Created on 14 July 2013
Idiom
A leopard can't change its spots
Meaning
A person cannot change who they are (their character), no matter how hard they try.
Origin

A leopard can't change its spots, a photo of a leopard in a tree

This idiom comes from the Old Testament (Jer. 13:23). The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah tries to persuade an evil shepherdess to become good but when he realises that it is impossible to convince her, he says: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?”
Examples

“I don’t think Tom will ever order pasta instead of a pizza. A leopard can't change its spots you know.”

The waiter tried to be friendly to his customers but a leopard can't change its spots and he was still very rude.

Jane: “I'm going to book a table in a Chinese restaurant tonight for me and Peter. He's never had Chinese before!”
Sue: “Oh Jane, a leopard can't change its spots. Peter has never eaten Chinese food before and he's not going to start now!”

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