Tag Archives: kings

Southern Proverb



18, student

Atlanta, GA

23 April 2011

“If a child washes her hands, she can eat with kings”

Taylor chose this proverb because her grandmother used to tell it to her. To her it means that she needs to slow down, she finds herself constantly rushing into things. Her grandmother is Creole and used to say it when Taylor would bite into a candy without unwrapping it, run into the screen door, and any time she acted before thinking. Taylor likes the proverb because it reminds her to slow down and think before she tries something big.

This folk proverb teaches the lesson to wait to be patient and slow down. In the proverb the child is so rushed to eat with the adults that she forgot to wash her hands. Taylor told this proverb with a very authoritative tone as if she was preaching. Proverbs like these are all over the American south and exemplify proverbs that are intended to teach. Taylor learned this from her grandmother and it has been passed down for generations. The origins are unknown which makes it valuable folklore.

Annotation: This proverb can also be seen in several literary works including, Things Fall Apart. In which it means more that removing the past will bring about a better future.

Tim Perille


1027 W. 34th St. Los Angele CA