SAY WHAT AGAIN?

The use of wordplay in the titles of my last two posts (ROMANCE WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY and ALL’S FARE IN LOVE AND FOUR) doesn’t cancel the reservations I expressed in my 6/1/15 post (SAY WHAT?); i.e., it’s chancy to ‘pun’ old sayings because most people today don’t know them….and if they don’t know the sayings, they won’t get the wordplay.

Now, granted that some party-poopers may have known the actual sayings (ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY and ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR) behind those titles, but pooh-poohed the wordplay as hardly worth the strain my brain went through to get the end result. Be that as it may, my purpose here is to be ‘test assured’ that my readers are more familiar with once-familiar old sayings than “most people” in the first place — so, if you’re game, here’s a list of 4 old sayings, 4 song titles, and 4 made-up idioms. If you can pick — out of the dozen — 3 of the 4 old sayings, consider yourself a genius. If you get all four right, I will consider you a genius.

1.  FAINT HEART NE’ER WON FAIR LADY

2.  A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY

3.  DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR

4.  ANY PLACE I HANG MY HAT IS HOME

5.  GOOD FECES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS

6.  FISH AND VISITORS STINK AFTER THREE DAYS

7.  ANY TIME’S THE TIME TO FALL IN LOVE

8.  DON’T CHANGE CORPSES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM

9.  DON’T THROW COLD WATER ON THE FLAME OF LOVE

10. GO TO BED WITH THE CHICKENS, WAKE UP WITH THE ROOSTERS

11. WHILE THE CAT’S AWAY, THE MICE WILL PRAY*

12. GENIUS IS ONE PERCENT INSPIRATION AND 99 PERCENT PERSPIRATION

*Apparently they’re church mice.

So, how do you think you did? If you can’t stand the suspense, hold on to your pants, because I will keep you in suspenders no longer — the old sayings are #1, #3, #6 and #12. Speaking of #12, if you weren’t right at least 3 times of 4, obviously you don’t perspire enough to be a genius.

As for the other two categories, I made up #5 (“feces” for “fences”), #8 (“corpses” replaces “horses”), #10 and #11 (“pray” is a play on “play”), and the song titles are #2, #4, #7 and #9. What’s that you say — #9 sounds like something I made up, not a song? Well, I hate to throw cold water on your hot tamales, but the proof is in the pudding:

In  closing, take pride, ye geniuses who passed the test and could dig the rest; let the record show, The wordplay’s the thing.

 

 

 

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19 comments on “SAY WHAT AGAIN?

  1. renxkyoko says:

    Good ” feces” and don’t change corpses ….. I was sure they were mistakes. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mistermuse says:

    I admit they’re not old sayings, but I still think they’re good advice. 🙂

    Like

  3. linnetmoss says:

    I got the four old sayings! The fish and visitors is a rule to live by, and I do. I believe it has been attributed to Ben Franklin. The first two sayings have a Shakespearean ring. As for the songs, I recognized a couple. Especially A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody, from the Ziegfeld Follies. And now… once more unto the beach.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      True to my word, I hereby recognize you as A Pretty Girl — I mean, a genius….well, both actually.
      The first saying definitely has a Shakespearean ring, which is probably why I remember it as I posted it — although when I Googled it that way, all the sites came up FAINT HEART NEVER instead of FAINT HEART NE’ER….but, since I’m a helluva lot older than Google, I decided to take my word for it rather than Google’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Don Frankel says:

    I got all the old sayings as well I’m old. Missed one or two of the songs, especially don’t throw cold water on the flame of love. But I got all the word play because that is where we catch the conscious of The Muse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      I’m delighted to crown another genius, Don — if this keeps up, that should prove I have the most literate followers this side of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
      As for the song you missed, that was a tough one (which is why I included the “proof is in the pudding” link).

      Like

  5. Well, MisterMuse, I’m guessing it’s being old that allows me to identify those sayings, because I already know I am not a genius. I remember “Faint heart ne’er won fair lady..” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s IOLANTHE, though I doubt it originated there. And “Discretion…etc.” was spoken by Shakespeare’s Fallstaff in HENRY IV. “Inspiration…perspiration” is definitely Thomas Edison, and I always heard that business about fish and visitors came from Ben Franklin.

    The songs are all familiar, too…except for the last one, which you were kind enough to provide a video of…

    I wonder what Robert Frost would say about your removing the letter “n” from his famous line? Maybe that would make a good sign posted near a dog park as a reminder to pooper scoopers.

    And last, but not least, though I realize it has become accepted in popular parlance, I still scream at the TV every time I hear “the proof is in the pudding”…no, no no! It’s “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

    This was a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      As it happens, I own a 1941 book edited by Deems Taylor, titled A TREASURY OF GILBERT & SULLIVAN, which includes the music of IOLANTHE. In that book, I find that G & S titled the song FAINT HEART NEVER WON FAIR LADY, so if my memory of NE’ER (rather than NEVER) is correct, it must indeed have originated earlier, as you suggest. Otherwise, my memory is going the way of all flesh, ne’er to be trusted again. 🙂

      As for “the proof is in the pudding,” I suspect that’s W. C. Fields’ take on the saying, though whether he spiked the pudding with 100 proof, or whatever, probably depended on what was available. Quoting him: “I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. arekhill1 says:

    1,3,6 and 12. Didn’t cheat

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      Calling again on W. C. Fields, one of his films was titled YOU CAN’T CHEAT AN HONEST MAN. I assume that includes not being able to cheat oneself — which, of course, makes you an honest man….which, of course, I already knew. Honest!

      Like

  7. GP Cox says:

    I’ll pick 3, 4, 7 & 12 as the old sayings.
    [okay – how stupid am I ?]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. BroadBlogs says:

    FYI, here are the one’s I’m familiar with — including those wordplayed:

    3. DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR

    5. GOOD FECES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS

    6. FISH AND VISITORS STINK AFTER THREE DAYS

    8. DON’T CHANGE CORPSES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM

    11. WHILE THE CAT’S AWAY, THE MICE WILL PRAY*

    12. GENIUS IS ONE PERCENT INSPIRATION AND 99 PERCENT PERSPIRATION

    I’m still wondering at 3, 8, 11.

    Like

  9. mistermuse says:

    Not knowing quite what to say about your comment, I’ll “go” with #3. 🙂

    Like

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