Easier said than done

Easier said than done has been in use for over five hundred years. We will examine the meaning of the idiom easier said than done, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Easier said than done means that something that seems effortless to do is in fact, difficult to execute. For instance, exterminating a wasp nest is easier said than done. Easier said than done is a phrase used when discussing a difficult situation, to complain about the energy one must expend or to criticize a plan that someone else puts forth. The expression easier said than done came into use in the 1400s and is first found in Terentius Afer’s book, Vulgaria Terentii, written in 1483: “It is easyer to saye than to do.”

Examples

British Columbia’s recent experience with teacher hiring tells us why adding teachers to reduce class sizes significantly is easier said than done, and is probably not a workable option even with some very radical teacher assignment policies. (The Vancouver Sun)

‘Contactless’ Is Retail’s New Must-Have Safe Word, But Executing It Is Easier Said Than Done (Forbes Magazine)

But for many states, contact tracing during the coronavirus pandemic has been easier said than done. (The Miami Herald)

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