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A blessing in disguise

A good thing, that might appear to be bad

A blessing in disguise The definite origin of this idiom is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the 1700s, and is still very popularly used today. The phrase appears in a hymn by the English clergyman James Hervey in 1746. Hervey considers the acts of God which might seem negative but might actually be blessings in disguise, writing: ‘Ev’n crosses from His sovereign hand / Are blessings in disguise.’

The idiom has been used in a variety of ways. In 1865, a cartoon entitled ‘Blessings in Disguise’ appeared about the American Civil War. Today, it is perhaps one of the most common idioms in everyday English speak.


Losing his job turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it forced him to explore more profitable opportunities.

Jessica’s boyfriend breaking up with her was a blessing in disguise, because if they hadn’t broken up, she would never have met her husband and had the life she has now.

The company’s merger might end up being a blessing in disguise for its employees.

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