Site Map
American Proverbs
Section › 9   Set    Search  Previous Next

Reservations   Contents    

Essays and Proverbs:

About 270 American Proverbs

A bird is known by his note and a man by his talk.

A brother may not be a friend . . .

A carpenter is known by his chips.

A diamond on a dunghill is a precious diamond still.

A disease known is half cured.

A drowning man grabs at a straw.

A flow will have an ebb.

A fool talks with his ears stuffed up.

A full ear of corn will bend its head; an empty ear will stand upright.

A gentle disposition is like an unruffled stream.

A good example is the best sermon.

A light cinch is best.

A little bit of powder and a little bit of paint make a woman look like what she ain't.

A little courtesy will go a long way.

A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.

A neglected duty may return tomorrow with seven others on its back.*

A place for everything and everything in its place.

A sure sign of age is loneliness [Cf. Ap 12].

A vicious man cannot appreciate the graces of a virtuous wife. (Downey 18. 2)

A wise man learns by the experiences of others; an ordinary man learns by his own experience; a fool learns by nobody's experiences.

A wise man's day is worth a fool's life.

Abundance, like want, ruins many.

Action is the proper fruit of knowledge.

Adversity will rid the spendthrift of her sycophants. (Downey 15. 8, abr)

Advisers get away with it. They never have to pay the penalty *for their advice.

All asses do not go on four feet.

All that shines is not silver.

All the branches of a tree do not lean the same way. (Downey 6. 8, abr)

Ambition is like hunting for whales - sometimes you lose them.*

An adult is only one who has ceased to grow vertically and started to grow horizontally.

An ant may work its heart out, but it can't make money.

An eel held by the tail is not yet caught.

An empty sack won't stand alone.

An open gate lets stock out.

An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.

Art is the right hand of nature.

At the end of the work, you may judge the workman.

Be certain and on the level [cf. Ap 89].

Be gay today, for tomorrow you may die.

Be just before you are generous.

Be nice to people on your way up because you'll med them on your way down.

Beautiful peaches are not always the best flavoured. (Downey 10. 9, abr)

Beauty and folly are old companions.

Beauty is no longer amiable than while virtue adorns it.

Before marriage open your eyes wide; afterwards close them tightly.

Begin in time to finish without hurry.

Better a donkey that carries me than a horse that throws me.

Better go around than fall into the ditch.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Boldness does not always succeed.

Bought friends are not friends indeed.

By their fruits you shall know them.

Certainty is better than hope.

Charity begins at home but should not end there.

Charity begins at home.

Chaste is she whom no one has asked.

Cheerful company shortens the miles.

Children are often coming without being called. (Downey 9. 9)

Clean around your own back door before you clean around someone else's.

Clean your own doorstep before you clean someone else's.

Coming events cast their shadows before.

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.

Crowning a clown won't make him a king.

Culture is one thing, and varnish is another.

Darkness is the owl's desire.

Death and taxes may be hard to beat. *

Deep calls unto deep.

Delays can be dangerous.*

Different strokes for different folks.

Dig the well before you are thirsty.

Dime is money, as the Dutchman says.

Distrust and caution are the parents of security.

Do not boast of a thing until it is done.

Do not trust flatterers.

Dogs delight to bark and bite for God has made them so.

Don't ask a man for a favour before he has had his lunch.

Don't clean your fish before you catch it.

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Don't do to others what you would not have done to you.

Don't swing on my gate if you don't like it.

Don't throw caution to the wind.

Don't throw dirt into the well that gives you water.

Don't wish too hard: you might just get what you wished for.

Drive your business or it will drive you.

Dying is as natural as living soundly.*

Dying men speak true.

Dynamite comes in small packages.

Eagles don't catch flies.

Early childhood should be as happy and carefree as you can make it. *

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow your wife may come home.

Envy is left-handed praise.

Even an ass will not fall twice in the same quick sand.

Every doctor thinks his pills the best.

Every dog thinks her puppies are the cutest.

