Learn English – English equivalent for “Worm that lives in poison.”


In Malayalam/Indian, there's a saying "Paashaanatthil krimi". It literally translates to

Worm that lives in poison.

It is used while judging people who keep bad company as being bad themselves. It is used to address someone inimically; to say that a person who can survive in poison is probably very poisonous himself.

Birds of a feather flock together means that similar people tend to associate with each other. It is not suitable here.

What can be an equivalent English phrase?

This is purely out of curiosity, and in any event, I don't intend to judge people.

Best Answer

The equivalent in English would be

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas

Prov. If you associate with bad people, you will acquire their faults

[The Free Dictionary]

Their usage example fits very well with your context.

Granddaughter: It's not fair. I'm starting to get a bad reputation just because I'm friends with Suzy and she has a bad reputation.

Grandmother: It's only natural. People think that if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.