OT: half-wits (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Fri May 21 17:11:37 UTC 2010

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

New York Times Aug 20, 1937; pg. L21 col 1

"Alan Mowbray nicely caricatures the plight of a man entering a battle
of wits half equipped."

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Benjamin Zimmer
> Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 9:03 AM
> Subject: Re: OT: half-wits
> > > > 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
> 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.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list