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butter-and-egg man See OAFISHNESS.
butter one’s bread on both sides To be wasteful or extravagant; also, to gain favor from two sides at once, to work both sides of the street. The two different figurative meanings of this expression, which dates from 1821, neatly express the two sides of the single literal action to which it refers, i.e., unnecessary indulgence and prudent foresight.
from hand to mouth See PRECARIOUS-NESS.
pay too dearly for one’s whistle See COST.
penny wise and pound foolish Said of a person who is prudent or thrifty in small or trivial matters but careless in large or important ones. This expression, with its obvious implications, refers to two denominations of British money, the penny and the pound.
play ducks and drakes with To waste or squander, to spend foolishly or recklessly; also to make ducks and drakes of; usually in reference to money or time.
His Majesty’s Government never intended to give over the British army to the Governors of this Kingdom to make ducks and drakes with. (Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, Dispatches, 1810)
Ducks and drakes is the name of a game or pastime which consists of skipping flat, smooth stones across the surface of water. Thus, to play ducks and drakes with one’s money is to throw it away, as if using coins instead of stones. Also, to spend one’s time playing ducks and drakes is to waste one’s time in idle pleasure. Use of the expression dates from at least 1600.
scattergood A spendthrift, squanderer, profligate; a big spender. This term is a combination of scatter ‘to throw loosely about’ and good[s] ‘valuables.’
You have heard what careless scattergoods all honest sailors are. (Richard Blackmore, Tommy Upmore, 1884)
send the helve after the hatchet To be reckless; to throw away what remains because the losses have been so great; to send good money after bad; also throw the helve after the hatchet The allusion is to the fable of the woodcutter who lost the head of his ax in a river, and then, in disgust, threw the helve, or handle, in after it. John Heywood used the phrase in a collection of proverbs published in 1546.
spare at the spigot and spill at the bung To be frugal in inconsequential matters while being wasteful in important affairs. This expression alludes to the foolishness of a person who halts the outflow of a cask at the spigot while allowing the orifice through which the cask is replenished to remain open. The saying, synonymous with the common phrase penny wise and pound foolish, is now virtually obsolete.
spend money like a drunken sailor To spend money extravagantly or foolishly, to throw money away. This self-evident expression enjoys widespread popular use.
|Noun||1.||improvidence - a lack of prudence and care by someone in the management of resources|
imprudence - a lack of caution in practical affairs
thriftlessness, wastefulness, waste - the trait of wasting resources; "a life characterized by thriftlessness and waste"; "the wastefulness of missed opportunities"
providence - the prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources