Nothing is certain but death and taxes

This page is about the saying "Nothing is certain but death and taxes"

Possible meaning:
This saying may be seen in three ways: 1) We cannot be 100% sure about anything (except dying and having to pay the taxman - in this case the latter idea being added for humour). 2) We cannot escape taxation (in this case the idea of death serving only to highlight the certainty of taxes). 3) We can be absolutely sure that we will die (in this case the idea of taxes being added for humour). The first interpretation seems to have been the original intent (see Origin below).

certain (adj.) = known for sure; beyond doubt | tax (noun) = a compulsory contribution to the government, usually in the form of money; taxes; taxation

Origin: This saying was supposedly first used by the American-born Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) in a letter to a friend: "Our Constitution is in actual operation. Everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."

Quick Quiz

If "nothing is certain but death and taxes", we can be sure of

a. two things

b. everything

c. nothing
a) two things b) everything c) nothing

See Saying of the Day today

Contributor: Josef Essberger

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