catching’s before hanging
1818 A. N. ROYALL Letters from Alabama (1830) xxxvi. Yes, says Marchant, but catching’s before hanging—the villain’s cleared out.
1876 W. G. NASH New England Life vii. Catchin’ before spankin’ is the rule.
1961 E. SEEMAN In Arms of Mountain 60 Ketchin’ comes before hangin’, I always say.
Proverbs new dictionary.
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