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A pearl of modest wisdom

Posted by Lewis on September 08, 2003

In Reply to: Pearls of wisdom and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick posted by Adrian Reuben on September 08, 2003

: 1. Anyone know the origin of the expression "pearls of wisdom"?

: 2. About 20 years ago, I heard a book reviewed (but cannot recall the name or the author) that not only gave phrase origins but also comparable phrases from another age. The example given was the phrase
: "it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick" that in Victorian times was predated by "it's better than sleeping witn a dead policeman". Does
: anyone know the book?
: Adrian Reuben

As to pearls of wisdom - I believe that it is from the Biblical Book of Proverbs - that to waste wisdom on fools is like casting pearls before swine - in other words, that a fool's appreciation of wisdom is as great as a pig's appreciation of jewels.

Loads of common expressions have their roots in Proverbs - shows that it would have been a best-seller in its own right.