From rags to riches


      • Describing a dramatic transformation from poverty to wealth
        Used to describe someone's journey or story of going from extreme poverty to great wealth, usually through hard work, determination, and perseverance.

      • Extreme upward social mobility
        Refers to a person's remarkable rise in social status, often from a low-income background to a high-income or prestigious position in society.

      • Unexpected success or fortune
        Can also be used to describe someone's sudden and surprising achievement of wealth or success, often with the implication that it was not expected or predicted.

    Examples of From rags to riches

    • She grew up in poverty, sleeping on a cot in a small room with her family. But through hard work and determination, she climbed the corporate ladder and is now a successful CEO, living in a luxurious mansion. This is a classic example of the idiom "from rags to riches."

      The idiom "from rags to riches" refers to a person who starts out with very little, often living in poverty, and eventually becomes very wealthy. It implies that the person has worked hard and overcome obstacles to achieve success. In the example given, the woman's journey from sleeping on a cot in a small room to living in a luxurious mansion is a clear illustration of this idiom.


    The idiom "from rags to riches" is commonly used to describe a significant change in one's financial or social status. It conveys a sense of a dramatic transformation, often through overcoming immense obstacles and challenges. This phrase is typically used to highlight someone's perseverance, hard work, and determination in achieving success or wealth.

    The phrase can also be used in a more figurative sense, to describe a sudden and unexpected change in fortune or success. It may be used to emphasize the unpredictability of life and the potential for anyone to achieve great success, regardless of their background.

    Origin of "From rags to riches"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 19th century, when it was first used by author Horatio Alger in his popular novels that portrayed the American Dream. These novels often featured protagonists who started off in poverty but eventually achieved great wealth through hard work and determination. The phrase gained widespread popularity through these novels and has since become a commonly used idiom.

    The phrase itself is a metaphor, using the image of rags (or tattered, worn-out clothing) to represent poverty and riches to represent wealth. This imagery highlights the stark contrast between the two and the magnitude of the transformation from one to the other.

    In conclusion, the idiom "from rags to riches" has evolved to become a popular and widely used phrase that describes a significant transformation from poverty to wealth or success. Its origin can be traced back to literature and it continues to be used to convey the idea of perseverance and determination in achieving success against all odds.