Definition of the Day 5/13/14: Saw

Posted: May 13, 2014 in Humor, Language Use
Tags: , , , , ,

Bierce

SAW, n. A trite popular saying, or proverb. (Figurative and colloquial.) So called because it makes its way into a wooden head. Following are examples of old saws fitted with new teeth:

  • A penny saved is a penny to squander.
  • A man is known by the company that he organizes.
  • A bad workman quarrels with the man who calls him that.
  • A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring.
  • Better late than before anybody has invited you.
  • Example is better than following it.
  • Half a loaf is better than a whole one if there is much else.
  • Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.
  • What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do it.
  • Least said is soonest disavowed.
  • He laughs best who laughs least.
  • Speak of the Devil and he will hear about it.
  • Of two evils choose to be the least.
  • Strike while your employer has a big contract.
  • Where there’s a will there’s a won’t.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

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