Paul


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Related to Paul: Paul the Apostle

Paul Pry

A nosy, meddlesome person. The phrase refers to the title character of a 19th-century play by John Poole. Come on, Paul Pry, stop asking so many questions about my personal life!
See also: Paul, pry

rob Peter to pay Paul

To borrow or take money from one person or source to fund or repay the debt of another. Mr. Hardy's law firm has fallen into arrears of late, and he's been robbing Peter to pay Paul just to keep the business afloat. Never use a credit card to pay a debt—that's just robbing Peter to pay Paul!
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

be robbing Peter to pay Paul

1. To be borrowing or taking money from one source to fund or repay the debt of another. The phrase refers to the Christian leaders Peter and Paul, who were both prominent figures in the early church. Never use a credit card to pay a debt—that's just robbing Peter to pay Paul!
2. To be shifting resources from one part of an organization or entity to another, often needlessly or inefficiently. When we make each department pay rent for their facilities, it seems a bit like we're robbing Peter to pay Paul—it's all the same organization, after all.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

Fig. to take or borrow from one in order to give or pay something owed to another. Why borrow money to pay your bills? That's just robbing Peter to pay Paul. There's no point in robbing Peter to pay Paul. You will still be in debt.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

Take from one to give to another, shift resources. For example, They took out a second mortgage on their house so they could buy a condo in Florida-they're robbing Peter to pay Paul . Although legend has it that this expression alludes to appropriating the estates of St. Peter's Church, in Westminster, London, to pay for the repairs of St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1800s, the saying first appeared in a work by John Wycliffe about 1382.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

be robbing Peter to pay Paul

If someone is robbing Peter to pay Paul, they are using money that is meant for one thing to pay for something else. I have not starved yet but I am very conscious of failing to pay back debts, of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

take something away from one person to pay another, leaving the former at a disadvantage; discharge one debt only to incur another.
This expression probably arose in reference to the saints and apostles Peter and Paul , who are often shown together as equals in Christian art and who therefore may be presumed to be equally deserving of honour and devotion. It is uncertain whether a specific allusion is intended; variants of the phrase include unclothe Peter and clothe Paul and borrow from Peter to pay Paul .
1997 New Scientist So far, NASA has been able to rob Peter to pay Paul, taking money from the shuttle and science programmes to keep the ISS on track.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob ˌPeter to pay ˈPaul

(saying) take money from one area and spend it in another: Government spending on education has not increased. Some areas have improved, but only as a result of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

To incur a debt in order to pay off another debt.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul, to

To take funds from one source in order to pay another; to shift a debt. According to legend, the abbey church of St. Peter’s, in Westminster, was made into a cathedral in 1540, but ten years later it was joined to the diocese of London and many of its estates were appropriated to pay for the repairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral; hence St. Peter was “robbed” for the sake of St. Paul. Appealing as this source for the cliché may be, the expression actually was first used by John Wycliffe about 1340, when he wrote, “How should God approve that you rob Peter and give this robbery to Paul in the name of Christ?” In the mid-1950s George J. Hecht, founder and publisher of Parents Magazine, went to Washington to lobby—in the morning for lower postal rates for magazine publishers, and in the afternoon for larger appropriations to the Children’s Bureau, whereupon he was accused of trying to rob both Peter and Paul.
See also: pay, peter, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

Use funds from one source to repay a debt. If you use one credit card to pay off another, even if you're benefiting by buying time, you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. How the phrase came to be associated with what would seem to be the two apostles is a mystery, since neither was associated with precarious financial planning.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob
References in classic literature ?
"White quartzose sand," Paul rattled off, "sodic carbonate, slaked lime, cutlet, manganese peroxide--there you have it, the finest French plate glass, made by the great St.
A few weeks later I went hunting with Paul. He had been promising me for some time that I should have the pleasure of shooting over a wonderful dog--the most wonderful dog, in fact, that ever man shot over, so he averred, and continued to aver till my curiosity was aroused.
"Don't see him about," Paul remarked unconcernedly, and we set off across the fields.
But the canoe was already in mid-stream, and old Paul was pulling and pushing it up the river with an energy incredible at his years.
The dizzy fight was balanced so long that hope began to revive in the protesting priest; by all common probability Paul must soon come back with the police.
As he was still trying some last hopeless tests he heard for the first time voices from farther up the river, and saw a police boat shoot up to the landing-stage, with constables and other important people, including the excited Paul. The little priest rose with a distinctly dubious grimace.
So Paul was sent away and bravely said good-bye to them all, for he was glad to go to live in a house where he would have boy companions.
Beauchamp and Greystoke laughed aloud at the discomfiture of Paul of Merely, but the latter's face hardened in anger, and without further words he strode forward with outstretched hand to tear open the boy's leathern jerkin, but met with the gleaming point of a sword and a quick sharp, "En garde!" from the boy.
There was naught for Paul of Merely to do but draw his own weapon, in self-defense, for the sharp point of the boy's sword was flashing in and out against his unprotected body, inflicting painful little jabs, and the boy's tongue was murmuring low-toned taunts and insults as it invited him to draw and defend himself or be stuck "like the English pig you are."
Thoroughly satisfied that he understood the character of the emigrants, by the short but comprehensive description conveyed in Paul's reply, the old man raised no further question concerning the readiness of Ishmael to revenge his wrongs, but rather followed the train of thought which was suggested to his experience, by the occasion.
Though I am sure, Paul, we have parted before, where there has been more of a desert than this."
To Paul, who worshipped her with all the fervour of a little man for a large woman, her deliberate methods seemed all that was beautiful and dignified.
Among those who did not see eye to eye with Paul in his views on deportment in waitresses was M.
The Fourth arrived, and punctual Paul Came, with his legal friend, at noon.
Said Paul 'How bitterly I rue That fatal morning when I called!