chickens come home to roost

Idioms & Phrases

chickens come home to roost

The consequences of doing wrong always catch up with the wrongdoer, as in Now that you're finally admitting your true age, no one believes youchickens come home to roost. The fact that chickens usually come home to rest and sleep has long been known, but the idea was used figuratively only in 1809, when Robert Southey wrote, "Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost" (The Curse of Kehama).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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