Tag Archives: parodied

Antiproverbs — Say what?


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.

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