Modern Proverbs Appeal (UNCLASSIFIED)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri May 25 00:18:25 UTC 2007

That reminds of me two actual putative proverbs which I learned in 1974 from neighbor George Cheatham of El Dorado ("Doraydo"), Ark.:

  "If _if_ was a skiff, we'd all go rowing," and the roughly synonymous "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass on a lily-pad."

  Do exclamatory sentences count? If so: "Dames!"  The memory banks also cough up:

  "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

  "You talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?"

  "You got the the name, why not the game?"

  "Au contraire, mon fr'ere!" (or "Voltaire")

  "No way, Jose'!"

  "No shit, Sherlock! What was your first clue?" (or "Dick Tracy").

  "Does a bear shit in the woods?" "Is the Pope Catholic?" [etc.]

  When you're up to your ass in alligators, you don't think about draining the swamp."

  "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

  "That's close enough for government work."

  "Just remember, your [_sc._ military] equipment was made by the lowest bidder."

  "Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first."

  "Money talks, bullshit walks."

  "You can't bullshit a bullshitter."

  "When you see light at the end of the tunnel, it could be the headlight of an oncoming train."

  "Buy now, pay later."

  "Never complain, never explain."

  "Some guys got it, some guys aint."

  "A little dab'll do ya."


Paul Johnson <paulzjoh at MTNHOME.COM> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Paul Johnson

Subject: Re: Modern Proverbs Appeal (UNCLASSIFIED)

Back in the Folk song phase of the late 60s, a carpenter friend used to

"If you were a lady and I was a carpenter
I'd nail you"

Jim Parish wrote:

>Bill Mullins wrote:
>>I've always heard this as, "If your only tool is a hammer, every problem
>>looks like a nail."
>The version I'm familiar with - which I do use as a proverb - is "To a
>man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail." I don't know where I
>ran across it, though.

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