ξύλον ἀγκύλον οὐδέποτ' ὀρθόν -> a bent board is never straight

billberg23

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Ξύλον ἀγκύλον οὐδέποτ' ὀρθόν -> a bent board is never straight
— Diogenianus (2nd cent.), Proverb 6.92.  The grammarian/paroemiographer goes on to explain: ὅτι δυσχερὲς ἐκ φαύλων ἀγαθοὺς ἀπεργάσασθαι, "because it's hard to make good people out of bad." 

Latin: lignum curvum nunquam rectum
German: krummes Holz wird niemals gerade


 

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