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Prosperity gains friends, Adversity tries them

Posted by ESC on June 13, 2005

In Reply to: Prosperity gains friends, Adversity tries them posted by chachanakya on June 13, 2005

: The phrase "prosperity gains friends, Adversity tries them." Please explain the the meaning of the phrase & its history.

I don't know the history of that phrase. But it means that in good times, friends are easy to gain. But in bad times, many friendships grow cold.

Similar to "fair weather friend," someone who is only a friend when things are going well. And to "a friend in need..." Someone who stays your friend when you are needy.

A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED -- Someone who comes to your aid when you're in difficulty is a true friend. Here is the opposite of the fair-weather friend. The thought is old enough to have a Latin version and variants in medieval English going back to 1275. The modern version is close at hand in Richard Whytford's 'Werke for Householders' : 'A true frende loueth at all tymes and neuer feyleth at nede.'" From The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

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