a rolling stone gathers no moss

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a rolling stone gathers no moss

proverb A person who wanders or travels often and at length will not be burdened by attachments such as friends, family, or possessions. Can be used as a negative (to suggest that such a person won't find a fulfilling place in life) or as a positive (to suggest that they will have a more interesting and unpredictable life). I never knew my father very well. Apparently he got really restless after my sister was born, anxious not to be tied down to the one place or job, so he just started moving around the country on his own. A rolling stone gathers no moss, as they say. I was just so eager to get out there and see the world, living in as many countries and trying as many new things as possible. A rolling stone gathers no moss, and I felt allergic to moss at the time.
See also: gather, moss, no, roll, stone
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

rolling stone gathers no moss

Prov. A person who does not settle down is not attached to anything or anyone. (Can be said in admiration or in censure, depending on whether or not the speaker feels it is good to be attached to something or someone.) I worry about Tom. He's never lived in the same place for two years in a row, and he keeps changing jobs. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
See also: gather, moss, no, roll, stone
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

a rolling stone gathers no moss

People say a rolling stone gathers no moss meaning that if a person keeps moving from one place to another, they will not get many friends or possessions. I'm saying that it's not a good idea to get too settled — a rolling stone gathers no moss. Note: You can call a person who does not stay in one place for long a rolling stone. I guess you could call me a rolling stone. My home is out on the waves. Note: Some people use this proverb to say that it is a bad thing to keep moving like this, and it is better to be settled. Other people use this proverb to suggest that it is a good thing to keep moving and changing, and not stay in one place.
See also: gather, moss, no, roll, stone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

rolling stone gathers no moss, a

Someone who keeps moving and changing will not settle down and progress. This ancient proverb, first stated in this form by Erasmus in Adagia (1523), appears in numerous languages. For the first three hundred years or so it was nearly always voiced as a kind of reprimand to those who would not settle down and make good. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the validity of this sentiment was being questioned. In Edward B. Ramsay’s Reminiscences of Scottish Life (1858) a character replied to this adage, “Ay, but can ye tell me what guid the fog [moss] does to the stane?” Shaw later wrote (Preface to Misalliance, 1914), “We keep repeating the silly proverb that rolling stones gather no moss, as if moss were a desirable parasite.” Today we may call the inveterate traveler, job-changer, or mover “a rolling stone.” The term gained further currency in the 1960s with a very popular British rock group that called itself the Rolling Stones and a popular song by Bob Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965).
See also: gather, no, roll, stone
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
TEARING up the fret board, Ronnie Woods defies his years and proves that a Rolling Stone gathers no moss.
A rolling stone gathers no moss (sorry, got carried away with the cliches there).