Famous Sayings #186 — ‘Gentle as a Lamb’

May 4, 2020

David may be a big, strong man but he is as gentle as a lamb with children.

gentle as a lamb, lamb, symbolism, famous sayings
Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

I have been irregular with these posts for the past months, but at least this post comes in a consecutive week. Now, this saying is one I like. While this was meant to be posted in 2019, my schedule got a bit hectic, so I skipped it. But “Gentle as a lamb” was easier to research than many of the other famous sayings in this series.

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Famous Sayings #136 — ‘Idle Hands …’

February 10, 2019

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.

This is an odd parable, but one I first heard of while watching a 1999 film starring Devon Sawa. (Anyone who has watched the live-action film “Casper” or “Little Giants” should know who he is.) However, I heard another version of this parable in that movie.

In fact, there are multiple versions of this saying:

  • Idle hands are the devil’s playground.
  • Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.
  • Idle hands are the devil’s tools.
  • Idle hands are the devil’s workshop
  • The devil makes work for idle hands (to do).

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Famous Sayings: #62 — ‘Fall on Deaf Ears’

May 19, 2017

Sometimes it seems like all her warnings will only fall on deaf ears.

fall on deaf ears, turn a deaf ear, famous sayings
“La-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you!” Photo by Christopher Blizzard via Flickr. The photo was cropped and used under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

I had this phrase lined up for this week for a while now, and recent events have made this a timely choice.

But first, let’s get into the meaning of this phrase.

What Does ‘Fall on Deaf Ears’ Mean?

I consulted numerous sources in order to find the origin, but most only offered their own take on the meaning of the phrase.

From the Macmillan Dictionary, I found this:

if something such as a warning, a request, or an attempt to change someone’s attitude falls on deaf ears, it is completely ignored by the person who hears it

The definition is exactly the same for the American British and versions.

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Famous Sayings: #58 — ‘Fox Guarding the Henhouse’

April 21, 2017

It’s like a fox guarding a henhouse.

fox guarding the henhouse, fox, famous sayings

I was introduced to this saying in, appropriately enough, in a political advertisement. The imagery was literal, with clips of chickens being contrasted with the image of a fox looking for its prey.

I forget what was being discussed, but I know it was a proposition in my state. The idea behind the negative ad was to get voters to believe a “YES” vote would allow some people in the government to run ram shod. Essentially, voters would be allowing the fox to guard the henhouse.

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Famous Sayings: #57 — ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’

April 14, 2017

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

the truth will set you free, truth, criticism, the Bible, Jesus

Since Easter Sunday is approaching, I thought I would look at a biblical quote that also has many secular uses. As it turns out, this phrase has been varied so much that the quote above is only a variation.

While many other Bible verses have secular uses, and some may have origins that predate the Bible itself, I kind of find it odd how this expression morphed over the centuries. What makes this expression so special? Let’s first look at the context and other uses.

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Gay Marriage in the United States

supreme court, doma, gay marriage, the United States

This page is here in order to augment an upcoming post about gay marriage. I need to store various sources I have used for research.

I am primarily focusing on the American viewpoint (but many views are often shared on an international level). This information includes religious arguments, laws, and court cases.

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Famous Sayings: #46 — ‘It Is Better to Remain Silent…’

January 27, 2017

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

it is better to remain silent, to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth, and remove all doubt, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, the Bible, Proverbs, Famous Sayings

Believe it or not, the first time I heard of this adage was on The Cosby Show.

As I was researching this famous saying, I came across a number of images and websites that often attributed the saying to two men in particular. From BrainyQuote, Lifehack.org, The Quotations Page, and a PDF I imagine was from California State University Bakersfield, either Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain was credited with the adage.

I have even seen the Bible as being the source of the saying — or a least the sentiment.

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Famous Sayings: #41 — ‘Blink of an Eye’

December 18, 2016

Years pass by in the blink of an eye.

blink of an eye, eye, famous sayings

The phrase I chose for this week is so common, that I was kind of surprised that its origin wasn’t so apparent. I almost looked for another idiom, but I was committed to looking at this one. And it was such a coincidence that I saw it used on Facebook by one of my elementary-school classmates.

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Famous Sayings: #38 — ‘No Good Deed…’

November 27, 2016

No good deed goes unpunished.

Clare Booth Luce, no good deed, no good deed goes unpunished, proverb, famous sayings
Clare Boothe Luce (R–CT). By National Archives and Records Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The first time I heard of this proverb, I was watching a newscast.

One of the stories that came up that day was about a man who saved children from a burning building. I forgot the exact details, but from what I remember, the man had prior convictions or a warrant for his arrest. So, when the authorities found out who had saved the children, he was arrested.

One of the news anchors kinda chuckled after that report was given and utters, “It goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished.”

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Famous Sayings: #37 — ‘Breaking Bread’

November 20, 2016

Breaking bread together.

breaking bread, famous sayings

When I picked this topic, I was coming up with a 30-day posting schedule. I quickly picked a famous saying that somehow reminded me of Thanksgiving (which is this week in the U.S.) because a dinner was undoubtedly being reference.

What I found may come as a surprise to some, depending on one’s knowledge of religions. Others may not be surprised, but it is interesting to look into some key differences between Judaism and Christianity.

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