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.
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • Jack speaks softly, and he looks timid. Don't be fooled though. He's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
  • He's our youngest lawyer, but he will defend you well. He's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
  • Be careful when telling Susan what you think of her ideas. She's a wolf in sheep's clothing, and you might regret being so honest.

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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

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