A Stitch in Time Saves Nine


What does A Stitch in Time Saves Nine mean?

A stitch in time saves nine is a colloquial expression, used for motivating people to address small problems before they grow to be a big one.


What's the origin of A Stitch in Time Saves Nine?

The phrase has been around in English for a long time, with the most likely source being sailing where, if one fails to repair a thorn sail immediately, it may quickly become so ripped that it becomes useless.

One of the earliest documented cases of the phrase emerged in a 1732 collection of proverbs and maxims worded as “a stitch in time may save nine”.

Spread & Usage

How did A Stitch in Time Saves Nine spread?

The current form of the expression comes from the 1797 “Journal” of Francis Baily, published in 1856.

During the 19th century, “a stitch in time saves nine” became widely spread across the Anglophone world.

External resources

More interesting stuff