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10 Old Sayings We Need to Bring Back
Mental Floss ^ | April 10, 2013 | Therese Oneill

Posted on 04/10/2013 11:16:03 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows

Before the Internet, we could not use memes of Willy Wonka or a triumphant baby to express ourselves. Instead, we used proverbs: catchy lines that encapsulate universal truths. Some were introduced to the world by witty writers, and some seemed to emerge fully formed into the collective conscious. Many of them are still with us (I’m not pulling your leg; More than you can swing a cat at), but many more have fallen out of use over the centuries. Here are 10 that should really be brought back.

1. “Bed is the poor man’s Opera.”

Source: Old Italian proverb
Meaning: The man who can’t afford expensive entertainments can still conduct the most passionate of orchestrations in his own bed.
Modern Usage: Something charming to say to your girlfriend when you’ve blown your paycheck on EVE Online Time Codes but are still hoping to get lucky.

2. “Children are certain cares, but uncertain comforts.”

Source: How the Good Wife, 1460
Meaning: You can bet you’re gonna have to change their diapers, but there’s no guarantee they’ll stick around to change yours.
Example of Modern Usage: The proper response to anyone who smiles smugly at a childless woman in her mid-thirties, points to their watch and says, “tick tick tick!”

3. “When cobwebs are plenty kisses are scarce.”

Source: Notes and Queries, 1864
Meaning: Dirty houses are not sexy.
Example of Modern Usage: Something a wife might say in bed as she shoves a body pillow between her sweat-pant clad body and her husband’s. Especially if that husband promised to use the weekend to remove all his old Maxim magazines and dusty weightlifting crap from the guest room, and then didn’t.

4. “He who would pun would pick a pocket."

Source: Alexander Pope, 1729
Meaning: If you’re of such low character the best jokes you can come up are throwbacks from the Brady Bunch Variety Hour, there is nothing you won’t stoop to.
Example of Modern Usage: You can try to silence Uncle Ron’s miserable jokes next Thanksgiving with this bon mot… but he’ll probably just answer back with, “He who would stun would pee on a socket.” And then swipe your wallet.

5. “A friend to all is a friend to none.”

Source: Wadroephe, 1623
Meaning: This is why we hate politicians. They have to morph to please so many different types of people; they appear dishonest and false.
Example of Modern Usage: Your explanation to your friends for why you voted for Nader. He’s not a friend to anyone who guiltlessly emits carbon, so you know you can trust him!

6. “Garlic makes a man wink, drink, and stink.”

Source: Nashe, 1594
Meaning: Garlic inflames your lust, lures you to drunkenness, and makes your entire body smell like over-seasoned meat.
Example of Modern Usage: A joyful Best Man’s toast at a New Jersey wedding reception. Because c’mon, who wouldn’t wish for an awesome life of wink and stink for their best friend?

7. “The gist of a lady’s letter is in her postscript.”

Source: Edgeworth, 1801
Meaning: From your grandma to your girlfriend, all the preceding paragraphs about the health of pets and the obnoxiousness of Cindy from work mean nothing compared to the stuff after the “P.S.”
Modern Usage Example: No matter how cheerful the email, if it’s followed by a P.S. that says, “Oh by the way I noticed you didn’t take the car for an oil change like you said you were going to…”, this was the purpose of the entire correspondence, and you are in peril.

8. “Bachelor’s wives and maid’s children are well taught.”

Source: Heywood, 1546
Meaning: When you don’t have a spouse or a kid, you know everything about maintaining a healthy relationship with spouses and kids.
Modern Usage Example: When your single-and-loving it! friend informs you that you really shouldn’t yell at your 6 year old for trying to force the dog and cat to kiss, and instead use the positive-reinforcement tactics she recently learned in her Intro to Psych class. Invite her to practice those tactics while you go spend an hour or two at Starbucks. Do not show her where you keep your Xanex. She has a lesson to learn.

