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Doesn't hold a candle to you

Posted by R. Berg on January 21, 2003

In Reply to: Candle posted by Cha Toyaint on January 21, 2003

: What is the meaning and original saying "Someone doesn't hold a candle to you"

I understand it to mean that the person has so much less skill or beauty, intelligence, talent, or some other good quality) than you that the comparison can't even be made. Apprentices used to hold candles to light the work that a master artist or craftsman was doing. The person who held the candle was at a lower level in his or her career than the master. What is implicit in the saying is that the person is not worthy even to hold the light for you.

The Meanings and Origins section of this site defines "hold a candle" differently: "to aid or assist" (// or use link below).