A Diamond in the Rough

Meanings of “A Diamond in the Rough”

The phrase “a diamond in the rough” means that form in which diamonds are mined. Before polished and designed, diamonds appear like coal, and they are rough. Hence, they do not look like a genuine diamond or in the same crystal shape as we mostly see in the images. The phrase is used to describe persons who are genuinely good at heart, but they lack manners and proper social upbringing. It is also said about persons who are harsh by appearances, which hide their good and positive qualities. However, such persons use their humility and bring change in their characters, turning them to a diamond.

Origin of “A Diamond in the Rough”

Origin of “a diamond in the rough” has been recorded in the book A Wife for a Month by John Fletcher. The book was first published in 1624, using this phrase as “She is very honest and will be as hard to cut as a rough diamond.”

Although this origin is not precisely similar in meanings to the phrase “a diamond in the rough,” it heralds of the arrival of this phrase as is given in the below reference.

A Town and Country Magazine writes in its publication of December 1776, “Mrs. Robinson has made her appearance at Drury-Lane theatre, in the character of Juliet, and was received with applause. If we may be allowed a comparison, she appears like a diamond in the rough; and, we think, when she has received the polish of time and stage knowledge, she will be a considerable ornament to the stage.”

Here the phrase has been used as per the true meaning. The phrase has been famous to this day. Also, it is also generally used as a simile where a person is compared to a rough diamond.

Examples from Literature

Example #1

I am a Diamond in The Rough Kelley Collins

I am a diamond in the rough,
meant to be buried yet still remain tough,
My father told me i could outshine them all;
for, at my worst I still stood tall.
Many times dirt has covered me,
I still shine bright; as, this is what is meant to be,
I am a diamond in the rough,
accidentally buried; yet, still remain tough.

I withstand the summer. winter, and fall,
I shall still remain the brightest diamond of all,
My points are big and sharp for all the world to see,
for my father, I will bring protection to all that befriends me,
pick me up, dust me off, and admire my chi me;
because, with me as a friend, you will always be in your prime,
I am a diamond in the rough,
never again to be buried; for, I have been buried enough!

These are two stanzas of the poem by Kelley Collins. The poem talks about the hard work of Kelley Collins and the advice of her father that she followed to be successful in life. Both the stanzas talk about how long and how hard she has worked. The phrase “a diamond in the rough” is repeated in the poem to point out that an ordinary person can become successful after working hard and keep trying to improve themselves.

Example #2

A Diamond In The Rough by Bradley Ray Wardle

A diamond in the rough,
is a diamond sure enough:
And before it ever sparkles,
it is made of diamond stuff;

But someone has to find it,
or it never will be found:
And someone has to grind it,
or it never will be ground;

These are the first two stanzas of the poem “A Diamond in the Rough by Ray Wardle. The poem starts with the same phrase. It states that diamond is always a diamond, but somebody has to discover it before it takes its proper shape of a diamond. The poet means that various people make the diamond realize that it is a diamond before it shines. The phrase “a diamond in the rough” shows that an intelligent or a successful person is discovered by others and is made to realize their potential.

Example #3

A Diamond in the Rough by Marilyn Lands

The novel explores the story of a British pilot, Jake Lyons, who fought the war as an RAF pilot and became a decorated ace. Following the war, he starts leading civilian life but finds his beloved gone. He also finds out that his favorite uncle is dead, leaving a chest of diamonds for him that may not belong to him. His final search for the right owner of the diamonds fails but he finds himself as a diamond in the rough when his continental search for the true heir of the chest ends inconclusively. Hence, the character of Jake Lyons is developed and transformed by the end of the novel. So, the phrase “a diamond in the rough” and the title of the novel reflect the change in a person’s resilient quality and growth.

Example in Sentences as Literary Devices

Example #1: This phrase is also used as a metaphor such as “You cannot judge him as he is a diamond in the rough.” Here the phrase has been used as a metaphor for the person.

Example #2: “He does not know how to identify a diamond in the rough.” Here this phrase has been used in the literal sense that a diamond is mixed in the rough and nobody can identify it.

Example #3: “He cannot come out of poverty, as his attitude is like to stay as a diamond in the rough.” Here the phrase has been used as a simile as the person in question is like a diamond in the rough as the word “rough” suggests.

Example #4: “He stayed as a diamond in the rough for years until his boss came and discovered his true talent.” Here the phrase has been used as a metaphor for the person who has been discovered by his boss later.

Example #5: “When she was away from the media, she was like a diamond in the rough, for nobody knew her.” Here she has been likened to a diamond in the rough. The phrase has been used as a simile.