"A woman without a man" proverb

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Apr 27 21:37:44 UTC 2003

I found the following antecedent of a well-known modern proverb on another
mailing list:

<begin quote>
Jan[us] Gruter[us] seems to have been an interesting character: a librarian
& philologist, he lived in exile in [Elizabethan ]England for a while before
ending up in
Heidelberg, and produced (amongst many other things) a 3-volume florilegium
(in his case, a collection of proverbs and sayings from various European

One typical English proverb he quotes: "a woman without a man is like a
garden without grass". Now, of course, we're more likely to find this as
"...is like a fish without a bicycle". You choose! :-)

Auteur: Gruterus , Janus
Titel:  Florilegium ethico-politicum nunquam antehac editum; necnon P. Syri
ac L. Senecae sententiae aureae; accedunt Gnomae paroemiaeque Graecorum, item
Proverbia Germanica, Belgica, Italica, Gallica, Hispanica
Uitgave: Francofurti : Jonas Rhodius
Jaar: 1610
<end quote>

              - Jim Landau

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