MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Why do we say "Measure Twice Cut Once"?

Well-Known Expressions

Measure Twice Cut Once

Meaning:

Double check before you take action

Background:

Early Reference: John Florio in Second Frutes (1591)
Alwaies measure manie, before you cut anie

Anglo Italian John Florio (1553–1625) - also known as Giovanni Florio - was a linguist and language tutor at the Court of James I.

Among a number of works written or translated by him were First Fruits, which yield Familiar Speech, Merry Proverbs, Witty Sentences, and Golden Sayings (1578); which was followed in 1591 by Second Fruits, to be gathered of Twelve Trees, of divers but delightsome Tastes to the Tongues of Italian and English men.

John Florio also wrote: For proverbs are the pith, the proprieties, the proofs, the purities, the elegancies, as the commonest so the commendablest phrases of a language. To use them is a grace, to understand them a good.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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