USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘enemies’
Folk speech
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Proverbs

Long Handled Spoon

The informant was born and raised in Colorado. She all her life has used proverbs that her grandmother taught her to develop relationships. Her grandmother helped in assisting her by giving her proverbs to live by that apply to any situation and any human.

“feed them with a long handled spoon”

Informant…

“My grandma use to tell me Feed them with a Long Handled Spoon when she said this it was usually in regards to when I would have a fight with someone, if one of my friends really hurt my feelings, or even now while I am in my profession she will use it if I don’t necessarily like someone I am working with. It means, if someone does you wrong, you deal with them, you are still nice to them, but you don’t have to trust them anymore or let them get close to you. My grandma really was big on how people interact with each other and she thought that if someone was going to violate you and your trust, you keep them in front of you so they can’t stab you in the back again, you are still nice to them, and you deal with them when you have to, but you donut rust them enough to let them get close to you.”

Analysis…

When the informant was telling me her proverb, I could tell that she was excited to tell me about it and share with me what her grandmother had previously shared with her. This information the informant uses whenever she feels like she needs guidelines on how to act of how to feel she remembers the proverbs that her grandmother taught her and tries to apply them.

This proverb I connect with the proverbs keep your enemies in front of you and keep your enemies closer. I think that I associate the three because the al have something to do with people who have done you wrong or you don’t like for whatever reason. Differences that I can point our is the informants proverb says if anyone wrongs you to keep them at a distance and don’t allow them to have a chance to be close to you. Whereas the keep your enemies closer that I mention says to keep the people who have wronged you closer than anyone else. They are different because one thinks you should let them no where near you because they will wrong you again and the other believes you should keep them close so the won’t wrong you again. The point of both of these is trying to generate a way to prevent enabling harm to yourself from others but from two different perspectives. The informant’s proverb is similar to keep your enemies in front of you because then they can’t stab you in the back again, so it is protecting yourself without being close to someone who has wronged you. I was glad that I was able to make sense of this proverb and have my own thought process behind it.

 

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