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Keep a thing seven years and you'll always find a use for it recommending caution and thrift; proverbial saying, early 17th century.

keep no more cats than will catch mice recommending efficiency and the ethic of steady work to justify one's place; proverbial saying, late 17th century.

keep your own fish-guts for your own sea-maws Scottish proverbial saying, early 18th century, meaning that any surplus product should be offered first to those in need who are closest to you; another version of charity begins at home.

keep your shop and your shop will keep you proverbial saying, early 17th century, recommending attention to what is essential to one's livelihood; in the 1937 film Every Day's a Holiday this saying was parodied by the American actress Mae West (1892–1980) as, ‘I always say, keep a diary and some day it'll keep you.’

why keep a dog and bark yourself? often used to advise against carrying out work which can be done for you by somebody else. The saying is recorded from the late 16th century.

See also a man is known by the company he keeps, three may keep a secret, keep the wolf from the door.


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