Every door may be shut but death's door.

Everything is not all peaches and cream.

Example can be better than precept.

Experience without learning is better than learning without experience.

Fact can be stranger than fiction.

Facts are better than theories.

Fair words butter no cabbage.

Falsehood is a polished exterior; but truth is a gemmed interior. (Downey 17. 2)

Fences mean nothing to those who can fly.

Fidelity is a noble virtue, yet justice is nobler still.

Fire and flax agree not.

First build your house and then accommodate the furniture.*

First deserve and then desire.

Flattery butters no parsnips.

Fools need advice most, but wise men only are the better for it.

For a tutor to give a pupil a longer lesson than he can receive, is much like a farmer giving a heavier load to an ass than he can take to market. (Downey 2. 12)

For every evil under the sun there is a remedy or there is none.

For one to admire a woman merely for her beauty, is to love the building for its exterior; but to love one for the greatness of her soul, is to appreciate the tenement for its intrinsic value. (Downey 12. 5)

For want of a nail a kingdom was lost.

Foresight is better than hindsight.

Forewarned, forearmed.

From errors of others a wise man corrects his own.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Genius is one part inspiration and three parts perspiration.

Give credit where credit is due.

Give every man your ear but few your voice.

Give the devil his due.

Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris.

Good care prevents accidents. (Refers to care of your automobile).

Good listening does not mean sitting dumb.

Great buildings are not always the best furnished. (Downey 20. 5, abr)

He is my friend that helps me, and not he that pities me.

He that lives on hope has a slender diet.

He who never learns anything never forgets anything.

He who seeks equality should go to the cemetary.

He who stoops low, exposes himself. (Downey 24. 10, abr)

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Homely in the cradle, pretty at the table.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

If it's wrong to eat the devil, it's wrong to drink his broth.

If someone betrays you once, it is his fault. If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

If the cap fits, wear it.

If the coat fits, put it on.

If the shoe fits, put it on.

If you dance, you must pay the piper.

If you help the evil, you hurt the good.

If you would enjoy its fruit, pluck not the blossom.

If you would enjoy the fruit, pluck not the flower.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

In fair weather prepare for foul.

It is an ill thing to be deceived, but worse to deceive.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

It is easy to fool the young wolf.

It is not the clothes that count, but the things the clothes cover.

It is not the mere sight of the medicine that cures the sick. (Downey 16. 7, abr)

It is one thing to get educated and another thing to keep educated.

It is sometimes best to burn your bridges behind you.

It is the beautiful bird which gets caged.

It takes two to tango.

It's déj&a#grave; vu all over again. [It's "already seen" all over again.]

It's dog's delight to bark and bite, but little children never.

It's not every question that deserves an answer.

It's not the gale but the set of the sail that determines the way you go.

Judge a Dutchman by what he means, not by what he says.

Judge nothing by the appearance. The more beautiful the serpent, the more fatal its sting [can be]. (Downey 6. 9)

Keep your chickens in your own backyard.

Keeping from falling is better than helping up.

Let every tub stand on its own bottom.

Let the buyer beware (Latin: Caveat emptor)

Let the cobbler stick to his last.

Let the sleeping dog lie.

Let's face the facts and get at the root of trouble.

Lime and lime without manure makes the farmer rich and the son poor.

Little folks are fond of talking about what great folks do.

Little pitchers have big ears.

Live your own life, for you die your own death.

Lock the stable door before the steed is stolen.

Looks often deceive.

Love of dress is sure the very curse.

Make hay while the sun shines.

Man loves the vine for its fruit. (Downey 12. 2, abr)

Many drops of water make an ocean.

Measure twice before you cut once.

Most men get as good a wife as they deserve.

Never assent merely to please.

Never believe the impossible.

Never venture out of your depth till you can swim.

No garden without its weeds.

No man should think better or worse of himself merely on account of his birth; but rather let all think soberly. (Downey 1. 8.)

None are deceived but they that confide.

