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Apr 23, 2022
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The meaning of the proverb “Strike while the iron is hot”

The meaning of the proverb

Nails would be made from these people:
Stronger if there were no nails in the world! ..

This is what the poet Nikolai Tikhonov once said about his compatriots sending people to the front. Comparisons of human deeds and characters with metal are recorded not only in fiction, but also in small genres of folklore.

One of the proofs of this is the proverb “Strike while the iron is hot”.

The meaning of the proverb

Expression “Strike while the iron is hot” means that the matter must be done quickly, “in hot pursuit”, while everything is ready for this. The proverb emphasizes that one must be able to take advantage of the moment, to catch a fair wind. If you stretch out with a decision or an act, they will lose their relevance.

For example, they say so when making transactions. When summarizing the results of a successful joint project, campaign directors exchange assurances of friendly feelings, and suddenly one of them comes up with the initiative of a new project. He does the right thing: he does not wait for another opportune moment, but right now, in a situation of mutual goodwill of the parties, he consolidates the current success by continuing cooperation.

The phrase about hot iron can be heard when it comes to matchmaking, courtship. After a successful date, during which the girl showed interest in the interlocutor, he consults with a friend on what to do next. “Strike while the iron is hot! he advises. – Cultivate success. Yes, and with the offer do not pull!

An active impulse to action in this metaphorical expression acquires a precise meaning.

Origin of expression

It is not difficult to guess that the proverb comes from the everyday life of blacksmiths. Working with iron, which is supposed to be heated to a melting point (1,538 ° C) before processing, people noticed that all manipulations with it must be done quickly so that the metal does not have time to cool. Otherwise, you will have to heat it up again.

The clarity of the image formed the basis of the figurative meaning of the phrase: labor-intensive actions must be performed quickly and decisively, as long as the prevailing conditions contribute to this.

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Synonyms

The phrase has many common synonyms:

  • seize the moment;
  • Don’t miss your chance;
  • Hold the Firebird (bird of happiness) by the tail.

There are less well-known analogues:

  • Mow, spit, while dew!
  • We must winnow while the wind blows;
  • When the firewood is burning, then the porridge is cooked.

The proverb calls for coordinating personal plans with current circumstances and being able to use the situation here and now, so that any external changes are beneficial, not harmful.

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