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watched pot never boils, a

Anxious waiting does not speed up matters, as in Stop running downstairs for every mail delivery—a watched pot never boils, you know. This hyperbolic adage reflects the experience of anyone who has ever been in a hurry to bring water to a boil, which eventually occurs but can seem to take forever. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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