a watched pot never boils

a watched pot never boils

Meaning

  • if you wait for something to happen it takes longer
  • time slows down when one is waiting for something to get done
  • it refers to the elongation of time when one is waiting for something to happen urgently

Example Sentences

  1. I kept waiting for hours near my phone but there was no news from my daughter from the war zone yet because a watched pot never boils.
  2. She kept switching onto the website to check her result all morning but I guess the university has not published it yet, a watched pot never boils.
  3. I stopped looking at the news because a watched pot never boils
  4. You should go to her house and ask her about her decision to marry you. Don’t wait because a watched pot never boils
  5. I guess it is true that a watched pot never boils but how can I do anything else in this situation?

Origin

This phrase is not literal in meaning since scientifically a pot kept to boil will have absolutely no effect if one is watching it. It is a poetic way of saying that time seems to slow down when one is waiting for something to happen desperately. Benjamin Franklin wrote this proverb under his pseudonym Poor Richard in his annual almanac during the years 1732 to 1758. He was trying to showcase a pro-industry mind set with phrases such as this where he provided improvement ideas to people. The first literary use of this phrase is also by Benjamin Franklin in a report published in 1785 which he was directed to write on the orders of the king while he was serving as the United States envoy in the French territories.

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