beggar


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Related to beggar: beggar description, Begger, Beggar thy neighbour

beggar's bush

Ruin or devastation. Unless you want to end up at beggar's bush, you better watch how much money you're spending.
See also: bush

beggar (all) description

To defy attempts at description; to be difficult or impossible to describe or explain. My mother loves decorating for Christmas, so during the holidays, her house is fit for Santa himself. It truly beggars description. My boss's incompetence is astounding. It truly beggars all description.
See also: beggar, description

beggars can't be choosers

You must accept that which is given to you, especially if you don't have the means to acquire it yourself. That dress wasn't exactly what I would have picked for myself, but, hey, it was free, and I'm broke right now. Beggars can't be choosers.
See also: beggar

beggar (all) description

to defy description; to be unable to be described. The house was a horrible mess. The place beggared description. Our reaction to the proposal beggars description. We were deeply disturbed for days.
See also: beggar, description

Beggars can't be choosers.

Prov. If someone gives you something you asked for, you should not complain about what you get. I asked Joe to lend me his bicycle, and he sent me this old, rusty one. But beggars can't be choosers. Jill: Let me wear your green dress; I don't like the blue one you lent me. Jane: Beggars can't be choosers.
See also: Beggar

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Prov. People make a lot of wishes, but wishing is useless. Jill: If I were Queen of the World, I would make sure that everyone had enough to eat. Jane: And if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. Alan: I sure wish I had one of those expensive cameras. Jane: If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
See also: beggar, if, ride, wish

Set a beggar on horseback, and he'll ride to the devil.

Prov. If a poor person becomes wealthy, he or she will quickly become corrupt. Jill: Since Phil inherited all that money, all he does is go to parties and take drugs. Jane: Yep. Set a beggar on horseback, and he'll ride to the devil.
See also: and, beggar, devil, on, ride, set

beggar description

Defy or outdo any possible description, as in The stage set was so elaborate, it beggared description. This term, alluding to the idea that words are insufficient to do something justice, was already used by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra (2:2), "For her own person It beggared all description."
See also: beggar, description

beggars can't be choosers

Those in dire need must be content with what they get. For example, The cheapest model will have to do-beggars can't be choosers. This expression was familiar enough to be included in John Heywood's 1546 collection of proverbs.
See also: beggar

if wishes were horses

If one could readily have what one wanted, life would be easy. For example, Wendy would love a brand-new car for her sixteenth birthday but-if wishes were horses. This expression is a shortening of If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, first recorded about 1628 in a collection of Scottish proverbs.
See also: horse, if, wish

beggars can't be choosers

You say beggars can't be choosers to mean that you should not reject an option if it is the only one which is available to you. Initially I'd take any job that was offered me — beggars can't be choosers. There are some apartments available, and beggars can't be choosers, but they're not very nice.
See also: beggar

beggar belief (or description)

be too extraordinary to be believed (or described).
See also: beggar, belief

beggar on horseback

a formerly poor person made arrogant or corrupt through achieving wealth and luxury.
Compare with the mid 17th-century proverb set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the devil , meaning that a person not used to power will use it unwisely.
See also: beggar, horseback, on

beggars can't be choosers

people with no other options must be content with what is offered. proverb
See also: beggar

if wishes were horses, beggars would ride

if you could achieve your aims simply by wishing for them, life would be very easy. proverb
This expression was first recorded in the early 17th century as a Scottish proverb.
See also: beggar, if, ride, wish

beggar beˈlief/deˈscription

be too strange and unusual to be believed/described: It beggars belief that no one knew she was stealing money for so long.The sight of him completely covered with mud and oil beggared description.

ˌbeggars can’t be ˈchoosers

(saying) when there is no choice, you have to be satisfied with whatever you can get: I would have preferred a bed, but beggars can’t be choosers so I slept on the sofa in the living room.
See also: beggar

if wishes were ˌhorses, beggars would/might ˈride

(saying) wishing for something does not make it happen
See also: beggar, if, might, ride, wish
References in classic literature ?
Such men are welcome all the world over, but no one is likely to ask a beggar who will only worry him.
Now when Penelope heard that the beggar had been struck in the banqueting-cloister, she said before her maids, "Would that Apollo would so strike you, Antinous," and her waiting woman Eurynome answered, "If our prayers were answered not one of the suitors would ever again see the sun rise.
I know, monsieur le cure," said the beggar, "that you have always been very kind to me, and therefore I, in my turn, will be serviceable to you.
I think," said the beggar, "I can undertake things more difficult and more important than that.
A line of stalls selling very simple food and tobacco, a stack of firewood, a police-station, a well, a horse-trough, a few trees, and, under them, some trampled ground dotted with the black ashes of old fires, are all that mark a parao on the Grand Trunk; if you except the beggars and the crows - both hungry.
But it is the fault of this gadding up and down Hind that a king's widow must jostle all the scum of the land, and be made a mock by beggars.
Crowding the narrow streets in front of them are beggars, who beg forever, yet never collect any thing; and wonderful cripples, distorted out of all semblance of humanity, almost; vagabonds driving laden asses; porters carrying dry-goods boxes as large as cottages on their backs; peddlers of grapes, hot corn, pumpkin seeds, and a hundred other things, yelling like fiends; and sleeping happily, comfortably, serenely, among the hurrying feet, are the famed dogs of Constantinople; drifting noiselessly about are squads of Turkish women, draped from chin to feet in flowing robes, and with snowy veils bound about their heads, that disclose only the eyes and a vague, shadowy notion of their features.
This whole legion had closed in behind him, and his three beggars held him fast.
Good den, good beggar that is to be," quoth Little John, "and mayst thou have no cause to beg for mercy ere I see thee next.
They're a rotten lot of beggars, of course, although some of them have behaved rather decently.
Thou hast divined me well," answered the voluntary beggar, with lightened heart.
Maybe you think I'm goin' ter stand 'round an' hear a whole LOT o' women call me a beggar, instead of jest ONE
His property was confiscated; his child became an orphan and a beggar.
Let us be beggars,' said the child passing an arm round his neck,
For our Lowland beggars -- even the gownsmen themselves, who beg by patent -- had a louting, flattering way with them, and if you gave them a plaek and asked change, would very civilly return you a boddle.