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Hi,

What does this proverb mean?

''Success has many fathers, but failure gets the mother-in-law.''
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Comments  (Page 2) 
I hadn't heard the full quotation before, GG - thank you for that. In the context of the whole thing, of course you have it right. I'd always interpreted it on just the bit I knew.

I wonder if if would be worth pulling together a list of these idioms of the 'father of... / mother of...' type. Do you think this might be useful?
I don't know if it would be useful, but it would be fun. Here's one: Necessity is the mother of invention.
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The mother of all Parliaments
the real quote is

"success has many fathers but failure is an orphan"

imagine success and failure as two children,

every man will try and claim that success is his child while they will all try and disown failure.

I worked on an IT project once that was going great and i did most of the work. My bosses stole my reports and presented them as their own taking any credit due.

One day it went pretty badly and suddenly it became my problem alone. No one else wanted to shared any responsibility for the project.

I soon sorted out the problem but it shows you how people behave.

it
This is precisely what GG said on the previous page, Pokharasam.
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While you could read just the first part: "success has many fathers" to mean that many people contribute to any successful endeavor,  the entire proverb goes "success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan".   The author (I think it was Tacitus , but JFK paraphrased it after  the Bay of Pigs) means that many people will try to claim credit for a success, but nobody will claim to have spawned a failure. 
Thank you for the information, anon.
I think given that this has now been answered three, or possibly four times, it's time to close this thread.
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Many people, like all animals in the animal kingdom, in general seek higher social status and that means bragging when they have opportunity to do so, including bragging about their successful their children. It also often means disassociating with or not speaking of their unsuccessful children.
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