Born with a silver foot in his mouth

Posted by ESC (USA) on July 18, 2004

In Reply to: Meaning?? posted by Brian from Shawnee on July 16, 2004

: : : Information I have found on the internet indicates it may have been said originally about George H. W. Bush (a.k.a. Bush 41), by either Jim Hightower or Ann Richards in 1988 at the Democratic convention. It's been liberally applied to Dubya recently.

: : : I tend to think it was Hightower who said it, since Ms. Richards already has that one about "born with a silver foot in his mouth".

: : I confess I know precious little about baseball, so if you could, please tell me what the phrase means.
: : TIA.

: Hello Danger Kitty, (love that name, by the way).

: In baseball, in order to score a run (a point is called a "run" in baseball), a player starts out at home plate. He then tries to make it safely to first base, then second, then third, and finally if he makes it back to home plate without being tagged or forced "out" then he scores a run for his team.

: Being "on third base" means that you need to advance only one base in order to score. Hitting a "triple" means that you've hit the ball so well you've gotten all the way to third base. (The only thing better is a "home run", where the ball is usually hit over the fence and you score right away.)

: So a person who has scored a run, but was "born on third base" hasn't really achieved anything more than the person who has gotten only to first base. Each one has only advanced one base from where they started.

BORN WITH A SILVER FOOT IN HIS MOUTH -- State Treasurer Ann Richards of Texas in a keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in 1988 humorously changed the proverb (born with a silver spoon in one's mouth) by suggesting that George Bush was 'born with a silver foot in his mouth.'." From Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). "'Poor George.he can't help it - he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.' Richards said this line came to her via Lily Tomlin's writing parner Jane Wagner. Two weeks before the Democratic convention, Citzen's Action president Heather Booth used that line in a speech. Over two decades earlier the same observation was made about Newbold Morris, New York's patrician Commissioner of Parks (who once recommended Central Park as a good place for homeless people to spend the night). The New York Times' 1966 obituary of Morris credited its own reporter Paul Crowell with observing, 'Newbold was born with a silver foot in his mouth." From "Nice Guys Finish Seventh: False Phrases, Spurious Sayings, and Familiar Misquotations" by Ralph Keyes (HarperPerennial, 1993).