English Proverb ~ “All that Glitters is not Gold” Definition/Meaning


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English Proverbs “All that Glitters is not Gold”

english proverbs all that glitters is not goldToday’s FREE English class talks about one of my favourite English proverbs “All that Glitters is not Gold“. I often use this English expression when offering my friends and family advice.

The most famous writer of “All that Glitters is not Gold”, is William Shakespeare who used it in the original editions of “The Merchant of Venice” back in 1596. In Shakespeare’s plays, however, he used the word Glister instead of Glitters ~ “all that glisters is not gold”.

Led Zeppelin Lyrics ~ Stairway to Heaven
There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold 
And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.

What is the meaning of “all that glitters is not gold”?

ingles barcelona

The most simple explanation of the English Proverb “all that glitters is not gold”, is this……
Just because something looks valuable, it doesn’t mean that it is.

Although it seems most obvious to use this English proverb when talking about physical objects, in reality, English speakers use it more to define situations or people.

“All that glitters is not gold” Examples

  • The life of a millionaire may seem like nothing but parties and holidays, but in reality, it’s probably more about 16 hour working days and time away from your family, remember, all that glitters is not gold.
  • Yes, a beautiful Ferrari for only €5000, what a great deal, but be careful, for all that glitters is not gold.
  • This job offer seems so great, work for only 2 hours a day and earn €1000 a week!!! It seems to good to be true, and don’t forget all that glitters is not gold.

All that glitters is not gold ~ Appearances can be deceptive 

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