you should know a man seven years before you stir his fire

1803 C. DIBDIN Professional Life I. p. xi. It is a well-meant saying, that you should know a man seven years before you stir his fire; or, in other words, before you venture at too much familiarity.

1904 V. S. LEAN Collectanea IV. 204 You may poke a man’s fire after you’ve known him seven years, but not before.

1942 A. THIRKELL Marling Hall iii. ‘Let me get you another drink,’ said David, taking the glass. ‘I know one ought to know people seven years to poke their fires, but I believe it’s less for cocktails.’

1945 M. SARSFIELD Green December Fills Graveyard iv. 35 ‘I haven’t known you ten years, or whatever the period is, but I’m going to poke your fire.’


Proverbs new dictionary.

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