Peculiar Proverbs: Weird Words of Wisdom from Around the World

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Macmillan, Dec 9, 2008 - Humor - 272 pages

Peculiar Proverbs is a hilarious and enlightening collection of genuine proverbs from around the world that ignores the sayings we are all familiar with and focuses on the more obscure. Some are deft, witty, and colorful, others are just plain weird, but they are all fascinating.

The proverbs are grouped in topics ranging from work (or reasons not to), family life, love, food, age, religion, money, and many more. Humor and wisdom characterize these bizarre and quirky sayings, and they reveal much about their countries of origin, and plenty about human nature.

Peculiar Proverbs includes sayings you won’t find in any other collection, sometimes so surreal they defy you to decipher them, providing hours of entertainment. Remember: The man who tickles himself can laugh when he chooses.

*Dogs and rude people have no hands (Italy)

*God preserve us from pitchforks, for they make three holes (Switzerland)

*It is not necessary for priests to marry as long as peasants have wives (Germany)

*A mother-in-law, like the yucca tree, is useful underground (Cuba)

*Better the gurgling of a camel than the prayers of a fish (Egypt)

*Give a dog an appetizing name, and eat him (China)

*There are two good people: one of them is dead, and the other one was not born (Estonia)

*Mediocrity is climbing a molehill without sweating (Iceland)

*You cannot drink water, it is not vodka (Russia)

*A cow pat is wider when trodden on (Ireland)


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About the author (2008)

Stephen Arnott is the author of Now Wash Your Hands!, a cultural history of the toilet, Eating Your Auntie Is Wrong, a collection of the world’s strangest customs, as well as Sex: A User’s Guide and Man Walks into a Bar. Born in Jamaica, he lives in South London with his partner and daughter.

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