it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice

Chinese saying advocating pragmatism, possibly coined by Deng Xiaoping (1904–97).

1997 Daily Telegraph 20 Feb. (obituary of Deng Xiaoping, quoting from early 1960s) It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.

2001 I. CASES and v. DE LORENZO ‘The black cat/white cat principle of signal integration in bacterial promoters’ in Embo Journal xx ‘Black cat, white cat: whatever catches the mouse is a good cat’ (Chinese proverb).

2006 South China Morning Post 9 May (online) Director of Broadcasting Chu Pui-hing..said RTHK..also had to abide by the rules. ‘There is a saying: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a black cat or white cat. It’s a good cat as long as it catches mice.”.. [W]e are well aware that catching mice alone doesn’t make us a good cat. We need to be a cat that catches mice according to the rules.’


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cat — see it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice a cat in gloves catches no mice a cat may look at a king when the cat’s away, the mice will play the cat, the rat, and Lovell the dog, rule all England under the hog …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • black — see it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice the devil is not so black as he is painted February fill dyke, be it black or be it white two blacks don’t make a white …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • white — see one white foot, buy him; two white feet, try him; three white feet, look well about him; four white feet, go without him it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice February fill dyke, be it black or be it white… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • 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

  • catch — see you cannot catch old birds with chaff it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice a cat in gloves catches no mice a drowning man will clutch at a straw eagles don’t catch flies …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • mouse — see a mouse may help a lion one for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, one to grow the best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice a cat in gloves catches no mice …   Proverbs new dictionary

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  • Deng Xiaoping Theory — People s Republic of China This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the People s Republic of China …   Wikipedia

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