zebra


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a zebra can't change its stripes

proverb One will stay true to one's nature, even if one pretends or claims otherwise. After our breakup, he came crawling back, trying to convince me that he'd changed, but I know that a zebra can't change its stripes. The CEO vowed to reform himself and his company following the lawsuit, but I think most people will realize that zebras can't change their stripes. A: "Come on, a zebra can't change its stripes." B: "I thought so too, but the former president really seems to have changed his views on social welfare since leaving office."
See also: change, stripe, zebra

a zebra doesn't change its stripes

proverb One will stay true to one's nature, even if one pretends or claims otherwise. After our breakup, he came crawling back, trying to convince me that he'd changed, but I know that a zebra doesn't change its stripes. The CEO vowed to reform himself and his company following the lawsuit, but I think most people will realize that zebras don't change their stripes. A: "Come on, a tiger doesn't change its stripes." B: "I thought so too, but the former president really seems to have changed his views on social welfare since leaving office."
See also: change, stripe, zebra

When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

The simplest, most common, or most obvious explanation for something is most likely the correct one. Used especially in relation to medical diagnoses. A: "The patient's irregular heartbeat could indicate Brugada syndrome." B: "Steady on, now—when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. It's probably just a supraventricular tachycardia caused by excess stress."
See also: hear, not, think

zebra

slang A sports referee wearing a black-and-white striped shirt. The zebras are all huddled together to review the footage and see if the call should be overturned.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

zebra

n. a referee. (Because of the black-and-white striped shirt.) The zebra blew the whistle on almost every play.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"Not far away," replied the zebra. "If you will agree to judge between us I will run and get him."
When he drew near they found a soft-shell crab clinging fast to the stiff hair of the zebra's head, where it held on by one claw.
Crab," said the zebra, "here are the people I told you about; and they know more than you do, who lives in a pool, and more than I do, who lives in a forest.
"So you see," continued the zebra, addressing the crab, "here are people of real consequence, who know what they are talking about."
At this taunt the crab reached out its other claw and seized the zebra's ear, and the creature gave a cry of pain and began prancing up and down, trying to shake off the crab, which clung fast.
"Stop pinching!" cried the zebra. "You promised not to pinch if I would carry you here!"
"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the zebra, "please pardon my poor friend, because he is ignorant and stupid, and does not understand.
"What!" exclaimed the zebra, in astonishment; "do I hear you aright?"
"Impossible!" protested the zebra. "Why, I can run for days upon the land, and find but little water."
"Never," admitted the zebra. "There is no such thing as an ocean in the Land of Oz."
Zebra?" it cried, jeeringly; "now will you give up?"
The crab began laughing again, which so provoked the zebra that he tried to shake the little creature off.
"I'm sorry I asked you to decide this question," said the zebra, crossly.
Then the zebra trotted back to the forest, bearing the crab with him, and disappeared amid the gloom of the trees.
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, announces that Lithuania Post equips its postal workers with almost 2,000 Zebra ZQ510 mobile printers as part of its Smart Postman Project to help improve customer satisfaction.