Of your neighbour's faults see little, hear little, and speak less than you either see or hear. (Downey 13. 6)

Old shoes wear best.

One drink can lead to one's downfall.

One tree can make a million matches, and one match can destroy a million trees.

Only live fish swim up stream.

Plough your furrows deep while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Possession is nine-tenths of the game.

Profit by the folly of others.

Promise little but do much.

Promises fill no sack.

Prosperity gathers smiles, while adversity scatters them. (Downey 5. 11)

Put first things first.

Reason without revelation is as a ship without a rudder. (Downey 15. 3)

Saying and doing are two different things.

Six feet of earth makes all men equal.

Some folks speak from experience; others, from experience, don't speak.

Sometimes the remedy is worse than the disease.

Speed will get you nowhere if you are headed in the wrong direction.

Strike while your employer has a big contract.

Thanks is poor pay on which to keep a family.

The aim is useless without the way.

The ass knows in whose face he brays.

The baby who always gets carried will never learn to walk.

The best way to kill time is to work it to death.

The better the day, the better the deed.

The bigger the tree, the harder she falls.

The devil can quote Scripture to his own advantage.

The devil protects his own.

The devil takes care of his own.

The diamond is among precious stones. (Downey 12. 4, abr)

The dog that minds not your whistle is good for nothing.

The downward road is easy.

The early bird catches the worm.

The end of the thief is the gallows.

The face is the index of the mind, but appearances are deceitful.

The fire you kindle for your enemy often burns yourself more than him.

The first hundred years are the hardest.

The frost will bring the pig home.

The fruit of small trees is easily stolen; so the charms of the comely poor are easily ravished. (Downey 18. 6)

The future belongs to those who prepare for it.

The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart.

The greatest art is the art of life.

The heart has arguments with which the understanding is unacquainted.

The man that blushes is not quite a brute.

The man who minds his own business generally has a good one.

The most destructive criticism is indifference.

The saddest dog sometimes wags its tail.

The smiles of women are of so irresistible a nature that warriors can be subdued. (Downey 14. 5, mod)

The tree cannot exist without its sap. (Downey 24. 6, abr)

The warrior who unthinkingly wanders from his camp unarmed, can make but feeble resistance when overtaken by the enemy. (Downey 10. 7, abr)

There are always more fish in the pond.

There are many who prefer to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.

There are other fish in the sea.

There is a time to fish and a time to dry nets.

There isn't a rascal or a thief that doesn't have his devotion.

There's a fool born every minute.

There's no use to pray after the devil has you.

To a boiling pot flies come not.

To become a father is easy, but to be a father is difficult.

To laugh at a man with sense is the privilege of fools.

The mind is of inestimable value, and man should strive to cultivate it well. (Cf. Downey 11. 8)

To plough a straight furrow, never look back.

To see beauty you must have beauty in your soul.

To seek for teetotallers at a gin shop is to expect donations from misers. (Downey 12. 6, abr)

To travel across the Atlantic we make much preparation. (Downey 11. 4, abr)

Too much force breeds suspicion.

True worth is in being, not seeming.

Twin fools: one doubts nothing, the other everything.

Walk on your own feet.

We all fade as the leaf.

We easily disbelieve those things which we desire not.

Wealth may add [some] splendour to life. (Downey 11. 7)

Welcome is the best dish on the table.

When a badman dies, he either goes to hell or to the Pecos.

When fools make mistakes, they lay the blame on providence.

When the ale is in, wit is out.

When the candles are all out, all women are fair.

When the fox preaches, beware of your geese.

When the fruit fails, welcome haws.

When you go to dance, take heed whom you take by the hand.

When your neighbour's house is on fire, beware of your own.

You can never tell what's in a package by its cover.

You can't kid your conscience.

Your first accident may be your last.


American Sentiments ☼

1. Thanks to the tall "contents" of being in a human shape and body, many odd-looking things a human has to do, follow quite naturally

A young man idle, an old man needy. [Cf. "If youth knew what age would crave, it would both get and save,"]

Many a man sees a wolf at the door because his wife saw a mink in the window.

