Accidents Will Happen

Meaning of Idiom ‘Accidents Will Happen’

Accidents will happen means that no matter how careful you are it is impossible to prevent things from going wrong; you cannot prepare for everything and unexpected events will occur. 1Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. ,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.

Usage

This idiom is usually used as a form of consolation and said to someone who has caused an accident or damaged something that does not belong to them. 3Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008. ,4McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002

Examples Of Use

“Oh, my. I’m so sorry I broke your glass,” said Sherry. “No big deal,” said Tammy. “Accidents will happen and besides, it’s just a glass.”

“I’m sorry, mommy. I didn’t mean to knock over the lamp.” “Don’t worry sweetie, accidents will happen,” said Mom.

“Accidents will happen, but let’s all be careful,” said the volunteer coordinator.

“Accidents will happen and that’s why you need insurance,” said the insurance agent.

Origin

Used since the latter half of the 1800s, this idiom comes from an earlier proverb ‘accidents will happen in the best regulated families.’ 5Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.

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Sources   [ + ]

1, 3. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
2, 5. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010
4. McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002