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Beggars can’t be choosers

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  • Beggars can’t be choosers is a proverb that goes back at least to the 1500s. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. We will examine the meaning of the phrase beggars can’t be choosers, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

    Beggars can’t be choosers is a proverb that expresses the sentiment that one should be grateful for aid, no matter how it is given. One in need of help can not dictate the conditions of the help that is given and should not complain about the type or quality of help that is offered. It is often expressed as an admonishment to be grateful for that which is freely given. The expression beggars can’t be choosers was first recorded in John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, published in 1562: “Beggers should be no choosers, but yet they will: Who can bryng a begger from choyse to begge still?” The proverb was most probably well known before its publication.

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    Examples

    He added: “I know there is a housing crisis and beggars can’t be choosers, but I think the vast majority of people when they’re offered a house will take it.” (The Sun)

    Beggars can’t be choosers, especially when you’re playing a rival, but if Lummi football coach Jim Sandusky had his way, he’d have rather have seen his team win by a few less points than the 28-6 count it beat Neah Bay by Friday night. (The Bellingham Herald)

    “Until now, [for] whatever I have got, I have only one thing to say, ‘Beggars can’t be choosers,’“ Taapsee laughs, adding, “I’m not in a position [where] I would approach a good director and say how much I’d like to work with him or her — I don’t think I have achieved that position.” (The Hindustan Times)

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