a closed mouth gathers no feet

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From put one's foot in one's mouth (to say something embarrassing or wrong, or to make a mistake in public, or a social blunder, that is embarrassing or offensive), adopting the structure of a rolling stone gathers no moss and a closed mouth catches no flies.

Pronunciation[edit]

Proverb[edit]

a closed mouth gathers no feet

  1. (humorous) One who does not speak can be sure of not saying anything embarrassing.
    • 1958, “Wall Signs Dept.”, in Advertising Agency, volume 51, Bristol, Conn.: Moore Publishing Company, OCLC 8162110, page 9:
      From the wall of a New York bar: "A closed mouth gathers no feet."
    • 1972, American Eagle, San Francisco, Calif.: American Forest Products Corporation, ISSN 0401-7897, OCLC 166637282, column 2:
      A closed mouth gathers no feet.
    • 1987, Forbes, volume 139, New York, N.Y.: Forbes, Inc., ISSN 0015-6914, OCLC 1088420850, page 71:
      Now disinflation is conventional wisdom on Wall Street, and Rutledge makes no apologies for his flamboyance: "A closed mouth gathers no feet," he says.
    • 1993 April, “The Playboy Advisor”, in Hugh M[arston] Hefner, editor, Playboy, volume 40, number 4, Chicago, Ill.: Playboy Enterprises, ISSN 0032-1478, OCLC 473840661, page 39, column 1:
      Or just keep your mouth shut. As sex therapist Marty Klein says, "A closed mouth gathers no feet."
    • 1996, Marvin Phillips, “A Closed Mouth Gathers No Feet”, in Never Lick a Moving Blender!: Humorous Insights that Motivate and Encourage, West Monroe, La.: Howard Publishing, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Howard Books, 2010, →ISBN, page 72:
      So open your mouth to speak about what is good. And above all remember that "a closed mouth gathers no feet!"
    • 2001, Gary W. Carter, “The Role of a Tax Consultant”, in Getting Started in Tax Consulting, New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 21:
      Bubba said he would like to go along. Leonard said, "That's okay, Bubba, but please allow me to do the talking. Remember, a closed mouth gathers no feet."

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