qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf – Quebec Proverb

French: qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf

Translation: Whoever steals an egg steals an ox

Meaning: [informant] if a person steals a small thing it is likely that later he will steal a more important thing

Context: Informant is of French Canadian decent, born and raised in Montreal Quebec. She came to the US in her mid-twenties, and Quebecois proverbs are central to her upbringing and something she employs in her career as a life coach. This proverb was casually shared with me over lunch with the informant.

Thoughts: In addition to the informant’s ascribed meaning, I took it to mean that since a small egg can grow into mighty ox, that stealing something small of little value today might be worth something great in the future. For example $10 could have been worth 1 bitcoin way back when; however that same bitcoin now would yield tens of thousands of dollars. So just because a wrongdoing is small, doesn’t mean it won’t have large implications.