the best-laid schemes of mice and men

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the best-laid schemes of mice and men

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 of mice and men 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 of mice and men, I suppose."
See also: and, men, mice, of, scheme
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
THE best laid schemes of mice and men have come to nought as regards better traffic flow.
From which poem by Robert Burns does the quote The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley come?
The poet Burns, who knew a thing or two about women, also knew how the best laid schemes of mice and men 'gang aft agley'.
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