phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Out of the mouths of babes

Posted by TheFallen on October 31, 2004

In Reply to: Out of the mouths of babes posted by George Carrard on October 31, 2004

: Origin? Not the biblical one about strength (Psalms 8:2), but the one about wisdom coming out of the mouths of children.

You're clearly right to point out the biblical origin of the phrase itself and also to highlight that the Psalm referred to deals with the provenance of strength.

My guess would be that several writers have over the centuries adapted the phrase in a usage that has simply come to mean "from an unlikely or surprising source" - the following example being from Mark Twain:-

Out of the unconscious lips of babes and sucklings are we satirized.
ATTRIBUTION: Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "Which Was the Dream?" (written 1897).