a watched pot never boils


a watched pot never boils


  • 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?


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.

Share your opinions1 Opinion

The phrase “a watched pot never boils” is incomplete, it is missing LAST word, that word is crucial, and that word makes the phrase PERFECT and MEANINGFUL and complete
the word is OVER, i.e. “the watched pot never boils OVER”, it is a warning to take care of things, it is a prediction that good things will happen when the process is managed, not some make up bull crap trying to pull meaning from thin air.

Them’s two options:

#1 – you are as ignorant as the rest, it is OK, NOT against the law
#2 – you are incapable of research, and cognitive thought, not OK

Scanned the entire Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack in pdf.

The following are them results for the word POT:

Don’t go to the doctor with every distemper, nor to the lawyer with
every quarrel, nor to the pot for every thirst.”
If you have no money in your pot, have some in your mouth. ”
” 479.*
The busy man has few idle visitors; to the boiling pot the flies come not.”

‒ Third Generation Teacher March 1, 2021

What's on your mind?