Why do we say "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Well-Known Expressions

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

Meaning:

Keep trying, and you will succeed

Background:

This first written record of this proverb can be found in American educator Thomas H Palmer's Teacher's Manual (1840).

"Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again.

It was popularized in 1857 by Edward Hickson's Moral Song.

Some sources believe that the expression dates back well before this to the time of Robert 1 of Scotland (Robert the Bruce), a 14th century king who, the legend says, suffered a major defeat at the hands of the English and went and hid in a cave near Gretna (close to the border of Scotland and England). While there he watched a spider trying to spin a web. Each time the spider failed, it simply started again. So inspired was Robert by the little arachnid that he left the cave and returned to lead his troops in a series of victories against the English.

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Priestdaddy
    Priestdaddy
    by Patricia Lockwood
    Patricia Lockwood is a poet and the daughter of Greg Lockwood, a Catholic priest. While Catholic ...
  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Weight of Ink
    by Rachel Kadish

    An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.