World - The devil finds work for idle hands to do Хорошие предложения для хороших друзей

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Была бы шея, хомут найдётся

Used ironically to mean: if there is a worker, very hard work is not to be long in waiting for him ~ All lay load (or loads) on the willing horse. If the devil finds a man idle, he'll set him to work. The devil finds work for idle hands to do. God shapes the back for the burden. An ass endures his burden ^ If there's a back, there's a burden.

Глядь, уж опять утро и опять пошёл на работу... была бы шея, хомут найдётся! (И. Бунин. Сосны)

Just look. It's morning again and he's already going to work... how true is the saying: where there's a back there's a burden.

Была бы шея, а хомут всегда найдётся. За хлеб дарового работника всякий возьмёт. (Н. Анов. Пропавший брат)

Everyone is ready to hire a worker you just feed and don't have to pay... It's true God made the back for a burden.

* - Чем ты думаешь после войны заняться?
- Я не думаю об этом вовсе. Была бы крепкая шея, а хомут для нашего брата всегда найдётся. (А. Новиков-Прибой. Подводники)

"What do you plan to do after the war?"
"That doesn't worry me... if the neck is strong there will always be a yoke for the likes of us."

* "Что же,--думал он [Кутузов],- видывал я и ласки фортуны, и то, как поворачивает она свой жёсткий хребет. Но мёртвый не без могилки, а живой не без места. И коль скоро есть плечи- находится хомут. Боже, какой хомут! Конечно, Барклай не мог вынести этой тяготы". (С. Голубов. Багратион)

"Well," he thought to himself, "I have enjoyed Fortune's favours and have seen her turn her stern back upon me. But there is a grave for every corpse, and a job for every living man. If shoulders are available a yoke will always be found for them. God, what a yoke! Of course, Barclay could not bear this burden."

* Сима. Иди-ка к нам работать. Ты электрик, нам требуются.
Мякишев. Правильно, а то он всё места не найдёт, двадцать пять стукнуло.
Борис. Была бы шея... (М. Рощин. Спешите делать добро)

Sima. You can find a job at our works. You see, they want electricians.
Myakishev. Right. He's already twenty five and jobless yet.
Boris. Well, if there's a willing horse...

The Conventional Designations and Signs:

1. Brackets in combination with different letter types in the Russian title units. For instance, Бабушка (Бабка, Старуха) (ещё) надвое сказала (гадала), where the words Бабушка надвое сказала are the saying in its basic form. The words (Бабка, Старуха) given in brackets, are the variants of the basic component Бабушка; the word (гадала) is the variant of the basic component сказала; the word (ещё) is an optional component of the saying.
2. Description (in English) of a proverb's/saying's meaning is given in italics, e.g.: Бабушка (Бабка, Старуха) (ещё) надвое сказала (гадала) Nobody knows whether it is so or not, whether it will happen or not.
3. = is put before an English monoequivalent e.g.: Аппетит приходит во время еды = Appetite (or The appetite) comes with (or in, while) eating.
4. ~ is put before an English analogue, e.g.: Близок (Близко) локоть, да не укусишь ~ There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip; or before an English antonym, e.g.: Скоро сказка сказывается, да не скоро дело делается (Contrast: ~ No sooner said than done).
5. ^ is put before a descriptive translation, in which components of an English proverb/saying or an English set-phrase is used, e.g.: Воду (в ступе) толочь - вода (и) будет ^ Beating the air is just beating the air. (The translation is made by way of using the English set-phrase "to beat the air".)
6. :: is put before such a descriptive translation as does not convey the image of the Russian proverb/saying, e.g.: Чем дальше в лес, тем больше дров:: Complications begin to set in.
7. # is put before such a descriptive translation as conveys, partially or in full, the image of the Russian proverb/saying, e.g.: Чем дальше в лес, тем больше дров # The farther into the forest, the thicker the trees. The deeper into the wood you go, the more timber seems to grow.
8. * (the asterisk) is put before those illustrations of the Russian proverb/saying's use where it has undergone an occasional change and/or participates in a stylistic device, e.g.: * Во-первых, как вам известно, вопреки пословице, брань на вороту виснет… (Ю. Герман. Я отвечаю за всё)
Firstly, because mud has a way of sticking, as you probably know…
9. Ср. is a sign of reference informing the reader that the site also contain number of similar Russian proverb/sayings, e.g.: Бабушка надвое сказала Ср. Это еще вилами по воде писано.

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