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    #1

    idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    Good evening. Today I want to ask you about the meaning (or, more precisely, understanding) of the idiom above (the one written as the title).
    So, does it mean that the person to whom we say 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb' will be severely punished even though he or she doesn't deserve it and that, because of this fact, they should take all advantages of their life they can? Or do you understand this idiom somewhat differently?

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    #2

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    If I am somehow.. unclear, just tell me. I promise I will make it clear for you.

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    #3

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    I have never heard this "idiom." Where did you see it? What is the context?

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    #4

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    Hanged for a sheep as a lamb - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    I am just asking whether my understanding of this idiom is correct.

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    #5

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    In general, I am asking whether my concept of innocency/minor offense in 'lamb' and maturity/felony in 'sheep' is correct. I just want to make it as simple for you as I can.

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    #6

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    It means if you are going to do something wrong (and risk punishment), you might as well set your sights high and enjoy it.

    Say you would go to jail for 5 years for stealing a car. Then, you might as well steal a nice car. If you have robbed one bank, you might as well go on a bank robbing spree.

    If you are going to hate the punishment, you should at least enjoy the crime.

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    #7

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    Quote Originally Posted by bureaucracy View Post
    In general, I am asking whether my concept of innocency/minor offense in 'lamb' and maturity/felony in 'sheep' is correct. I just want to make it as simple for you as I can.
    No, it has to do with the magnitude of the crime.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-Jul-2013 at 22:00. Reason: Typo correction

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    Quote Originally Posted by bureaucracy View Post
    In general, I am asking whether my concept of innocency/minor offense in 'lamb' and maturity/felony in 'sheep' is correct. I just want to make it as simple for you as I can.
    You don't need to make it simple for us! We are the native speakers and we understand our idioms. Usually, we need to make the explanations as simple as possible for the learners. SoothingDave's post #6 is a great explanation of the idiom.

    With reference to your posts #1 and #2, please don't chase up responses only an hour after posting. Be patient.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    #9

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    Quote Originally Posted by bureaucracy View Post
    Hanged for a sheep as a lamb - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    I am just asking whether my understanding of this idiom is correct.
    The definition in your link didn't seem to fit the idiom. I looked it up and I found a phrase that made more sense.

    Look here: you might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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    #10

    Re: idiom 'hanged for a sheep as a lamb'

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The definition in your link didn't seem to fit the idiom. I looked it up and I found a phrase that made more sense.

    Look here: you might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online
    Yeah, that makes a lot more sense.

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