beggars can’t be choosers

The substitution of can’t for must not is a recent development. Cf. mid 15th-cent. Fr. qui empruncte ne peult choisir, he who borrows cannot choose.

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs I. X. D1 Folke say alwaie, beggers shulde be no choosers.

1728 VANBRUGH Journey to London III. i. My Lords, says I, Beggars must not be Chusers; but some Place about a thousand a Year..might do pretty weel.

1888 N. J. CLODFELTER Snatched from Poor House iv. Crawl out O’ that bed! I’spose you do feel a little bad, but ‘beggars can’t be choosers!’

1939 J. SHEARING Blanche Fury 72 ‘I suppose..you would marry any man with a good character and a fine estate.’.. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers, you mean!’

2000 J. ALTMAN Gathering of Spies ix. 150 It would ruin the dress, no doubt about that. But beggars couldn’t be choosers. She drew a breath and then jumped, tucking and rolling as she came out of the train.


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  • beggars can't be choosers — beggars can’t be choosers informal phrase used for saying that you have to accept anything that is offered to you, usually because you have no money or power Thesaurus: describing and relating to choices and choosinghyponym to choose someone or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • beggars can't be choosers — This idiom means that people who are in great need must accept any help that is offered, even if it is not a complete solution to their problems …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • beggars can't be choosers — ► beggars can t be choosers proverb people with no other options must be content with what is offered. Main Entry: ↑beggar …   English terms dictionary

  • beggars can't be choosers — People who can not choose what they will have, must accept what they get; if you are not in control, you must take what you can gel. * /We wanted to leave on the train in the morning but it doesn t go until afternoon, so we must go then. Beggars… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • beggars can't be choosers — People who can not choose what they will have, must accept what they get; if you are not in control, you must take what you can gel. * /We wanted to leave on the train in the morning but it doesn t go until afternoon, so we must go then. Beggars… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • beggars\ can't\ be\ choosers — People who can not choose what they will have, must accept what they get; if you are not in control, you must take what you can gel. We wanted to leave on the train in the morning but it doesn t go until afternoon, so we must go then. Beggars can …   Словарь американских идиом

  • Beggars can't be choosers. — something that you say which means when you cannot have exactly what you want, you must accept whatever you can get. I would have preferred a house of my own rather than sharing but I suppose beggars can t be choosers …   New idioms dictionary

  • beggars can't be choosers —    This idiom means that people who are in great need must accept any help that is offered, even if it is not a complete solution to their problems.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    This expression means that you should not reject an offer …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • beggars can't be choosers — people who receive free things should not expect the best    When they complained about the shabby coats, he said, Beggars can t be choosers …   English idioms

  • beggars can't be choosers — informal used for saying that you have to accept anything that is offered to you, usually because you have no money or power …   English dictionary

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