better be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. vii. 13v Many yeres sens, my mother seyd to me, Hyr elders wold saie, it ys better to be An olde mans derlyng, then a yong mans werlyng [object of scorn].

1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 74 Better an old Man’s Darling, than a young Man’s Wonderling, say the Scots, Warling, say the English.

1859 J. R. PLANCHÉ Love & Fortune 8 Let defeated rivals snarling, Talk of one foot in the grave. Better be an old man’s darling, Than become a young man’s slave.

1980 J. MARCUS Marsh Blood ix. Find yourself an older man. Much better to be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave.

1992 ‘C. AIRD’ ‘Man Who Rowed for Shore’ in Injury Time (1995) 14 [S]he had been brought up by her mother on the well-attested aphorism that it was better to be an old man’s darling than a young’s [sic] man’s slave.


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  • old — see old habits die hard you cannot put an old head on young shoulders old sins cast long shadows old soldiers never die better be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave you cannot catch old birds with chaff …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • darling — see better be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • slave — see better be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • warling — (one who is despised or disliked) see better be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s slave …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

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