cleanliness is next to godliness

Next in this proverb means ‘immediately following’, as in serial order. Cf. 1605 BACON Advancement of Learning II. 44 Cleannesse of bodie was euer esteemed to proceed from a due reuerence to God.

a 1791 WESLEY Works (1872) VII. 16 Slovenliness is no part of religion... ‘Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.’

1876 F. G. BURNABY Ride to Khiva x. ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’ The latter quality, as displayed in a Russian devotee, is more allied with dirt than anything else.

1979 C. EGLETON Backfire i. The hospital staff had a thing about personal cleanliness, next to godliness, you might say.

2002 Washington Post 14 Aug. C2 But a $6,000 shower curtain? Even if cleanliness is next to godliness, isn’t that kinda steep?


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  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness. — old fashioned something that you say which means that except for worshipping God, the most important thing in life is to be clean. Could you try to wash behind your ears occasionally? Cleanliness is next to Godliness, you know …   New idioms dictionary

  • Cleanliness — For the Wikipedia guidelines, see Wikipedia:Cleanup. For the animation process, see clean up. Not to be confused with Cleanness. This 1890s ad for Pears Soap promoted cleanliness in the service of imperialism, with the racially charged expression …   Wikipedia

  • godliness — [[t]gɒ̱dlinəs[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Godliness is the quality of being godly. 2) PHRASE If someone says that cleanliness is next to godliness, they are referring to the idea that people have a moral duty to keep themselves and their homes clean …   English dictionary

  • godliness — see cleanliness is next to godliness …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • cleanliness — noun /ˈklɛnlinəs/ the property of being cleanly, or habitually clean; good hygiene Cleanliness is next to godliness. (proverb) See Also: cleanup …   Wiktionary

  • cleanliness — see cleanliness is next to godliness …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • cleanliness — early 15c., from CLEANLY (Cf. cleanly) + NESS (Cf. ness). Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness. [John Wesley, Sermon On Dress, c.1791] …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Bathing — is the immersion of the body in a fluid, usually water or an aqueous solution. It may be practiced for hygiene, religious or therapeutic purposes or as a recreational activity.Some spa facilities provide bathing in various other liquids such as… …   Wikipedia

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