sow » sew

Chiefly in:   reap what you sew

Classification: English – questionable

Spotted in the wild:

  • Are you a complete idiot? It was spelled out to you in big type. The term “you reap what you sew” It means one obtains as a reward that which they follow. (link)
  • Reap what I sew (not sow, that’s a pig). Another old church cliche that you heard somewhere. If I reap what I sew, then I will be a millionaire because I have invested alot of money in stocks. (link)
  • One must reap what they sew. But, may one also reap what they have not sewn? (link)

See sow»soak for why it’s questionable.

As a sidenote, there’s another saying parodying “reap what you sow” that seems to be in use: “rip what you sew”.

| link | entered by David Romano, 2005/04/06 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by speedwell , 2006/07/15 at 5:28 am

    The parody is, “As ye sew, so shall ye rip.”

  2. 2

    Commentary by Roger , 2006/09/05 at 2:01 pm

    You are a moron posing as an intellectual. Sow is an agricultural term which means “to plant”. The word “sew” has been interjected in it’s place by people that don’t know the english language very well (such as yourself).

  3. 3

    Commentary by Chris Waigl , 2006/09/07 at 12:09 am

    Roger, insults have no place here, especially as it is entirely unclear whom you are addressing. I also observe that your three sentences contain two spellings that are generally considered as erroneous and a lexical usage that is at least questionable.

    That ignorance plays a role in eggcorn formation is obvious and not particularly interesting.

  4. 4

    Commentary by Jim , 2006/11/07 at 8:32 pm

    In the latest issue of Sports Illustrated Rick Reilly says, “Besides, I wanted him on my team for a few years, sewing discontent, selfishness and greed.” I thought “sewing discontent” was short for “sowing the seeds of discontent”, hence “sow” not “sew”. However, I did a search on the web and saw about an equal number of each in that context - even one “sewing the seeds of …” which brings to mind an interesting picture.


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