once a man, twice a child

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English[edit]

Proverb[edit]

once a man, twice a child

  1. A man is born as a child, grows to adulthood, and consequently enters old age, when he deteriorates and reverts to a childish state.
    • 1889, Oscar Fitzalan Safford, Hosea Ballou: a Marvellous Life-story, Universalist Publishing, Boston, p. 243 (Google books):
      "I am an old man," he said; I avail myself of the privilege of an old man—, to be a child. ‘Once a man, twice a child.’"
    • 1971, Plays and Players, Issue 19, p. 64 (Google snippet view):
      Dora: Once a man, twice a child, my mother used to say.
      Ansell: What did she mean by that?
      Dora: She meant that a man grows from a boy, to a man, to a boy again.
    • 2005, Camyl Sosa Belanger, Eva Gabor, an Amazing Woman, ISBN 9780595341603, p. 201 (Google preview):
      The child in people sometimes comes out after one reaches a certain stage in life, which makes the saying, “Once a man twice a child” to be the truth.

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