once a —, always a —

This formula produces a limitless variety of proverbs, many of them depreciatory. Some are of long standing, while others appear to be one-offs. A small selection of sayings in this form is illustrated below and in the next two entries (once a priest, always a priest, once a whore, always a whore).

1622 J. MABBE tr. Aleman’s Guzman I. I. i. Once a knaue, and euer a knaue:..For he that hath once beene naught, is presumed to bee so still..not considering..whether..hee had reformed his manners or no.

1655 T. FULLER Church Hist. Britain VII. xxviii. Latimer by the courtesie of England (once a bishop, and ever a bishop) was in civility saluted Lord.

1706 J. STEVENS Spanish & English Dict. s.v. Hurtar, Once a Thief, always a Thief.

1820 M. EDGEWORTH Letter 15 Nov. in Maria Edgeworth in France & Switzerland (1979) 277 She loses her rank..by marrying one of inferior rank... French and Russians are with reason surprised with the superior gallantry of our customs which say once a Lady and always a lady.

1953 R. CHANDLER Long Good-bye xliv. I went out of the door and got out of the building fast. Once a patsy [dupe], always a patsy.

2002 Times 2 21 May 6 Yet although lapsed Catholics may rebel on the surface, they cannot escape the Once a Catholic, Always a Catholic dictum.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker — Studio album by The Joe Perry Project Released September 1983 Genre …   Wikipedia

  • Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk — Studio album by Kamal Ahmed Released April 4, 2000 …   Wikipedia

  • Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker — Liste des morceaux Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker 2:56 Black Velvet Pants 3:20 Women In Chains 4:01 4 Guns West 3:27 Crossfire 5:36 Adrianna 3:20 King Of The Kings 3:50 Bang A Gong 3:56 Walk With Me Sally 3:16 Never Wanna Stop 4:23 Composition du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker — est un album du Joe Perry Project sorti en 1983. Liste des morceaux Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker 2:56 Black Velvet Pants 3:20 Women In Chains 4:01 4 Guns West 3:27 Crossfire 5:36 Adrianna 3:20 King Of The Kings 3:50 Bang A Gong 3:56 Walk With… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • once a whore, always a whore — 1613 H. PARROT Laquei Ridiculosi II. cxxi. Well you may change your name, But once a Whore, you shall be still the same. 1659 N. R. Proverbs 82 Once a whore and alwaies a whore. 1754 World 31 Jan. 344 Supposing him to have acquired so much wealth …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • once a priest, always a priest — An act enabling the clergy of the Church of England to unfrock themselves (the Clerical Disabilities Act) was passed on 9 Aug. 1870. 1859 G. A. SALA Twice round Clock 290 The great case of Horne Tooke versus the House of Commons ‘Once a priest… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Once a Bum, Always a Dodger: My Life in Baseball from Brooklyn to Los Angeles — The cover of Once a Bum, Always a Dodger/My Life in Baseball from Brooklyn to Los Angeles (1997). Once a Bum, Always a Dodger: My Life in Baseball from Brooklyn to Los Angeles is a book by former Major League Baseball pitcher and member of the… …   Wikipedia

  • once a mortgage, always a mortgage — This rule or maxim signifies that an instrument originally intended as a mortgage, and not a deed, cannot be converted into anything else than a mortgage by any subsequent clause or agreement …   Black's law dictionary

  • once a highway, always a highway — An ancient maxim, the strength of which is weakened in modern times by exceptions and qualifications permitting the termination of even a public highway. 25 Am J1st High § 111 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • once a mortgage, always a mortgage — A maxim often asserted in the application of the principle that if an instrument is a mortgage at its inception, it remains so with all the incidents thereof. 36 Am J1st Mtg § 3 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Once an Englishman always an Englishman — A phrase which sums up the early common law doctrine of perpetual and unchangeable allegiance to the country of one s birth. Anno: 15 ALR2d 553 §§ 2 15 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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