all cats are grey in the dark

all cats are grey in the dark
The proverb, which turns on the concept that the night obscures all distinguishing features, is used in a variety of contexts.

c 1549 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs i. v. A6v When all candels be out, all cats be grey. All thyngs are then of one colour.

1596 T. LODGE Margarite of America H2v All cattes are grey in the darke..and therefore (good madam) you doe well to preferre the eie.

1745 B. FRANKLIN Letter 25 June in Papers (1961) III. 31 And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior.

1886 H. JAMES Princess Casamassima I. xiv. ‘If she isn’t, what becomes of your explanation?’.. ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter; at night all cats are grey.’

1990 R. RICHARDSON Dying of Light xi. 130 He braked as a cat scuttled in front of him... ‘Was that black?’ ‘All cats are grey in the dark,’ Tess quoted. ‘But it could have been. That’s lucky.’

2007 New Scientist 30 June 45 There is a French expression which in English becomes ‘at night all cats are grey’, but the Hungarian version of this translates as ‘at night all cows are black’.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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