shy bairns get nowt

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Relating to the shyness of bairns (children) for making requests.

Proverb[edit]

shy bairns get nowt

  1. If you're too shy, or don't ask, you will not get what you want.
    A' forgot te ask hor for me money back!
    Wye, shy bairns get nowt

Usage notes[edit]

  • Use widely in the North East of England and is often used to encourage children to speak up and not to be too shy.
  • Used also by adults to imply others are too shy.
  • Used to say that you should never be afraid to ask, because if you ask there's a chance you might get what you want. If you don't ask, you'll never get it.