I've just seen Macymoo answered my last question.
    Thank you all
     
  10. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    I ;) tend to judge books by their covers - the ones which are emblazoned with metallic print, or which have the author's name in larger print than the title, or which are generally gaudy usually do not leave the bookshop's shelves! :D
     
  11. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Yeah, we have to sometimes, or most of the time, otherwise we would all be letting ourselves in to stupid things, trust your instincts I say!
     

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