To turn over a new leaf

turn over a new leaf expression meaning

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This is a dialogue I recently overheard at a birthday party:

– I’ll go and buy some cigarettes.

– I thought you’ve turned over a new leaf.

– Who told you that? Maybe I said I was going to smoke less.

Clearly, ‘to turn over a new leaf‘ means to start afresh and/or to kick a bad habit.

More examples from the trusted sources:

– Everyone deserves a chance to turn over a new leaf (The Economist).

– Mr da Silva has tried to convince the market sceptics that their fears are unfounded, that he has turned over a new leaf (The Economist).

– Why not turn over a new leaf as the New Year approaches? (BBC)

– The people will never allow the crimes of the former regime to be repeated in any form because they are looking forward to turning over a new leaf where they can learn from their past mistakes (BBC)


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