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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?

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    The phrase can refer to all sorts of cheating. Not all people remain a cheater, though. – NVZ May 31 '16 at 11:19
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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.

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  • Thank you, that helped :) When I googled the phrase, the first 30 hits referred to cheating in a relationship ... – Eva PS May 31 '16 at 12:39

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