Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Definition, Origin with Useful Examples

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie! In this lesson, we are going to find out what the popular idiom means as well as looking at some examples of how it can be used in day to day speech. We will also be looking at where the saying came from in the first instance.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Meaning

The idiom “let sleeping dogs lie” mean to leave a problem or avoid interfering in a situation/ an old argument because trying to deal with it could cause an even more difficult situation. So, just like avoiding waking up a dog and making it angry, let sleeping dogs lie.

Origin of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

This ancient phrase originated in 13th century. Later in 14th century, it was used by Geoffrey Chaucer in one of his books which says it is good to avoid waking up a sleeping dog. ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ derives from the long-standing observation that dogs are often unpredictable when they are suddenly disturbed.

Imagine, you come near a sleeping dog, you must be thinking the dog might not pounce on you or bite you, so it would be better to leave him sleeping. Similarly, it is better to be quite and not to stir anything that might cause a problem.

Example Sentences

  • We decided to let sleeping dogs lie and not take them to court.
  • The best plan is just to let sleeping dogs lie.
  • Don’t tell mother that you skipped a lunch today, let the sleeping dogs lay.
  • Why can’t she let sleeping dogs lie?
  • I’d let sleeping dogs lie and not re – open the investigation into the crime.
  • Don’t tell mother that you broke the window. Let sleeping dogs lie.
  • I really think you should just let sleeping dogs lie.
  • His second impulse therefore was to let sleeping dogs lie.
  • Don’t wake him up. It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie.
  • I was going to mention the argument we had last night, but decided to let sleeping dogs lie.
  • I was very careful about what I said. It’s best to let sleeping dogs lie, I think.
  • Let’s not go over last night’s performance: let sleeping dogs lie and move on.
  • He will leave alone things that might cause trouble; as he would say, ” let sleeping dogs lie. “
  • Don’t remind her about the divorce. Let sleeping dogs lie and talk about something else.
  • Wait until they notify you that you must appear; why invite trouble? Better let sleeping dogs lie.

Synonyms/ Related Words

  • Leave well enough alone
  • Let things be
  • Leave things as they are

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Infographic

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Definition, Origin with Useful Examples 1

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