A little bit of Mexico

I am in Mexico and so I have been looking for a Mexican proverb with an English translation and came up with this one:

Leopard not changing its spots!, pic: © Lori Martin | Dreamstime.com

“El que es perico, dondequiera es verde”.  In a direct translation that means “a parrot is green no matter where it is”.  The English equivalent is the following proverb:A leopard never changes its spots”, also possible” the tiger cannot change it’s stripes”

Basically that expresses the somewhat fatalistic attitude that people will never change.  It seems to be used mainly to express the idea that people won’t change for the better or make drastic adjustments to their habits and attitude, especially as they get older.

It is a fairly friendly and non offensive saying implying slight resignation mixed in with understanding for the fact that people tend to not change their basic nature.

Here are some examples:

Guy to his friend: “I want to climb Mount Everest, do you want to come with me?”

Friend: “You know that I don’t like risky adventures like that and never will – a leopard never changes his spots! So no, you’ll have to find somebody else!”

Girl to friend: “My fiance is very conservative, I wish he was a little more liberal.  Do you think I can change him?”

Friend: “Honey, a leopard never changes its spots!”


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