What Does The Proverb "Great Oaks From Little Acorns Grow" Mean?


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Will Martin answered
There are several proverbs with the same meaning as this one. It basically means that huge things can result from tiny beginnings, or that every enterprise has to start somewhere. The phrase is sometimes used to encourage somebody who is about to start a new undertaking, such as a business; it sums up all the rags-to-riches stories like that of John D. Rockefeller, the son of a penniless pedlar.

A similar proverb is "a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step." Again, the idea is that you have to start somewhere, and the way to succeed is not to worry about how much you have to do, but to start doing it. There used to be an old Boy Scout song which expressed this: it began "One hundred miles to go" and continued as a counting song, going down by one mile in each verse. Admittedly it was a very boring song, but it must have helped people to keep going.

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