"Mind your own business," wrote John Clarke in Paroemiologia (1639). Lewis Carroll was one of many later writers who echoed this attitude. In one of his amusing non-sequiturs (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1865), "'If everyone kept their own business,' the Duchess remarked in a harsh growl, 'the earth would revolve round a little faster."'
This proverb has been attributed to many people over the years, including Confucius, Diogenes, Epicurus, and Thomas Jefferson. It appears frequently in literature from the early 17th century onward.
It may be used as a reply to someone who has asked you about something that is none of their business: for example "Sarah, why do people keep asking me about Janet? I don't know her and I'm not interested in knowing anything about her." The common-sense explanation is that if everyone kept their mouth shut then life would be less complicated and difficult decisions could be left up to others. However, it can also be used by those people who prefer not to get involved - especially in relationships where they do not want to offend either party: for example "I don't want to hear any more about what Janie did at work yesterday; it's nothing to do with me."
The phrase comes from the Latin word privatio, which means "to spoil for oneself" or "to deprive of". Thus, it means "to stop interfering with" or "to let well enough alone".
It's worth noting that telling someone to "mind your own business" is a fairly impolite thing to say. It typically indicates that the speaker of "mind your own business" is irritated by the other person's counsel. It is frequently used to mark the end of a discussion, since the individual who is instructed to mind his or her own business gets upset and stops speaking. "Mind your own business" is also used as a reply to tell someone not to worry about something.
"Mind your own business" is a frequent English phrase that requests consideration for other people's privacy. It can imply that a person should refrain from interfering in matters that do not involve that person, and so on. The opposite phrase is "Get off my back."
The expression comes from the practice of taking care of one's own affairs and leaving others alone, which is still common today in some countries. For example, when you walk down the street in most cities around the world you will see people doing their shopping. They may be doing this in a store, but more often than not they are using the city center as their supermarket. Thus, they are "shopping minding their own business".
This is a popular culture term because it tells us that we should not get involved in other people's affairs. Sometimes this means not getting involved in someone else's business, but it can also mean being aware of what goes on around us so that we do not interfere with things that are not our concern.
As an example, if someone is eating food that you think isn't edible you could say "Eating that stuff is bad manners—you should mind your own business." Or if you see someone being attacked then you should intervene to save them from danger—this is something that everyone has the right to do.
Its abbreviation is MYOB.
The full meaning of this saying is "Take care of yourself; look after number one". The phrase originates from Australia where it was used by country people to request assistance from city people when traveling across town. They would say, "Mind your own business" or "Watch your step", depending on which part of town they were in.
In modern usage, the phrase means that we should not get involved with things that are not our concern. It is also advice that we should not bother someone who is busy doing their own thing.
For example, if someone is talking on the phone and you walk up to them, they will probably tell you to mind your own business. This means that you should leave them alone because they are too busy to talk to you at the moment.
Another example would be if you see someone lying in the road, injured, unable to help themselves. You should still try to help them even though what has happened cannot be considered your business. Only they can decide what role they want to play in their own recovery process so giving medical advice could be dangerous without knowing more about their condition.