penny wise & pound foolish
There has been some talk around the house as of late with this idiom. No, we at the Cowdell household are not guilty of being penny wise and pound foolish. In fact my hubby makes sure of that!! :)
But this phrase has been mentioned lately and so I wanted to find the orgin. This is what I found:
The Phrase Finder says:
The meaning of the phrase is something on the line of "saving a little money only to lose a great deal more due to their own stupidity."
PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH - "Overcareful about trivial things and undercareful about important ones. The literal image is of the person who fusses over small amounts of money to such an extent that he misses opportunities to save or make large amounts. But the figurative image goes way back; in 'The Historie of Foure-footed Beastes' (1607) Edward Topsell wrote: 'If by covetousnesse or negligence, one withdraw from them their ordinary foode, he shall be penny wise, and pound foolish.'" From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
So now at the next party you go to you can share this bit of knowledge and impress your friends ... or just stash it away in your gee-wiz file!!