Popular Proverbs We are Interpreting Wrongly

Jul 08, 2019 Kayode Oseh

Proverbs are perceived to be the word of the wise that illustrates wisdom. We often quote them either to convey messages we are trying to pass across or we quote them to serve as motivation.  

However, most of these proverbs are interpreted wrongly - the meaning we are reading to them is quite different from what the proverbs stands for. Below are popular proverbs that means something completely different from what we think.  

Curiosity Killed The Cat

“Curiosity killed the cat” is a phrase that tends to serves as a warning to those who are too curious over things. The proverb was first recorded in a drama in 1598 during the time of William Shakespeare. The actual meaning to that proverb is “care killed the cat,” Care in this context means "worry" or "sorrow", according to "Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" in the nineteenth century. “ Cats are assumed to be animals that have "nine lives" yet care would destroy them all.”

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

The phrase “Blood is thicker than water” often emphasizes how family is more important than anything else. It show that family bonds are more important than temporary relationships with friends. However, what the phrase meant originally is not what the world assumed it to be today.

The actual version to this phrase is “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” which means that the blood covenant between two people is thicker than that of family allegiance. It made reference to blood covenants that people used to make by sharing the blood of an animal or even by cutting one another and mixing their blood together. Once the covenant was made, it bonded them for life and meant that they were committed to one another more than they were committed to their own family.

Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

The original version of this phrase is "jack of all trades" it does not carry any negative connotation.  It was first used as a language in the 17th century 1612 when an author Geffray Minshull wrote of his prison experience titled "Characters of a Prison and Prisoners". The additional part of the phrase, “master of none,” was only added latter on in the late 18th century.

Money Is The Root Of All Evil

This proverb originates from the Bible and it is often misquoted. To everybody, this phrase usually mean that all the negativity of life is caused by money. But however, this is not the real version to the proverb, the real version is “the love of money is the root of all evil.” which means that evil and immorality are caused by peoples who love money and not by money itself.

The Truth Shall Set You Free

This is also a proverb that originates from the Bible. To the world, it means that we should always say the truth and not tell lies. But however, in the original context, this proverb has nothing to do with lying. In the original context of this proverb, the word "truth" was meant to represent Christianity and according to the bible, God, or Jesus Christ is known to be the truth, which means that if you believe in Christ, you will be free from the bondage of sin and eternal condemnation. The proverb has nothing to do with lying or what so ever.     






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