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In Malayalam, there is a proverb "Either the leaf falls on a thorn or a thorn on a leaf, it harms the leaf." Can you suggest an English saying similar to this?

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@WS2 It is an old saying and you can read it in a different sense like giving warning to a person before dealing with anything, that might harm the person. please don't read it with communism and caste system. –  Antony Mar 8 at 8:38
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It's 'Whether the leaf ...': Whether the leaf falls on a thorn or a thorn on a leaf, it's the leaf that is harmed. –  Kris Mar 8 at 10:18
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@WS2 It has nothing to do with any of those things. It's of universal relevance. –  Kris Mar 8 at 10:19
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Less threatening: "Six of one; half a dozen of the other" ? –  Carl Witthoft Mar 8 at 13:58
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Maybe "Shit rolls downhill," or "You can't fight City Hall." I'm not sure there is as poetic a saying in AmericanEnglish, but I intend to start using this translation. I like it! –  Carl Witthoft Mar 8 at 14:02

3 Answers 3

From poker/casino play there is "The house always wins."

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"Damned if you do, damned if you don't." might fit

Prov. No matter what you do, it will cause trouble.


How about "throwing an egg against a rock" ? I couldn't find a definition but it is used in some of the sources and books.

For example, in this book about Chinese Philosophy (The Ways of Confucianism: Investigations in Chinese Philosophy By David S. Nivison):

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"Throwing an egg against a rock," is a good suggestion. –  Antony Mar 9 at 18:14

"No-win situation" might suit you.

More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-win_situation

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