seldom


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barking dogs seldom bite

People who make themselves appear threatening rarely do any harm. A: "I'm really scared to tell Mr. White that I haven't finished my project. You know how he yells." B: "Yeah, but barking dogs seldom bite. He'll get over it."
See also: bark, bite, dog, seldom

Desert and reward seldom keep company.

Prov. If you deserve a reward, you are not necessarily going to get it. Jill: I worked so hard on that project, and Fred is taking all the credit for it. Jane: You know how it goes; desert and reward seldom keep company.

Things are seldom what they seem.

Prov. Things often appear different from what they really are. Emily seems to be a fine young lady, but be careful. Things are seldom what they seem. To judge from his elegant clothing and luxurious car, William was a wealthy man. But things are seldom what they seem; in fact, he was in desperate need of money.
See also: seem, seldom, Thing
References in classic literature ?
She is ever disposed to find fault with them; they can seldom do any thing to please her; she is never better pleased than when she sees them under the lash, especially when she suspects her husband of showing to his mulatto children favors which he withholds from his black slaves.
They who have turned their attention to the affairs of men, must have perceived that there are tides in them; tides very irregular in their duration, strength, and direction, and seldom found to run twice exactly in the same manner or measure.
d'Epinay and his family; besides, he had no relations nearer than an uncle and aunt, his mother having died at his birth, and his father having been assassinated in 1815, that is to say, when he was but two years old; it naturally followed that the child was permitted to choose his own pursuits, and he has, therefore, seldom acknowledged any other authority but that of his own will.
It seldom fails to produce an accompaniment," said the gentleman, now smiling in reality; "but"--
She seldom laughed, I fear; but her smiles were sweetness and benevolence itself.
Madame Pelet had her own society, her own circle of chosen visitors, whom, however, I seldom saw, as she generally entertained them in what she called her "cabinet," a small den of a place adjoining the kitchen, and descending into it by one or two steps.
No scare-crow would accept this coat: Such boots as these you seldom see.
I could not comprehend, therefore, why they so seldom sought it in their waters, for it was only at stated times that the fishing parties were formed, and these occasions were always looked forward to with no small degree of interest.
Eady and his assistant were both "down street," and young Denis, who seldom deigned to take their place, was lounging by the stove with a knot of the golden youth of Starkfield.
There is also a fifth, which bears a name that is also common to the other four, namely, a state: but as this is seldom to be met with, it has escaped those who have endeavoured to enumerate the different sorts of governments, which [1293b] they fix at four only, as does Plato in his Republic.
Besides, our action on each other, good as well as evil, is so incidental and at random that we can seldom hear the acknowledgments of any person who would thank us for a benefit, without some shame and humiliation.
Previously he had talked a great deal, grew excited when he talked, and seldom listened; now he was seldom carried away in conversation and knew how to listen so that people readily told him their most intimate secrets.
Yes, Edward Weston, I could indeed be happy in a house full of enemies, if I had but one friend, who truly, deeply, and faithfully loved me; and if that friend were you--though we might be far apart--seldom to hear from each other, still more seldom to meet--though toil, and trouble, and vexation might surround me, still--it would be too much happiness for me to dream of
I must look nice, for Tom seldom takes me and ought to be gratified when he does.
Spenser has humor too, but we seldom see him smile.