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A leopard can’t change its spots

  • A leopard can’t change its spots is a proverb. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase. It particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth, or imparts wisdom. Synonyms for the word proverb that may be found in a thesaurus include adage, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb himself. Proverbs may come from folklore or fable, and are figures of speech. Speakers of English as a second language are sometimes confused by these expressions as translations do not carry the impact that the English phrases carry. Some common proverbs are better late than never, you reap what you sow, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a stitch in time saves nine, curiosity killed the cat, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, never look a gift horse in the mouth, a rolling stone gathers no moss, and haste makes waste. One of the books of the Bible is the Book of Proverbs, which contains words and phrases that are still often quoted in the English language because they are wise. Many current proverbs are direct or indirect quotations taken from literature, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the Bible and other sacred writings. We will examine the meaning of the expression a leopard can’t change its spots, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    A leopard can’t change its spots is a phrase that means someone can not change his nature, a person has an unchangeable, innate character, a person’s natural tendencies will always be expressed. The phrase is also rendered as a leopard doesn’t change his spots, a leopard won’t change his spots, a leopard never changes his spots, etc. The phrase a leopard can’t change its spots is derived from the Bible, and is found in the book of Jeremiah. In the passage, the prophet Jeremiah attempts to convert an evil woman. At some point, he realizes that this is an impossible task: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. ”

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    Examples

    Thank goodness some of us mere mortals are more intelligent than these leaders; we know a leopard can’t change its spots – the rot in the ANC is too deep! (Business Day)

    In the end, 2018 was another year of struggle for many airline stocks, capping the group’s up-and-down cycle, one that bears will point to when they argue that a leopard can’t change it spots. (Barron’s)

    But on the off-chance that a leopard can change its spots, Eberstadt has identified four details that would indicate success. (The Washington Post)

    They say a leopard can’t change his spots but in this story a leopard longs to be put in the zoo because he has so many things that he can do. (The Van Buren County Democrat)


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