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  • mistermuse 3:40 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , aphorisms, By George!, Honesty is the best policy, , , , , Rex Harrison,   


    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.

    • arekhill1 3:47 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You forgot “virtue is its own remorse.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:05 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

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


    • Don Frankel 5:40 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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.


      • mistermuse 7:11 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Don, I know you got the Fraud Alerts and Lassie right. I’ll take your word for the rest.


    • ladysighs 5:43 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

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


      • mistermuse 7:19 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Having been happily married to the same woman for only 46 years, I’ll have to take your word for it, ladysighs. ūüôā


    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:51 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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!


    • mistermuse 7:28 pm on January 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Curses! Foiled again! ūüôā


    • Don Frankel 2:29 pm on January 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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.


    • mistermuse 5:44 pm on January 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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

    • carmen 5:16 am on December 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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

    • mistermuse 7:33 am on December 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      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).


      • carmen 10:34 am on December 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        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” ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 7:36 pm on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , aphorisms, course of true love never runs smooth, cure is worse than the disease, death and taxes. pen is mightier than the sword, left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, , , , squeaky wheel gets the grease, , , way to a man's heart is through his stomach   


    How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that I posted Part One of SO THEY SAY. Time to get back to work. Time’s a-wasting.¬†Time to bite the bullet. Time is stranger than fiction. Etc.

    In Part One, as you will fail to recall, I did what I will continue in Part Two, so rather than repeat the original¬†intro, I’m sitting here trying to think of another one even more brilliant….

    Sorry, I can’t do the impossible. Just scroll down to that post¬†to get the idea. They say time waits for no one, but I’ll wait.¬†Take your time.


    The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
    As if it cared.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    Hold the fries.

    There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still fire in the furnace.
    I suppose that beats fire on the roof and snow in the furnace.

    The course of true love never runs smooth.
    What’s the rush?

    The cure is worse than the disease….
    nless the side effects put you mercifully out of your misery. Just sayin’.

    The only sure thing is death and taxes.
    That’s two things (unless you can afford a very creative accountant).

    The pen is mightier than the sword.
    and just as obsolete.

    The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
    OK, I’ll bite….as long as I don’t get heartburn and there’s a rear exit.

    The truth shall set you free.
    My truth — not the other guy’s. Trust me.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.
    Sounds to me
    like there may be
    a Part Three.
    We shall see.

    • Don Frankel 4:33 pm on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I think a third one should be a lead pipe cinch. So long as the Creek don’t rise.


    • mistermuse 6:07 pm on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You got it, Don.

      Come hell or high water,
      I’m up to working harter.
      #3 may not be better,
      But it’s shore to be wetter.


  • mistermuse 12:04 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , aphorisms, , , ,   


    In some¬†lost past post of mine¬†somewhere in the¬†blogosphere, I asserted that¬†what you don’t know¬†can’t¬†hurt you¬†¬†is one of the dumbest¬†well-known sayings ever said.¬†Don’t get me wrong —¬†I love a good old adage as much as the next good old¬†adage lover, but not all old adages are created equal. I think we’re often¬†inclined to take such supposed wisdom at face value, when a second¬†look might give us pause —¬†second thoughts, so to speak.

    I have over the years acquired over a dozen books of old sayings, truisms, maxims, aphorisms, expressions, etc. Here is a selection from my collection which, upon further inspection, may warrant further reflection:

    Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
    That didn’t seem to bother W. C. Fields, Dean Martin or Homer Simpson.

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
    And yet, very few smokers carry fire extinguishers.

    We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
    Easy now. What did that bridge ever do to you?

    Truth is stranger than fiction.
    In fact, so strange you can only find it in the Rare Books section.

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
    So much for practice makes perfect.

    What goes up must come down.
    Try telling that to all the kites and balloons caught up in trees.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
    But when the meek get tough, they get dis-blessed and disinherit the earth.

    When it rains, it pours.
    One word: drizzle.

    When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.
    My dog resembles that remark (or at least he would, if he had fleas).

    And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s plenty more where they came from, so I’m thinking there’s a Part II in your future, you lucky dog.

    • Don Frankel 7:29 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      All good things come to he who waits.
      All good things come to an end.
      Go figga.


    • mistermuse 8:49 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Good (two for) one, Don….more than good enough to use in upcoming Part II, but that post will have to wait long enough for readers to forget that you thought of it first.


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