chickens come home to roost

The consequences of doing wrong always catch up with the wrongdoer, as in Now that you're finally admitting your true age, no one believes you—chickens come home to roost. The fact that chickens usually come home to rest and sleep has long been known, but the idea was used figuratively only in 1809, when Robert Southey wrote, “Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost” (The Curse of Kehama).

Nearby words

  1. chicken-shit,
  2. chickenfeed,
  3. chickenpox,
  4. chickenpox immune globulin (human),
  5. chickenpox virus,
  6. chickenshit,
  7. chickpea,
  8. chickweed,
  9. chickweed wintergreen,
  10. chiclayo

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