Posted by TheFallen on March 21, 2002
In Reply to: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus posted by masakim on March 21, 2002
: : : : See
: : : : http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/8/messages/978.html
: : :
: : : Hi!
: : : Thanks for the response. Actually, that article is exactly where I first saw this proverb, but that still doesn't tell me what it's origin is...
: : : Anyone?
: : : Thanks!
: : : Mario.
: : To be brutally clear, it's a J.K. Rowling adaptation of an ancient proverb that is still with us, namely "let sleeping dogs lie", which was I believe around in much the same form in Roman times.
: Yes, I think so.
: The proverb "Let sleeping dogs lie" was used by Chaucer in _Troilus and Criseyde_:
: "It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake."
: It is also found in other European languages. For example, the Medieval French version is "N'esveillez pas lou chien qui dort."
: J. K. Rowling may have changed a monosyllabic and mundane "dog" into a magical and mythical "dragon."
While not doubting the ever-resourceful Masakim's information for even a second, it's worth idly pointing out that the French, who are a contrary bunch at the best of times, have a more modern idiom, namely "ne pas reveiller le chat qui dort ", or literally "don't wake a sleeping cat".