A Dictionary of American Proverbs

By Wolfgang Mieder; Stewart A. Kingsbury et al. | Go to book overview

B

BSEE In our alphabet B comes after A. / If you don't C sharp, you'll B flat.

babbling(n.)SEE SILENCE is not always a sign of wisdom, but babbling is ever a folly.

babbling(adj.)SEE A babbling BROOK makes much noise.

babe1. A babe in the house is a wellspring of pleasure. Rec. dist.: N.Y., N.C., S.C. 1st cit.: 1840 Tupper, "Of Education."20c. coll.: Stevenson 112:2.

2. A babe is a mother's anchor: she cannot swing from her moorings. Rec. dist.: Ariz.

3. A babe is an angel whose wings decrease as her legs increase. Rec. dist.: Wis.

4. Babes get minks the same way minks get babes. Rec. dist.: Kans.

5. From the mouths of babes come words of wisdom. Var.: Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings come great truths. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can.

baby1. Babies are one crop that never fails in Kansas. Rec. dist.: Kans.

2. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Rec. dist.: Fla., Miss., N.Y.1st cit.: 1853 Carlyle, Nigger Question; US 1925 Nevinson , More Changes. 20c. coll.: ODEP220, CODP225, Stevenson 112:3, Whiting( MP) 24.

3. Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last. Rec. dist.: Ohio.

4. Folks that tend babies mustn't have pins about them. Rec. dist.: Ill.1st cit.:US 1845 Judd, Margaret. 20c. coll.:T&W 13.

5. It's the crying baby that gets the milk. Rec. dist.: Calif.

6. The baby who always gets carried will never learn to walk. Rec. dist.: Ariz.

Bacchus Bacchus has drowned more than Neptune and has killed more than Mars. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C.

bachelor1. A bachelor is a man who didn't have a car when he was in college. Rec. dist.: Oreg.

2. A bachelor is a man who has never made the same mistake once. Rec. dist.: Ill., N.Dak.

3. A bachelor is a souvenir of some woman who has found a better deal at the last minute. Rec. dist.: Oreg.

4. A bachelor is to be admired; a spinster is to be pitied. Rec. dist.: Oreg.

5. A bachelor oftentimes has more children than the father of many. Rec. dist.: Oreg.

6. A lewd bachelor makes a jealous husband. Rec. dist.: Calif., Ill.1st cit.: 1707 Mapletoft, Select Proverbs. 20c. coll.: ODEP457, Stevenson 112:6.

7. An old bachelor is a poor critter. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C.1st cit.:US 1862 Browne, Artemus Ward: His Book.20c. coll.: Stevenson 112:9.

8. An old bachelor is fussy because he has never had a wife to fuss at him. Rec. dist.: N.C.

9. An old bachelor is only half of a pair of scissors. Rec. dist.: Wis. 1st cit.:US 1781 Partridge in Duane, Letters to Benjamin Franklin from his Family and Friends ( 1859). 20c. coll.: Whiting16.

10. Bachelors' wives and maids' children are always well taught. Rec. dist.: Mich., Miss.1st cit.: 1546 Heywood, Dialogue of Proverbs, ed. Habernicht ( 1963); US 1790 Belknap Papers, Mass.Hist.Soc. Collections ( 1877). 20c. coll.: Whiting16, Stevenson 113:2., T&W 13.

11. Happy bachelors are likely to be happy husbands. Rec. dist.: Miss.

12. If you hate storm and strife, lead a bacheor's life. Rec. dist.: Ill.

13. Old bachelors and old maids are either too good or too bad. Rec. dist.: Wis.

14. Rather keep bachelor's hall in hell than go to board in heaven. Rec. dist.: N.Y.1st cit.: US 1746 Papers of Sir William Johnson, ed.

-33-

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A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • A 3
  • B 33
  • C 79
  • D 133
  • E 173
  • F 193
  • G 245
  • I 323
  • J 337
  • K 345
  • L 357
  • M 395
  • N 423
  • O 435
  • P 447
  • Q 493
  • R 497
  • S 521
  • T 579
  • U 623
  • V 629
  • W 637
  • Y 685
  • Z 689
  • Bibliography 691
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