[Ads-l] New to me: a saw

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Sun Sep 16 17:58:25 EDT 2018


A variant of "A bought lesson is a taught lesson," from 2007 (_Honolulu Star_):  "A lesson bought is a lesson taught."  Both forms seem to be rare in print.


--Charlie


________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2018 1:23 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: New to me: a saw

Garson:
> Another related possibility: "wit" that is "bought" might refer to
> knowledge that is gained via some loss: lost money, damaged resources,
> increased pain, alienation of a friend, et cetera.

By God, I think he's got it!

Vada's Vittles - Page 33 - Google Books Result
https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1460238354
Millicent Elaine Williams - 2014 - ‎Body, Mind & Spirit
VV9: [A bought lesson is a taught lesson.] Mama dropped that one on him
_when he ended up on the short end of a financial deal_.

On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:40 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> > > - Wit once bought, is worth twice taught.
>
> Arnold M. Zwicky wrote
> > the interpretation i had for this from (i think) my teenage years is
> > that a lesson you have *bought* -- taken in as your own -- is
> > worth twice as much as  lesson people have merely preached at
> > you.  but i know nothing about the history.
>
> That is a good interpretation.
>
> Another related possibility: "wit" that is "bought" might refer to
> knowledge that is gained via some loss: lost money, damaged resources,
> increased pain, alienation of a friend, et cetera.
>
> Hard-won knowledge of this type will be remembered and utilized more
> effectively than knowledge that is simply taught (even twice taught).
>
> I think that the gloss Wilson included with his message says something
> similar about the modern proverb.
>
> Garson
>
> On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:24 PM Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Sep 14, 2018, at 7:18 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> > >
> > > Below is a proverb containing the words "bought" and "taught" that was
> > > circulating by 1678. Its meaning is not clear to me.
> > >
> > > Year: 1678
> > > Title: A collection of English proverbs digested into a convenient
> > > method for the speedy finding any one upon occasion: with short
> > > annotations: whereunto are added local proverbs with their
> > > explications, old proverbial rhythmes, less known or exotick
> > > proverbial sentences, and Scottish proverbs
> > > Author: John Ray (1627-1705)
> > > Publication info: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]: Printed by John Hayes
> > > ..., for W. Morden, 1678.
> > > Database: Early English Books Online
> > >
> > > [Begin excerpt]
> > > - Good wits jump.
> > > - Wit once bought, is worth twice taught.
> > > - A wonder lasts but nine days.
> > > - A wooll-seller knows a wooll-buyer. Yorksh.
> > > - A word is enough to the wise.
> > > [End excerpt]
> >
> > the interpretation i had for this from (i think) my teenage years is
> that a lesson you have *bought* -- taken in as your own -- is worth twice
> as much as  lesson people have merely preached at you.  but i know nothing
> about the history.
> >
> > arnold
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


--
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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


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