Rus Articles Journal

Why we so speak? Proverbs, sayings of

of the Proverb and a saying so entered our life that for a long time lost the initial concrete sense. We, for example, speak: “You cannot pull a fish out of a pond without labour“, without thinking neither of a small fish, nor of a pond. We speak “to be left high and dry“ and we do not even reflect about what actually a nose there is a speech?

Or, for example, such ordinary expression: “To make a mountain out of a molehill“. From where these strange beings - an elephant and a fly whom it is possible to increase to the elephant sizes undertook? If someone asks us about it, we will be surprised. We will answer it that, of course, this is not about a specific fly and an elephant. That it is just a proverb such. And if to ask us, from where, from what source this proverb went, then, most likely, we confusedly will shrug shoulders. Or we will answer something it seems: “Always so spoke...“.

But whether it is possible to get to the bottom of an essence nevertheless? Let`s try to track an origin of some proverbs and sayings.

“To make a mountain out of a molehill“

the Quote from the satirical work “Praise to a Fly“ belonging to a feather of the Greek writer Lukian.

“To bury the talent“

Originates in an evangelical parable how a certain person, leaving, charged to three slaves to protect the property. It gave one five talents, to another - two, to the third - one. Slaves to whom it handed five and two talents gave them on credit for percent. And the slave who received one talent dug it to the earth.

Having come back home, the owner demanded from slaves to the report. Received five talents, gave to the owner ten, received two - four. The owner praised them. The slave who received one talent told that he earthed it. “Evil and lazy slave!, - the owner told it. - You had to give my silver to growth, and then I would receive it with profit!“.

The word “talent“ was called the Ancient Greek monetary unit in the beginning. This word a synonym of high endowments in some area became later. And expression “to bury the talent“ it began to be used in value “neglect abilities, not develop them“.

“The veto, the veto to veto“

In Latin “veto“ means

“I forbid“. Legal practice of imposing of the veto (that is - a ban on any decision) originates since the Roman republic. National stands which were representatives of a plebs had rights to veto decisions of the senate and magistrates.

“Sword of Damocles“

Expression designates constant danger at visible happiness and wellbeing. Its source is the Ancient Greek legend provided in Cicero`s composition “Tuskulansky conversations“. In the legend it is told about how Damokl, being a favourite of the sirakuzsky tyrant Dionysius Starshego, considered him as the happiest of people and very much envied it.

Then Dionysius suggested Damokl to occupy the throne for one day. On a feast Damokl with horror noticed the sharp sword suspended on a thin horsehair over the head. And Dionysius explained to him that the sword symbolizes those dangers to which he constantly is exposed as the master, despite the seeming wellbeing.

“Root of all evil“

Expression is taken

from the Bible, from Iov`s Book. It is used in sense: the reason of any troubles, misfortunes, etc. of

“Kvass patriotism“

Is expression for the first time P. A. Vyazemsky applied. It is used in ironical sense and both so stupid and categorical rejection of the stranger, foreign, “not our“ means stupid, hardened commitment to the become obsolete and ridiculous “traditions“ of national life.

“Golovotyapy, bungling“

Is used by

in relation to lazy, confused and inept workers. This word long since met in folk speech, but especially was widely adopted after its application by Saltykov-Shchedrin in “Stories of one city“ in the head “About koren of an origin of glupovets“.

Perhaps, it is enough. Of course, it is impossible to capture all richness of Russian where many and many hundreds of similar proverbs, sayings and popular expressions in one short note. My task was to interest only the reader, to set thinking on why we so speak? I hope that I carried out this modest task.