Meaningful and Meaningless Proverbs

With reference to my previous blog, I tell you the proverb that drew all this topic (It's just for fun). The proverb literally says:

“Turn the jar on her mouth, daughters and mothers are always alike.”


The meaning of the proverb sounds understandable “Daughters and mothers are always alike”. But wait a minute… What the hell is “Turn the jar on her mouth” ? And how could I turn the jar on her mouth? Whose mouth is that supposed to be? Mother!!! Daughter!!! (Just pondering and imagining). Mr.Proverb says: "It's non of my business. No matter how you could do that. Just turn it!!!" Oh, God... But come on, man!!! Are you kidding me??? :/

I don’t know where the hell we brought this proverb from. :/ Seriously, I feel like I have wasted the best days of my beautiful life repeating words that I have never thought about :D


When we think a little about our native forms, I am sure that we can find many proverbs and expressions that may sound logical, and many others that there is no way that they are having any logic of their linguistic composition at all. :|



Definitely, all proverbs must have a story for the reason of their illogical composition (or that’s what I could assume at least). As an example from my native language, I am going to tell an interesting story of a frequent expression in my culture before I end this blog.

The story is about an expression that we use here when we want to express that something is not going to take long period of time to happen. We say “it’s gonna take a bite of a marrow” or “it will happen in a bite of a marrow” ("bite of a marrow" here refers to a short period of time).


The story of this expression, as they say, is:

Once upon a time, A poor man was starving for anything eat. He was a good man, but hunger and desperation pushed him off the limits. he sneaked into some houses in the nieghborhood and stole a cooked marrow. It was too redolent to resist, that he put it into his mouth and munched a sinlge bite. But suddenly, he stopped and dwelled upon his action. He said to himself I shouldn't be doing that. it is burglary, he thought. Swiftly, he returned the marrow back to the dish and rushed out of the home with remorse. He did not even think about the marks of his teeth on the marrow, and how it would be thought of. 

For his surprise, he didn't know that the home he entered was inhabited by a young widow. later on, when she saw the bitten marrow in her dish, she was so scared that she went to sheriff and asked him to propose a good man who could marry her and offer her the company and protection. she was so scared of staying alone after the incident. The sheriff claimed to know a good poor man who could accept her offer. Indeed he summoned the poor man to the scenery and introduced him to her. very shortly thereafter, they accepted each others and arranged their marriage at the same night.


At the night, and when the couple headed to her home. the wife wanted to serve dinner for her husband. immediately when he saw the dish, he burst into tears. she did not know the reason first. But, then he confessed to her that he sneaked to her same home earlier in the same day. she was very shocked. This was very happy for the couple, because he refused to take a robbery first in spite of his hunger. But eventually, he was rewarded with the marrows for free and with an extra beautiful and young wife. 


Since everything in the story happened in a "bite of a marrow", it becomes familiar that we say about anything happens in short time that it happens in a bite of a marrow :D

At last before we finish, I would like to hear other stories of expressions and proverbs in your different native languages. Also, it will be very nice, if Mr.Josef Essberger or Mrs.Tara Benwell tell us the stories of the idioms that they post everyday. :D 

For the relevance of this topic to English language learning, please refer to the link. :)

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  • hehehehe... I was only kidding you, dear Hurieh..

    you know what they say in this case, Hurieh.. they say "Great Minds Think Alike" :D and I guess the story of this proverb is very clear here :D

    well... The story was told by the head of judge in Damascus during the 60s of the last centurry, I read it in his book myself. and according to him, he assured that he witnessed this story and knew the man and his wife..

  • Dear AG,

    I read your interesting blog! I have to admit that I have committed an unwanted plagiarism. After reading your blog though, I asked myself " Does AG write about such serious topics too?"
    (I was kidding of course.)
    By the way, I am still wondering if this story isn't part of a fictional story!

  • I am not Juan Tamad, Anne -_-

    I just do that when I see other king of ripe fruit :D ;) 

  • So that's how a marrow looks like!  Great!  I was thinking of something else.  

    Most of the stories related to proverbs and expressions in my place are called legends or myths.  We call a lazy person "Juan Tamad".  As the legend says Juan Tamad is a young man whose laziness is uncomparable.  

    The Juan Tamad story illustrates his utmost laziness to the point of stupidity that it becomes comedic.  In one of his stories, Juan Tamad comes upon a guava tree bearing ripe fruit. Being too slothful to climb the tree and take the fruits, he instead decides to lie beneath the tree and let gravity do its work. There he remained, waiting for the fruit to fall into his gaping mouth.

    See how lazy he is!  Would you do that AGG when you see a ripe apple from a tree?

  • Thanks for giving your time for reading it, Noor.

  • thanks for sharing nice blog with us... AGG..

  • Thanks, Wiji ^^

  • nice blog agg

  • thanks for reading, Setareh :D

  • It was so nice. Thanks for sharing. we mostly know about adages but not the story behind it.
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