A little knowledge

Posted by Paul Gillingwater on November 14, 2001

In Reply to: A little knowledge posted by Helen Elliott on October 30, 2001

: I saw the phrase " a little knowledge" listed. I have always believed that this is a misquote and the actual expression is " a little learning is a dangerous thing", but I cannot remember the origin. Help please.

Here is the quote from Alexander Pope which is the origin of the expression:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

: Also, I noticed the word "butchers" listed with the meaning given as "sick" (Australian origin). I have never heard this before and only know the Cockney rhyming slang from which this version is derived, i.e. Butcher's hook = look. This origin is not given on its own, which is odd.

It's an Australian adaptation of Cockney rhyming slang.
Butcher's Hook == Crook. Crook is a slang word for feeling sick.

"I'm feeling a bit crook, mate."