9. “We are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed.”

Source: Unknown
Meaning: Oh, I think you know all too well what this means.
Modern Usage Example: Anytime anyone asks you for anything, ever.

10. “Gluttony kills more than the sword.”

Source: Barclay, 1509
Meaning: Even in 1509, when you had to overtake and slay your food before consuming it, overeating was still hardening arteries, enlarging hearts, and filling graveyards.
Modern Usage Example: Thing you say to anyone who presumes to take the last piece of The Colonel’s fried chicken when it is rightfully yours. Can be accompanied with a friendly jiggle of whichever bit of their body fat you can reach. (We're not responsible for any subsequent injuries.)


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Humor; Society
KEYWORDS: napl
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I'm not 100% sure about that "modern usage" of #3.
1 posted on 04/10/2013 11:16:03 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows
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To: Slings and Arrows; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; ...
"The ox is slow, but the earth is patient."


2 posted on 04/10/2013 11:16:56 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

SOMEone got a weird book for Christmas, and decided to read it while in the bathroom last night


3 posted on 04/10/2013 11:18:58 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf

Hey, they got a publication out of it.


4 posted on 04/10/2013 11:21:12 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

“Any excuse for a tyrant.”

i think you understand the point.


5 posted on 04/10/2013 11:22:20 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Scorning illegitimacy again would help a lot

Have the Catholic church truly expell apostates

Those two things would help repair America more than anything I can think of


6 posted on 04/10/2013 11:26:24 PM PDT by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: wardaddy
Many a true word spoken in jest

Those that would sup with the devil need a long spoon

7 posted on 04/10/2013 11:31:18 PM PDT by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
My all time fave:


8 posted on 04/10/2013 11:34:51 PM PDT by Daffynition (The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted. — D.H.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

FReepers’ taglines are just as good as proverbs.


9 posted on 04/10/2013 11:41:28 PM PDT by rfp1234 (Arguing with a marxist is like playing Chess with a Pigeon.)
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To: Daffynition

That line was just plane wrong.


10 posted on 04/10/2013 11:48:07 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

The only sayign we need is “I fart in your geenral direction sir”


11 posted on 04/11/2013 12:04:34 AM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: CottShop

You forgot “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”


12 posted on 04/11/2013 12:19:00 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

I see what you did there.


13 posted on 04/11/2013 1:26:06 AM PDT by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: Slings and Arrows

Why don’t we start with “A man is only as good as his word.”


14 posted on 04/11/2013 1:54:39 AM PDT by D Rider
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To: D Rider

I’m more concerned about the words the younger generation is losing. We need to throw them into your posts now and then.

For example:

Cockamamy as in, “It’s a cockamamy university.”

Whippersnapper: as in, “He’s a young whippersnapper.”

Caddywompus: as in, “That table is caddywompus to the wall.”

etc In fact this should have been the post.


15 posted on 04/11/2013 2:21:40 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: Moltke

16 posted on 04/11/2013 4:18:28 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: Slings and Arrows

In viewing the news of the last few days, I think we should bring back: “Resign and leave, Senator, or we’re going to tar and feather you and ride you out of town on a rail.”


17 posted on 04/11/2013 4:24:53 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Life. Liberty. Property. Family. Sovereignty. Security. Borders. The Constitutional Oath.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

those are really good


18 posted on 04/11/2013 4:59:47 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: CottShop

I do love that one


19 posted on 04/11/2013 5:01:33 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Moltke; Slings and Arrows
I see what you did there.

He was flat-out angling for a complement..

20 posted on 04/11/2013 5:50:55 AM PDT by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Republicans create the tools of oppression and Democrats use them.)
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To: null and void
The one I really miss hearing is:

"It's a free country"...

21 posted on 04/11/2013 5:52:12 AM PDT by null and void (Gun confiscation enables tyranny. Republicans create the tools of oppression and Democrats use them.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Read these to my wife who is an English teacher. Can you say “talking points” for a future class discussion?

