bring owls to Athens

bring owls to Athens

Meaning | Synonyms

  • something that is pointless
  • a useless or futile act
  • an unnecessary venture
  • something highly uneconomical
  • a redundant idea
  • Something superfluous

Example Sentences

  1. The chancellor has a plan to increase taxes, thinking that this would improve the economy. It would bring owls to Athens.
  2. 'That was a really pointless waste of money, it brought owls to Athens' he shouted angrily.
  3.  She hated buying gifts for her wealthy friends, 'It's like bringing owls to Athens' she laughed to herself.


This phrase is a wonderful ancient Greek proverb.  It is said that an abundance of owls famously roosted in the rafters of the original Parthenon (before it was burnt down). The owls became a symbol of the city over the years and were sacred to Athena the goddess.

The silver coins of local Athenian currency featured an owl. The Athenians mined their own silver and from this they minted their own coins, so they had need of nothing more. The proverb is stating that to bring owls (either the birds or coins) to Athens would be a pointless exercise, because they have plenty of their own, anymore would be superfluous.


B 1 Thought

1 Thoughts

Never heard this idiom but it’s sort of covered by bringing coal to Newcastle. Newcastle being the traditional coal mining capital of Great Britain.

- Anonymous April 27, 2020

Add your thoughts

Idiom of the Day

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Meaning: different people have different ideas and views about what is beautiful

Example: I don't see why he finds her attractive, I think she is downright ugly; but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Read on


Like Facebook Page

Latest Thoughts

Keep in Touch

Copyrights © 2020 - The Idioms - All Rights Reserved.
Copy Link