My friend made a sentence:

Don't humiliate a person lest you should get revolving deeds.

Probably, he wanted to say that we should not humiliate a person, because that person may humiliate you in return someday.

Is that sentence correct? Is this what "revolving deeds" means? When I look it up in dictionaries, I find no other meanings than:

deed→a good/bad act; a kind of document
revolving→something that is able to be turned around a point

2 Answers 2


It's a (slightly inaccurate / inappropriate) allusion to Revolving door (politics) - whereby people move between working for government legislative / regulatory authorities and the commercial organisations they're supposed to oversee.

The specific point being made by OP's friend is probably better encapsulated by Wilson Mizner's...

Be nice to people on the way up because you'll meet the same people on the way down

...or this more recent "pithy saying" (apparently from the 1970s, precise origin unknown)...

What goes around comes around

But I don't think the average Anglophone would recognize any specific meaning to the collocation revolving deeds unless they were "spoon-fed" the intended meaning by context.


By revolving deeds your friend is referring to things going around and coming back (revolving) and things that people do and say (deeds). You are known by your deeds, and the result of your deeds it can be interpreted as karma, a notion that many cultures have

If you put bad things out into the world, bad things will come back to you

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. (Saint Basil)

You shall reap what you sow
You will harvest what you plant
Your actions will come back to you

Your friend may have meant that the person you humiliate will humiliate you back in retaliation or revenge

Treat others as you would want them to treat you

or the greater world may do something to you.

Your friend is saying:

if you are unkind to someone, don't be surprised if something bad happens to you

  • I already know what he was trying to say. My question is: Is it correct to use "revolving deeds" in that sense? Did he use good English?
    – Gurpreet
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 17:19
  • Yes, it seems fine, most people would understand given the context.
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 17:19
  • Your friends use of lest kind of makes it sound like a proverb in a nice sort of way, much better than because, maybe could drop the should which would be understood anyways
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 17:27
  • 1
    I don't think most folks would understand "revolving deeds" without someone explaining it. It sounds like a shady real estate practice to me, not karma. Deeds don't revolve. They come back to haunt you. They return to you threefold. They do not spin in place. @Gurpreet
    – ColleenV
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 3:53

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