By in Writing

A New Proverb?

What is a Proverb?

A proverb is a wise saying. It embodies a truth in a few words that everyone can either understand straight away or learn to under stand very quickly. Some examples are: people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, or don't cross your bridges before you come to them. The glass houses proverb means that you should not criticise others for something you can also be criticised for and the bridges proverb tells us not to worry about something that has not yet happened. Proverbs give us a concrete example of a wisdom that may be a bit abstract to understand without them.

Are There New Proverbs?

All the proverbs seem to be old. Are new ones bejng produced? Many years ago when the phrase "pick the low growing fruit" was being used a lot, a colleague thought of a phrase he wanted to get known. His phrase was "stretching the leotard" . In case anyone does not know what a leotard is, it is a very tight piece of clothing, often worn insports such as gymnastics or yoga, where clothing must not hinder action. But as the leotard is already a tight and close fit, stretching it further than it was designed for could result in tears to the material or some not very pretty sights. I never heard that saying used other than by him.

My example

I was reminded of this just yesterday when my eldest granddaughter produced a pack of playing cards she had been given and wanted to play a game with them. I heard myself saying, "You have to learn the pack before you join the game." And realised that the saying could apply to many situations, especially in work.

Have you ever created a new proverb or heard of one?


Image Credit » by geralt

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


bestwriter wrote on July 5, 2015, 12:21 AM

We ordinary beings could certainly come out with great proverbs but who is listening? Yours is a good one emoticon :cool:

Shellyann36 wrote on July 5, 2015, 1:57 AM

I really like the one you have come up with. I am afraid I have not ever come up with any and I don't know anyone who has until you.

MegL wrote on July 5, 2015, 3:45 AM

It has taken me a LOOONNNGGG time to do that!

Paulie wrote on July 5, 2015, 4:13 AM

My dad used to always say that a fool and his money are soon parted. Another one I like is "you can't take sand to the beach." Or as the Brits say, "You can't take coal to New Castle."

Shellyann36 wrote on July 5, 2015, 4:35 AM

Better late than never!

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 8:01 AM

Two things that come to mind from my grandfather, though I'm not sure how proverbial they were:

"That would go over like a fart in church!"
"Don't let your mouth write a check your ass can't cash!"

MegL wrote on July 5, 2015, 8:39 AM

I love both of those! Coincidentally, I just got an ebook with proverbs from round the world and I don't recall either of those in there. That second one can be taken in many ways, definitely one to remember.

MegL wrote on July 5, 2015, 8:41 AM

Yes, the "coals to Newcastle" one is very familiar from my childhood but I think I prefer "sand to the beach" as it would relate more to most people's experience.

MegL wrote on July 5, 2015, 8:46 AM

I rather like the one,"the price of a good woman is above rubies".

msiduri wrote on July 5, 2015, 9:02 AM

Your grandfather must have been what "polite folk" would call "colorful."

msiduri wrote on July 5, 2015, 9:05 AM

This one from a coworker of Mr. Siduri's: Don't buy a dog and do the barking yourself. That is, don't see the advice of a professional (doctor, lawyer, whatever) and just go ahead and do whatever it is you were going to do anyway.

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 9:06 AM

Having lived all over the US and in the Pacific Islands, working with people from all over the world, I think I could come up with my own, which would borrow from many. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 9:08 AM

When people were around, I don't ever remember him saying much. When I was little, and I would go out into the shop/shed with him when he was fixing small appliances, or sharpening the blades on the push mower, I heard things I never heard him say otherwise.

Paulie wrote on July 5, 2015, 9:09 AM

When I was young and stationed on Taiwan with the Navy, the local Taiwanese women were really beautiful. The big joke for the married sailors who took their wives to Taiwan was that it was like "taking a baloney sandwich to a banquet."

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 5, 2015, 12:21 PM

I haven't created any that I know of. I've heard some I'm still trying to make sense of. One my Uncle Howard, used to say, "No matter how fast a fish swims, it'll never sweat," I am still trying to understand.

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 5, 2015, 12:28 PM

I remember a version of the second one from the movie TOP GUN and it has been used over and over again in movies, especially parodies of war movies, since.

"Your ego's writing checks your body can't cash."

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 12:55 PM

I do not get that all.

DWDavisRSL wrote on July 5, 2015, 2:22 PM

I've puzzled over it for years. Other than being true, I have no idea what my uncle meant. He'd say it at random times so I can't even tie it to a particular type of event or occurrence.

CoralLevang wrote on July 5, 2015, 2:53 PM

When I was in the Navy, I always took issue with my fellow sailors who would joke in that fashion, married or not, or would allow for others to get away with such disrespect of other human beings, in this case women of any type.

MegL wrote on July 5, 2015, 3:10 PM

I looked up that one and it was in the "totally nonsense but useful" category. I think it does have a meaning on the lines of " a leopard doesn't change his spots", the kind of saying that says there are some things you just CANNOT do no matter how hard you try. No matter how hard I flap my arms, I cannot fly like a bird.

Paulie wrote on July 5, 2015, 10:55 PM

Yes, the joke does show a lot of disrespect, but 50 years ago a lot of young sailors weren't that concerned about what was morally or politically correct.

CoralLevang wrote on July 6, 2015, 3:17 AM

And today a lot of people of any age don't concern themselves with the same.
50 years ago, I was still only dreaming of joining the military. Eight years later, I did.

cmoneyspinner wrote on July 6, 2015, 10:49 AM

Yes I wrote this proverb. "Artificial intelligence might be here to stay. But human intelligence ain't going away.” Does that count as a proverb?

MegL wrote on July 6, 2015, 12:59 PM

A wise saying, and true so yes

Ruby3881 wrote on July 6, 2015, 1:26 PM

I can't say that I've heard too many "new" (I guess that would mean in recent decades or perhaps the last few years?) proverbs, nor have I sought to create any. I do like the playing card one, though!

AliCanary wrote on July 7, 2015, 5:11 PM

I like that one. I've come up with a lot of what I'd call observations (see my dumb stuff series), some of which could be proverb-y with the right phrasing, perhaps. One of my favorites is "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".

BarbRad wrote on July 7, 2015, 6:30 PM

I'm content with proverbs of any age, as long as they ring true.

VinceSummers wrote on July 8, 2015, 7:09 AM

I'm busy learning the ones in the book of the same name. But I enjoyed your entry for the leotard. It reminded me of a woman who was not small wearing a white leotard walking down the street. I saw visions of cauliflower, due to the white-encased cellulite. But maybe you are saying, "That's too much information..."

MegL wrote on July 8, 2015, 7:45 AM

Now that is a saying that is worth encasing in a proverb! If only I could put it wittily. Probably a born and bred Northern Ireland person could put it well, something on the lines of "See her, swannin' down the street in her fancy new white leppard, or whitever yez callit, she thinks she's so smart, but her cellulite makes her look more like one av them cauliflowers wrapped in cling film"! Cruel but true!

Last Edited: July 8, 2015, 7:49 AM