foolish

(redirected from foolishness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

be penny-wise and pound-foolish

To be so concerned with saving money that one ignores larger problems and ultimately ends up spending more. I know you don't want to pay for this expensive course of treatment, but when ignoring your health lands you in the hospital, you'll see that you were penny-wise and pound-foolish.
See also: and

penny-wise and pound-foolish

Prov. thrifty with small sums and foolish with large sums. (Describes someone who will go to a lot of trouble to save a little money, but overlooks large expenses to save a little money. Even in the United States, the reference is to British pounds sterling.) Sam: If we drive to six different grocery stores, we'll get the best bargains on everything we buy. Alan: But with gasoline so expensive, that's penny-wise and pound-foolish.
See also: and

penny wise and pound foolish

unwise because doing something small now would prevent much more trouble later Education budget cuts are penny wise and pound foolish – public education is an investment in our future.
See also: and, foolish, penny, pound, wise

be penny-wise and pound-foolish

  (old-fashioned)
to be extremely careful about small amounts of money and not careful enough about larger amounts of money Saving a little bit of money on repairs can lead to long-term damage. You don't want to be penny-wise and pound-foolish, now do you?
See also: and

penny wise and pound foolish

Stingy about small expenditures and extravagant with large ones, as in Dean clips all the coupons for supermarket bargains but insists on going to the best restaurants-penny wise and pound foolish . This phrase alludes to British currency, in which a pound was once worth 240 pennies, or pence, and is now worth 100 pence. The phrase is also occasionally used for being very careful about unimportant matters and careless about important ones. It was used in this way by Joseph Addison in The Spectator (1712): "A woman who will give up herself to a man in marriage where there is the least Room for such an apprehension ... may very properly be accused ... of being penny wise and pound foolish." [c. 1600]
See also: and, foolish, penny, pound, wise
References in periodicals archive ?
We consider it foolishness and a reaction to what happened
She's developed, like Princess Diana, that deliberate foolishness which is disarming.
His foolishness almost cost him his life, yet instead of eating him, the Wagarl showed him mercy, and tasked him with a special punishiment, a mark, and a sacred responsibility to look after its snake brethren.
If Jesus is not the way and the truth and the life, if indeed he has not saved us by his life, death, and Resurrection, all popes and bishops, sacraments and canon law, stately hymns and simple rituals are mere foolishness.
It is as though the lines, shortages, "odd/even" days for purchasing gasoline, and other counterproductive foolishness of a previous "energy crisis" never occurred.
Will the foolishness of the right wing last as long as the pyramids?
Paul puts it, "Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's spirit, for they are foolishness to them .
He's put the foolishness and mistakes of his youth behind him and developed into one of the finest centre-halves in the world.
The industry is so ripe with foolishness, pretensions and self-loathing that nothing can be said or done to make it appear even more foolish.
Capitalism is supposed to operate in a briskly rational fashion, but profits can perpetuate any kind of foolishness.
Everything in life runs in cycles, even foolishness.
He convincingly argues that attempting to halt the thousands of Mexicans who undertake the treacherous journey every day is "utter foolishness.
However, the letters he quotes are not simply those from people looking for mates; many offer social comments on such topics as women's responsibilities, the seriousness of marriage, and the foolishness of seeking a bride through the magazine.
Although it's heart-wrenching to think about children suffering and dying from parental foolishness (Rita Swan, "When Faith Fails Children--Religion-Based Neglect: Pervasive, Deadly .
It came with an anonymous letter apologising for taking the purse earlier this month, blaming a combination of drink and foolishness.