Our Daily Bleg: One More Call for Wit and Wisdom

Here’s the most recent guest bleg from Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations. His past blegs can be found here.

Last week I blegged for examples of modern proverbs, like “Sh*t happens,” “It takes a village to raise a child,” “Different strokes for different folks,” “The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” or “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Over 180 people responded, contributing excellent items that have previously eluded proverb dictionaries, such as “It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup,” “Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug,” “Think outside the box,” and “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article about the bleg and the responses.

For next week, I have an even more compelling bleg planned, but for this week I want to make sure all the modern-proverbs fans have had their say.

Those of you who have so far refrained, please let us know your favorite pearls of contemporary wit and wisdom. All suggestions will be carefully considered for the forthcoming Yale Book of Modern Proverbs, to be published by Yale University Press.

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  1. Big Daddy in Jersey says:

    How about the following:
    1) “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig”.
    2) “You have to look out for #1, without stepping in #2″.
    3) “You are doing nothing but ‘polishing a turd’”

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  2. Sean says:

    You gotta dance with who brung ya.

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  3. Sam says:

    Desperate men do desperate things…

    Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see…

    The beatings will continue until moral improves…

    If it walks and quacks like a duct, it’s a duck…

    The cure for boredom is curiosity, there is no cure for curiosity…

    He who has the gold makes the rules…

    Trust but verify… (Reagan)

    Tip of the hat to GZ for more than one of these.

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  4. Raj Pandravada says:

    As a consultant, I have heard some peculiar ‘sayings’ at client-meetings. Here’s one I heard recently:

    SSDD – “Same Sh*t, Different Day”

    So pithy in import, and equally universal in occurrence.

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  5. frankenduf says:

    dont do the crime if u cant do the time
    id rather be a hammer than a nail

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  6. DJH says:

    A couple more:

    1. (Of an ignoramus:) If his brains were dynamite, he wouldn’t have enough to blow his nose.

    2. Measure twice, cut once.

    3. Use your head as something other than a hat rack.

    4. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step … but it cannot be completed without taking thousands more.

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  7. Sam says:

    The only limitless things are the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe (Einstein)

    Case in point, I misspelled ‘morale’… cheers Albert.

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  8. Kent says:

    You can take the girl out of Compton, but you can’t take the Compton out of the girl.

    You can interchange Compton with country, etc.

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