Thank you for your minimal art cat! I like it very much. I have send a few minimal art pieces, but this is the first one that I receive. That makes it extra special. I will send something in return very soon.
And, I suspect, you are probably better off being 'friendless':
"Almost always it is the origin of a phrase or saying that requires the most research; the meaning being well understood. This phrase is interesting because there are various interpretations of its meaning.
Firstly, is it 'a friend in need is a friend indeed' or 'a friend in need is a friend in deed'? Secondly, is it 'a friend (when you are) in need' or 'a friend (who is) in need'? If the former, then the phrase means: 'someone who helps you when you are in need is a true friend'. If the latter, it is 'someone who needs your help becomes especially friendly in order to obtain it'.
So, that gives us four options:
1. A friend, (when you are) in need, is indeed a true friend. ('indeed') 2. A friend, (when you are) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed') 3. A friend, (who is) in need, is indeed a true friend. ('indeed') 4. A friend, (who is) in need, is someone who is prepared to act to show it ('in deed')
The original meaning can be resolved to some degree by the documentary evidence - see below. Nevertheless, there is no unambiguous right or wrong here and this is a phrase that we probably infer the meaning of from context when we first hear it. Whichever of the above options we initially opt for will cement our understanding of the phrase; probably forever.
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