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Out of the woods

Posted by ESC on November 25, 2000

In Reply to: Meaning and origin of a phrase posted by Cheryl Minvielle on November 25, 2000

: I need to know the meaning and origin of the phrase--not out of the woods yet.

DON'T SHOUT UNTIL YOU'RE OUT OF THE WOODS - "Don't feel safe until you are out of danger. The proverb originated in the United States and has been traced back to 'Papers of Benjamin Franklin' . It was used by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) in a letter dated November 13, 1800. First attested in England in 'Hereward the Wake' by Charles Kingsley (1819-75). The proverb is found in varying forms." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).