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If the shoe fits and if the cap fits

If the shoe fits and if the cap fits are two idioms that mean the same thing. We’ll look at the longer versions of these two phrases, their origins, and where each of these terms are used. Finally, we’ll look at some examples of these idioms used in sentences.

If the shoe fits is the shortened version of the idiom if the shoe fits, wear it. It is an idiom used to convince someone to accept the legitimacy of a criticism sent their way, or the truth of a description about themselves. If the shoe fits, wear it is an American phrase that was first used in the mid-1700s. However, if the shoe fits, wear it has its antecedent in an English phrase first published in the late 1500s in England.


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If the cap fits is the shortened version of the idiom if the cap fits, wear it. It carries the same meaning as if the shoe fits, wear it. It is used to convince someone to accept the legitimacy of a criticism sent their way, or the truth of a description about themselves. If the cap fits, wear it is primarily a British phrase first seen in the late 1500s. The phrase has remained the same in Britain, but in its transition to the United States the idiom became if the shoe fits, wear it. It is assumed that the phrase was influenced by the Cinderella story, a fairy tale in which Cinderella becomes a princess because the shoe fits.

Examples

Here are a few from this past week. Feel free to give a copy of this column to the people if the shoe fits (The York News-Times)

“If the shoe fits, it can be a lifelong hobby.” (The Killeen Daily Herald)

“If the cap fits, wear it,” he told Latheefa Koya in a press statement issued today regarding a Facebook posting the PKR legal adviser made yesterday. (Free Malaysia Today)

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