One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Meaning

What does One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure mean?

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is a proverbial expression, used to signify the difference of taste of each human being.

It highlights that fact that a thing, which one would consider to be rubbish and useless, could be used and highly valued by someone else.

Origin

What's the origin of One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure?

While the exact origin of the phrase is unknown, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” started emerging in English during the 17th century.

At the time, the proverb went as “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

The first documented case of the phrase in its current form emerged in 1860, in Hector Urquhart’s “Popular Tales of the West Highlands”.

Spread & Usage

How did One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure spread?

Over the years, the expression became widely known, turning into an idiomatic phrase.

In the modern context, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” became popularized by the 2012 song of Macklemore, titled “Thrift Shop”, incentivizing people to buy used clothes rather than new ones.

External resources

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