Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Desiderius Erasmus

Tonight, whilst researching a future blog post, I came across Desiderius Erasmus. Born in 1466, he became an influential Renaissance humanist. Now this is interesting in and of itself, but did you know that he compiled Adagia? No? Neither did I. This Adagia is a collection of Greek and Latin adages that he compiled over 40 years. Many have become commonplace in our everyday language, and we owe our use of them to Erasmus. Here's some for you;

  • Make haste slowly
  • One step at a time
  • You're in the same boat
  • To lead one by the nose
  • A rare bird
  • Even a child can see it.
  • To have one foot in Charon's boat (we now say "...in the grave")
  • To walk on tiptoe
  • One to one
  • Out of tune
  • A point in time
  • I gave as bad as I got (we reversed it to "good", even though we mean "bad")
  • To call a spade a spade
  • Hatched from the same egg
  • Up to both ears (we use "up to his eyeballs")
  • As though in a mirror
  • Think before you start
  • What's done cannot be undone
  • Many parasangs ahead (we say, "miles ahead")
  • We cannot all do everything
  • Many hands make light work
  • A living corpse
  • Where there's life, there's hope
  • To cut to the quick
  • Time reveals all things
  • Golden handcuffs
  • Crocodile tears
  • To show the middle finger (yes, it meant the same thing back then)
  • You have touched the issue with a needle-point (we say, you have nailed it)
  • To walk the tightrope
  • Time tempers grief (we say, time heals all wounds)
  • With a fair wind
  • To dangle the bait
  • To swallow the hook
  • The bowels of the earth
  • From heaven to earth
  • The dog is worthy of his dinner
  • To weigh anchor
  • To grind one's teeth
  • Nowhere near the mark
  • Complete the circle
  • In the land of the blind, one eyed man is king
  • A cough for a fart (To attempt to cover up an error)
  • No sooner said than done
  • Neither with bad things nor without them (Women: can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em)
  • Between a stone and a shrine. (between a rock and a hard place)
  • Like teaching an old man a new language (Can't teach an old dog new tricks)
Int history brilliant?

3 comments:

The Misanthropic Mormon said...

down is the new up.

jamon said...

...and infinite versions thereon.

In being the new out, wrong being the new right ;)

Hi, by the way

Stew said...

These I like and will start using them.
A cough for a fart.
Between a stone and a shrine.

Whenever I read about great people from the past I am reminded of Isaac Newton saying:
"If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." People like Erasmus were giants, and we owe them much.