A proverb is a short, pithy statement of a general truth. It condenses common experience into a memorable form. Miguel de Cervantes defined a proverb as “a short sentence based on long experience.”
Well, now there are sayings called anti-proverbs. Another name for anti-proverbs is perverbs since they are a perversion of the original.
Wolfgang Mieder, a professor of German and folklore at the University of Vermont, says anti-proverbs are “parodied, twisted, or fractured proverbs that reveal humorous or satirical speech play with traditional proverbial wisdom”.
I discovered these phrases while surfing the web recently. All of them combine parts of one real proverb with a part of another one.
Here are some examples of these funny sayings. I bet you can figure out the original proverbs.
- No news is the mother of invention
- What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.
- Don’t count your chickens in midstream
- The road to Hell wasn’t paved in a day or the road to Hell is the spice of life.
- When in Rome, do it yourself.
- Beauty is the best policy.
- Once bitten, three’s a crowd.
- Absence speaks louder than words or absence makes the heart go wonder.
- One good turn is another man’s poison
- A miss is as good as a molehill.
- Virtue is its own punishment.