I wonder if the title phrase is ever used in a meaning different from the obvious one: cheating in a relationship? Can it refer to cheating in an exam or obtaining money in a dishonest way?

  • 2
    The phrase can refer to all sorts of cheating. Not all people remain a cheater, though.
    – NVZ
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


The "Once a, always a" is a common saying and can be used to illustrate multiple situations:

once a ——, always a ——

proverb: A person cannot change their fundamental nature
once a whinger, always a whinger

(Oxford Dictionary)

So yes, you can use it for other types of cheating as well.

  • Thank you, that helped :) When I googled the phrase, the first 30 hits referred to cheating in a relationship ...
    – Eva PS
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 12:39

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