The Proverbs Are Children Of Experience (Ïîñëîâèöû - Äåòè Îïûòà)
The Proverbs Are Children Of
It would appear that nothing could be easier than writing down the
definition of a proverb. Where did a proverb come from? Where can it be
used? Proverbs are widely used in the society on the regular basis. Some
scholars and popular writers have claimed repeatedly that proverbial
language has passed from usage; however it remains an easily proven fact
that proverbs are not “passe´” and definitely not dead. This form of
language helps to express our thoughts more exactly and vividly. Proverbs
contain wisdom, humor, and usually fit many purports.
The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs defines a proverb as a
sentence that has been developed orally and is still used by the people of
a region. It has usually come about from experience, and it is a statement
that teaches learning within an experience. The World Book Encyclopedia
gives a different explanation of the word: Proverb is a brief saying that
presents a truth of some bit of useful wisdom. It is usually based on
common sense or practical experience. The effect of a proverb is to make
the wisdom it tells seem to be self-evident. The same proverb often occurs
among several different peoples, True proverbs are sayings that have been
passed from generation to generation, primarily by word of mouth. They may
also have been put into written form. The Book of Proverbs In the Hebrew
Bible, or Old Testament, is the most notable collection of such sayings.
. Hope deferred makes the heart sick.
. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.
. A soft answer turneth away wrath.
. Pride goeth before destriction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
In ancient Israel, children were educated primarily at home,
and proverbs were used to teach them to become successful and responsible
adults. Proverbs have not lost their well-established popularity, and they
continue to be ever present, even in a modern technological society like
that of the United States of America. This has recently been made
abundantly clear by the thousands of proverbs registered in A Dictionary of
American Proverbs ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) edited by S.A.
Kingsbury, K.B. Harder.
. Early to bed, and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and
This is an old proverb well known in many countries that has not passed
from its usage. Proverbs both old and new, continue to serve us well as
concise statements of apparent truths. In everyday life proverbs name
social situations, that is, they are used to communicate our general human
concerns in traditional language. By employing proverbs in our speech we
wish to strengthen argument, express certain generalizations, influence or
manipulate other people, rationalize our own shortcomings, question certain
behavior patterns, satirize social ills, and poke fun at ridiculous
. Saying without thinking is shooting without aiming.
There are no limits to the use of proverbs, and each individual
proverb may be used in many ways depending on its context. There are
hundreds of proverbs dealing with the body, work, love, friendship, death,
weather and more. For example:
. Kiss and be friends.
. Two heads are better than one.
. Love is blind.
. One hand washes other.
. A good beginning makes a good ending.
. It is better to do well then to say well.
These are the examples of proverbs that are based on friendship and love.
Some folklorists are now arguing that most weather proverbs are not
proverbs at all but rather superstitions couched in proverbial language
(Mieder, Wolfgagng 12). Nevertheless, we would still argue that such texts
. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
. Make hay while the sun shines.
These are proverbs, especially since they are usually used in a figurative
and not in a literal sense. Medical proverbs are also widely used by people
all over the world. Here are some proverbs that are very popular:
. An apple a day keeps a doctor away.
. A disease known is half cured.
. The doctor is often more to be feared than the disease.
. Health is not valued till sickness comes.
. Bitter pills may have blessed effects.
Proverbs provide humor in a sarcastic way. Depending on the
specific proverb a person can identify an action and its consequence. For
. Do not do all you can; spend not all you have; believe not all you
hear; tell not all you know.
This proverb explains that one should use common sense as well as sensor
ones speech in relationship to other people. Another example of sarcastic
proverbs can be proverb:
. A man can work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.
Proverbs and their value systems give us some basic structure, and if their
worldview does not fit a particular situation, they can be quickly changed
into revealing and liberating anti-proverbs. Proverbs are also used as
idioms; every language has its own. An idiom usually consists of a group of
words, which is either meaningless or absurd if the words are understood to
mean what they usually do.
Mostly short proverbs can be used as idioms. For example:
. Die with one’s boots on.
This proverb (idiom) means expire while working, keep working to the end. I
some languages proverbs may occur as clichés or old proverbs. Clichés are
trite, worn out expressions. While they are acceptable in conversation,
they should be avoided in writing. Here are some examples of such event:
. Off the wall. Means to be not well reasoned.
. Sound as a dollar. Means sensible.
A small sentence as proverb also contains grammar rules and tones of
vocabulary that is why I would claim that proverbs could help a great deal
to learn a foreign language like English and make the process of learning
more interesting. Proverbs contain such grammar rules as: degrees of
comparison of adjectives, gerund construction, construction “there is”,
“there are”, formation of noun plurals, formation of present, past and
future tenses, antonyms and synonyms, and most of irregular verbs.
Proverbs help to remember gerund construction, which does not occur in any
other language but English.
. Saying without thinking is shooting without aiming.
. Seeing is believing.
Constructions “there is”, “there are” are also do not exist in most of
the languages they are not very hard to remember but it is more interesting
to learn it with the help of the proverbs. For example:
. There is no place like home.
. There are more ways to the woods then one.
. There is no rose without a thorn.
. There is no fool like an old fool.
Although many proverbs have been forgotten there still some that
will forever be used. With a new generation, new technology and new lingo
there will be more proverbs to come and more to be forgotten. People will
continue to use old and new proverbs, therefore they will never die. They
are an important part of learning and life in general.