Praise makes a bad man worse. (Partial)

Man can't live in this world alone. ◇

Man ought to be greater than the tools he invents.*

2. All fools are not going for applause

Have what it takes to plant a tree.*

The man who does not know himself, is a poor judge of the other fellow.

Men apt to promise are apt to forget.

Men seek less to be instructed than applauded.

3. Impoverishments of many kinds happen to serve future maiming unless it's bulwarked against, and the servile goodies had better go against maiming fares while there is time

Don't be a yes-man. [Say "yes" to that, and what are you then?]"

Source: American proverbs [Mieder et al 1996:396-405.


"A banana to be plucked, peeled and eaten forgets it." What about man? To feather one's own nest and get peeled there means serious trouble ahead.

Many seems oblivious of the fact that their own nesting efforts mean trouble ahead (if 1 out of 2 marriages break)


Marriage Coping ☼

It is fine to be forewarned and forearmed. Instead of whining about how bad men, women, and marriages are, learn how to have a pleasant marriage voyage.

The following sayings contain tips for pondering. They are new, but aligned with or derived from the sample of American proverbs right above, in the previous chapter - and they relate to probems "the American way", accordingly.

1. The idling young one may be a fool and think differently: prepare your future accordingly

All fools are not yes-men.

Every man who needs applause, has a fool inside his belly.

An idle young man [probably] gets worse if praised for it.

Every man has a fool up his sleeve - some have two. ◇

2. Learn to study and measure ahead of the important things of life if you reach up to it

Marriage without room for variation could have failed in some way or other.*

He who is without any purpose, often finds room for variations and courtesy.

Every man should measure how his troubles begin, and a long time before marriage. [Get into the Rahe and Holmes scale of stressors]

A good man without a purpose can be compared to an old man when all is said and done. ◇

3. Where half of all marriages break, the odds of divorced fathers (or 'milk cows') are not so good

When man marries, he's often the last to admit his blunder.

The man who marries, should find lots of room for blunders, but does he?

When man only marries and admits his blunder, there may be plenty of room for courteous variation - perhaps.

"When man marries just one woman, he's the last to admit his blunder," said the Mormon.


"Who goes a beast to Rome, a beast returns." It may apply to marriage and in particular remarriage with added problems to handle. [Fergusson 1983:240]

Marriage with ample room for basic ease of living, or "without any tight schedule or such purpose" often finds room for variations, courtesy and enjoyments. Otherwise, "Matrimony is a school in which one learns too late" and then may go on to find it is "the tomb of love [in Oklahoma too, where 2 out of 3 marriages break]." [Fergusson 1983:153-4 etc.]

Uniqueness of individuals may escape marriage calculations based ib average-based statistics.

"What life eventually taught me after I was blessed to survive" - Many proverbs are of such a kind.


Bear Fun or Make Sound Use of It? ☼

1. Constructive utterances express things that are often valid, but much could depend on interpretation

Americans are changing, and we too. Many proverbs reflect shared dreams and often presupposed conditions of fulfilment. These have been changing, and times are changing still.

Likable living. Speaking of global changes, providing enough decent work and livelihoods for all who want to work is a rising challenge. When it comes to health and prosperity, the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI) the USA was the thirteenth on the list in 2018. To be ranked as the thirteenth best country is not so bad, but gross imbalances in the USA are not reflected in average-based statistics.

The three broad factors that the UN's HDI are based on, are not enough to give an accurate picture when it comes to ranking how good different countries are to live in: Quality of life is summed up by thriving too. Personal safefy, security, climate, housing, prices, unpolluted environment, (fresh air to breathe, undisturbed sleep, etc) and closeness to unspoiled or likable nature count too.

The living conditions in our times are marked by urbanisation, centralisation, differentiation, profit-eager exploitation and competition, and much callousness in business. Pollution and exploitation often go hand in hand, affecting those who are vulnerable first in many cases, for example vulnerable to the man-made climate changes that have begun to jeopardise living conditions in many places today.

