The well is dry

I saw the lines from TV as below:

I can’t go to my brother again. I’m afraid the well is dry. You’ll have to manage on your own.

Question: Do you really say “the well is dry” to mean “have no money”?
Thank you!!!

That is a colloqial phrase that is sometimes heard. I don’t think that I’ve ever used it.

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The brother may or may not have more money (probably still has a fair amount). Usually it means someone has asked the same person too many times for money or favors and the one giving those is no longer willing to help.

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This is totally new for me as well!!! I’ve never had heard this Expression!! :grimacing:

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It means a supply or resource has been exhausted. If in this drama, a person was asking for money, then yes, it means there is no money. You can also use it like this… “She cannot write any more books; the well’s run dry” to mean that she has exhausted her ideas or creativity to write more stories. I hope this helps!

“The well is dry” is a known expression to mean a valuable resource has run out. It doesn’t have to refer to money. It could also refer to a lack of inspiration or motivation. “I went looking for inspiration, but the well was dry”

There’s also derived idioms such as the Natalia Imbruglia song “Torn”

" There’s nothin’ where he used to lie
Our conversation has run dry "

There’s no mention of a well there, but “has run dry” comes from that expression.

It’s not often used in spoken speech though. It would definitely sound weird if a non native speaker used it in conversation.

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Thank you so much, ChrissyC. It helps a lot!!!

Interesting. The well is dry to me means “the relationship has burned out”.

My pleasure! It was more popular in the 1700’s to the 1900’s. I can see by the actor’s clothing that it is more of the 1880-1900’s fashion?

Yes, you are right. You are observant.
That’s from the series called “Genius: Einstein”.
The woman who is talking is Einstein’s mother.

Thank you so much for the more information, miscology.
I enjoyed listening to the song, by the way.