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A watched pot never boils

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 28, 2005

In Reply to: A watched pot never boils posted by Chuck Gilbert on May 27, 2005

: A watched pot never boils. What I have heard is that the expression meant somthing completly different when it came about, as it had one more word in it. The original expression was to ment to be one of caution not having to do with waiting rather to do with precaution - "A watched pot never boils OVER". Take the one word away and it takes on a whole new meaning. Just what I heard, could be true, could be B.S.

I know nothing of the history of either of these expressions, but they present an interesting contrast. The short version says something that IS NOT true, and which encourages you not to bother watching your pot waiting for it to boil. The long version (with over) IS generally true, if you watch diligently, and appears to encourage you to keep your eyes on the pot. Which advice is more useful? Yes, I'm asking you, the people who boil things from time to time. SS

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