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  1. goingtocalifornia's Avatar
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    #1

    spare

    "Spare the rod and spoil the child"


    I don't understand the meaning of the word "spare" in this idiom. The only meaning I can think of is "have one (the rod) always with you, but I'm not sure.

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    #2

    Re: spare

    Quote Originally Posted by goingtocalifornia View Post
    "Spare the rod and spoil the child"


    I don't understand the meaning of the word "spare" in this idiom. The only meaning I can think of is "have one (the rod) always with you, but I'm not sure.
    Regarding the meaning of the idiom, it is here: Spare the rod and spoil the child - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com

    I think the idea here is: If you spare the rod, the child will be spoiled, so do not spare the rod if you do not want to spoil the child. (The rod is meant to be used to hit the child (don't do that please, just discipline him/her))

    Spare the rod here means something like "save the rod", or "let the rod rest by itself, do not use it, let it be untouched"

    P.S.1: Not a native speaker.
    P.S.2: I didn't know this idiom before, I have just learned it - "thanks".

  2. goingtocalifornia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: spare

    The idiom is supposed to mean that children should be kept in line (on a short leash), and my understanding is that you should not allow (despite what's written) to spoil the children, and the way to achieve this is to have an eye on them keeping a rod in hand (but not using it). I don't know, it's one of those idioms hard for me, not a native speaker, to understand, really.

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    #4

    Re: spare

    Quote Originally Posted by goingtocalifornia View Post
    The idiom is supposed to mean that children should be kept in line (on a short leash), and my understanding is that you should not allow (despite what's written) to spoil the children, and the way to achieve this is to have an eye on them keeping a rod in hand (but not using it). I don't know, it's one of those idioms hard for me, not a native speaker, to understand, really.
    To my understanding, I repeat, the idea is:
    If you spare the rod, then you will spoil the child.

    Since you do not want to spoil the child, but rather to educate him/her, you should really use the rod. That is what that proverb says: Use the rod (to hit, to spank) if you want to educate the child. But I understand this saying should be considered in a figurative way - instead of spanking the child de facto one should be rigid.

    P.S.: Not a native speaker

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