handsome is as handsome does

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English[edit]

Proverb[edit]

handsome is as handsome does

  1. A person's good actions, rather than his outward appeal, define his handsomeness in the eyes of others.
    • 1869, Dickens, David Copperfield, chapter 1
      Miss Trotwood, or Miss Betsey, as my poor mother always called her, when she sufficiently overcame her dread of this formidable personage to mention her at all (which was seldom), had been married to a husband younger than herself, who was very handsome, except in the sense of the homely adage, ‘handsome is, that handsome does’ - for he was strongly suspected of having beaten Miss Betsey, and even of having once, on a disputed question of supplies, made some hasty but determined arrangements to throw her out of a two pair of stairs’ window.

See also[edit]