Poor as a Church Mouse
Poor as a Church Mouse : Phrases
Extremely poor; impoverished; insolvent; poor but proud.
The owner, he said, was once poor as a churchmouse.
This 17th century expression is most likely derived from a tale which recounts the plight of a mouse that attempted to find food in a Church. Since most Churches of that time did not have kitchens, the proud mouse found it difficult to survive since its pickings were slim at best.
From Church Mouse to HOME PAGE