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Better the foot slip than the tongue

Meaning: It is better to take a bad step in walking than to say the wrong thing in talking. We can do a lot of damage when we say something by mistake. The elliptical nature of this saying may make it difficult to understand. The full version might be something like: "It is better that your foot should slip than that your tongue should slip."

Note: foot (noun): the end part of the leg on which we stand or walk | slip (verb): slide by accident | tongue (noun): large, movable fleshy part in the mouth that we use for talking and tasting

Quick Quiz:

If you believe the proverb "Better the foot slip than the tongue", you will probably be most careful when
  1. walking
  2. talking
  3. eating

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