A Dictionary of American Proverbs

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

C

C If you don't C sharp, you'll B flat. Rec. dist.: N.Mex.

cabbage(n.) If they ask you for cabbages, don't give them peas. Rec. dist.: Ill.

SEE ALSO Fair WORDS butter no cabbage.

cabbage(adj.)SEE TWO HEADS are better than one, even if one is a cabbage head.

cableSEE HABITS are first cobwebs, then cables.

cabooseSEE Every TRAIN has a caboose.

cackleSEE A good HEN does not cackle in your house and lay in another's. / A HEN that doesn't cackle doesn't lay. / 'Tis not the HEN that cackles most that lays the most eggs. / Hungry ROOSTER never cackles when he scratches up a worm.

cackling(n.)SEE He that would have EGGS must endure the cackling of hens.

cackling(adj.)SEE A cackling HEN doesn't always lay.

cadaver The cadaver is always right. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

Caesar1. Caesar's wife must be above suspicion. Var.: A man's grammar, like Caesar's wife, must not only be pure, but above suspicion. Rec. dist.: Ill., N.Y., S.C.1st cit.: 1580 Lyly, Euphues and His England, ed. Arber ( 1868); US 1778 Newspaper Extracts Relating to New Jersey, ed. Stryker ( 1901-17). 20c. coll.: ODEP97, Whiting53, CODP30, Stevenson 271:7, T&W52, Whiting( MP) 87.

2. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. Rec. dist.: Idaho, Ill., Tenn.1st cit.: 1601 Barlow, Sermon at Paul's Cross; US 1680 Letters of John Randolph, ed. Dudley (1834). 20c. coll.: ODEP671, Whiting53, Stevenson 272:6, Whiting( MP) 88.

cage1. A fine cage won't feed the hungry bird. Var.: A fine cage won't feed the bird. Rec. dist.: Ill., Vt. 1st cit.: ca 1389 Chaucer, Maunciple's Tale. 20c. coll.: Stevenson177:5.

2. A golden cage is still a cage. Rec. dist.: Oreg.

SEE ALSO It is the beautiful BIRD which gets caged. / A NIGHTINGALE won't sing in a cage. / Stone WALLS do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.

cageySEE Any GIRL can handle the beast in a man if she's cagey enough.

cake1. Give a bit of your cake to one who is going to eat pie. Rec. dist.: Miss.Infm.: One is hoping for a favor in return.

2. When one has no flour, one bakes no cakes. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

3. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Var.: You can't eat your cake and have it too. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can.1st cit.: 1546 Heywood, Dialogue of Proverbs, ed. Habernicht ( 1963); US 1742 Colonial Records of Georgia, ed. Chandler , in Original Papers, 1735-1752 ( 1910-16). 20c. coll.: ODEP215, Whiting53, CODP109, Stevenson274:2, T&W52 Whiting( MP) 88.

calamity1. A calamity is often a blessing in disguise. Rec. dist.: Wis.

2. Calamity and prosperity are the touchstones of integrity. Rec. dist.: N.Y.1st cit.: US 1752 Franklin, PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1904:6.

3. Calamity is often a friend in disguise. Rec. dist.: Ill., Wis.

4. Calamity is the touchstone of a brave mind. Var.: Calamity is the test of a brave mind. Rec. dist.: Ill., Ohio. 1st cit.: 1602 Marston, Antonio's Revenge. 20c. coll.: ODEP98, Stevenson 275:1.

5. Calamity is virtue's opportunity. Rec. dist.: Ohio. 1st cit.: US 1948 Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson275:12.

6. Every calamity may be overcome by patience. Rec. dist.: Mich.

7. It were no virtue to bear calamities if we did not feel them. Rec. dist.: Mich.

SEE ALSO May HOPE be the physician when calamity is the disease.

-79-

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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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