it is easy to be wise after the event

Cf. c 1490 P. DE COMMYNES Mémoires (1924) I. I. xvi. Les deux ducz..estoient saiges après le coup (comme l’on dit des Bretons); 1596 T. DANNETT tr. Commynes’ Mémoires I. xvi. These two Dukes were wise after the hurt received (as the common prouerbe saith) of the Brittons.

1616 JONSON Epicœne II. iv. Away, thou strange iustifier of thy selfe, to bee wiser then thou wert, by the euent.

1717 R. WODROW Letter 28 Sept. (1843) II. 319 Had we not verified the proverb of being wise behind the time, we might for ever [have] been rid of them.

1900 A. CONAN DOYLE Great Boer War xix. It is easy to be wise after the event, but it does certainly appear that..the action at Paardeberg was as unnecessary as it was expensive.

1977 J. PORTER Who the Heck is Sylvia? ii. ‘It’s easy enough to be wise after the event,’ Babette pointed out sullenly.


Proverbs new dictionary.

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  • It's easy to be wise after the event. — British, American & Australian, American something that you say which means that it is easy to understand what you could have done to prevent something bad from happening after it has happened. In retrospect I suppose we should have realised that …   New idioms dictionary

  • it is easy to be wise after the event — we never know what the future holds, we never know the outcome ahead of time …   English contemporary dictionary

  • wise after the event —    When someone realizes, after something has happened, what could have been done to prevent it from happening, they are wise after the event.     In retrospect, I suppose I should have realized the boy was in difficulty and offered to help, but… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • wise — wise1 S3 [waız] adj ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(decision/idea etc)¦ 2¦(person)¦ 3 be none the wiser/not be any the wiser 4 get/be wise to somebody/something 5 wise guy 6 be wise after the event ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; Origin: wis] 1.) ¦(DECISION/IDEA ETC …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • event — 01. The Lantern Festival has become a popular annual [event] in Esquimalt. 02. We had a really [eventful] day; we went to the lake by bicycle, had supper at a restaurant, went for a walk by the ocean, and then almost got in a car accident on the… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • wise — see it is easy to be wise after the event it is a wise child that knows its own father early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise a fool may give a wise man counsel fools ask questions that wise men cannot answer …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • easy — see easy come, easy go easy does it it is easy to find a stick to beat a dog it is easy to be wise after the event it is easier to pull down than to build up it is easier to raise the devil than to lay him …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • after — see after a storm comes a calm after dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile after the feast comes the reckoning it is easy to be wise after the event …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • event — see coming events cast their shadows before it is easy to be wise after the event …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • The Byzantine Empire —     The Byzantine Empire     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Byzantine Empire     The ancient Roman Empire having been divided into two parts, an Eastern and a Western, the Eastern remained subject to successors of Constantine, whose capital was at …   Catholic encyclopedia

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