Posted by ESC on February 18, 2004
In Reply to: Origins of proverbs posted by ESC on February 18, 2004
: : i'm learning English as a second language and i'm writing a little thesis about the origins of some proverbs. could you help me to find the origin of these proverbs?
: : 1-Grasp all, lose all.
: : 2-You can't have your cake and eat it too
: : 3-to kill two birds with one stone
: : 4-There are two sides to every coin
: : 5-A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
: : 6-Clothes don't make the man
: : 7-Take it or leave it
: : 8-There is nothing new under the sun
: : 9-The mills of God grind slowly
: : 10-To be over the moon
: : 11-The grass is always greener on the other fence
: : 12-dressed to kill
: : i'll be very grateful if you answer me tonight or tomorrow morning
: : thanks very much and sorry for my english!!!!
: 1-Grasp all, lose all.
: 2-You can't have your cake and eat it too
: "You can't have your cake and eat it too -- One can't use something up and still have it to enjoy. This proverb was recorded in the book of proverbs by John Heywood in 1546, and is first attested in the United States in the 1742 'Colonial Records of Georgia' in 'Original Papers, 1735-1752.' The adage is found in varying forms: You can't eat your cake and have it too. You can't have everything and eat it too; Eat your cake and have the crumbs in bed with you, etc. ..." From the "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman.
: 3-to kill two birds with one stone
: KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE - "Achieve two objectives with a single effort. It would be remarkable indeed if someone slinging a stone at a bird got one bird, let alone two. Ovid had a similar expression in L*tin nearly 2,000 years ago. Related phrases were in English and French literature by the 16th century. Thomas Hobbes used the modern version in a work on liberty in 1656: 'T. H. thinks to kill two birds with one stone, and satisfy two arguments with one answer.'" "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).
: 4-There are two sides to every coin
: 5-A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush - "It's better to possess something real right now than to count on finding something better in the future. The proverb is similar to the thirteenth century Latin: Plus valet in manibus avis unica quam dupla silvis (A bird in the hands is worth more than two in the woods.) It has been traced back to the 'Life of St. Katharine' (c. 1450) by J. Capgrave." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
: 6-Clothes don't make the man
: 7-Take it or leave it
: 8-There is nothing new under the sun
: (Bible verse) Ecclesiastes 1
: 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
: 9-The mills of God grind slowly
MILLS OF GOD (THE GODS) GRIND SLOWLY - "At some point a sinner will be punished; many decisions or events that are important in one's life take time in coming. Some 1,600 years ago the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus wrote: 'The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.' One of Longfellow's translations was a 17th century poem, 'Retribution,' by Friedrich Von Logau:
Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.
From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).
: 10-To be over the moon
: 11-The grass is always greener on the other fence
: 12-dressed to kill