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Phraseology: The Tout asks if phrases provide words of wisdom or are just plain speak disguised in metaphors

 

The Tout is fascinated by some of the quotes and phrases that we hear and use in our everyday lives and wonders if any of the readers ever consider their use to be valid in the modern world? I believe that they are and in my experience “the early bird always catches more worms” and invariably “mutton is always dressed as lamb” once they realise that “we are born naked and the rest is just a drag show”.

 

Some view this as wit and wisdom and some view it as claptrap but in my experience so much of it “comes home to roost” every time and sadly most of us have had the opportunity to use some of the sadder expressions such as “only the good die young” and “leopards never change their spots” and these are the ones that come home to haunt us every time.

 

Below, can we throw open a readers forum and not only collate the top ten oft used phrases but perhaps uncover some of the expressions that are lesser known nowadays but remain equally valid? Two such maybe “that you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink” or “it’s better to be talked about than not talked about at all”, for example.

 

This teaser is purely meant to awaken our minds and see how many known or unknown expressions of common sense are lurking in the minds of the loyal readers of The Steeple Times and can keep our minds warm during this snowy season. The Tout has come to learn that “everything that glistens is not necessarily gold”.

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  1. That’s a captivating theme Mr Editor. Are you saying that it is only the gloomy ones that get used regularly ? Perhaps today’s teaching in schools doesn’t focus on these use of these expressions.
    As an aside, I know of two that are have become corrupted ( for wont of a better word) over time from misuse. One is ” he gave a parting shot”. It should be ” a Parthian shot’ as the Parthians were a tribe of fierce horseman in the Urals, who would seemingly appear to withdraw from battle, but at the last minute, turn their horses around and fire an arrow from their crossbow and kill an opponent.
    The other one is ” they live out in the sticks”. It should be ” they live out in the Styx’ referring to the underground river of Greek mythology, that ran through Hades ( aka Hell ).
    Any other contributions ??

  2. He that fights and runs away, may live to fight another day.
    Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
    If God is with us who can be against us.
    Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.
    Once bitten twice shy.
    Cock and bull story.
    The pen is mightier than the sword.
    Rolling stones gather no moss.
    Rather the devil you know.
    Don’t judge a book by its cover.
    Let the good times roll.
    A man for all seasons.
    Never mind the quality feel the width.
    No sex please, we are British.
    I am a yiddish boy who came to England to learn English.

  3. Shoemaker keep to thy last.
    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    Birds of a feather flock together.
    The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    Hold your counsel.
    Throwing petrol over the fire.
    Let sleeping dogs lie.
    Rushing water rising dreams.
    What comes around goes around.
    The heart is a lonely hunter.
    Dead men don’t wear plaid.

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