cry over spilt milk
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- To worry about unfortunate events which have already happened and which cannot be changed.
- 1738, Jonathan Swift, A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation:
- 'Tis a Folly to cry for spilt Milk.
- 1833, Mr. Warburton, The Sportsman's Cabinet, and Town and Country Magazine, volume 1-2, page 376:
- The Willington Mare, when she started so fast, Ah! we little thought then that the race was her last: Accurst be the stake that was stained with her blood! But, why cry for spilt milk?—May the next be as good.
- Usually found as a negative imperative: don't cry over spilt milk or there's no point crying over spilt milk.
to worry about unfortunate events which have already happened
- Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, 1996, →ISBN, p. 63.