Stitch in time
From where did the phrase, "A stitch in time saves nine" come?
Lewis Joplin II
"A stitch in time saves nine. If you deal with problems immediately, when they first appear, you will save yourself a lot of money and trouble after. This adage is listed in the 1732 Thomas Fuller's book of proverbs, and was first cited in the United States in the 1787 'Journal of Tour of North America in 1796-1791' by Francis Bally (1774-1844). The word 'nine' was introduced for assonance." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman.

Assonance means "nine" sounds good.

Basically, the proverb means if you sew up your hem when it first starts to unravel, it's not a big problem. If you wait and don't take care of it, the whole hem will come undone. THEN you'll have a lot of stitching to do.

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