the best-laid schemes

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the best-laid schemes

proverb Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It is an abbreviated version of the line, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" (go astray), from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, the best-laid schemes and all that. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid schemes, I suppose."
See also: scheme
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

best-laid schemes/plans, the

The most careful plans sometimes do not succeed. It was probably already a cliché by the time Robert Burns used the phrase in “To a Mouse” (1786): “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley [go often astray].”
See also: scheme
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
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I'll be weel awa fae climate cheenge in my time, pouns shillins an pence an syne decimalisation lang forgotten wi cairds aaready takkin ower, bit the time at blaiks aa is foo ill-health connachs oor dreams an "the best laid schemes o mice an men gang aft agley" on the rosie roads aheid.
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The best laid schemes of Mice and Men gang aft agley.
AS Robbie Burns once said, 'The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley'.
Gentle Giant Lennie aspires to be with George and join him in his Eden, but as the saying goes - the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.
Gentle giant Lennie aspires to be with George and join him in his Eden but, as Robert Burns famously wrote, the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.
American literary icon John Steinback was influenced by Burns, naming his classic book 'Of Mice and Men' after the first line of the poem To A Mouse, which contains the line: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley."
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So near to a great night out and yet so far from your final resting place at St Michael's, Rabbie - the best laid schemes do, indeed, gang aft agley.
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It stands in the way of even the best laid schemes o' mice an' men, to borrow from Robert Burns.
The title of this column is taken from a line in Robert Burns' 1786 poem "To a Mouse" that reads "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry." Truer words were never spoken when describing my experience using the Sit-to-Stand (STS) machine featured in March's non-Pulitzer-prize-winning column "My Physical Therapist and the 'Iron Maiden.'"
But, to quote Robbie Burns, "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Gang aft agley." Here we were, January 2014, with no minister and no prospective minister in sight.
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