light come, light go

Less often heard than easy come, easy go. Cf. late 14th-cent. Fr. [argent] legierement vous sont venu et legierement sont perdu, [money] comes to you lightly and is lightly lost.

c 1390 CHAUCER Pardoner’s Tale 1. 781 And lightly as it comth, so wol we spende.

a 1475 J. FORTESCUE Works (1869) I. 489 For thyng that lightly cometh, lightly goeth.

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. ix. L1 Lyght come lyght go.

1712 J. ARBUTHNOT John Bull still in his Senses iv. A thriftless Wretch, spending the Goods and Gear that his Fore-Fathers won with the Sweet of their Brows; light come, light go.

1861 C. READE Cloister & Hearth II. X. Our honest customers are the thieves... With them and with their purses ’tis lightly come, and lightly go.

1937 G. HEYER They found Him Dead iv. He was a bad husband to her. Light come light go.


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