charity begins at home

Idioms & Phrases

charity begins at home

Be generous to your family before helping others. For example, She spends hours and hours on volunteer work and neglects the children, forgetting that charity begins at home. This proverb was first recorded in English, in slightly different form, in John Wycliffe's Of Prelates (c. 1380); "Charity should begin at himself."

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