Autor: Marina Navas
Every culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. These sayings are called «proverbs».
Word origin: via Old French from Latin prōverbium, from verbum Word.
A short popular saying, usually of unknown an ancient origin, that expresses effectively some common place truth or useful thought; adage. They are often metaphorical. We can discover the source in both the Bible and Medieval Latin, which have played an important role in distributing proverbs across Europe. That is why we can find proverbs borrowed from similar languages and cultures, although almost every culture has its own. Moreover, proverbs are used in many different fields. Film, music, cartoons or advertisement are ideal channels to represent their reflection or to achieve goals.Many of them can catch our attention. Despite we cannot attend to most, we are going to focus in two well known.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This suggests that the ability to work is of greater benefit than a one-off hand out.
May the origin be a further confusion, it is said it is actually originated in England in the 19th century. Anne Isabella Ritchie, who was a studious young woman, wrote a story titled Mrs. Dymond, sometime in the 1880s and it includes this line:
«He certainly doesn’t practise his precepts, but I suppose the patron meant that if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour; if you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.»
So, the proverb dates from 1885 or shortly before and there is every reason to suppose that it was coined by Anne Ritchie.
“You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Things sometimes look different than they really are. One should not form an opinion on someone or something based purely on what is seen on the surface.
It can be inspiring when someone is looking for a book to buy and read, that the first thing catching their attention is the cover of the book. Based solely on the cover, a person may decide whether a book is or not for them. However, if the person would have opened up the book and look at what’s inside instead of overlooking it, they may have found it to be pretty interesting after all. This is also applied to people and their judgement just basing on the appearance instead of looking in what is on the inside.
The phrase goes back to at least the mid-19th century, as seen in the newspaper Piqua Democrat, June 1867:
«Don’t judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a [???] jacket and yeller pants.»