phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Still waters run deep

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 07, 2007

In Reply to: Still waters run deep posted by pamela on June 07, 2007

: : : I'm looking for a quote that is basically the opposite of "still waters run deep." It seems I heard one once along the lines of "it's the babbling brook that makes the noise." Is anyone familiar with the quote about the babbling brook?

: : I'm not. But my question is -- what point are you trying to make with the phrase? There's:

: : It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Meaning you have to make some noise to get a complaint addressed.

: : An empty wagon makes the most noise. (Or something like that.) Meaning that noise doesn't equal value or worth. At least that's what I think it means.

: I haven't heard the 'babbling brook" saying either - but the word "shallow" seems to be an opposite to the "still waters run deep" saying. Pamela

The traditional phrase is "An empty *vessel* makes the greatest noise". This is the version that Shakespeare knew (he cites it as a proverb in "Henry V"). The point of the saying is that an empty metal vessel (whether a kettle cauldron or tankard) is more reverberant and therefore will make more noise when struck than a full one. (VSD)