Skip to Content

Once doesn’t count

“Einmal ist keinmal.”

This famous German expression says that if something only happens once, it doesn’t really count.
It can be translated as “Once doesn’t count.” or “Once doesn’t hurt.”  but it’s important to note that it’s usually used in contexts of negative things. Like someone making a small mistake, or someone forgetting something or doing something wrong.

That’s why there’s also the “extended cut”:

“Einmal ist keinmal.
Und zweimal ist einmal zu viel.”

It’s definitely an expression worth adding to your active vocabulary, because unlike so many other expressions and sayings, this one is actually used in daily life.

By the way, can we make nonce a thing please?