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Still waters run deep

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A person's calm exterior often conceals great depths of character, just as the deepest streams can have the smoothest surfaces.

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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.

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still waters run deep

A quiet person may be very profound, as in Susie rarely says much, but still waters run deep. The physical observation in this term dates from ancient times, but it has been used figuratively since about 1400. Anthony Trollope amplified it in He Knew He Was Right (1869): “That's what I call still water. She runs deep enough. . . . So quiet, but so—clever.”

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