Friday, September 6, 2013

American Proverbs

When we study the book of Proverbs I like to test the knowledge of my junior high students concerning some famous American proverbs. Rarely have they even heard of a third of the proverbs I pick, which says something. Maybe I'm just picking obscure proverbs; maybe nobody uses proverbs anymore, or maybe all their slogan knowledge comes from movies and television. Hmmm. Anyway, I ask them to finish the proverbs however they wish if they don't know the original version. Then we go over what the real proverb says and what it means. Here are a few of their responses.

1. There's no time like......

..."party time"
Or, from someone quoting the algebra teacher, "math time"

2. A stitch in time.....

..."is a thread in history" (which adds a different dimension to the saying, I think)

3. Don't throw the baby....

..."ever"..."too far"..."away"

4. A rolling stone....

..."bites the dust"
.."will keep rolling unless acted upon by an opposing force"

5. Don't count your chickens...

..."or they will peck and scratch you"

6. Don't make a mountain...

..."if you can't climb a hill

7. Power corrupts;...

..."democracy prevails!"
..."peace" (I think that's pretty wise, actually)

8.  If you lie down with dogs...

.."use noseplugs"
..."you will bark"
..."they will drool on your shirt"

9. A watched kettle...

..."never blows up" (His kettle must be a pressure cooker)
..."makes good popcorn"

10.  The love of money....

..."ain't the same as true love"

11.  Early to bed, early to rise....

..."work all day" (must be a farmer's son)

12.  Speak softly...

..."so you don't wake up Grandpa"
..."act nacherly"

13.  One rotten apple...

..."equals one sick kid"
..."ruins the whole meal"
..."ain't as good as a fresh one"

Now, for those of you who don't remember the original proverbs, here are the originals:

1.  There's no time like the present.
2.  A stitch in time saves nine
3. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
4. A Rolling Stone gathers no moss.
5. Don't count your chickens before they hatch
6. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
7. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
8. If you lie down with dogs, you will wake up with fleas.
9. A watched kettle never boils.
10. The love of money is the root of all evil.
11. Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise.
12. Speak softly and carry a big stick.
13. One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.

1 comment:

Carina said...

Some of them make as much sense as the originals. =)