the leopard does not change his spots
- With allusion to JEREMIAH xiii. 23 (AV) Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? A L. equivalent to this proverb is lupus pilum mutat, non mentem, the wolf changes his coat, not his nature.
1546 J. BALE First Examination of Anne Askewe 38 Their olde condycyons wyll they change, whan the blackemoreœne change hys skynne, and the catte of the moun-tayne [leopard] her spottes.
1596 SHAKESPEARE Richard II I. i. 174 Rage must be withstood... Lions make leopards tame.—Yea, but not change his spots.
1869 A. HENDERSON Latin Proverbs 317 Pardus maculas non deponit, a leopard does not change his spots.
1979 J. SCOTT Clutch of Vipers iv. He always was a dirty old man..and the leopard doesn’t change his spots.
1997 Washington Times 24 July C16 Although he swears he has changed, leopards don’t usually change their spots, especially those who don’t cooperate in counseling.
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