Those who adapt to the wrong business trends may get rich and because of that live longer and and better than the many poor. Many profit-seeking values are out of control - like sawing off the branch one is sitting on - that is: not sustainable.

In the light of statistics and trends we can glimpse today, we may rise to take in proverbs from one of the world's richest and most polluting countries with much reservation. And it goes without saying that fiendish, dirty or rotten ways are moulding some young people.

Maybe Sigmund Freud overlooked something when he decreed long ago (he visited America in 1909): "America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success" - and "America is a mistake, a giant mistake."

Example: Warren Buffet said in 1987, "I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty."

Buffet, later: "I would not like to have a significant percentage of my net worth invested in tobacco businesses. The economy of the business may be fine, but that doesn't mean it has a bright future." (Wikipedia, "Warren Buffet")

We may still reserve our judgement, although many trends look ominous today. Good guys may come up with great solutions still.

Some have wealth in many forms and way. Some are rich in looks, some are rich in books, and so on.

Finally, here is Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs. It has five levels. It follows that a need that is well fulfilled also suggests a form of wealth, or even several forms of wealth. Also, a need well fulfilled allows for growth into higher levels and work toward fulfilment of some of the needs there, he says. We may get rich on many levels and in many fields and walks of life. Life is enriched by decent fares, good nature contacts and much else too.

Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs +

Figure. Abraham Maslow's postulated pyramid of layered (hierarchic) needs with some "room on the top" added here - that is, room for developments.

"Fulfillment steps" that Maslow postulate, to be read from bottom and up:

  • Self-actualization desires and yearnings.
  • Esteem hankerings.
  • Social yearnings.
  • Safety adherence.
  • Physiological, steady competence needs.

Topics to pry with or without enough decency. Spot a need, try to filfil it for yourself and near ones, then add others to that. This is being social. Some may instead choose to exploit others by playing on their needs, by subtly utilising them for getting rich. The danger of such behavior is that the best is overlooked, passed by, and people are made stupid victims of exploiters. Think about it.

2. Good and sober classifications can help us to build further or go on further

If labour standards are largely successful, we may apply them - adapt them to ourself and predominant living conditions.

3. By mere chance one is not likely to think and express cogently and well. One may need to think over which attitudes and sayings are wise.

Stauch research may be condensed into more or less figurative statements and even better too. Life experiences of scientists make for proverb-like utterances too. A few examples of the latter: "There is nothing as practical as a good theory," affirms Kurt Lewin (in Sanderson 2010, 11).

"The priest persuades a humble people to endure their hard lot, a politician urges them to rebel against it, and a scientist thinks of a method that does away with the hard lot altogether," says Max Percy idealistically on behalf of science. In actual practice, research serves technology, which serves corporations and commerce, which exploit markets, people, animals, plant life and the soil the world over. There are luckily exceptions to this scheme, but to ignore the facts of a thing is not wise. "What we need is not the will to believe but the will to find out," says Bertrand Russell.

There are deep waters, lagoons, and puddles in life; ssome proverbs are probably tailed to puddles of life experiences. It is different with Buddha's great sayings. He once said he chose to tell of only what was beneficial in general.

Mishap makes

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is an English-language proverb. It means that a driving force for most new inventions is a need. (WP, "Necessity is the mother of invention")

The refrigerator, the microwave oven, the infra-red oven, the washing-machine and other appliances have been invented and produced for the good of many. They can amount to save work and resources. Appliances in the home makes life far easier for women.

From a list of 166 American proverbs with variants on women in American Proverbs [Mieder et al 1992:]

It may be a woman's privilege to bless almost any man's average ambitions and make a good show out of it.

An Army woman who fears no man may be the joy of her husband if she doesn't beat the joy out of him.


Apt Statements ☼

1. "American" proverbs are many.

