he who can, does; he who cannot, teaches

There are many (frequently humorous) variations on this proverb.

1903 G. B. SHAW Maxims for Revolutionists in Man & Superman 230 He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

1979 Daily Telegraph 6 Aug. 8 A version of an old adage came to me—those who can, do, those who can’t, attend conferences.

1981 P. SOMERVILLE-LARGE Living Dog i. He who can, does sang the train wheels, he who cannot, teaches.

1999 ‘H. CRANE’ Miss Seeton’s Finest Hour iii. 19 ‘A teacher of art,’ she corrected him politely with a sigh. ‘Those who can,’ she explained as he seemed about to protest her modesty, ‘do—as Mr. Shaw has so pithily expressed it. Those who cannot..’ She sighed. ‘Teach,’ she concluded sadly.

2002 Washington Times 11 July D8 (Herb & Jamaal comic strip) ‘Rev. Croom, as a man of the cloth, do you consider yourself an example of perfection?’ ‘No... I may wear this collar, but I struggle with being a human as much as the next guy. I guess that’s what’s meant when they say..He who can, does; he who cannot, preaches.’


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • he who can, does; he who cannot, teaches — Meaning Origin George Bernard Shaw quotation …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • can — see he who can, does; he who cannot, teaches …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • The Man Who Never Missed — infobox Book | name = The Man Who Never Missed title orig = translator = image caption = author = Steve Perry illustrator = cover artist = James Gurney country = USA language = English series = The Matador Series genre = Science fiction publisher …   Wikipedia

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • teaching — /tee ching/, n. 1. the act or profession of a person who teaches. 2. something that is taught. 3. Often, teachings. doctrines or precepts: the teachings of Lao tzu. [1125 75; ME teching. See TEACH, ING1] * * * Profession of those who give… …   Universalium

  • do — see do as I say, not as I do do as you would be done by do right and fear no man do unto others as you would they should do unto you never do evil that good may come of it the king can do no wrong …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • teaching — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Instruction Nouns 1. teaching, instruction, edification, education, tuition; tutorship, tutelage; DiRECTion, guidance; preparation, training, upbringing, schooling; outreach; discipline; exercise, drill …   English dictionary for students

  • teach — see you can’t teach an old dog new tricks don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs he who can, does; he who cannot, teaches …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • agir — [ aʒir ] v. <conjug. : 2> • 1450; lat. agere I ♦ V. intr. 1 ♦ Poursuivre (en justice). Agir par voie de requête, d assignation. 2 ♦ (XVIe) Faire qqch., avoir une activité qui transforme plus ou moins ce qui est. « Nous sommes nés pour agir… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • skill — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Expertness Nouns 1. skill, skillfulness, address; dexterity, dexterousness; adroitness, expertise, proficiency, adequacy, competence, handicraft, finesse, savoir faire, facility, knack; mastery,… …   English dictionary for students

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