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As poor as a church mouse Options
davidclay123
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 5:22:17 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 8/7/2017
Posts: 1
Neurons: 5
Hi guys,
I'm an English tutor and my student has asked me about the idiom "as poor as a church mouse". I know the meaning but I can't explain why the mouse is so poor.
Can anybody help me with this!
Many thanks!
Romany
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 6:16:03 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,840
Neurons: 39,156
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

The idiom started of as "Hungry as a church mouse" which makes perfect sense as churches are not places where food is kept. There seems to be quite a bit of speculation as to *when* it changed to 'poor', but not much to explain *why* it morphed from 'hungry' to 'poor'.

I expect if one were hungry one would be poor?

Personally, I could think of it starting life as a sly dig at the hidden wealth of churches. But that's pure speculation.
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