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(as) sober as a judge
Other figures associated with sobriety are occasionally used in place of "judge," typically ecclesiastical figures such as "deacon," "priest," "parson," etc.
1. Stoic and reserved, perhaps even somber. Anita has been as sober as a judge ever since she heard of Marshall's death. The coach stood at the side of the field, sober as a judge, as the clock counted down on his team's championship ambitions. When I walked into the boss's office and everyone was sober as a judge, I knew I was being laid off.
2. Calm and rational. We need someone who can consider these issues without their emotions interfering—you'll need to be as sober as a judge from beginning to end! I don't want you in this meeting if you can't be sober as a judge. The last thing I want to do is referee a fight between the two of you. I don't think we should discuss this now, while we're all worked up about it. Let's reconvene in a few days when we're sober as a judge.
3. Not at all intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. I haven't been drinking at all, I swear! I'm as sober as a judge! Bill tried to convince me he was sober as a judge, but I didn't buy it—that's why I didn't let him drive home. John's remained sober as a deacon ever since the car accident three years ago.
a dumb priest never got a parish
You'll never get what you want if you don't ask for it. Although I'm nervous, I'm going to ask my boss for a raise. After all, a dumb priest never got a parish, so what's the worst that can happen if I ask? You have to go for what you want in this world. I mean, a dumb priest never got a parish. Sure, it's worth a shot. A dumb priest never got a parish, so you might as well ask for better hours.
once a priest, always a priest
1. Once a man chooses to become a priest of the church, especially the Catholic church, it must remain his vocation for the rest of his life. You must weigh this decision carefully, Tom, for it is not one to be made lightly. Once a priest, always a priest.
2. A person who dedicated their life to serving God as part of the clergy will always retain certain tendencies and values gained from that position, even if they leave later on in life. I left the church a few years ago, but I still find myself examining what happens in my life and adapting it into sermons, of sorts. Once a priest, always a priest, I suppose.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Once a priest, always a priest,and Once a whore, always a whore.
Prov. A person who has done a certain kind of job will always have the characteristics of people who do that job, even after he or she no longer does that kind of work. (This can be applied to many different occupations.) Alan: My cousin left the clergy, but boy! He still preaches at me all the time. Jane: Once a priest, always a priest, huh?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.