Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.
bad workers always blame their tools
If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his or her equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. The football player blamed the overinflated ball for costing his team the game, but as they say, bad workers always blame their tools.
hindsight is (always) 20/20
It is easier to clearly reevaluate past actions or decisions than when they are being made or done; things are clearer or more obvious when they are reflected upon. A reference to the visual acuity of normal eyesight (20/20 vision). I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise, but I guess hindsight is always 20/20. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't blame yourself. Hindsight is 20/20, after all."
(someone's) door is always open
Someone is always available to be of guidance, support, aid, or assistance whenever needed. Said especially by an employer or teacher to an employee or pupil. I know you've been going through some tough times lately, so if you ever need someone to talk to, I want you to know that my door is always open. Mrs. Spencer is a great teacher, and her door is always open if we ever have any questions or fall behind.
a bad workman always blames his tools
If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his orher equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. The football player blamed the overinflated ball for costing his team the game, but as they say, a bad workman always blames his tools.
there is always room at the top
No matter how daunting a task or venture may seem, everyone has the opportunity to succeed. US politician Daniel Webster is thought to have said this phrase in response to warnings against becoming a lawyer, which was seen as an oversaturated field in the 19th century. I'm not worried about starting out at that renowned company as an intern—there's always room at the top.
always chasing rainbows
Constantly pursuing something more appealing than what one currently has—no matter how unrealistic it is. You can't be always chasing rainbows your whole life—you need to pick a stable career and start being an adult. You won't find a better girlfriend than Tia. Why are you always chasing rainbows?
always the bridesmaid, never the bride
Said of one who is never the most important person in a particular situation or the winner of some particular thing. When will I get a promotion? I'm so sick of being always the bridesmaid, never the bride. This is the fifth time I've come in second place—always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
a bad penny always turns up
A person with no value always returns. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of your conniving cousin—a bad penny always turns up, after all.
always chasing rainbows
tending to look for something (more) exciting and (more) rewarding but without realistic expectations. He can't seem to settle down and enjoy life. He's always chasing rainbows.
bad penny always turns up
Prov. A worthless person always comes back to the place he or she started out. Jill: I just found out that Tom left town after we fought last Saturday. What if I never see him again? Jane: Don't worry. A bad penny always turns up.
bread always falls on the buttered side
Prov. When things go wrong, they go completely wrong. Not only did my phone break, but it broke today—today of all days, when I'm expecting a really important call. The bread always falls on the buttered side. When the painting fell off the wall, it landed on a priceless porcelain vase and broke it. The bread always falls on the buttered side.
bully is always a coward
Prov. Bullies will only intimidate people who are much weaker than they are, because they are afraid of losing a fight. Child: Dad, Joey keeps picking on me. How can I make him stop? Father: Try fighting back. A bully is always a coward. Bill took advantage of the younger children, but he was quiet and docile around the older ones. A bully is always a coward.
customer is always right
Prov. In order to keep customers happy, the people who serve them should always obey their wishes. (Often cited as a principle of good business dealings; customers sometimes say it to the people serving them in order to try to get good service.) When I began working at the gift shop, my boss told me, "Remember, the customer is always right, no matter how stupid or rude you may think he is being."
darkest hour is just before the dawnand It's always darkest just before the dawn.
Prov. When things are extremely bad, it may signal that they are about to get much better. Jill: I feel like giving up. I don't have a job, my boyfriend left me, and they're raising the rent for my apartment. Jane: It's always darkest just before the dawn.
first step is always the hardest
Prov. Starting a new endeavor is the hardest part of it. Fred: I want to quit smoking, but I can't convince myself to sign up for the "stop smoking" program, Jill: The first step is always the hardest. If I can just start this project, I know the rest will be easy. The first step is always the hardest.
The grass is always greener on the other side (of the fence).
Prov. People always think they would be happier in a different set of circumstances. (Usually implies that the other circumstances really are not any better.) Jill: My job is so tedious. I wish I had my own business, like Beatrice does. Jane: Beatrice probably wishes she had the security of her old job. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
It's always darkest just before the dawn.
See The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
latch string is always out
Fig. You are always welcome. Come by anytime. The latch string is always out. No need to call before you come over. For you folks, the latch string is always out.
a conditional negative response. (See examples.) John: Do you come here every day? Jane: No, not always. John: Do you find that this condition usually clears up by itself? Doctor: Not always.
Once a priest, always a priest,and Once a whore, always a whore.
Prov. A person who has done a certain kind of job will always have the characteristics of people who do that job, even after he or she no longer does that kind of work. (This can be applied to many different occupations.) Alan: My cousin left the clergy, but boy! He still preaches at me all the time. Jane: Once a priest, always a priest, huh?
rich man's joke is always funny
Prov. Everyone wants to curry favor with rich people and so will always laugh at their jokes. (From a poem by Thomas Edward Brown.) We all thought that Mr. Lisle was a narrow-minded, unpleasant old man, but we were careful to act otherwise, because he was wealthy. A rich man's joke is always funny.
unexpected always happens
Prov. The things you do not foresee will happen to you; when you plan, you cannot think of everything that might happen. It took us an hour to drive to the restaurant, and when we got there, it was closed. I would never have expected a restaurant to be closed on a Friday night, but the unexpected always happens. Especially to me.
always the bridesmaid, never the bride
used to talk about someone who is never the most important person in a situation Huw worked with a host of great actors, but somehow was always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
The grass is always greener (on the other side of the fence).
something that you say which means that other people always seem to be in a better situation than you, although they may not be And when I haven't been out for a while I start to envy Miriam with her great social life. Oh well, the grass is always greener.
grass is always greener on the other side, the
A different situation always seems better than one's own. For example, Bob always thinks the grass is greener elsewhere, which accounts for his constant job changes . This expression, an ancient proverb cited by Erasmus in the 15th century, is so well known that it is often shortened.