the better the day, the better the deed

Frequently used to justify working on a Sunday or religious festival. Cf. early 14th-cent. Fr. a bon jour bone euvre, for a good day, a good deed.

1607 MIDDLETON Michaelmas Term III. i. Why, do you work a’ Sundays, tailor? The better day the better deed, we think.

1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 328 The better Day, the better Deed. I never heard this used but when People say that they did such an ill thing on Sunday.

1896 J. C. HUTCHESON Crown & Anchor xiii. The better the day, the better the deed... It was only the Pharisees who objected to any necessary work being done on the Sabbath.

1995 D. WILLIAMS Death of Prodigal ‘And he was coming back here with us after, for Sunday lunch. I’ve just cleaned the car in his honour, too. The better the day, the better the deed, like.’


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