chickens come home to roost


chickens come home to roost


  • everyone eventually faces the consequences of their actions.
  • individuals are responsible for the outcomes of their decisions or actions.
  • there might be a delay in facing the consequences, but eventually they will catch up.
  • the negative consequences are a result of one’s own actions or choices.
  • those who have caused harm or trouble may eventually experience a reversal in their circumstances.

Example Sentences

  1. After years of exploiting others, his wealth vanished overnight, and the chickens came home to roost.
  2. After years of neglecting his health, the doctor warned him that his unhealthy lifestyle would make the chickens come home to roost eventually.
  3. The CEO couldn’t avoid the scandal; the chickens were coming home to roost, and he had to face the consequences.
  4. He cheated his colleagues, but now, as his business crumbled, it seemed the chickens were finally coming home to roost.
  5. Despite his attempts to hide his past, the truth emerged, and the chickens came home to roost.
    Years after his dishonesty, his reputation suffered as the chickens came home to roost.
  6. Ignoring warnings about climate change, the city faced devastating floods—the chickens had come home to roost.
  7. She realized that her lies had caught up with her; the chickens were coming home to roost, and she had to own up to her mistakes.

Origin and History

The phrase is believed to have originated in the 19th century, first appearing as “lies, like chickens, come home to roost,” although “curses, like chickens, come home to roost” became more popular shortly after. Both versions are sometimes said to have Spanish or Turkish roots. The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs mentions that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about it in 1390 in The Parson’s Tale:

“And ofte tyme swich cursynge wrongfully retorneth agayn to hym that curseth, as a bryd that retorneth agayn to his owene nest.”

Chickens became part of this idea in the 19th century when a longer version of the saying appeared as a motto on the title page of Robert Southey’s poem “The Curse of Kehama,” published in around 1809-10:

“Curses are like young chickens; they always come home to roost.”

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