One good turn deserves another

  • One good turn deserves another is a proverb with roots in ancient times. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that may be a famous quote, an inspirational quote, an epigram, or the topic of a parable. These common sayings are language tools or figures of speech that particularly give advice or share a universal truth, or impart wisdom. Synonyms for proverb include adage, aphorism, 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 because these common phrases and popular sayings are so well known. Certain phrases may be a metaphor or a quotation; but if it is a proverb, it is often-used and has a figurative meaning. Speakers of English as a second language are sometimes confused by these pithy sayings as translations from English to other languages do not carry the impact that the English phrases carry. Some common proverbs are the wise sayings better late than never; early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise; an apple a day keeps the doctor away; don’t cry over spilt milk; actions speak louder than words; haste makes waste, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth; and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 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 quotations taken from literature, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the Bible and other sacred writings. We will examine the meaning of the proverb one good turn deserves another, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.


    One good turn deserves another means that when someone does a favor for you, you should do a favor for them in repayment; kindness should be rewarded with kindness. The proverb one good turn deserves another has been in use since the 1400s and may be found in John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber of all the proverbes in the englishe tongue published in 1546 as: “One good turn asketh another.” The sentiment behind one good turn deserves another is credited to Aesop, a Greek storyteller who lived in the 500s B.C. His story, The Serpent and the Eagle, tells the tale of a farmer who witnessed a life-and-death struggle between a serpent and an eagle. The farmer freed the eagle from the serpent, but as the serpent departed, he spat venom into the farmer’s drinking flask. The farmer didn’t notice, and began to take a drink from his flask, but the eagle knocked the flask from the farmer’s hands to save him from being poisoned. The moral of Aesop’s fable is: One good turn deserves another.



    One good turn deserves another, and the Butterfly Palace was able to reopen in June 2020 with limited capacity, social distancing and required masks. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

    And right now, I can see that one good turn deserves another as my friend Chris Gabrelcik is doing whatever it takes to make this show a reality. (Globe Newswire)

    THEY say one good turn deserves another – and a gas company has returned a favour to villagers who supported them during an emergency. (Somerset County Gazette)

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