there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear
- Similar to there’s none so blind as those who will not see. Cf. mid 14th-cent. Fr. il n’est si mavais sours que chuis ch’oër ne voeilt, there is no person so deaf as the one who does not wish to hear.
1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. ix. K4 Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That wilfully will nother here nor see?
c 1570 T. INGELEND Disobedient Child C2v I perceyve by thys geare, That none is so deaf, as who wyll not heare.
1766 in B. Franklin Papers (1969) XIII. 18 I have not interfered in this Trial one word, only in my Applications to you and Mr. Foxcraft, both of which turn a deaf Ear: for none so deaf as those who will not hear.
1993 F. SECOMBE ‘Hello, Vicar!’ in Chronicles of a Vicar (1999) i. 8 ‘Don’t worry, Vicar. Of course you’ve got to be up at the parish church more than here. He ought to know that but there you are, there’s none so deaf as him who won’t listen.’
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there’s none so blind as those who will not see — Parallel to there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear. In both proverbs, will not has the force of ‘does not wish to’ or ‘refuses to’. 1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. ix. K4 Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That wilfully… … Proverbs new dictionary
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