English Proverbs

Topics: Proverb, Book of Proverbs, Proverbs Pages: 21 (3969 words) Published: November 28, 2011
1 Examples
2 Paremiology
3 Use in conversation
4 Use in literature
5 Sources of proverbs
6 Paremiological minimum
7 Proverbs in visual form
8 Proverbs in advertising
9 Sources for proverb study

Not to be confused with pro-verb.
For other uses, see Proverb (disambiguation).

Chinese proverb. It says, "Study till old, live till old, and there is still three-tenths studying left to do." Meaning that no matter how old you are, there is still more studying left to do

A proverb (from Latin: proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. If a proverb is distinguished by particularly good phrasing, it may be known as an aphorism. Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language. Both the Bible (Book of Proverbs) and medieval Latin have played a considerable role in distributing proverbs across Europe, although almost every culture has examples of its own. Examples

Haste makes waste
A stitch in time saves nine.
Ignorance is bliss
Mustn't cry over spilt milk.
You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. ▪You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. ▪Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Well begun is half done.
A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Don't poke the bear.

The study of proverbs is called: paremiology (from Greek παροιμία - paroimía, "proverb") and can be dated back as far as Aristotle. Paremiography, on the other hand, is the collection of proverbs. A prominent proverb scholar in the United States is Wolfgang Mieder. He has written or edited over 50 books on the subject, edits the journal Proverbium (journal), has written innumerable articles on proverbs, and is very widely cited by other proverb scholars. Mieder defines the term proverb as follows: A proverb is a short, generally known sentence of the folk which contains wisdom, truth, morals, and traditional views in a metaphorical, fixed and memorizable form and which is handed down from generation to generation. —Mieder 1985:119; also in Mieder 1993:24

Sub-genres include proverbial comparisons (“as busy as a bee”), proverbial interrogatives (“Does a chicken have lips?”) and twin formulae (“give and take”). Another subcategory is wellerisms, named after Sam Weller from Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers (1837). They are constructed in a triadic manner which consists of a statement (often a proverb), an identification of a speaker (person or animal) and a phrase that places the statement into an unexpected situation. Ex.: “Every evil is followed by some good,” as the man said when his wife died the day after he became bankrupt. Yet another category of proverb is the anti-proverb (Mieder and Litovkina 2002), also called Perverb. In such cases, people twist familiar proverbs to change the meaning. Sometimes the result is merely humorous, but the most spectacular examples result in the opposite meaning of the standard proverb. Examples include, "Nerds of a feather flock together", "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and likely to talk about it," and "Absence makes the heart grow wander". Anti-proverbs are common on T-shirts, such as "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you." A similar form is proverbial expressions (“to bite the dust”). The difference is that proverbs are unchangeable sentences, while proverbial expressions permit alterations to fit the grammar of the context. Another close construction is an allusion to a proverb, such as "The new boss will probably fire some of the old staff, you know what they say about a 'new...
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