Tuesday, November 13, 2007


SAW, n. A trite popular saying, or proverb. (Figurative and colloquial.) So called because it makes its way into a wooden head. Following are examples of old saws fitted with new teeth.

A penny saved is a penny to squander.

A man is known by the company that he organizes.

A bad workman quarrels with the man who calls him that.

A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring.

Better late than before anybody has invited you.

Example is better than following it.

Half a loaf is better than a whole one if there is much else.

Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do it.

Least said is soonest disavowed.

He laughs best who laughs least.

Speak of the Devil and he will hear about it.

Of two evils choose to be the least.

Strike while your employer has a big contract.

Where there's a will there's a won't.

2007 Update:  A piece of evidence that while wisdom is native to the elderly, folly is eternal.  A fruit that ripened in the first garden which modernity cans for spread.

If time were a cloth to be stitched with delay,
And a penny in a pocket didn't rust or decay
And misfortune avoided those seeking self-help
And good fences raised properly my neighbor's whelp
Then we'd lay down our weapons and let slip our tools
And stare all day at the aged as leaders, not fools.
-Emil Gam


Minka said...

That is a lot of information to get in 30 seconds.

"Of two evils choose to be the least." I like that!

If time were a towel, space would have to be wet, otherwise there'd be no continuum!
I guess it would just rain a lot...

TLP said...

A very merry un-birthday to you.

I see you're up early today. See, saw, whats the difference?

TLP said...

That's "what's not whats. No old age wisdom here.

Minka said...

saw,n. a tool demonstrating that nagging does work. Continious and even pressure applied, the thickest trunk will have to give in eventually. When falling over though, it'll take anybody and everything down with it.

Anonymous said...

Saw: if i had one it would be rusted and not work

I saw that this is a distinct possiblity. Saw doesn't sound proper in that sentence however...

Mutha said...

And don't forget the haunting melodies that can be coaxed from it with a bow...Okay...I got nothin.

Jim said...


I come, I see;
I came, I saw.

[I've heard of sawbucks too.]

Tom & Icy said...

I'd rather be a saw than a board.

tsduff said...

A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring.

I can bring you a sweet song, or a peck in the eye. What's it worth?

There are no Saw Whet owls in my neck of the woods.

I absolutly love your poem by Emil Gam.

Anonymous said...

SAW, n. Hindsight. Which, despite the old saw, is not always 20-20. See 1973.

Anonymous said...

SAW: cutting edge truthy-ism, pasted into the Big Book of Life-ish.

sorry, i came, i saw, i laughed at these definitions, and then... my mind went blank. oh, i flashed on a line from Jack Handey about shoving Life's Lemons down someone's throat, but then i saw something shiny, and wondered if that might work, just as well. ; )

Nessa said...

I cried because I had no shoes until I saw the man who was wearing Bozo shoes.

Doug The Una said...

Minka, if time were a towel, we'd all be dry. Thanks for taking a stab at the indecipherable first version.

TLP, old age wisdom is over-rated by the young.

Minka, the paragon of unintended consequences?

Pia, hand saws are for rusting.

Thanks ok, Mutha. I didn't have much either.

Jim, but have you ever seen one?

Icy, when I do carpentry you'd rather be the board.

Thanks, Terry. That beat a peck in the eye.

Amoeba, that was spectacularly well done.

Neva, you and Jack are always welcome.

Hahaha, Nessa. Nice.

Kyahgirl said...

Really enjoyed the curmudgeonly twist on the old saws!

Jamie Dawn said...

Nice poem.

Saw: I saw the first Saw movie after my son begged and begged for me to watch it with him.
It was hitonious.

Unknown said...

i guess you're pretty saw after the beating you got on your birthday, right?

Indeterminacy said...

Shaw saw sauces by the coleslaw.

Mutha said...

Dang Indie! That's a good one. The coleslaw is what clinched it for me.

Doug The Una said...

Kyah, Ambrose Bierce was a catalyst for wisdom.

Actonbell, I'm reluctant to see Saw II.

I can imagine, Jamie Dawn. This is why most of us don't listen to teenagers.

Karma, I do enjoy a new pun. Good one.

Indie, I second Mutha.

Mutha, I second you.

Hobbes said...

I think you're both brilliant on this one.

The early bird deserves the worm.