GEORGE (STILL) ON MY MIND

I wonder how many readers of my previous post realized that its title was an old expression dating back over 300 years. According to grammarphobia.com, BY GEORGE dates from a 1694 translation of a comedy by Platus: “By George, you shan’t be a Sowce the better for what’s in it”….but “George” was used in an expression even earlier, as here (from a 1598 Ben Johnson play): “Well! he knowes what to trust to, for George.” Here is a more recent (1964) example of “By George!” by Rex Harrison in the above-average film MY FAIR LADY, starring Harrison and Audrey Hepburn:

My larger point: the small percentage of people who know old adages and expressions  — at least, that is my impression from watching game shows like JEOPARDY!, where supposed broadly-knowledgeable players almost invariably don’t know a familiar (to me) old saying when the question arises. You may say That’s easy for me to say, an old codger who was probably around before most old sayings started. Very funny. I resemble that remark — and I’m not the only one:

So much for idle rumors. If you’re so smart, let’s see how many of these old sayings you know at your tender age. No cheating. Remember, honesty is the best policy (why give insurance companies a legitimate excuse not to pay — they’ll give you a hard enough time on general principles). But just to keep you on your tokus, I’ll throw in several dishonest — I mean made-up — old aphorisms to see if you can separate the wheat from the shaft:

A fool and his money are soon parted.

A day late and a dollar early.

A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.

All work and no play makes Jack an ass.

Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.

Better late than never.

Blood is thicker than tomato soup.

Close but no cigar.

Close only counts in horseshit.

Curiosity killed the cat.

Do unto others before they do unto you.

The rest is yet to come….

….if I do a Part Two.

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13 comments on “GEORGE (STILL) ON MY MIND

  1. arekhill1 says:

    You forgot “virtue is its own remorse.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mistermuse says:

    I soitenly did (but I didn’t forget that Curly often said “soitenly”).

    Like

  3. Don Frankel says:

    1 P.T. Barnum 2 Fraud Alert 3 Clarence Darrow 4 Fraud Alert 5 Fraud Alert 6 W.C. Fields 7 Anonymous 8 Fraud Alert 9 Fidel Castro 10 Fraud Alert 11 Lassie 12 Julius Caesar then he said Et tu Brute 13 Fraud Alert.

    Like

  4. ladysighs says:

    My favorite in your list is: Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.
    It also makes the heart to wander yonder. 😦

    Like

  5. I am not as “old” as some people I know but I do recall those adages, mistermuse. You did not fool me with those fake ones either, by George!

    Like

  6. mistermuse says:

    Curses! Foiled again! 🙂

    Like

  7. Don Frankel says:

    Do I win anything? I mean I just took this 12 question world history test on Facebook and got them all right and I asked did I win anything? And, well I got no answer.

    Like

  8. mistermuse says:

    Don, I got to thinking that Lassie, being a dog, couldn’t be the right answer to #11 – it had to be a horse. So even if you got the rest right, the answer to your question is literally #11.

    However, I won’t let that be the end of it – here’s some info that’s straight from the horse’s mouth, and even better than a prize: I checked Wikipedia’s “List of historical horses” and found that a horse named FRANKEL is listed as the “Highest rated horse in history” (undefeated in 14 career starts). So now, if anyone ever calls you a horse’s ass (not that anyone ever would), you can tell them to kiss your rear just like all the other losers wound up doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. carmen says:

    You might be interested to know that NOEL Harrison had a 300-acre farm not far from where I live, in the early 70’s; he was a well-known figure in these parts. I believe he was here for about 10 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mistermuse says:

    Thanks for the info. I didn’t know that, so I checked Wikipedia for the details. Turns out he bought a farmhouse & moved to Mt. Hanley, Nova Scotia, in 1972. The house burned down in the winter of 1974, but he built a new one (without electricity, would you believe) and didn’t return to England until the late 1990s. His photo shows a distinct resemblance to his father (Rex).

    Like

    • carmen says:

      I graduated High School in 1975. The parties over there were lengendary by that time; many teenagers were attracted to him and the ‘characters’ he befriended. At that time, I had no idea what the big deal was about the guy. . .interested in other things, I guess. It wasn’t until years later that I finally figured out, “OH! THAT’s who he is” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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