English Idioms

It knocks but once.

Forestine submitted that idiom to our consideration. Why not set up a think tank that would provide some ideas about what seems to be an adage or a saying? Mind the urgency, her daughter has an essay to write on that topic.

I for one know that some events only happen once in a human life. The birth, the death. At first sight I thought that the death knocked but once.
But on earth there are so many cultures that some ideas are running about the possibility of living several births and deaths, what they call reincarnation.

Anyway what everyone will probably agree with, that's in the present state of the reality which time and space are two related parameters, every moment you live is unique. So, every new instant knocks but once because the following one is there to prevent it to happen again.

In that prospect I found out a similar expression. It's even possible that it's the original saying from which "it knocks but once" derived.
"Fortune knocks once at every man's door."
That is said about a person who is gifted, who can do almost anything, but that rarely excels in any of them.
Let bygones by bygones! (other idiom! meaning let's forget what we missed!) What has been knocked yet is done once and for all.

Anyone who'd be so kind as to hand out his opinion about the topic is invited to tell it ASAP because it knocks but once!?



  • Noting that you knock the bucket only once is a truly fitted remark.
    However the idiom is kind of meaning that opportunity may happen only once and that, if you don't get it, you miss it forever and ever. [CW]

    Here are two quotations fielding the idiom:

    Louis L'Amour (1908-1988, penname of Louis Dearborn LaMoore, an American Best-Loved Story Teller)
    "Some say opportunity knocks only once. That's not true. Opportunity knocks all the time, but you have to be ready for it. If the chance comes, you must have the equipment to take advantage of it."

    Mark Twain
    "Fortune knocks at every man's door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear it."

    Forestine might search for more at http://quotationsbook.com/search/quotes/?term=knock+but+once

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