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be just before you're generous

Fulfill your duties before engaging in fun activities. This phrase is often used to refer to financial matters. Put some of your paycheck in savings right away—be just before you're generous. You need to clean your room before you go out with your friends. Be just before you're generous.
See also: before, generous, just

Be just before you're generous.

Prov. Do what you ought to do before you do things that you want to do; pay your debts before you give money away. Jill: It's payday! I can't wait to go out and buy my niece that nice toy train set for her birthday. Jane: But, Jill, we have bills to pay. Be just before you're generous.
See also: before, generous, just

generous to a fault

Cliché too generous; overly generous. My favorite uncle is generous to a fault. Sallyalways generous to a fault—gave away her lunch to a homeless man.
See also: fault, generous

to a fault

Excessively, extremely, as in He was generous to a fault. This phrase, always qualifying an adjective, has been so used since the mid-1700s. Indeed, Oliver Goldsmith had this precise usage in The Life of Richard Nash (1762).
See also: fault

to a fault

COMMON If someone has a good quality to a fault, they have more of this quality than is usual or necessary. She was generous to a fault and tried to see that we had everything we needed. He's honest to a fault, brave, dedicated, and fiercely proud of the New York Police Department.
See also: fault

— to a fault

(of someone or something displaying a particular commendable quality) to an extent verging on excess.
1995 Bill Bryson Notes from a Small Island Anyway, that's the kind of place Bournemouth is—genteel to a fault and proud of it.
See also: fault

to a ˈfault

(written) used to say that somebody has a lot, or even too much of a particular good quality: He was generous to a fault.
See also: fault

to a fault

To an excessive degree: generous to a fault.
See also: fault
References in classic literature ?
Dobbin was much too modest a young fellow to suppose that this happy change in all his circumstances arose from his own generous and manly disposition: he chose, from some perverseness, to attribute his good fortune to the sole agency and benevolence of little George Osborne, to whom henceforth he vowed such a love and affection as is only felt by children--such an affection, as we read in the charming fairy-book, uncouth Orson had for splendid young Valentine his conqueror.
Their regiment had just come home, and the attachment of Dobbin to George Osborne was as warm and generous now as it had been when the two were schoolboys.
These generous orders were strictly obeyed; and though so many hearts in the troop panted to share in the glory and danger of their partisan, not a warrior was found, among them all, who did not know how to conceal his impatience under the usual mask of Indian self-restraint.
Mahtoree exclaimed, setting an arrow to his bow, and sending it, with a sudden and deadly aim, full at the naked bosom of his generous and confiding enemy.
Mahtoree had left many a daring brave behind him in his band, and the orator, who in the debates of that day had manifested such pacific thoughts, now exhibited the most generous self-devotion, in order to wrest the memorial of a man he had never loved, from the hands of the avowed enemies of his people.
But Candy dismissed comparison between Generous Terms and his dam, saying: "There is absolutely nothing similar about them at all.
Larsen, a Dane who works just across the Sound in Copenhagen, won the project in a 1992 invited competition with a design that recalls Asplund in its simplicity and generous humanity.
This fifth generation, family-owned business is in its 102nd year of serving the North Shore community, including Danvers, Gloucester, Salem and Beverly - and has been a consistent and generous supporter of both Beverly and Addison Gilbert hospitals.
The Cougars, who are particularly generous against the pass, allowed an average of 312.
The museum court which follows is a good deal wider and is a much more cheerfully generous social space.
Like the rest of the GOLEAN line, the new cereal contains generous servings of protein, fiber and whole grains to provide a lasting feeling of satisfaction.
Trainer Julio Canani said he made his decision after watching the 2-year-olds in the 1-mile Generous Stakes struggle through the final quarter-mile in 27 1/5 seconds.
These layer to form a generous but permeable oval which breaks open to the woods on the south and west.
Low-floor entry, generous passenger space and modern passenger information and emergency communication systems as well as air conditioning make travel more comfortable.