by Liz Walter
It is natural to want our family and friends to be safe, and this post looks at words connected with being careful – both for advising people to be careful and for describing careful people and actions.
Look out! That tree’s about to fall!
More generally, we often tell people to take care (of yourself) or to stay safe. These phrases can be used casually when saying goodbye or more seriously to a person who is facing some sort of potential danger:
See you next week. Take care.
Have a good journey and stay safe.
You’ll need to take precautions to prevent infection.
She advised taking antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
Take your phone, just in case you get lost.
Make sure you don’t go out alone at night.
Pay attention to the traffic.
Be on your guard for thieves.
I’m very cautious about trusting people.
We walked gingerly along the icy road.
The idiomatic British English phrase belt and braces means that you have done more than is necessary in order to prevent problems or accidents, while if you play it safe, you decide not to take any risks:
We took a belt and braces approach to navigation with paper maps as well as GPS on our phones.
The risk of infection was low but we decided to play it safe and hold the meeting online.
I will finish with two well-known proverbs. Better (to be) safe than sorry means that it is best to be careful, even if the measures you need to take are boring or hard work. Look before you leap means that you should think carefully before deciding to do something.
I hope you find these words useful and take good care of yourselves!