A leopard can't change its spots


      • impossibility of change
        To express that someone or something is fundamentally unchangeable, usually in a negative sense, suggesting that they will always behave or act in a certain way

      • inherent nature or character
        To describe the innate qualities or traits of a person or thing, often used in a negative context to suggest that these qualities are undesirable or unchangeable

      • history or past actions
        To refer to someone's past behavior or actions, usually in a negative light, implying that their past will continue to influence their present and future behavior

    Examples of A leopard can't change its spots

    • Despite her best efforts, Sarah's reputation as a gossip could not be changed. A leopard can't change its spots.

      This idiom means that a person's inherent character traits or flaws cannot be altered easily, just as the distinctive spots on a leopard's fur cannot be removed. Sarah's gossipy nature was a fundamental part of her personality, and no amount of effort could completely eliminate it.2. Kill two birds with one stone

    • By attending the networking event, I was able to catch up with an old friend and also make some new business connections. I killed two birds with one stone.

      This idiom refers to the efficient completion of two tasks simultaneously, much like how shooting two birds with a single stone is more productive than shooting them one at a time.3. Spill the beans

    • My cousin accidentally spilled the beans about my surprise party during a phone call with my aunt.

      This idiom means to reveal a secret unintentionally, much like how spilled beans may accidentally disclose the contents of a container.4. Pull out all the stops

    • The restaurant went all out for their anniversary celebration, pulling out all the stops to make it a night to remember.

      This idiom signifies the use of every resource or effort to achieve a desired outcome, much like how a conductor may use all the stops on an organ to produce a grand and impressive sound.5. Let the cat out of the bag

    • My sister let the cat out of the bag about my upcoming engagement during a family dinner.

      This idiom refers to the unintentional disclosure of a secret, much like how releasing a cat from a bag may unintentionally reveal its presence.


    The idiom "a leopard can't change its spots" is often used to convey the idea that something or someone is unchangeable. It can refer to a person's character, behavior, or past actions, suggesting that they are deeply ingrained and cannot be altered.

    This idiom is commonly used in a negative sense, implying that the qualities or traits in question are undesirable or problematic. It can also be used to discourage someone from attempting to change or improve themselves, as the phrase suggests that such efforts would be futile.

    Overall, this idiom serves as a reminder that some things are simply beyond our control and cannot be changed, no matter how much we may wish otherwise.

    Origin of "A leopard can't change its spots"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the Bible, specifically the book of Jeremiah. In chapter 13, verse 23, it states, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."

    This biblical reference speaks to the idea of inherent characteristics and the impossibility of changing them. Over time, this phrase evolved into the modern-day idiom we use today.

    It is also believed that this idiom may have originated from the ancient Greek fable, "The Fox and the Leopard." In this fable, the fox advises the leopard to change its spots to avoid being hunted, to which the leopard responds, "I would not change my spots for your whole skin." This fable reinforces the idea that one's inherent nature cannot be changed.

    Overall, the idiom "a leopard can't change its spots" has a strong biblical and literary background, and its meaning has remained consistent throughout its evolution.