pretty is as pretty does

1853 T. C. HALIBURTON Sam Slick’s Wise Saws i. 136 Avery smart little boy; and Old Hundreth..tells me you are a very good boy, and that’s better, for pretty is as pretty does.

a 1871 A. CARY ‘Pretty is that Pretty Does’ in M. C. Ames Memorial of Alice and Phoebe Cary (1874) 238 My child, who reads this simple lay With eyes down-dropt and tender, Remember the old proverb says That pretty is, which pretty does And that worth does not go nor stay For poverty nor splendor.

1991 H. P. MCADOO in Journal of Negro Education lx. 362 On special occasions a big (and I do mean big) bow was placed on top of my head. As my mother wrestled with my hair she often tossed out little proverbs such as ‘Pretty is as pretty does.’

2002 Washington Times 23 July B5 There is an old saying, ‘Pretty is as pretty does.’ It’s a wise woman who learns that lesson early.


Proverbs new dictionary.

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