A Dictionary of American Proverbs

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

T

table1. At a round table, there is no dispute of place. Rec. dist.: Calif.1st cit.: 1611 Cotgrave , Dictionary of French and English Tongues. 20c. coll.: ODEP685, Stevenson 2267:9.

2. At the table it becomes no one to be bashful. Rec. dist.: Wis.

3. Poor men's tables are soon set. Rec. dist.: N.Y.1st cit.: 1616 Draxe, Bibliotheca Scholastica in Anglia ( 1918). 20c. coll.: ODEP639, Stevenson 1844:3.

4. Rich men's tables have few crumbs. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

5. The table robs more than the thief. Rec. dist.: Okla.1st cit.: 1640 Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs (Jacula Prudentum) in Works, ed. Hutchinson ( 1941). 20c. coll.: ODEP796, Stevenson 2267:4.

6. When one has a good table, he is always right. Rec. dist.: Minn.1st cit.:US 1948 Stevenson , Home Book of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 2267:8.

SEE ALSO Lay your CARDS on the table. Don't EAT before you set the table. / The FATHER is the guest who best becomes the table. / Only FOOLS speak or fiddle at the table.

tablecloth If I can't be a tablecloth, I won't be a dishrag. Rec. dist.: Ill., Ind.1st cit.: 1678 Ray, English Proverbs. 20c. coll.: ODEP190.

tact1. For success in life, tact is more important than talent. Rec. dist.: Miss.

2. Social tact is making your company feel at home even though you wish they were. Rec. dist.: Ill.

3. Some people have tact; others tell the truth. Var.: Some people have tact, and others tell the truth. Rec. dist.: Ill., Ont.

4. Tact is removing the sting of a bee without being stung. Rec. dist.: Minn.

5. Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. Rec. dist.: Miss.

tail1. Don't get your tail in a twist. Rec. dist.: Ont.

2. Don't get your tail over the line. Rec. dist.: Ont.

3. Make not the tail broader than the wings. Rec. dist.: Mich.1st cit.: 1597 Bacon, "Followers" in Essays. 20c. coll.: ODEP797.

4. Tail goes with the hide. Rec. dist.: Miss., Ont., Wis.1st cit.: 1721 Kelly, Scottish Proverbs; US 1959 Cushman, Goodbye, Old Dry. 20c. coll.: ODEP797, Whiting( MP) 611, Stevenson 2268:6.

5. The tail cannot shake the dog. Var.: The tail cannot wag the dog. Rec. dist.: Calif., Mich., N.Y.1st cit.: 1936 Greg, Murder of Estelle Cantor. 20c. coll.: Whiting( MP) 611.

SEE ALSO It's better to be the BEAK of a hen than the tail of an ox. / When wrestlin' a BEAR, never grab for his tail. / A BIRD never flies so far that his tail doesn't follow. / Little BOYS are made of rats and snails and puppy- dog tails. / An old cow needs her tail more than once. / Cows don't know the good of the tail until fly time. / A DOG is loved by old and young, he wags his tail and not his tongue. / Short-tailed DOG wag his tail same as a long 'un. / An EEL held by the tail is not yet caught. / If you can get over the HORSE, you can get over the tail. / NO KITE ever flew so high but what its tail followed it. / There is always something to keep the RABBIT'S tail short. / A RICH man has the world by the tail. / You can't tell how far a TOAD will jump by the length of its tail.

tailor1. A long thread, a lazy tailor. Vars.: (a) A long thread bespeaks a lazy tailor. (b) Lazy tailor uses long thread. Rec. dist.: N.Y., N.C.1st cit.:US 1938 Champion, Racial Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 2140:8.

2. Nine tailors make a man. Var.: Two tailors go to a man. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C., Tex.1st cit.:ca 1600 Tarlton's Jests, Shakespeare Soc.; US 1647 Ward, Simple Cobler of Aggawam inAmerica

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