OT: half-wits

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri May 21 14:02:56 UTC 2010

On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 8:13 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 1:39 AM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>wrote:
> >
> > http://bit.ly/9vjZZm
> > > Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) says he never meant to engage in a "battle
> > > of wits" with Glenn Beck over the Fox News host's pitching for Goldline.
> > > "As you know," Weiner said, "he comes only half prepared to that battle."
> I don't know where, but I read this or a very similar line many years ago.

I don't have YBQ handy, but one form of the modern proverb is "The
fellow who thinks himself a wit is usually half right." The databases
have variations on the line going back to the early 1930s at least.

--Ben Zimmer

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

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