Folk speech
Proverbs

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Main Piece:

 

The following was recorded from the Participant. They are marked as LG. I am marked as DG.

 

LG: Oh, um, one saying is “a stitch in time saves nine.” There’s not much to say, I honestly think she just wanted us to get stuff done on time (laughs) you know like, get it done, now, instead of later. I heard it from my mom um who heard it from her mom. And both of them were really prompt, and my dad was more like (click noise).

 

Context:

 

The conversation was recorded while sitting on a patio in Glendora, CA. The sun is setting and a group of us are sitting around all sharing folklore. The proverb was used by the interviewee’s mother whenever her children or husband were late.

 

Background:

 

The interviewee is a 54-year-old mother of two, who is married. She grew up in Los Angeles, before moving around, and finally ending up back in Los Angeles. Her and her parents had a very tight-knit relationship, and she comes from a religious background. She has two siblings.

 

Analysis:

 

Proverbs tell us much about both the worldview of the country that the interviewee inhabits, and the family of the interviewee. In this case, the proverb is talking about how if you do something quickly, time will be saved later. In America, time is something that is highly valued. Americans tend to bustle about, trying to get everything done, and rarely taking time to enjoy it. In the interviewee’s family, time was also heavily valued. They were always early, and that’s something that LG also brought down to her children. This shows that proverbs can be more than just words, they can also carry down behavioral attitudes.

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