best-laid schemes/plans, the

the best-laid plans

proverb Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It is an abbreviated version of the full 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 plans 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 plans, I suppose."
See also: plan

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
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