What makes a proverb "American"? It has been used "in that land of immigrants and their descendants in the first place, next recorded, and finally included in a dictionary as "an American proverb". In A Dictionary of American Proverbs we may see what regions or states given proverbs were recorded in too. [Mieder et al 1996:xiii]

2. Proverbs are for marketing too

Sayings from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson are found in American Proverbs along with quotations by other famous persons, including Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and William Shakespeare, because some proverbs are taken from writings of named persons, maybe modified, and other proverbs do not have known authors linked to them. [See Mieder et al 1996:xii; Fergusson 1983] ◇

3. You may feel uplifted in thought and mind by terse metaphorical expressions, which are not infrequently part of proverbs that are put to good use

Proverbs that originate in American soil may be rarer than the imported, immigrated ones as rendered into English by and by. But due consideration to alternatives: When American proverbs in states with quite many Scandinavians are look-alikes of proverbs Scandinavia, they may be direct translations from the language; direct translations from another language that contains the same proverbs; or spontaneous, new occurrences of a look-alike proverbs in the hundreds and thousands. Possibilites blend.

It hardly matters where a proverb originates so long as it functions well where it is found in use.


Apt metaphors have it in them to be able to uplift minds. Proverbs, altered proverbs, and proverbial statements are used for marketing and in politics too (Mieder 2005).


Governing Ideas: How to Find Some

Example 1

Man can't live in this world alone and unborn.

He grows up to learn to fend for himself and to feather his own nest as another man's poison as best he can.

When he marries, real troubles can begin.

A central concern, a Leitmotif, is laid bare in the above example, where fragments of different proverbs are fused and welded to produce a few novel sayings. At the heart of this: "A man grows up to oust some others and get space to marry and harvest its troubles" - is not the old man's lot to get an inkling of that?

Example 2

A good man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.

An old man who has lost most life anyhow, feels enough for planting trees and do good without expecting any returns.

Many believe according to how their id system has been fixated - And many underlings judge utterances that they cannot understand, as silly - that is, unless top physicists and other notable authorities tell such things. More on that: [Link]

Many proverbs use concrete words and ordinary happenings to tell of something that is not concrete and ordinary. Idioms are such expressions where what is stated, does not mean what you might be lead to think if you read it literally. Correspondingly, if a proverb speaks about the fox, it might be a type of cunning human that is meant.

If you detect an interesting and all-good, valid meaning by the words about "A good man . . ." above, try to say how you can be sure that your interpretation of it is valid. It could be good for you to try that, but if so, you should tell just how you succeed too. That is part of the scientific procedure, and may be part of a sensible scholar's ways too. Anyway, a good teaching may be offhand-looking in the first place, and those who appear to make sense of it, they interpret, and some "put some of their own eyes into their understanding," to say it with Richard Feynman. If so, they project something in themselves, rightly, wrongly or in a "mixture bag".

Pertinent descriptions should be welcome, but are they?


Well Calculated Expressions ☼

1. Some Apt Fun First

Some proverbs caution and warn against given risks and dangers, others bluff, and still others are for fun. Among the helpful proverbs are some that are aligned with deep trends and may thereby contain tips on how to deal with some things.

2. Of deep contradictions, in other words existential enough for particle physics

What stands out as good about statistically had odds (from the divorce statistics), is that such reckoning may help us or prompt us to take sensible precautions that may come in handy in the long run. "In fair weather prepare for foul." It might help somewhat to be oriented about the most common causes of broken marriages, even though statistically had facts may not probe deeply for possible, underlying causes.

Research summaries may be summed up also, with or without the use of apt statements, with or without metaphors. However, the more we condense topics by the use of fewer words and figurative speech, the less precise we may be.

Consider such as the difficulties of quantum physics and the statements of some of its forefront researchers and thinkers, for example, "One becomes entangled in contradictions if one speaks of the probable position of the electron without considering the experiment used to determine it. We should be forced, for example, to include our own eyes as part of the system (Werner Karl Heisenberg, The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory)." And "I think I can safely say that no one understands quantum mechanics," says the Nobel laureate Richard Feynman (1918–88), and also, "If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn't have been worth the Nobel Prize."

