once bitten, twice bitten

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hyperslow

Senior Member
Polish
Greetings!

once bitten, twice bitten
I've just heard this proverb and as far as my book of proverbs is concerned its original version goes: once bitten, twice shy.

Am I right in thinking that the speaker tried to conver something like: if you don't get any wiser after having been taken in by(?) , cheated on(?), deceived you are very likely that it will happen to you again.

Are the bits in bold necessary?

hyper
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I agree that the proverb is "Once bitten, twice shy". The proverb means that a person becomes wary after having been deceived or harmed by somebody or something.

    As to the "bits in bold": ...after having been taken in by someone, cheated on,...
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    No, Hyperslow. "Once bitten, twice bitten" doesn't really convey the proverb's meaning. "Once bitten, twice shy" means that people become especially cautious about something once it has hurt them in some way.
     

    Arrius

    Senior Member
    English, UK
    Your interpretation of this modified proverb is correct. There is a biblical verse (King James Bible, Proverbs 26:11) which contains the same idea in a more graphic form:

    As a dog returneth to his vomit, [so] a fool returneth to his folly.

    The by is wrong since the agent is not mentioned, and the on is optional.
    Conver should be convey, but that is probably just a slip.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Well, Hyperslow, you're not the only one who's a little "slow" this morning. :) Having read Arrius' reply, I agree: "Once bitten, twice bitten" would mean that something will bite you again if you don't learn your lesson the first time.
     

    temple09

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Returning to "once bitten, twice bitten". I have never heard it used in this way before, but I think it sounds like an amusing play on the phrase "once bitten twice shy" (as has been mentioned).
    It reminds me of the phrase "No pain, no gain" which people say in gyms when they are struggling with heavy weights/a tough routine. However, my friend who never goes to the gym always enjoys saying "No pain .... no pain".
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree that "once bitten, twice bitten" is an amusing play on the classic phrase "once bitten, twice shy". I expect it means that you have fallen for same deception or trick or whatever it is, twice, when you should have known better after your first experience.

    I will find it very useful! ;)


    Hermione
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with Hermione that it's a useful play on words and that it would be used not speculatively but as an observation when someone has been gullible enough to fall for the same (or similar) scam twice.
     
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