I am reading James Clavel - Shogun and they said the following in my native language which I translate literally - “ The wolf to be fit and the lamb to be whole” I am not sure if in english language there is such expression, proverb that means compromise. Please advise if there is such proverb

  • Can you give the surrounding context (even if in it's original language)? Also, was "lumb" a typo for "lamb" (the animal)? – Bilkokuya Apr 26 '19 at 11:15
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    you are right, it is lamb – THEGreatGatsby Apr 26 '19 at 11:15
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    the context is that the captain of the black ship and the monk Martin are talking about Toranaga and the concession of the black ship silk trade. current problems they have which can not be easily resolved as Japan tradition and believes are very different from the other part of the world , Africa North America etc. so he said - the japanese loves to resolve their problems in this way: both the wolf to be fit and the lamb to be whole” – THEGreatGatsby Apr 26 '19 at 11:20

I think I remember a proverb like that, but I'm not sure exactly which language I remember it from.

If you mean that the wolf is satisfied from having eaten a good meal, but the lamb is still alive, that translates roughly to one of these sayings:

  • Have one's cake and eat it

  • Have it both ways

But, you describe it as a:

proverb that means compromise

These sayings do not really mean that a compromise has taken place; they mean that a compromise cannot take place. Or, it is necessary to choose at most one option.

If you really meant a compromise, you might consider:

  • The best of both worlds

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