Posted by ESC on March 07, 2005
In Reply to: Cut off your nose in spit of your face. posted by Viki on March 07, 2005
: What is the meaning behind the meaning? In other words what does the meaning mean?
DON'T CUT OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE - "Vengeful rage has led to many pointless and foolish acts.but none so stupid as those in which we try to get back at someone else by punishing ourselves.The current proverb was first recorded about 1200 as a Latin saying, 'He who cuts off his nose takes poor revenge for a shame inflected upon him.'." From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993). "By 1788 Peter Grose was defining it in his 'Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue: 'He cut off his nose to be revenged of his face, said of one who, to be revenged of his neighbour, has materially injured himself.'" From "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).
An example that comes to mind is a child who is angry at his parents so he deliberately fails out of school, etc.