A Dictionary of American Proverbs

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

M

machine A machine running is worth two standing still. Rec. dist.: Calif.

mackerelSEE Set a SPRAT to catch a mackerel.

magistrate The magistrate should obey the law; the people should obey the magistrate. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C.1st cit.:US 1734 Franklin , PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1277:12.

magistry He that buys magistry must sell justice. Rec. dist.: Mich.1st cit.: 1732 Fuller, Gnomologia. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 269: 12.

maid1. A good maid sometimes makes a bad wife. Rec. dist.: Ala., Ga.

2. Maids want nothing but husbands, and when they have them they want everything. Rec. dist.: Ont.1st cit.: 1678 Ray, English Proverbs. 20c. coll.: ODEP500, Stevenson 1504:5.

3. Old maids fancy nobody knows how to bring up children but them. Rec. dist.: Nebr., N.Y., N.C., S.C.1st cit.: 1546 Heywood, Dialogue of Proverbs, ed. Habernicht ( 1863); US 1790 Belknap Papers, Mass. Hist.Soc. Collections ( 1877-91). 20c. coll.: ODEP24, Whiting 16, T&W 233, Stevenson 337:1, Whiting ( MP) 392.

4. Praise a maid in the morning and the weather in the evening. Rec. dist.: Minn., Wis. SEE ALSO A DOG'S nose and a maid's knee are always cold. / If you can kiss the MISTRESS, never kiss the maid. / The worst STORE is a maid unbestowed. / The last SUITOR wins the maid. / It takes a wise WOMAN to be an old maid.

maiden1. A maiden that is in love grows bolder without knowing it. Rec. dist.: Wis.

2. A neat maiden often makes a dirty wife. Rec. dist.: Ont.

3. If one will not, another will, so are all maidens wed. Rec. dist.: Ont. 1st cit.: 1546 Heywood, Dialogue of Proverbs, ed. Habernicht ( 1963). 20c. coll.: ODEP890.

4. Maidens should be mild and meek, swift to hear and slow to speak. Rec. dist.: Ont.1st cit.: 1721 Kelly, Scottish Proverbs. 20c. coll.: ODEP499, Stevenson 1503:11.

Maine So goes Maine, so goes the nation. Var.: As Maine goes, so goes Vermont. Rec. dist.: U.S.1st cit.:US 1956 Boston Herald, 6 Sep.20c. coll.: Whiting( MP) 392.

majority1. The majority is often wrong. Rec. dist.: N.C.

2. The majority rules. Rec. dist.: N.C., Ohio.

3. Under majority rule, heads are counted; under minority rule, heads are cracked. Rec. dist.: Ill.

SEE ALSO It is better to be RIGHT than in the majority.

makeSEE What MAN makes, man can destroy.

malice1. Malice drinks its own poison. Rec. dist.: Ill., Ind.1st cit.: 1572 Harvey, Marginalia. 20c. coll.: ODEP502, Stevenson 1506:11.

2. Malice has a sharp sight and a strong memory. Rec. dist.: Ont.1st cit.: 1732 Fuller, Gnomologia. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1506:7.

3. Malice seldom wants a mark to shoot at. Rec. dist.: Ont. 1st cit.: 1855 Bohn, Handbook of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1506:2.

4. There is as much malice in a wink as in a word. Rec. dist.: N.C., Wis.

5. Though malice may darken truth, it cannot put it out. Rec. dist.: Ill. 1st cit.: 1732 Fuller, Gnomologia. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1506:5.

6. When there's more malice shown than matter, on the writer falls the satyr. Rec. dist.: N.Y., S.C.1st cit.: 1678 Ray, English Proverbs. 20c. coll.: ODEP543, Stevenson 1506:13.

SEE ALSO VANITY backbites more than malice.

malicious The malicious person keeps a viper in his breast. Rec. dist.: Ill.1st cit.:ca 1386 Chaucer, Summoner's Tale; US 1653 Wigglesworth , Diary. 20c. coll.: ODEP747, Whiting 464, Stevenson 1506:11, Whiting( MP) 659.

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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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