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It is a poor dog that's not worth whistling for proverbial saying, mid 16th century, meaning that a dog is of no value if the owner will not even go to the trouble of whistling for it.

it is a poor heart that never rejoices proverbial saying, mid 19th century, often used to explain a celebratory action, and implying that circumstances are not in general unrelievedly bad.

Poor Clare a member of an order of Franciscan nuns founded by St Clare of Assisi in c.1212; the name is recorded from the early 17th century.

Poor Law a law relating to the support of the poor. Originally the responsibility of the parish, the relief and employment of the poor passed over to the workhouses in 1834. In the early 20th century the Poor Law was replaced by schemes of social security.

poor little rich girl a girl or young woman whose wealth brings her no happiness; mainly from the title of a song (1925) by Noel Coward; although the phrase had been used earlier in the title, The Poor Little Rich Girl, of a film (1917) starring Mary Pickford, and based on a play with the same title (1913) by Eleanor Gates.

the poor man's — an inferior or cheaper substitute for the thing specified.

poor relation a person or thing that is considered inferior or subordinate to others of the same type or group.

See also poor as a church mouse, poor as Job, one law for the rich and another for the poor, the rich man gets his ice in the summer and the poor man gets his in the winter.


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