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Let sleeping dogs lay

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 13, 2008 at 18:34

In Reply to: Let sleeping dogs lay posted by College Noob on November 13, 2008 at 16:38:

: Does any one know the meaning and origins of the phrase "Let sleeping dogs lay"?

It's "Let sleeping dogs lie" (not "lay"), and it's a very old proverb. Chaucer used it in the form "It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake" and it is recorded even earlier in the 14th century in French: "nesveillez pas lou chien qui dort". It means: "don't stir up trouble; if the situation is quiet at the moment, let it be". (VSD)