Is there an proverb meaning that "one cannot give what one does not herself have"?

  • 2
    I don't see what's wrong with "You can't give what you don't have." – J.R. May 1 '18 at 13:50

There is

You cannot get blood from a stone

although that's a little more about avoiding futile activity.


I don't know of such proverb, but there's a poem by Housman that says

It is no gift I tender,
A loan is all I can;
But do not scorn the lender;
Man gets no more from man.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.