Wikipedia:If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, or in Latin, qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent. "He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas" has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanack.[1][2] The Latin has been unreliably attributed to Seneca[3][4], but not linked to any specific work.

An earlier English reference was first cited in 1612 by John Webster in his play "The White Devil." Act five, scene one, line 170: "For they that sleep with dogs, shall rise with fleas."

The quote has a large almost universally agreed meaning of "You should be cautious of the company you keep. Associating with those of low reputation may not only lower your own but also lead you astray by the faulty assumptions, premises and data of the unscrupulous."


  1. ^ Sayings of Poor Richard: Benjamin Franklin (PDF). Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  2. ^ Franklin, Benjamin (1999). Wit and Wisdom from Poor Richard's Almanack. Courier Dover Publications. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  3. ^ Frederick Edward Hulme (1902). Proverb Lore: Many Sayings, Wise Or Otherwise, on Many Subjects, Gleaned from Many Sources. Elliot Stock. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Richard Chenevix Trench (1879). Proverbs and Their Lessons, Being the Substance of Lectures Delivered to Young Men's Societies. Macmillan and Company. Retrieved December 1, 2011.

External links[edit]