- Riddles, proverbs, and sayings that describe proper behavior for both young and old Kenyans are still common.
- Beware of proverbs: they are a snare and a delusion.
- To quote a Kannada proverb it is like water off a buffalo's back.
Middle English: from Old French proverbe, from Latin proverbium, from pro- '(put) forth' + verbum 'word'.
word from Old English:
Word is ultimately related to Latin verbum, the source of verb (Late Middle English), proverb (Middle English) the ‘pro’ here having the sense ‘put forth’, and verbal (Late Middle English). ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ are the first words of the Gospel of John, which continues: ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth.’ To eat your words is first found in a 1571 translation of a work by the French Protestant theologian John Calvin: ‘God eateth not his word when he hath once spoken.’ A word in your ear is of similar vintage, coming from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing: ‘Come you hither sirra, a word in your ear, sir’. People sometimes say a word to the wise or a word to the wise is enough to imply that only a hint or brief explanation is required. The wording of the first English use, at the start of the 16th century, was ‘Few words may serve the wise’, although the concept was expressed much earlier than that in the Latin saying verbum sapienti sat est, sometimes shortened to verb sap.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: prov|erb
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