"A stopped clock is right twice a day" is an idiom that means that no person is ever wrong about everything 100% of the time. A stopped clock is pretty useless in most cases, but despite that, it will be right twice a day: the time it stopped, in 12 hour increments.

It's been applied to people, news media sources, government officials, and everything in between.

Are there similar idioms with the same meaning?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Feb 25 '18 at 1:53

Wiktionary suggests:

even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while


Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while: This expression means that even if people are ineffective or misguided, sometimes they can still be correct just by being lucky.


These idiomatic expressions which involve animals appear to have a Latin origin:

If you’re having a tough time finding something, remember that even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while. This encouraging idiom actually comes from ancient Rome, where the concept of a blind animal turning something up lent itself to the Latin saying that a blind dove sometimes finds a pea. An 18th-century Friedrich Schiller play employed the blind-pig-and-acorn version, and the play’s translation into English and French may have brought it into modern English speech.


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    Corresponds to the German Selbst ein blindes Huhn findet mal ein Korn. Even a blind chicken sometimes finds a bit of grain. – KarlG Feb 23 '18 at 21:38
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    I heard the squirrel version many times from my dad while growing up. – Charles Burge Feb 24 '18 at 1:47
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    Never heard of either, but they're simple enough I suppose that someone equally unfamiliar will still understand what's going on. (That being said, the acorn one is a little strange to me since I'm a city kid and haven't ever seen a live pig in person, so I'm not entirely clear on what pigs have to do with acorns.) – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 24 '18 at 6:19
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    There are very many variations of "Even a blind _ _ can find a _ _ sometimes." – Fattie Feb 24 '18 at 15:46
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas : Before the rise of industrial farming pigs were not fatted with precious grain but mostly left to forage for themselves in the forest. In Northern European oak forests acorns were a major component of their diet in the season leading up to butchering. Acorn-finished pork is still in great demand among gourmands and organicists. – StoneyB Feb 24 '18 at 23:00

every dog has its day:

Even the least fortunate person will have success at some point.

I know you're shocked that that dopey kid got a better grade than you, but hey, every dog has its day.

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


Every dog has its day. and Every dog has his day.

Even the lowliest will sometimes come to the fore, as in

They may not listen to me now, but just wait, every dog has its day.

This proverbial saying alludes to the lowly status dogs once held. [Mid-1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust.

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    How does your saying jive with the OP's? From object to animal? Aren't those intrinsically different? – Lambie Feb 24 '18 at 13:15
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    Are you saying that metaphorical usages must not cross certain classificational barriers? You very much seem to be. You might consider the actual question: ' "A stopped clock is right twice a day" is an idiom that means that no person is ever wrong about everything 100% of the time.' He doesn't share your strange concern. // Do you know what a 'ship of the desert' is? – Edwin Ashworth Feb 24 '18 at 17:03

If you had an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite amount of typewriters, eventually...

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    If you have an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly on an infinite amount of typewriters, an infinite number of monkeys will start typing "Romeo & Juliet" right away! There's no need to wait at all. If you have a finite number of monkeys, you'll have to wait until "eventually...". – Eric Duminil Feb 24 '18 at 15:34
  • @EricDuminil maybe. Not sure the pigeonhole principle applies here. – APH Feb 24 '18 at 22:01
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    @EricDuminil Sounds rather like "almost surely". – Richard Ward Feb 24 '18 at 23:30
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    @APH: I think we agree. It has probability 1 but it isn't actually certain. As described by RichardWard, it's called "almost surely". – Eric Duminil Feb 24 '18 at 23:33
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    @EricDuminil I think that given infinite pigeons, there will be no pigeons in any hole, because the pigeons' infinite gravitational pull would condense them into a black hole, destroying the planet as well as your holes. – Nonny Moose Feb 25 '18 at 1:22

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