The personal blog of Frank Lesko. Award-winning writer. Non-profit entrepreneur. Activist. Religious professional. Foodie. Musician. All around curious soul and Renaissance man.

See also my professional blog: The Traveling Ecumenist.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Call For Proverbs


I am studying the Book of Proverbs in my class on Wisdom Literature. For one of the assignments, I am to compile a list of modern proverbs from my family, friends and acquaintances. These can be any kind of mom-isms or words of wisdom that are thrown around--words to grow on that you may have grown up on.

We know some familiar Ben Franklin-ish ones, like:

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.

A stitch, in time, saves nine.

Can you think of any more? Are there modern ones you grew up with that you would be like to share?


  1. Do your best, angels can do no more.

    Find a penny and pick it up, and all day long you'll have goodluck!

    -Grandma Burek

    Not sure if these are really proverbs, but they are words to live by! :) Thanks, grandma!

  2. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

    -A Grandma-ism she picked up during the Depression. She is tickled that the concept has returned to vogue in the form of "reduce, reuse, recycle."

    "I see! said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw."
    -A Dad-ism. No idea what this even means, but he says it all the time.

  3. Ahh.... that reminds me of 'have not want not.'

    That blind man one is annoying, to be sure. I know people that repeat that one very regularly, as well. For no apparent purpose.

    Erin suggested some Forrest Gump-isms.....

  4. Wish in one hand, shit in the other. Tell me which one fills up first.

    - Paul Emhoff, my father =)

    I know it's crude, but it's always been one of my favorite proverbs from my father cuz it's so damned obvious. And it simply points out to you that wishing accomplishes nothing...

  5. Sounds like a proverb to me!

  6. And the one I learned from Star Wars, the wise Master Obi-Wan Kenobi:

    Who is more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?

  7. Opinions are like assholes: everybody's got one.

  8. Do or do not. There is no "try".

    -Master Yoda

  9. Oh, yes... my father has also said the "opinions are like assholes" one. Doesn't it finish with: Everyone has one and they all stink.?

  10. Not exactly a proverb, but another dad-ism:

    "You make a better door than a window."

    Translation: kids who know what's good for them do not block the television when dad is trying to watch it.

  11. Well, I have been collecting thoughts from folks. Here they are:

    Lick your calf over (if a cow gets interrupted while cleaning calf, will start over at the nose). If you don't do something right, do it over.

    Sin bravely.

    Don't cry over spilled milk.

    Don't burn your bridges before you cross them.

    Once and egg is broken, you can't put it back together.

    Water under the bridge (let it go).

    Don't count your chicks before they hatch.

    Be careful how you treat people, the people you pass going up you are going to pass them going down.

    Don't try to get the speck out of someone else's eye, before you get the log out of your own.

    Misery loves company.

    Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    When in doubt, don't.

    Don't treat people how you want to be treated, treat them the way they need to be treated.

    Never give anyone a stick to crack you across the head with.

    Association brings assimilation.

    Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

    Never bite the hand that feeds you.

    Better know what side your bread is buttered on.

    And, my contribution is:

    Wherever you may be, let your wind blow free! (Thank you Mama!)

  12. Thanks, Sprout! Those are good ones!

  13. These are from Clarice:

    Make hay while the sun shines.
    It takes iron to cut iron.
    2 long nose people, never agree.