Idiom: There’s no use crying over spilt milkOED definition: There is no point in regretting something which has already happened and cannot be changed or reversed.Example: I was annoyed that I had lost my purse, but I realised that there is no use crying over spilt milk.
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The is little known about where this proverb originally comes from, but one of the first written usage was in 1888 in a book called Banking Under Difficulties. However, it is believed to date back even further, with historian James Howell using the phrase in his work Paramoigraphy in 1659.
It is however, unclear as to where this idiom actually originates. It has been suggested that it may have come from faery lore and a period of time when many people had strong beliefs in fairies. In those days, it was not uncommon for people to make a shrine for them, often consisting of small amounts of food and drink; especially their favourite drink, milk. So whenever any milk was spilt, it was considered to be an offering to the fairies, and therefore, not anything to worry about. These days, it has taken on a broader meaning and suggests that we shouldn’t worry about anything that has happened and can’t be changed.