For some women the whole letter is the postscript!


22 posted on 04/11/2013 7:12:16 AM PDT by nonsporting
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To: Slings and Arrows

My grandma would say”little pitchers have big ears” when it was time for the kids to leave the room.


23 posted on 04/11/2013 7:12:18 AM PDT by Gefn ("Veni, Vidi, Volo in domum redire")
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To: Slings and Arrows

In a similar vein, bring back Professor Irwin Corey.

I remember when people kept a healthy skepticism toward experts of all stripes.


24 posted on 04/11/2013 7:18:06 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: D Rider

“Soonest begun, soonest done.”


25 posted on 04/11/2013 7:25:31 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Moltke

26 posted on 04/11/2013 7:34:02 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: yldstrk

2, 7, 8, and 9 are my favorites.


27 posted on 04/11/2013 7:35:21 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows
My favorite one...*absolutely* applicable to the punks current running DC...is "the more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons".
28 posted on 04/11/2013 7:37:13 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: null and void; Moltke

> > I see what you did there.

> He was flat-out angling for a complement..

You’re just being obtuse.


29 posted on 04/11/2013 7:38:41 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

True, that.


30 posted on 04/11/2013 7:40:51 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

I miss finders keepers losers weepers and
sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me


31 posted on 04/11/2013 7:55:35 AM PDT by winodog
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To: Slings and Arrows

11. “Senator, do you have anything further to say before I pass sentence?”


32 posted on 04/11/2013 7:57:02 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Blather. Reince. Repeat.)
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To: Slings and Arrows; null and void

Hmm, that strikes a chord with me.


33 posted on 04/11/2013 9:58:57 AM PDT by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: Slings and Arrows; Revolting cat!
9. “We are born crying, live complaining, and die disappointed.”

We are born cold, wet, crying, and naked. Life only gets worse.

34 posted on 04/11/2013 10:13:40 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

Forget it, Marge, it’s Chinatown!


35 posted on 04/11/2013 12:14:06 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: a fool in paradise

Get off my loan!


36 posted on 04/11/2013 12:14:31 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: a fool in paradise

I’m shocked that there’s grambling going on here!


37 posted on 04/11/2013 12:15:41 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Revolting cat!

“You broke it, you bought it.”


38 posted on 04/11/2013 12:15:59 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

It’s my panty, and I’ll cry if I want to!


39 posted on 04/11/2013 12:17:38 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

The Judge Smail’s saying...”The world needs ditchdiggers, too.”


40 posted on 04/11/2013 12:17:46 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Slings and Arrows

“Rock and roll is here to stay!” - Danny of the Juniors.


41 posted on 04/11/2013 12:20:34 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows

42 posted on 04/11/2013 12:21:58 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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"What the #^@& is the Internet?" - Jay

43 posted on 04/11/2013 12:24:21 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

“I wish somebody would tell me what diddie wah diddie means.” - Blind Blake


44 posted on 04/11/2013 12:25:08 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Slings and Arrows

What happened to:

homeless problem

McJobs

recovery for Wall $treet but not Main Street

seems like they disappeared in Jan 09?


45 posted on 04/11/2013 12:25:16 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: a fool in paradise
We are born cold, wet, crying, and naked.

...and, with luck, it doesn't have to end there.

46 posted on 04/11/2013 12:29:13 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows; a fool in paradise

But hey, we’re buried in our best three piece suit!


47 posted on 04/11/2013 12:40:32 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Revolting cat!

“Keep this coupon, it is valuable.”


48 posted on 04/11/2013 12:43:59 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Revolting cat!

“Better Dead than Red.”


49 posted on 04/11/2013 12:45:25 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: nascarnation

They’ll be back in the media as soon as a Republican’s in the Oval Office.


50 posted on 04/11/2013 2:47:59 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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