Proverb – Canada

“Once bitten twice shy”

Joe is my roommate’s grandfather from Canada and he told me this proverb when he came to visit us. He told me that he learned this proverb when he was a teenager, about 14 years old and while living in a farm. Joe said that the proverb symbolizes that once someone does you wrong, it is hard to trust them again. He said that farm work is very had and everyone needs to do their part and trust is a very big part of that life style. He remembers that his parents would tell him that trust is very important and would use the proverb to prove their point. The proverb tries to communicate if someone gets “bitten”, they will be very careful with their moves and actions in the future. Joe told me that the proverb is usually used when someone is doing a job for someone else.

I have to agree with Joe. This proverb seems very useful in order to tell someone that trust is very important and once that is gone, it is really hard to recover. If one person gets done wrong, they will practice more caution in the future. I think is shall be useful to use this in places were pranks are being used. These pranksters need to realize that if their prank goes too far, they will lose the trust of the person and will be hard to recover. Culture has adapted to this proverb so much that is has made it popular, it has been used over and over again. In 1989 there was a song by Great White. The plot of the song was that this guy found his girlfriend cheating and now it will be hard trust again. Also, there was a book title “Once bitten twice shy.” I did some research and found that the book is part of the Buffy-vampire slayer series. Also, there is a movie called Once Bitten staring Jim Carrey, which has a plot following the proverb.

Annotation: This proverb can be found in Great White hit song Once Bitten, Twice Shy. 1989