Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bowls.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
They who play bowls must expect to meet with rubbers. Those who touch pitch must expect to defile their fingers. Those who enter upon affairs of chance, adventure, or dangerous hazard must make up their minds to encounter crosses, losses, or difficulties. Those who play with edged instruments must expect to get cut. Soldiers in battle must look out for wounds, gamblers for losses, libertines for diseases.   1
   “Bowls” to rhyme with rolls.   2



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