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The meaning and origin of the expression: Haste makes waste

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Haste makes waste

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Haste makes waste'?

Rushing into a decision may cause mistakes that waste more time than would have been taken by proceeding more carefully.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Haste makes waste'?

This proverbial saying is first found in John Heywood's 1546 glossary A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the englishe tongue:

Som thyngs that prouoke yong men to wed in haste
Show after weddyng that haste maketh waste.

Heywood seemed to disapprove of haste - he also listed 'more haste, less speed'. In particular, and this may have been due to his personal experience, he seems especially critical of rushing into marriage. He married at 26, which was young by the standards of courtiers of 16th century England, although there's nothing recorded of his having regrets at doing so. As for us, we might applaud his marriage as, without it, we wouldn't have the works of his grandson John Donne to appreciate.

See also: the List of Proverbs.

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