In my language there is a proverb which says often people take no use of what they know (especially their profession). E.g a potter (who creates mud jugs) never has a beautiful / good etc. jug himself.

I have found in some translated pages the following proverbs a long time ago. But I have no idea if they are natural to an AmE native speaker. If not, then please let me know how shall I indicate it in a normal language:

  • Shoe makers son runs barefoot.

  • The shoemaker’s wife, goes the worst shod.

  • Related (not duplicate) on ELU. – None Jan 22 '17 at 16:37

There seem to be quite a few "shoe-maker" (or "cobler") variants of the proverb carring the same meaning, for example:

The cobbler always wears the worst shoes;

The cobbler's children are the worst shod;

The shoemaker's children go barefoot.

You may also find variants with other occupations, like

A plumber's house always has a dripping tap


A blacksmith's home only has wooden spoons

and a score of others with similar meaning - they are well-googled if you need that many. Where there's a will, there's a way.


Luke 4:23 “And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”

The cobbler's wife has no shoes.

A plumber's house always has a dripping tap.

A blacksmith's home only has wooden spoons.

Most AmE native speakers will recognise most of these or will have heard a variation. My handyman jokes that his house always needs work and he never gets around to it.

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