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Re: Take it or leave it

Posted by ESC on February 18, 2004

In Reply to: Re: Mills of god 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

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT - "Make up your mind; the offer stands as is and won't be changed. A version of this phrase can be found in the 'Cursor Mundi' as early as 1300. Shakespeare was closer to the modern usage in 'King Lear.' Lear has decided to disinherit his youngest daughter, Cordelia, who is sought in marriage by the king of France. Lear says to the French king and the Duke of Burgundy:
Will you, with these infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?

The king of France takes her."
From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).

: : 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
DRESSED (FIT) TO KILL - "Spiffily turned out; nattily or showily attired (often with the implication that one has somewhat overdone it). Kill means no more here than to wow or impress. It is a hyperbolic way of saying one would or might overwhelm someone of the opposite sex by one's good looks, clothes or personality. The expression was in the language by the 18th century, as reflected by Sir Richard Steele in 'The Spectator' in 1711: 'If they (Handsome People) do not kill at first sight, as the Phrase is, a second Interview disarms them of all their Power.' In a letter of 1818 John Keats wrote: 'One chap was dressed to kill for the King in Bombastes.'" From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).