A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"?

The term a wolf in a sheep's clothing is used to describe a person who seems outwardly mild but is in fact dangerous or dynamic. The term comes from a famous fable by Aesops, who told a story about a wolf that deceives farmers by wrapping himself in a sheep’s fleece.

A Competing Theory

The origin of this phrase is found in the Bible. In Matthew 7:15, it states beware of the false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing.

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Interactive Exercise
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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs