In the study of proverbs many questions arouse scholarly
attention. A review of what can be done in the investigation
of proverbs may awaken interest in further endeavors in the
same directions. The study of proverbs deals with: the
bibliography of proverbs and proverb collections; the
assemblage of new materials and the availability of old
sources; the origin, history, influence, reliability, and
value of collections; the history of individual proverbs
with the interpretation and the evaluation of their changing
forms; the rise and use of proverbial types and formulae
including proverbial phrases; Wellerisms; proverbial
comparisons; the translation of proverbs from one language
into another; literary conventions in the use of proverbs;
Problems in the study of proverbs are attractive because
they involve a small mass of comparatively accessible
material. They are, moreover, easy to grasp and to execute.
They interest scholars with the most varied abilities, for
whatever talent one may possess,--linguistic, critical, or
bibliographical,--it can find application in the study of
proverbs. Slight as proverbs are and insignificant as they
may seem, careful study yields instructive and valuable
results. We are led very directly to estimate the worth of
different manners of expression and to perceive currents of
ideas,--ethical, political, scientific, or esthetic,--in the
history of humanity.
1. THE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PROVERBS AND PROVERB
Although the bibliographical
the study of proverbs are excellent in comparison with those
available for many other subjects, further bibliographical
assistance is desirable and necessary. For convenience we
may distinguish lists of proverb collections and books about
proverbs, bibliographies of proverb collections arranged
according to subject, and bibliographical information
concerning the parallels to individual proverbs.
Lists of collections of proverbs are of two kinds,
international and national. Although the international lists
are often very helpful, they are comparatively incomplete
and the best recent lists confine themselves to the books
owned by a single collector. The national lists are rather
numerous and, in general, fairly comprehensive. Any sort of
critical estimate of the works named in such lists is
ordinarily lacking. Particularly attractive tasks which
exceed what may be demanded of the mere bibliographer
involve the compilation of a critical list with some
indication of the course of development in collections of
proverbs. For example, a competent critical bibliography of
the English proverb collections would be very serviceable.
The minor collections devoted to certain regions or special
subjects are often overlooked by bibliographers. Yet such
collections are usually careful records of popular tradition
and are consequently admirable and useful sources of
information. We should endeavor to supplement our present
bibliographical knowledge by listing journal articles,
particularly those in local historical and geographical
periodicals, and by compiling critical and historical
In The Proverb I have tried to survey proverb
collections arranged according to subject-matter: fishing
and hunting (p. 14), the sea (p. 14), the trades and
business (pp. 15, 92), fables in proverbs (p. 27), familiar
quotations (p. 34), the Bible in proverbs (p. 52), women (p.
66), historical events (p. 82), law (p. 86), legal formulae
(p. 89), legal maxims (p. 96), "blason populaire" (p. 97),
weather (p. 109), medicine (p. 121), physiognomy (p. 127),
conventional phrases (p. 129), proverbial phrases (p. 184),
phrases for "drunken" (p. 200), Wellerisms (p. 200),
proverbial comparisons (p. 220). Additions to any of these
introductory bibliographies can be made by a little search.
As we see, bibliographical information about proverb
collections according to language or subject-matter is
available. Although enlargement and correction of our
information are desirable, other tasks are more
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De Proverbio – Latin for ‘About the Proverb’ – is a website devoted to proverbs in several languages. It was founded in January 1995 at the University of Tasmania, Australia. De Proverbio was the world’s first refereed electronic journal of international proverb studies. It’s inspiration was Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship edited by Prof. Wolfgang Mieder at the University of Vermont. The Yearbook continued the tradition of Proverbium: Bulletin d’Information sur les Recherches Parémiologiques, published occasionally from 1965 to 1975 by the Society for Finnish Literature, Helsinki.
Recently, the website has added audio proverbs in six languages, read by native speakers. Also available for the lovers of languages and their proverbial richess is a page of multilingual proverb crosswords.
Proverbs and Their Definition
From time immemorial proverbs have fascinated people of all ages and from all walks of life. As it happened throughout centuries, common people today still avail themselves of the proverb’s rich oral tradition to convey their culture and values, while scholars collect and study them from a wide range of angles: linguistic, social, psychological, political, historical and so on.
The problem of proverb definition is still open. However, it is broadly accepted that proverbs were born from man’s experience. And that they generally express, in a very succinct way, common-sense truths. They give sound advice and reflect the human condition. But, as we know, human nature is both good and bad and the latter is often mirrored by discriminatory proverbs, be they against women, different nationalities or particular social groups. For a thorough discussion of proverb definition, see Popular Views of the Proverb by Prof. Wolfgang Mieder. Another article which sheds some light on the proverb definition is The Wisdom of Many and the Wit of One by Archer Taylor.
Proverbs and Their Origin
As to the origin of proverbs we tend to assume that they were born in times when human society began to self-impose rules and embrace principles necessary for communal living. Research can trace them back only to the time when language was recorded by means of some type of writing. The Sumerian civilisation of more than five thousand years ago is the oldest known civilisation to have made use of proverbs, some of which have been passed on through its cuneiform inscriptions.
One such proverb, in its Latin version, is Canis festinans caecos parit catulos. It spread to other languages. The English translation is The hasty bitch brings forth blind whelps. In French, it became La chienne dans sa hâte a mis bas des chiots aveugles. In the Italian La gatta frettolosa fece i gattini ciechi, the bitch has been replaced by the cat. The Portuguese version is Cadelas apressadas parem cães tortos, and the Romanian, Căţeaua de pripă îşi naşte căţeii fără ochi.
Proverbs and Their Use
Apart from use on a wide scale in day-to-day speech, there is ample evidence that proverbs were essential tools in teaching and learning. The pedagogical use of proverbs was encountered first in Sumerian society and subsequently this use became widespread throughout Medieval Europe.
Proverbs and proverbial expressions are found in religious manuscripts of the first half of the eighth century. The aim of introducing proverbs into religious texts was to help novices to learn Latin, and this practice became widespread by the tenth century.
The use of proverbs in teaching and learning was not circumscribed to England. Relatively new research attests to the use of proverbs in teaching in the eleventh century in Liège, France. In Italy the famous medical School of Salerno of the eleventh century formulated medical precepts which later became proverbs adopted by different cultures. Post prandium stabis, post coenam ambulabis was translated After dinner sit awhile, after supper walk a mile in English. In French became Après dîner repose un peu, après souper promène une mille, while in Italian Dopo pranzo riposar un poco, dopo cena passeggiar un miglio. The Spanish version is Después de yantar reposad un poco, después de cenar pasead una milla and the Portuguese Depois de jantar, dormir; depois de cear, passos mil.
Proverbs and Their Abuse
But from use comes abuse, as a Spanish proverb says. There is no doubt that the capacity of the proverb to convey universal truths concisely led to their abuse and manipulation.
Hitler and his Nazi regime employed proverbs as emotional slogans for propaganda purposes and encouraged the publication of anti-semitic proverb collections. For a thorough analysis of this phenomenon, please read the fascinating article “ … as if I were the master of situation.” Proverbial Manipulation in Adolf Hitler by Prof. Wolfgang Mieder.
At the opposite end of the political spectrum, communist regimes of the past have not only manipulated proverbs, but also purged popular collections of features which did not reflect their political ends. The former Soviet regime is at the forefront of such actions. One type of manipulation described by Jean Breuillard in Proverbes et pouvoir politique: Le cas de l’U.R.S.S. (published in “Richesse du proverbe”, Eds. François Suard and Claude Buridant. Lille: Université de Lille, 1984. II, 155-166). It consisted in modifying ancient proverbs like La vérité parcourt le monde (Truth spreads all over the world) into La vérité de Lénine parcourt le monde (Lenin’s truth spreads all over the world). As a result the new creation is unequivocably charged with a specific ideological message.
Manipulation did not stop at individual proverbs, it extended to entire collections. Vladimir Dal’s mid-nineteen century collection of Russian proverbs is such an example. Its first Soviet edition (1957) reduces the proverbs containing the word God from 283 to 7 only. Instead, those which express compassion for human weaknesses, such as alcoholism, disappear altogether. In more recent years, in Ceauşescu’s Romania, Proverbele românilor (published in 1877 by I. C. Hinţescu) suffered the same treatment. More than 150 proverbs were eliminated or changed in order to respond rigidly to the communist ideology.
Proverbs Across Time and Space
The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs states that foreign proverbs’ contribution to the English proverbial stock has enriched our language. Many proverbs of foreign origin were quickly absorbed into English life and have a rightful place in an English dictionary. Indeed, a close scrutiny of that dictionary reveals that more than two hundred and fifty proverbs are listed as first existing in Italian.
This is also true for other modern languages, particularly French and Spanish. The translation is not always literal. At times it is adapted to the new language and the resulting proverb is often enriched in its expression. For instance the Latin Homo sine pecunia est imago mortis (A man without money is the image of death) is rather closely translated in Italian as Uomo senza quattrini è un morto che cammina (A man without money is a dead man walking).
However, in other languages the metaphor changes, but not the meaning. In English the proverb becomes A man without money is a bow without an arrow, while in French Un homme sans argent / Est un loup sans dents (A man without money is a wolf without teeth) and an element of rhyme is introduced. The Romanian adaptation is a real poetic gem Omul fără bani e ca pasărea fără aripi; Când dă să zboare / Cade jos şi moare (A man without money is like a bird without wings; When he tries to fly / He falls down and dies). The concept is essentially the same: the man without money lacks something important…
While proverbs are still used today in a traditional way, that is in speech, literature and teaching, they have found a new ever expanding use in the advertising industry and in the mass media. One example is Here today, gone tomorrow, which became Hair today, gone tomorrow in the hair-removal industry. In the mass media it has a variety of paraphrases such as Hear today, gone tomorrow or Heir today, gone tomorrow. Before the Barcelona Olympic Games the old proverb All roads lead to Rome became All roads lead to… Barcelona in many English language newspapers and magazines. A new phenomenon encountered in many languages nowadays and is undoubtedly a sign of the proverb’s resilience and vitality.
Important writers of the past, among them Goethe and Voltaire, have questioned the traditional wisdom of proverbs. That led to some proverb transformations. Prof. Wolfgang Mieder coined the term anti-proverb for all forms of creative proverb changes. They can be deliberate innovations, alterations, variations, parodies. Anti-proverbs are widely spread today, some living a short time, some even making their way into recent proverb collections. A new broom sweeps clean, but the old one knows the corners and Absence makes the heart grow fonder – for somebody else are considered anti-proverbs.
Proverbs and Their Collection
Apart from studies on individual and multilingual proverbs and proverbial expressions, you will find a few e-books on our website. I will mention a Brazilian collection and a dictionary of equivalent English and Romanian proverbs. Prof. Wolfgang Mieder’s yearly bibliographies are an invaluable tool for students and researchers. Given their widespread use over the millennia, it is no wonder that scholars of the past started assembling proverbs in collections. Aristotle is believed to be among the first paremiographers (collectors of proverbs), but, unfortunately, his collection was lost. In more recent times a great impetus to the collection of proverbs was given by Erasmus. His fame spread from Venice throughout Europe after the publication in 1508 of his Adagiorum Chiliades. This collection contained 3,260 proverbs drawn from classical authors.
The success of the book led to several augmented editions culminating with that of 1536, which contains 4,151 proverbs. Erasmus’ work was translated into several European languages. While it became the model for future proverb collections in those languages, they were widely copied and translated.
One good example of such a practice is the 1591 Italian collection Giardino di Ricreatione, nel quale crescono fronde, fiori e frutti, vaghe, leggiadri e soavi, sotto nome di sei miglia proverbii, e piacevoli riboboli Italiani, colti e scelti da Giovanni Florio. And two decades later appeared in French as Le Jardin de Récréation, au quel croissent rameaux, fleurs et fruits très-beaux, gentils et souefs, soubz le nom de Six mille proverbes et plaisantes rencontres françoises, recueillis et triéez par GOMÈS DE TRIER, non seulement utiles mais délectables pour tous espritz désireux de la très-noble et copieuse langue françoise, nouvellement mis en lumière, à Amsterdam, par PAUL DE RAVESTEYN.
Proverbs and Fun
On the less academic side, you can test your knowledge of languages by solving our bilingual or multilingual crosswords. Or, you can listen to our featured proverbs in 6 languages – English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish. Also, enjoy sharing them with your friends. Some were posted on Twitter as comments to political events of the day.
Painters in Renaissance time, from Hieronymus Bosch to Pieter Bruegel, with his famous Netherlandish Proverbs, were attracted by the subject.
Modern artists like James Chapman illustrated recently proverbs from other world languages with hilarious cartoons. See some of his images on this page.
Critical historical study of a collection of proverbs on
a particular theme might show the increasing or varying
importance of the theme in different ages. Business
proverbs, for example, seem largely to be a recent
invention, except those which have legal implications like
"Caveat emptor." In medical, legal, and meteorological
proverbs echoes of ideas long since discarded may persist
and call for interpretation. Such tasks demand, of course,
wide reading and familiarity with a field entirely apart
3. THE SOURCES AND HISTORY OF PROVERB COLLECTIONS.
Collections of proverbs and particularly those of former
ages often neglect to indicate the sources on which they
draw. The true situation is in many instances disclosed by
the preservation of the alphabetical order of the older
collection or by the occurrence of misprints shared by the
two collections. Thus, the first alphabetical collection of
English proverbs issued in England rests upon a similar
collection published three years earlier in Frankfurt am
there is no reference to the source. The alphabetical order
of the German edition is preserved in general, although
there are some deviations from correct English usage.
Furthermore, the obvious errors of the German typesetter are
set aright in the reprint, but enough persist to prove the
dependence of the English list on the German one. For
example, the English list keeps this perversion: "Wil wil
haue wilt, thoug will woe winne." The error wilt for wil, i. e. will, renders the proxerb unintelligible. Yet this error is found
in James Howell's , Proverbs or Old Sayed Saws (London, 1659), in the
various editions of John Ray's Collection of English
Proverbs from the first in 1670 to the last in 1817, in
H. G. Bohn's Handbook of Proverbs (London, 1855), in
W. C. Hazlitt's English Proverbs and Proverbial
Phrases (London, 1st ed., 1870, 2nd ed., 1907), and
finally in W. G. Benham's Book of Quotations (London,
1924). For three centuries one or another of these books has
been the standard collection of English proverbs, and in all
of them the same error persists. A similar error accounts
for "Kindness will creep where it cannot go" (Taylor,
"Proverbia Britannica," No. 171), which worries Hazlitt
(English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases,2 p. 283).
These examples are hardly necessary to prove human
fallibility. They serve a more useful purpose in proving
that no collection in the series, after the first, has had
any connection with oral tradition, at least so far as these
proverbs are concerned. They illustrate, moreover, how the
relationship of collections can be demonstrated. Collections
of proverbs are often a literary tradition and, one might
almost say, a printer's tradition, handed down from
generation to generation.
As we see, the history of English proverbs traces back
through one recension after another to the collection
printed in Frankfurt am Main in 1611. This is the main
stream. No doubt the rivulets which joined it and finally
enlarged it manyfold can be discerned by careful study. It
is a curious fact, for example, that the large collection of
English proverbs which James Howell published in 1659
contains in essentially unchanged form the alphabetical list
of 1611. In addition to this list which persists as a unit,
there are supplementary lists in what appear to be groups of
some sort. Evidently Howell derived his materials from
different sources and neglected to combine them into a
single alphabet. The additions which English proverb
collections derive from George Herbert's Outlandish
Proverbs (1640) are readily recognizable by such tokens
as the curious and unidiomatic wording; these additions,
moreover, can still be perceived in collections as recent as
Hazlitt (1907). In Howell's lists of Spanish and Italian
proverbs there are borrowings which preserve the original
alphabetical order, but their sources have not been
identified. In similar fashion the origin, history, and
interrelations of many French, German, and Italian
collections of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries must
be cleared up. To be sure, the situation is not greatly
different in recent collections, but the discovery of their
borrowings is ordinarily not a matter of particular
importance. Only sixty years ago Bohn protested loudly
against Hazlitt's free and unacknowledged use of his
There are, furthermore, curious details of cultural
history in some proverbial comparisons and these must be
examined and interpreted, e. g. "as mad as a March hare,"
"as mad as a hatter," or "as good as gold," which refers to
the good behavior of a child but which must once have
alluded to gold as a monetary standard. There is perhaps
little or nothing to be said about the rhetorical aspect of
proverbial comparisons. Those phrases which express a high
degree by adding "... as Hell," e. g. "as tiresome as Hell,"
stretch the framework of a set of proverbial comparisons
beyond all sense.
7. TRANSLATED PROVERBS.
A noteworthy source of proverbs is translation from
another language. In the history of a translated proverb we
see tradition, oral or learned, accommodating the new
proverb to the genius of the language of
adoption. The problems in such instances are stylistic and cultural.
Since proverbs are necessarily traditional, they should
characteristically use the ordinary manner of speech. Yet
there are proverbs in the collections which differ in their
phrasing from vernacular usage. For example, are those
English proverbs which begin with the formula "He who ..."
native English material? I suspect they are not. From what
sources do they spring and in what languages do they have
parallels? Comparison with French, German, and Latin use of
the compound relative pronoun is obvious.
In addition to questions in the history of individual
proverbs and groups of proverbs, we must also consider the
extent of a foreign cultural current in a proverbial stock.
What European proverbs have established themselves in
African or American savage tradition? What changes have
occurred during the process? Problems of cultural influence
as they appear in the history of proverbs are often
difficult of solution, but they are not insoluble. The only
serious endeavor to find and list a group of proverbs which
have been borrowed into a new culture is Altenkirch's "Die
Beziehungen zwischen Slaven und Griechen in ihren
Sprichwörtern," Archiv für slavische
Philologie, XXX (1909), 1-47, 321-64. Much can yet be
learned about the influence of classical Greek proverbs on
Latin tradition or of medieval Latin and French proverbs on
English and German tradition. The cultural currents between
the Orient and Occident are obscure and
uncharted. A mere list of Arabic proverbs which have parallels in
European tradition would be very useful and informative.
What kinds of proverbs have been borrowed? At what times?
Are there any differences in the borrowings made by
different languages? Can the ways in which the borrowings
occurred be determined?
The comparison of two proverbial stocks offers difficult
problems, and almost all endeavors to solve them,
particularly endeavors inspired by a nationalistic spirit,
have been failures. Possibly Heusler's interesting
comparison of Viking and later Scandinavian
proverbs can be adapted to other situations. Just how far we can go
with such comparisons and what results can be won remains to
be seen. Clearly enough "Faintheart ne'er won fair lady"
belongs to a different sphere from "The pot calls the kettle
black," but no one has as yet tried to draw any conclusions
from such observations.
8. PROBLEMS IN THE USE OF PROVERBS.
At different times proverbs have been used in
conventional ways. Late medieval French poets, for example,
often closed a stanza with a
proverb, and the device is found still earlier in the Proverbs of
Hendyng and the Proverbs of Alfred. The history
of this literary convention is yet to be traced. The same
may be said of the device of naming a play after a proverb,
a device which was employed in Elizabethan England, e. g. All's Well that Ends Well, and elsewhere. About the
same time the vogue of plays composed almost entirely of
proverbs started, perhaps with Adrien de Montluc's Comédie des proverbes, which was written in
the first third of the seventeenth century. The literary
fashion of the proverbes dramatiques, plays which
dramatize a proverb after the manner of a charade, began at
the end of the eighteenth century. Regarding all these
conventional uses of proverbs we are ill informed.
The freedom with which proverbs are used in literature
varies greatly with the different genres. Writing which has
a satiric aim employs many proverbs, particularly when it
appeals to the emotions of the masses. Historical song
contains more proverbs than narrative or lyric song. Sermons
addressed to the common people, such as those of Johannes
Geiler of Keisersberg, cite proverbs to drive home a point.
Observations on the rhetorical value of proverbs need to be
made more precise. In studying the use of proverbs we must
know the circumstances in which they occur, the kinds of
proverbs chosen, and the author's purpose. Such facts lead
us to conclusions about an author's style. The material from
which conclusions can be drawn lies ready to hand in Martha
Lenschau's admirable collection of Grimmelshausen's
proverbs, in the various essays on the proverb in Hans
Sachs, and in similar collections.
Such are typical problems in the study of proverbs. The
endeavor to solve them can be dull and useless pedantry, and
it will be no more than that if it does not envisage some
larger purpose. What do we gain by knowing who invented a
proverb or how it came into our speech? By itself the answer
is naught and arriving at it is often a weary task. Yet the
matter need not rest there. Learning the origin of a proverb
tells us how influences reach the popular mind, what changes
take place on the way from the inventor to the folk, and
what persons and ideas imprint themselves on the mass
consciousness. These are large answers to find in the origin
of a proverb, but are they too large? By no means. In
proverbs as in folk-literature generally we have a
laboratory where the process of creating and adapting mass
ideas never stops. An informative account of a single detail
in that process is not dull, prosaic, and unimportant, if it
is thrown upon a large enough background.
The historical and stylistic investigation of proverbs
teaches us to see the varied pattern of our lives: the
household maxim "New brooms sweep clean" and the racetrack
aphorism "It's difference of opinion that makes a horserace"
unite with the Biblical warning "Money is the root of all
evil" in the fabric of our speech. Tracing out the different
threads makes clear where our ways of thinking arise. The
roots of our culture lie deep. It is no idle task to
discover that the man who says "So help me God" uses a
proverbial formula already current in Roman
speech. To point out such a fact is to write a chapter in human
history. It shows how Roman ways of talking impressed
themselves on Christianity and how Christianity in turn
moulds modern life. Chance did not determine this history.
On the contrary, powerful influences which have shaped the
course of world-events reflect themselves in the development
of a phrase. A simple turn of speech lets us view
civilization from a mountain-peak.
When we perceive these currents of thought and social
influence in proverbs, we find life broader, deeper, and
more beautiful. Observe that it is not the moral lesson
taught by a proverb that enriches life, for proverbs counsel
the middle path and bourgeois or peasant shrewdness need not
be inculcated. The enhancement of life follows from viewing
man's creations sub specie aeternitatis. That a
proverb arose in a particular way, exhibits a certain
stylistic feature, or affords us any other recondite bit of
information are, in themselves, facts without significant
value to the world. Value comes only from interpreting the
facts to meet our cultural needs or to feed our spirits. The
interpretation may be in terms of history, cultural history,
aesthetic standards, or, in short, any social activity. The
fact is necessary and equally so the interpretation.
Carried away by the logic of the natural sciences, which
can record facts without end, a former generation sought
zealously for facts but neglected to relate them to its
life. The present generation, I fear, blinks at facts,
notwithstanding its loud protestations to the contrary, and
gives interpretations which, being often hastily conceived
and poorly supported, must soon wither. To seek facts for
their own sake is quite as wrong as to read meanings into an
incomplete or inaccurate acquaintance with the facts. An old
proverb warns us: The blind should judge no
*Reprinted from Wolfgang Mieder (ed.) Selected Writings on Proverbs by Archer Taylor, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Helsinki 1975, pp.
See Taylor, "An introductory bibliography for the
study of proverbs," Modern Philology, XXX (1932),
Fortunalety some good preliminary work has been done
in the classical Greek and medieval French proverb,
although it is scattered through a score of pamphlets.
Ready reference to the medieval Latin proverb is
troublesome: an index to the proverbs in the various
editions by Ernst Voigt would be a convenient tool in the
absence of anything more complete. For the bibliography
of classical Greek, medieval Latin, and medieval French
proverbs see the article cited in the first footnote.
See a preliminary list of such collections in Taylor, Modern Philology, XXX (1932), 208-9.
For some of the tests which can be applied see my Proverb, pp. 6ff.
See W. Uhl, Die deutsche Priamel, p. 267; C.
Schweitzer in Hans-Sachs-Forschungen, ed. A. L.
Stiefel [Nürnberg, 1894], p. 362, n. 2. J.
Franck (Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, XXI
[Leipzig, 1885], 136) condemns the collection
severely. A copy of Mayr's collection is in Berlin.
Taylor, "Proverbia Britannica," Washington
University Studies (St. Louis), XI (1924), 409ff.
No. 328 in the reprint mentioned in the preceding
See, e.g., Jente's comparison of two standard English
collections (Modern Language Notes XLII
See A Case of Plagiarism (London, 1869), cited
in W. Bonser and T. A. Stephens, Proverb
Literature (London, 1930), p. 64, No. 545.
