Friday, June 5, 2009


How often have you heard “Beauty is only skin deep” or “You are as old as you feel?” Have you wondered where those statements originated? Sorry, I don’t have the answer. I can tell you, though, that many of these statements have become such a part of our speech patterns that there is a special name for them – proverbs. By using these proverbs, we are repeating a script written long ago and used so many times that these words are now accepted as truths and are part of our culture.

Are they really true? Who knows? Maybe there is a kernel of truth, but has anyone ever tried to test them to see if they are valid? Because we humans like to repeat ideas and words that tickle our fancy, these statements may have just been passed from one person to another, from one side of our country to the other. Repeating something over and over makes it true, or does it?

How many of the following proverbs are part of your vocabulary – and beliefs?

  • Red sunset at night, sailors’ delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors’ take warning.

  • A dimple on the chin means there’s a devil within. [Often accompanied by a twinkle in the eye!]

  • He can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • Every path has its puddle.

  • If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

  • Never start a project on Friday as it will never be finished. [My Kentucky grandmother swore by this proverb!]

  • Can you think of a new proverb? How about these:

  • A child praised in his youth will honor his parents in old age.

  • Speak rashly, apologize slowly.

  • If you have one or two or three, please share with us.

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