measure twice and cut once
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- (carpentry, literally) One should double-check ones measurements for accuracy before cutting a piece of wood; otherwise it may be necessary to cut again, wasting time and material.
- 1872, “Dressmaking”, in Hall's Journal of Health, volume 19, number 12, page 280:
- Look at Carpenters! . . . In old times it was a proverb "Measure twice, and cut once."
- (figuratively, by extension) Plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner before taking action.
- 2008 November 9, Hilary Johnson, “Mergers rattle bank relations”, in Financial Week, retrieved 9 Nov. 2008:
- Mr. Paz noted that since the onset of the credit crisis, eBay, like other companies, hasn’t been able to "measure twice and cut once."
plan and prepare in a careful, thorough manner before taking action