the man who has once been bitten by the snake fears every piece of rope

Chinese proverb, also found in Japan.

1937 H. H. HART 700 Chinese Proverbs (1960) no. 527 One year bitten by a snake, for three years afraid of a grass rope.

1981 DALAI LAMA quoted in Observer 5 Apr. (online) Frankly speaking, it is difficult to trust the Chinese. Once bitten by a snake you feel suspicious even when you see a piece of rope.

1995 E. C. SYMMES Netsuke 94 The snake appears in many Japanese proverbs—the man who has once been bitten by the snake fears every piece of rope, or ‘once bitten, twice shy.’

2004 New York Times 25 June 9 (online) China’s chief trade negotiator, Vice Premier Wu Yi, cited a Chinese proverb, ‘Once bitten by a snake, one is terrified of the mere sight of a piece of rope.’


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

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