Is the proverb

"an old fox understands the trap"

considered as a common English proverb? If yes, what does it exactly mean? If no, what is the exact equivalent for that in everyday speech?


The validity and aptness of a proverb is contained in how quickly and effectively it can help the listener comprehend the respective situation/ context. My native tongue has a saying/ proverb, for every imaginable scenario (and most of them are quite uniquely designed for that particular context). Similarly, English has many proverbs/ sayings for particular contexts, and most of them are said specifically for a particular situation.

This proverb is intended to stress on the importance of 'experience', by saying that an old/ experienced fox knows how to not fall for traps, set to capture it. It has lived long enough to know what the trap does and how to evade it. The most relatable and common saying, that comes to my mind is:

With age comes wisdom.

Having said so, this isn't a very commonly used proverb, but when used, it helps the listener comprehend the context/ situation, quite effectively.

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  • Thank you @Varun Nair . you mentioked: "this isn't a very commonly used proverb, but when used, it helps the listener comprehend the context/ situation, quite effectively." Which proverb do you mean? My offered or your provided one? – A-friend Apr 18 '19 at 13:55
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    @A-friend, both. The one you mentioned isn't commonly used, but isn't very hard to comprehend. Similarly, the one I suggested is also quite clear, with its meaning, but is used more extensively. – Varun Nair Apr 24 '19 at 13:28
  • supposing that I want to use my own sentemce, I have to say: "He's an old fox understanding / who inderstands / understands the trap". Which one is correct? How shall I utter it properly? – A-friend Apr 24 '19 at 14:49
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    That depends on how you construct the sentence. There is no one correct way of using this. I would say "He's been here long enough to sense a trap." , but that is just one way of using this, among so many other ways. – Varun Nair Apr 25 '19 at 9:35
  • But the problem is that your suggestion puts stress on "age" which ends up getting more experience, while what I need to say has nothing particular to so with "age". My intended meaning should highlight the quality which can lead to being that experienced which is "being a fox" and this is exactly what your offered saying lacks. I was wondering what other suggestion can you make? – A-friend Jun 23 at 6:04

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