One might cultivate gist that matters, at least to oneself and one's kin.

3. A largely unsettled body of "teachings and notions", therefore tantalising many

Half-standards and incomplete norms or half-norms can be arrived at by proverbs. Some proverbs indicate living well, others do not. And research results can be put to such uses too: "Science is what we have learned about how not to fool ourselves about the way the world is," says the top physicist Richard Feynman.


Incomplete, unsettled "half-principles" may at times tantalise. Expressions of physics, scientists or proverb makers or old are rife in contradictions and half-principles. They are, further, found in quantum physics.


American proverbs, proverbs in America, Literature  

Atkinson, Brooks, ed: Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Modern Library. New York, 1950. ⍽▢⍽ The American essayist, lecturer, and poet wrote important essays on a number of subjects, developing a variety of ideas. His work has greatly influenced thinkers, writers and poets, and he is very often quoted, also in quotation collections and proverb collections.

Bruner, Jerome. The Culture of Education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996. ⍽▢⍽ Dr Bruner writes on how education can usher children into their culture. Proverbs embody aspects of a culture.

Downey, William Scott. Proverbs by Rev. William Scott Downey, B.D. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co., 1855.

Doyle, Charles Clay, Wolfgang Mieder, and Fred R. Shapiro. The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. ⍽▢⍽ This collection of recent proverbs presents more than 1,400 proverbs with very much information about the earliest datable appearance, origin, history, and meaning of each proverb. Together, these colourful, recent proverbs reveal aspects of the modern culture and tact.

Feynman, Richard. 1986. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" Adventures of a Curious Character. New York: Bantam Books.

Lau, Kimberly J., Peter Tokofsky and Stephen D. Winick, redr. What Goes Around Comes Around: The Circulation of Proverbs in Contemporary Life. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2004. ⍽▢⍽ Critical essays on some of the aspects of the history of proverbs. The book is by folklorists who look at uses and contexts of proverbs and proverbial speech, some traditional and conventional. The contributions examine such as the idiomatic relevance of proverbs in modern culture.

Mieder, Wolfgang, main ed: A Dictionary of American Proverbs.(Paperback) Oxford University, New York, 1996 (1992). ⍽▢⍽ A comprehensive, top-notch work. More than 15,000 sayings, adages, and maxims commonly used in popular speech in the United States and Canada, based on oral sources rather than written sources, it includes thousands of uniquely American proverbs as well as many thousands of traditional sayings that have found their way into American speech from Europe. In it, proverbs are listed alphabetically by key word, with cross-references for related proverbs, and also variant proverbs. A very fine reference for general readers and scholars of literature alike.

Mieder, Wolfgang. Proverbs Are the Best Policy: Folk Wisdom and American Politics. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ Professor Mieder discusses the role of proverbial speech in American politics from the Revolutionary War to ca. 2005. He discusses the origins and characteristics of American proverbs. He then looks at the history of the defining proverb of American democracy, "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Subsequent essays consider other matters.

Sanderson, Catherine A. 2010. Social Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Temple, Olivia and Robert, trs. The Complete Fables. London: Penguin, 1998. ⍽▢⍽ Many fables today often come with instructive proverbs added to them. Some common proverbs in Europa stem from the ancient fable tradition.

Titelman, Gregory. Random House Dictionary of America's Popular Proverbs and Sayings. 2nd ed. New York: Random House, 2000. ⍽▢⍽ The chosen proverbs in it are made easy to understand through some likable explanations, with historical examples of their uses

Watkins, Mel. ed. African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to Today. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2002. ⍽▢⍽ A revealing collection of witticisms, including anecdotes, quotations, about 70 proverbs, and much else.

Wikiquote, "Richard Feynman". Accessed 22 May 2009.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

American proverbs, proverbs in America, To top    Section     Set    Next

American proverbs, proverbs in America. User's Guide   ᴥ    Disclaimer 
© 1997–2019, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]