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The meaning and origin of the expression: A problem shared is a problem halved

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A problem shared is a problem halved

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'A problem shared is a problem halved'?

The proverbial saying 'A problem shared is a problem halved' expresses the idea that, when in difficulties it is useful to talk to someone about them.

What's the origin of the phrase 'A problem shared is a problem halved'?

A problem shared is a problem halvedUnlike the similarly worded 'a penny saved is a penny earned', the proverb 'a problem shared is a problem halved' isn't especially old. The first use of it that I can find in print is in the English newspaper The Morecambe Guardian, November 1931:

If she is married she still has the same problem [money worries] - though it is a happier one for, after all, a problem shared is a problem halved, and, at least, she has someone with whom to talk matters over.

The expression crossed the Atlantic and began to be used in the USA after WWII. The first example of it that I know of there is in the Muncie Evening Press, November 1854. This uses the longer form:

"A problem shared is a problem halved. A joy shared is a joy doubled".

See also: the List of Proverbs.

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