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fools rush in where angels fear to tread in Culture

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Foolish people are often reckless, attempting feats that the wise avoid. This saying is from “An Essay on Criticism,” by Alexander Pope.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with fools rush in where angels fear to tread

fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Ignorant or inexperienced individuals get involved in situations that wiser persons would avoid, as in I've never heard this symphony and here I am conducting it—oh well, fools rush in where angels fear to tread, or He tried to mediate their unending argument—fools rush in. This expression, so well known it is sometimes shortened as in the second example, is a quotation from Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism (1709): “No place so sacred from such fops is barr'd ... Nay, fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead; For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.