Heard on The Judges: Asian proverb

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Apr 29 14:12:32 UTC 2008

Proverbs and aphorisms exist in several languages that remark on how lending turns a friend into a foe. In English: "When I lent, I was a friend; when I asked [for repayment], I was unkind. So of my friend I made a foe; therefore, I will no more do so."  "Lend your money and lose your friend."  "If you would make an enemy, lend a man money, and ask it of him again."

The version uttered by Polonious in _Hamlet_ is "Neither a borrower nor a lender be / For loan oft loses both itself and friend."

Wilson, I notice that the speaker you quote didn't specifically identify the "old saying" as an ASIAN. Her version is rather neatly turned!


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 15:04:30 -0400
>From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Heard on The Judges: Asian proverb
>During the man-in-the-street portion of Judge Milian, an outside man sks random people their opinion of a case. This case had to do with elatives being sued by other relatives for payback of a loan. When a iddle-aged, Asian-American woman was asked her opinion, she replied:
>"There's an old saying:
>'When you lend to a friend, you'll be repaid by an enemy.'"

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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