Posted by RRC on November 19, 2006
In Reply to: Behind every succesful man there is a woman posted by Smokey Stover on November 19, 2006
: : : Behind every succesful man there is a woman-Who did coin this statement and why? Secondly consider the folowing:-In front of every successful man there is a woman (consider mother),or behind a successful man there is a sucessful woman-Which one of hese are true?
: : This is all I have on the above:
: : BEHIND EVERY GREAT MAN THERE IS A GREAT WOMAN - "Men often owe their success to women. It's women that make them tick. The word 'great' may be replaced by 'good,' 'successful,' etc. The proverb is listed in the 1992 'Dictionary of American Proverbs' by Wolfgang Mieder et al." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). The reference cited says that the "recorded distribution" is Mississippi. Meaning the "oral source" or sources for the proverb is from that state. "Dictionary of American Proverbs" edited by Wolfgang Mieder & Others (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1992).
: The way I heard it was, "Behind every great man there's a woman telling him he's wrong."
In addition to "in back of", one of the meanings of behind is "supporting"/"in support of" which is partly what makes it such a clever saying. Using "in front of" would loose this extra ambiguity.