phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Be careful what you wish for

Posted by ESC on December 13, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Be careful what you wish for posted by Word Camel on December 13, 2004

: : : : : A thought particularly appropriate to this site at this time.
: : : : : A bit of wisdom is contained in this phrase. Another aspect of this concept is the story of the dog chasing the truck -- the truck stops -- and the dog thinks -- now what do I do?
: : : : : Anyone know the origin of this expression?

: : : : The version that is more familiar to me is "be careful what you wish for, lest it come true", which always makes me think of the Tale of the Monkey's Paw (Edgar Allen Poe?). Fortunately, when right-minded and well-balanced people come together in communal accord and consensus, the extremes warned about by Mr. Poe (if it was he) never occur.

: : : "Be careful what you wish for" has become popular only in the past few years. It's popular enough now to qualify as a cliché. Does anyone here know the origin?

: : I'm sort of right with the Monkey's Paw, which is a classic horror story apparently written by W.W. Jacobs,, first appearing in Harpers Monthly in 1902. The story begins with a quotation "Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it" - unfortunately attributed by the author to Anonymous.

: Is there any obvious place to find the story? I'd like to read it.

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JacMonk.html