Old Proverb

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I said this to my daughter, then wondered where it came from. The proverb has been traced back to ‘Teacher’s Manual’ (1840) by American educator Thomas H. Palmer. It was originally intended to encourage students to do their homework. Today, it has the much broader meaning of general persistence. It has been around long enough that people have tweaked it to their own version. The funny examples include, “If at first you don’t succeed, try new batteries.” “If…, then cheat.” And “If…, try to hide your astonishment.”

For my readers outside of America, is there a similar saying in your culture?

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