never mention rope in the house of a man who has been hanged

1599 J. MINSHEU Spanish Dialogues i. A man ought not to make mention of a halter in the house of a man that was hanged.

1620 T. SHELTON tr. Don Quixote III. xi. Why doe I name an Asse with my mouth, seeing one should not make mention of a rope in ones house that was hanged?

1890 J. PAYN Burnt Million xxxii. Miss Grace, whom he sensitive upon the matter as though if her parent had been hung she would have been to an allusion to a rope.

1958 ‘J. S. STRANGE’ Night of Reckoning viii. Never mention rope in the house of a man who has been hanged.

1995 Washington Times 14 July A4 Whenever he hears the very word ‘Vietnam’ shame could compel Mr. Clinton to excuse himself... He should remember FDR’s famous admonition to avoid speaking of rope in the house of a man recently hanged.

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