poor as a churchmouse

Having little or no wealth and few possessions, as in She's poor as a churchmouse, so you can't expect her to donate anything. The reason for this long-used simile is unclear, but most believe that, since churches are not known for storing food, a mouse inside one would fare poorly. It has survived such earlier phrases as poor as Job. [Second half of 1600s]


Nearby words

  1. poop staff,
  2. pooped,
  3. pooper-scooper,
  4. poopó,
  5. poor,
  6. poor box,
  7. poor boy,
  8. poor boy sweater,
  9. poor farm,
  10. poor joe

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