His money burns a hole in his pocket. He cannot keep it in his
pocket, or forbear spending it.
To burn one's boats.
To cut oneself off from all means or hope of retreat. The allusion
is to Julius Caesar and other generals, who burned their boats or ships
when they invaded a foreign country, in order that their soldiers might
feel that they must either conquer the country or die, as retreat would
To burn one's fingers.
To suffer loss by speculation or interference. The allusion is to
taking chestnuts from the fire.
“He has been bolstering up these rotten iron-works. I told him he
would burn his fingers.” —Mrs. Lynn Linton.
You cannot burn the candle at both ends. You cannot do two opposite
things at one and the same time; you cannot exhaust your energies in
one direction, and yet reserve them unimpaired for something else. If
you go to bed late you cannot get up early. You cannot eat your cake
and have it too. You cannot serve God and Mammon. You cannot serve two
masters. Poursuis deux lièvres, et les manques. (La Fontaine.) Simul
sorbere ac flare non possum.
We burn daylight. We waste time in talk instead of action. (Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 1.)
a stream. A variant of bourn (Anglo-Saxon, burne, a
brook, as in Winterbourne, Burnham, Swinburn, etc.).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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