Latin Proverb # 6 – Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam

Latin Proverb: Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam – Publilius Syrus, Sententiae 183

English equivalent: No hair so small but has his shadow.

Translation: Even one hair has a shadow of its own.

Meaning: Even the smallest things cast a shadow.

The expression has been interpreted in several ways. One being that: Every light has its shadow, that there is a dark side to everything, even the smallest thing.

Another interpretation would be that even the smallest thing can cast a shadow, i.e. can have consequences. And, if we listen to Erasmus of Rotterdam, it is the latter we should adopt; he says that no matter how small a good thing is, it can still be pleasant and no matter how small a mistake is, it can still do damage: Quantumuis pusillum commodum iuvat, quantumlibet exiguum delictum nocet Erasmus, Adagia III. v. 32.


Etiam capillus unus habet umbram suam in other languages? 

What would you say in your language(s)? Or do you have some fun new versions of this proverb? Let us know in the comments below!

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