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Oil and water

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 25, 2007

In Reply to: Oil and water posted by Nicolas Murillo on October 25, 2007

: I'd like to know (if possible) where does the phrase "Oil and water don't mix" come from. China? India? Who said it? Any information will be very useful.

It's not a "quotation" (i.e. something people say because a famous person said it first). It's an observation that could have been made by any person from any culture that knows and uses oil (which, let's face it, includes most of the world). Like other observations of common phenomena (e.g. "fight like cat and dog", "one swallow does not make a summer") it may well have been made quite independently by many different people. It wouldn't surprise me at all if people say something of the kind in China and India; that of course doesn't mean that we got the phrase from there. (VSD)