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Once Bitten Twice Shy Meaning: What Does This Interesting Idiom Mean?

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Once Bitten Twice Shy Meaning! Are you looking for the meaning of the popular idiom “once bitten twice shy”? In this lesson, you will find what does it mean and some example sentences using this idiom properly to help you further understand its meaning and some alternative phrases you can use its place that are similar in meaning.

An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational.

Once Bitten Twice Shy Meaning

Once Bitten Twice Shy

What Does Once Bitten Twice Shy Mean?

If somebody is said to be “once bitten, twice shy”, it means that they will not do something a second time because they had a bad, unpleasant experience the first time they did it. In order word, they are frightened to do something again or they will be far more careful the next time around.


There is no exact information about the origin of this phrase. Once bitten, twice shy is an interesting idiom that first appeared in the 1800s.

Alternative Forms

  • Once burned, twice shy
  • Once hurt, twice shy

Example Sentences

  • Sarah certainly won’t go to swimming — once bitten, twice shy.
  • She certainly won’t marry again once bitten, twice shy.
  • What was that about being once bitten twice shy.
  • So goes an old saying, Once bitten twice shy.
  • We are careful about renting an apartment from that company. The previous one was terrible. Once bitten twice shy
  • It was a case of once bitten, twice shy when they toppled reigning champions Thurles two weeks ago.
  • I can only hope that as a nation, we remain once bitten, twice shy.
  • I would never have believed the pictures had I not seen them, and once bitten, twice shy.

Other Ways to Say/ Synonyms

There are several synonyms you could possibly use to represent the idiom and convey the same meaning:

  • A burnt child dreads the fire
  • A scalded dog fears cold water
  • One bitten by a serpent is afraid of a rope’s end
  • A beaten dog may cower before a friendly hand.
  • Bitten by a snake on one morning, afraid of the rope by the well for ten years.
  • If I live to be a hundred


Tuesday 5th of October 2021