I need to know which one of the following synonymous proverbs is widely used by American English speakers:

  1. Once bitten, twice shy.
  2. A burnt child, dreads fire.

I don't know whether they are BmE or AmE, or both use it.

PS. I truely apologize for the negative attribution and some unpleasant qualities imbedded in this question! As a learner of English language, I bring up anything ambiguous that I face somewhere! So, please instead of downvoting me, try to help me find out the philosophy of the saying and discover the best equivalent for that if exists! Please take it into consideration; we are going to help others improve the level of their lingual knowledge, not restricting it just because we are taking some concepts personal. :)

  • The first will be well-known to Britons of a certain generation as the title of an Ian Hunter song, and to Americans of a different generation as the title of a Great White song. – choster Apr 18 at 15:30
  • As far as I can tell, your second sentence should be a burnt child dreads the fire. (Also without a comma.) – Jason Bassford Apr 19 at 5:24

American here - I am familiar with 1 but have never heard 2. “A burnt child” sounds like the child has burned to death, even though you probably mean that the child mildly burned their finger by touching a hot stove or something. Anyway, that’s a disturbing image. If you were to write sentence 2 you should omit the comma. And maybe you should rephrase it to sound less gruesome, unless it is actually a proverb in English.

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