all that glitters is not gold

all that glitters is not gold
‘Glisters’, despite its Shakespearean authority, is now less often found than ‘glitters’. The variant form illustrated in quots. 1773 and 1987 is also common. L. non omne quod nitet aurum est, not all that shines is gold.

c 1220 Hali Meidenhad (EETS) ii. Nis hit nower neh gold al that ter [there] schineth.

c 1390 CHAUCER Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale 1. 962 But al thyng which that shineth as the gold Nis nat gold, as that I have herd it told.

1596 SHAKESPEARE Merchant of Venice II. vii. 65 All that glisters is not gold, Often have you heard that told.

c 1628 W. DRUMMOND Works (1711) 222 All is not Gold which glittereth.

1773 D. GARRICK in Goldsmith She stoops to Conquer (Prologue) All is not gold that glitters. Pleasure seems sweet, but proves a glass of bitters [bitter-tasting medicine].

1847 C. BRONTË Jane Eyre II. ix. I wished to put you on your guard. It is an old saying that ‘all is not gold that glitters’.

1880 Dict. English Proverbs (Asprey Reference Library) 39 All that glitters is not gold.

1933 E. B. BLACK Ravenelle Riddle iv. All that glitters is not gold... Every bird who calls himself an American doesn’t happen to be one.

1987 D. FISKE Murder Bound (1989) ii. 11 The old saw ‘all is not gold that glitters’ still holds true despite its standing as a platitude.

1998 Country Life 22 Jan. 50 (caption) In the volatile world of jewellery investment, all that glisters is not gold.


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  • All that glitters is not gold — is a well known saying.The expression, in various forms, dates from at least as far as the 12th century. [ [http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/28450.html The Phrase Finder] ; but see [http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin board/18/messages/56.html… …   Wikipedia

  • all that glitters is not gold — This means that appearances can be deceptive and things that look or sound valuable can be worthless. ( All that glistens is not gold is an alternative.) …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • all that glitters is not gold — ► all that glitters is not gold proverb the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature. Main Entry: ↑glitter …   English terms dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold — Meaning A showy article may not necessarily be valuable. Origin The 12th century French thelogian Alain de Lille wrote Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold . Shakespeare and others have expressed the same notion. Shakespeare version… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • All that glitters is not gold. — British, American & Australian, British, literary something that you say to warn someone that sometimes people or things that appear attractive have no real value. This film has an all star cast, but all that glisters is not gold. It fails… …   New idioms dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold —    This means that appearances can be deceptive and things that look or sound valuable can be worthless. ( All that glistens is not gold is an alternative.)   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • all that glitters is not gold — proverb the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature * * * ˌall that ˌglitters/ˌglistens is not ˈgold idiom (saying) not everything that seems good, attractive, etc. is actually good, etc.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • all that glitters is not gold — something that looks valuable is sometimes truly worthless …   English contemporary dictionary

  • all that glistens is not gold — ˌall that ˌglitters/ˌglistens is not ˈgold idiom (saying) not everything that seems good, attractive, etc. is actually good, etc. Main entry: ↑goldidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • All That Glitters (Adventures of Superman) — All That Glitters was the 104th and final episode of the hit 1950s action adventure juveniles series Adventures of Superman, based on the popular DC Comics flagship hero Superman. Directed by series star George Reeves, it aired on ABC Network on… …   Wikipedia

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