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Friday, January 02, 2004
Meanings and Origins of Popular Sayings

(as compiled by: Martin H. Manser)

11. beauty is only skin deep:
--- meaning : beauty is only a superficial quality, and may conceal an unplesant character or nature. this proverb was first recorded in 1613. the variant for this proverb is : "beauty is only skin deep, but goodness goest to the bone."

12. the best thing in life are free:
--- meaning: the most rewarding or satisfying experiences in life are often those that cost nothing. this proverb originated in 1927 as the title of a song, which contains the following lines :"The moon belongs to everyone, The best things in life are free, The stars belongs to everyone,They gleam there for you and me".

13. better late than never:
--- meaning : it is better that somebody arrives or something happens later than expected or desired, than not at all.this proverb was first recorded in english c. 1330, the proverb is probably of an ancient Roman origin. The phrase "But better never late." is often added or said in response to the proverb.

14. better safe than sorry:
--- meaning: it is wiser to take precautions---even if they seem unnecessary or excessive---than to risk disaster. this proverb was first recorded in 1837, in Samuel Lover's novel "Rory O'Moore", with sure in place of safe.

15. the bigger they are, the harder they fall:
--- meaning: the downfall of a great or important person is more painful and catastropic than that of a lesser person.this proverb in its current form is attributed to the heavyweight boxer Robert Fitzsimmons(1858-1917) but the sentiment it expresses was first recorded in english as early as 1493, compare the roman poet Caludian(4th cent,A.D.)
"Tolluntur in altum, Ut lapsu graviore ruant"(meaning: "men are raised on high in order that they may fall more heavily")

16. birds of the same feather flock together:
--- meaning: people tend to associate with those of similar character, interests, or opinions; often used with derogatory implications. this proverb dates back in the 16th cent. or earlier in this form, but the sentiment it expressed is found in the Apocrypha:"The birds will resort unto their like". (Ecclessiasticus 27:9)

17. blood is thicker than water:
--- meaning: bonds of loyalty and affection between members of the same family are much stronger than any other relationships. this proverb was first recorded in this form in 1813, but the sentiment it expresses is of much earlier origin, compare the 12cent German saying:"sippeblout von wassere niht verdirbet" ("kind blood is not spoiled in water")

18. dead men tell no tales:
--- meaning: it may be expedient to kill somebody who could betray a secret or give information about criminal activities of others. this proverb was first recorded in 1664 in J. Wilson Andronicus Comnenius.

19. a dog is mans best friend:
--- meaning: dogs are more faithful than any human companion. the proverb was first recorded in a letter written by the English poet Alexander Pope in 1709.

20. don't bite the hands that feed you:
--- meaning: donot behave unkindly or ungratefully toward those on whom you depend for financial or other support. this proverb was first recorded in 1711.

21. don't give up the ship:
--- meaning: never stop fighting and donot surrender. this proverb has been attributed to James Lawrence, commander of the U.S. frigate "Chesapeake".

22. donot judge the book by its cover:
--- meaning: donot form an opinion about something or somebody based soley on outward appearance. this proverb was forst recorded in 1929 in the form of:" You cant' judge a book by its binding".
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:06 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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