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Posted by Bob on April 11, 2006

In Reply to: A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed posted by Brian G. Sullivan on April 11, 2006

: I couldn't help noticing the phrase "A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed."
: I learned this as a child to be "A Friend In Need Is A Friend In Deed" Meaning that a true friend would always return a kindness or favor. This came from my grandmother who was born in 1899. Has anyone else heard this explaination?

I did a google search for both versions as exact quotes, and your grandmother's variation was outvoted, 154,000 to 10,100. 94% of the time, it's the standard version.

Not that it makes that much difference. "Indeed," at its root, means "in deed," in actuality. What your grandmother might have missed is the meaning of "in need," since there's an ellipsis there. A friend (in time of) need, is a friend indeed. It's your need, not his.