(Since) I have given a cow, I will give a calf-in English

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Baltic Sea

Banned
Polish
Hello everybody!

Suppose a person has invested much of their money in a project. They think to themselves: Given (taking into account) the lion's share of the money I have already invested, I am also willing to give a smaller portion of the money in order to support the project I am engaged in. That's why I have used: (Since) I have given a cow, I will give a calf. If it is wrong in English, how else would you express it?

The source: I heard the sentence from my wife today. Thank you.
 
  • dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    In for a penny, in for a pound, perhaps? (given your context, it should be the other way round - in for a pound, in for a penny :D) As you can readily see, though, I'm your fellow countrymen (and thus haven't been fortunate enough to be born a native English speaker), so don't take my words for granted :)
     
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    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    In for a penny; in for a pound generally means if something is worth investing anything in, it is worth investing heavily in (or at least as much as necessary).

    To indicate putting more money into a project which is in trouble, we (AE) speak of putting/sending good money after bad. This is usually taken to mean that even if you have a lot of money invested in a failing project, adding extra money just makes the failure worse.

    For a general (non-monetary) expression meaning that something small is insignificant compared to something large: "strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel". (From the KJV Bible)(This is actually a play on words, as gnat=galma and camel=gamla in Aramaic.)

    (Taking too long to compose, again. I like Beryl's suggestion.)
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I did not necessarily mean to say that my project was going to be a failure. Something may come of it.
    That's why I made several suggestions, and also why we ask for context and background.

    For a project with some chance of success we don't seem to have a nice adage or phrase. An English speaker might say "I'm already in this; I might as well see it through," or "...a little more won't hurt/kill me."
     

    Baltic Sea

    Banned
    Polish
    I am supposed to get compensation of money and because of that I have been travelling, for some time, by train from my home town to another town. I have been there once so far. My wife said: Because you have spent so much money on trains, why not give a small portion of the money to this cause. Then you will certainly get your compensation.
     

    Destruida

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    How about go the extra mile? That's an expression to mean that one invests the extra bit (of effort, time, money) that's needed for success. It doesn't mean literally go an extra mile on the train!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    There is a saying in English "In for a sheep, in for a lamb".  Apparently it is not currently very popular.  I have heard it used, and might use it myself, but when I searched the internet for authorities, I found only one:
    Slang and its analogues past and present:  A dictionary, historical and comparative, of the heterodox speech of all classes of society for more than three hundred years.  Volume 6 by William Ernest Henley (1903) (Google eBook)

    It does appear in The Leaky Establishment by David Langford, Terry Pratchett (2003).
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    THe sheep/lamb phrase usually refers to stealing one or the other: "As well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb" - "If the penalty is the same, you might as well steal the more valuable one."

    I don't know about popular, but it still gets used in the US.

    (It doesn't quite apply in this case.)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    THe sheep/lamb phrase usually refers to stealing one or the other: "As well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb" - "If the penalty is the same, you might as well steal the more valuable one."

    I don't know about popular, but it still gets used in the US.

    (It doesn't quite apply in this case.)
    Yes, I know that one too.   It is certainly far more widely known and used.   "In for a sheep, in for a lamb" is a different proverb, and used with the meaning requested in the original post.  However, it is clearly far less well known.  It may have been more generally used in the 19th century.  Nonetheless I have heard it myself. 
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    [...]  "In for a sheep, in for a lamb" is a different proverb, and used with the meaning requested in the original post.  However, it is clearly far less well known.  It may have been more generally used in the 19th century.  Nonetheless I have heard it myself. 
    That's fairly startling. The other proverb is so much more common that I thought you had misquoted it. My apologies for doubting your memory.

    There are not many AE/BE adages and proverbs around that I haven't heard/read at least once. (One of my favorite pass-times is reading lists of them, looking for a new one, or a new way of saying a familiar one.) Always happy to add another. I'll recognize it the next time I see it.

    (I'm going to have to acquire those Henley books.)
     
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    Destruida

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Returning to the thread and seeing it afresh, I'm sure I'd say, "Since you've gone this far, you might as well go the extra mile." None of the other suggestions have precisely the same meaning and go the extra mile is common usage in the U.K. It's an expression that (almost) everyone understands, besides which it is not dissimilar to what you wife said, but with miles instead of cattle.

    In for a penny, in for a pound is nearly right, but I think it's more what you might say if you decided your wife was right and you should risk trying a bit longer.

    Wife: Now you've gone this far, you might as well go the extra mile.
    Husband: All right then, I will. In for a penny, in for a pound!

    The solution is to present your wife with all the suggestions and ask her to decide. After all, she was the originator!
     
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    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hmmm, thanks for your insight, Destruida. I took it that "In for a penny, in for a pound" should be dismissed as unsuitable in the context given, after the point made by pwmeek in #5 post. I think it should be altered a bit to fit the situation described (this would be fiddling with the phrase, though). In for a pound, in for a penny (since the OP has already committed substantial amount of money to the project).
     

    Destruida

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    It's probably worth mentioning that, although all these expressions were, and I think still are, very common indeed among the post-war generation and are still used in the press, as well, I doubt that any young people now would use them. When I was at junior school, it was part of the curriculum to know and understand all such sayings and proverbs. They were included in the 11+ exam that we took to decide whether we'd be admitted to grammar school (academic) or a secondary modern (more technical.)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    If I understand the original post correctly, there is no particular suggestion of risk or failure in the enterprise, just that a smaller additional investment is needed to make it work.
    There are English sayings for this situation. One old proverb is 'Don't spoil the ship for a hap'orth of tar'.
    We also say: 'Be it big or be it small, do it well or not at all.' 'If it's worth doing at all, it's worth doing well.'
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    There is also a version of that saying for a bad investment, where one invested a lot and feels compelled to invest more:

    - To throw good money after bad.
     
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