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Honey and vinegar

Posted by ESC on June 05, 2004

In Reply to: Honey and vinegar posted by Ward on June 05, 2004

: In an email discussion with my favorite Aussie blond(e) an old expression from my youth came into the conversation -- "you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar". Is that an expression in use around the English speaking world and what could have been the original intent -- to catch flies?

I thought this one would be an easy one to find. But I had to look through several references.

"...The proverb has been traced back to G. Torriano's 'Common Place of Italian Proverbs' . It first appeared in the United States in Benjamin Franklin's 'Poor Richard's Almanac' in 1744, and is found in varying forms..." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

Maybe honey was used as "flypaper" to catch the pesky insects.