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What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?

Posted by Anonymous User 
Anonymous User
What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
March 12, 2010 01:48AM
Or is it 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'?

IOW does it cynically mean that a friend needing your help acts like a friend only.
Or does it mean that a needy friend is certainly a friend.
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
March 12, 2010 02:05AM
According to [www.phrases.org.uk], A friend, (when you are) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed') "has the best claim to be the original meaning of the phrase."

***

"When they say there’s not enough money, they mean there’s not enough money for YOU." - Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 02:05AM by PowerToThePeople.
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
March 12, 2010 02:56AM
I've always thought it meant that a friend in need is someone who you most certainly (indeed*) should be a true friend to. Or rather if anyone is your friend, one who is in need surely (indeed) is.

* I have always assumed it was the word indeed instead of the two words in deed. I don't think in deed makes any sense in that phrase.

"Bush lied us into a war, Obama lied us into health care - which one are you more upset by?" -Jimmy Dore
Anonymous User
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
March 12, 2010 04:09AM
Ponderer,
I don't know how old the adage is, but I suspect it's a few centuries old. To complicate your theory, lot of the word combinations we use today were until relatively recently two or more words. Some examples include "in deed", "to morrow", "none the less", "every day", "all together", "all right", "never mind", etc. I've read books that were only from the 1930's and earlier that break up words that we consider a single word. I wouldn't be surprised if "alot" becomes word in the future.

So my guess is that whatever the intent of the adage, "in deed" was two words when it originally appeared.
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
March 12, 2010 11:46PM
It is sometimes suggested that this phrase means 'someone who needs your help becomes friendly in order to obtain it' but when I have seen versions of it in old time proverbs, the context clearly implies that 'someone who is friendly when you need help is really your friend'-- as opposed to a 'fair-weather friend' who is only friendly when things are going well for you.'
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
March 13, 2010 12:06AM
"Ponderer,
I don't know how old the adage is, but I suspect it's a few centuries old. To complicate your theory, lot of the word combinations we use today were until relatively recently two or more words. Some examples include "in deed", "to morrow", "none the less", "every day", "all together", "all right", "never mind", etc. I've read books that were only from the 1930's and earlier that break up words that we consider a single word. I wouldn't be surprised if "alot" becomes word in the future."
-Curt

Well, Curt... thatsasmaybe.

"Bush lied us into a war, Obama lied us into health care - which one are you more upset by?" -Jimmy Dore
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
May 02, 2010 09:41PM
I have always understood it to mean a friend who helps you in need is a true friend indeed.

Most of the evidence on the net supports this meaning. In that case, there's no relevance for the word indeed to have been split into in deed in earlier times.

Maddie
A friend in need is a former friend. Let's get real here.
P.S: He 'll probably find the answering m/c turned off.
Sam
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
May 03, 2010 02:15AM
I'm guessing you don't have many friends. Am I right?
Sam, you are positively alluring when you're angry! And we all know that you are invariably right.
Sam
Re: What does 'A friend in need is a friend in deed' mean?
May 04, 2010 05:07AM
...and not too good at reading people's moods either, lol. You pretend to know me, oh gassy one. I wonder why. Are you a pretender?
If I were a "pretender," would I be on this website?
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