See, as an introduction, J. Klapper, Die
Sprichwörter der Freidankpredigten (Proverbia
Fridanci); ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des
ostmitteldeutschen Sprichworts und seiner lateinischen
Quelle ("Wort und Brauch," XVII [Breslau,
1927]) and the judicious remarks of R. Jente,
Hessische Blätter für Volkskunde, XXVII (1928),
Johannes Fischart (Berlin, 1921), 1, 288.
See F. Zarncke, Der deutsche Cato (Leipzig,
1852); C. Schröder, Der deutsche Facetus (Berlin, 1911).
Romanische Forschungen, XVI (1904), 232.
See Apperson, p. 119, and Taylor, Index to the
'Proverb' for references to this and other proverbs
See Proverbia communia sive seriosa, No. 725;
Haeckel, Das Sprichwort bei Chaucer (Erlangen,
"Locutions et proverbs obscurs," Romania, L
"Der Schneider und die Geiss im Volksmunde bis zum
17. Jahrhundert," Hessische Blätter für
Volkskunde, XXX (1931), 88-105.
Ed. G. Milchsack ("Neudrucke deutscher
Litteraturwerke," Nos. 34-5) Halle, (1882), 1. 759.
Heinrich Bebels Schwänke (ed. A.
Wesselski; Munich, 1907), II, 41, 130 (III, No. 92);
Johannes Pauli's Schimpf und Ernst (ed. J. Bolte;
Berlin, 1924), No. 221; K. F. W. Wander's Deutsches
Sprichwörterlexikon, II col. 1855, No. 209; IV,
col. 1014, Nos. 516, 522.
The Delphic Maxims in Literature (Chicago,
See, e.g., the history of "Sunt tria damna domus"
(Taylor, Hessische Blätter für
Volkskunde, XXIV , 130-46).
See I. V. Zingerle, Das deutsche Kinderspiel im
Mittelalter2 (Innsbruck, 1873), p. 161; F.
K. Grieshaber, Altdeutsche Predigten, II
(Stuttgart, 1846), p. viii; H. Dunger, Kinderlieder
und Kinderspiele aus dem Vogtlande2 (Plauen, 1894), p. 126, No. 227.
See Otto, Die Sprichwörter der Römer (Leipzig, 1890), p. 268, No. 1358; Apperson, English
Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases (London, 1929), pp.
439, "necessity," 508, " poverty."
Taylor, The Proverb, pp. 160ff.
An illustration of the history of a proverbial
formula in which grammatical changes have played a
determining role is Taylor's "The proverbial formula 'Man
soll...,'" Zeitschrift für Volkskunde, XL
See M. Liening, Die Personifikation
unpersönlicher Hauptwörter bei den
Vorläufern Shakespeares (1904) .
Wienert, Die Typen der griechisch-römischen
Fabel, "FF Communications" LVI (Helsinki, 1925), 83
(ET 495), 121 (ST 304); Wesselski, Hodscha
Nasreddin (Berlin, 1911), I, 218, No. 51; Stith
Thompson, The Types of the Folk-Tale, " FF
Communications" LXXIV (Helsinki, 1928), No. 1830 and his
forthcoming Motif-Index of Folk-Literature, J
Apperson, English Proverbs and Proverbial
Phrases (London, 1929), 4, quoting Bohn, Handbook
of Proverbs (London, 1855), 562, which, in turn, may
come from Proverbs or the Manual of Wisdom (London, 1804), 105 ("curate" instead of "vicar"). J.
Wood (Dictionary of Quotations [London,
1912], 547) and Benham (Book of Quotations [London, 1924], 872 b) presumably quote from
Bohn. Lean's reference (Collectanea II, 752) to Fuller, Gnomologia is a slip of some sort.
See, e.g.,Jente, "Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde," Publications of the Modern Language Association, XLII
See, however, Jente, "German Proverbs from the
Orient," Publications of the Modern Language
Association, XLVIII (1933), 17-37.
Altgermanische Literatur ("Handbuch der
Literaturwissenschaft" [Berlin, 1923]), p. 68.
T. A. Jenkins, Modern Language Notes, XXIII
L. Foulet, "'Si m'aït Deus' et l'ordre des
mots." Romania, LIII (1927), 301-24.