Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The expression originated in shipboard life during the age of sail when most European nations had a large number of sailors seeking to discover new countries. The devil here is a sharp spiked tool which would be used to poke at the captive to walk the plank. The captive walking the plank would have had the deep blue sea before him and a sailor with the devil or spike in his hand.

The essential meaning of the proverb is that when we have two choices of which we have to choose any one of them and both the choices are equally bad, we usually say that we are caught in a situation where we have to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. This is similar to the political situation which sometimes exists where there are two candidates and both of them are equally bad but we have to choose one of them.

This kind of situations often happen in India where in the political election, all the candidates in the fray would be worse. The electorate will be forced to choose the lesser evil available among the list of candidates.

Birds of same feather flock together.

This proverb means that birds of the same variety fly in their own groups only and they mingle or fly together with the other group of birds. Birds and animals can wander and live together in their own groups only. Birds like pigeons, parrots, sparrows, crows, swans and many other birds flying and living together with their own groups only. So animals of the same kind go together or wander in herds or groups.

But human beings are somewhat different from other living beings. They have knowledge and wisdom and they can choose the company of their own choice to suit their own taste and attitude. People usually make friends with the people of same temperament and aptitude. They like the company of those who are similar in views and who have the common interests. Learned people seek the company of the learned and dullards seek the company of the dullards.

Even in the case of nations one nation keeps friend by tie-ups with the other who has similar notions and principles. The international movement called Non-Alignment Movement was founded by a set of leaders from five countries who did not want to align with either the U.S.A. or the U.S.S.R. at the time of the cold war era. Similar organizations like NATO, ASEAN and many other organizations have been constituted in view of keeping tie-up with like minded countries.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea.


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