Tag Archives: proverb

Good enough – Proverb

Text: 

“It’s good enough for who it’s for”

Context:

“I learned this proverb from my dad and it seems to have spread throughout our whole family. I know this may seem like a simple ‘good enough’ but we use it anytime someone may be worried about their work. Off the top of my head I remember using it jokingly with our grandpa the other day when I was mowing the lawn for him.”

Analysis:

This proverb has a very small folkgroup being essentially just my family. Despite this, like other proverbs we use it all the time to give a statement social credit. Since the proverb could be considered an oicotype of “it’s good enough” it’s familiar enough that most people are able to understand its meaning. The situations in which the proverb are used are typically humorous or self deprecating as in doing making your bed hastily and then saying “well it’s good enough for who it’s for”.

“Pride feels no pain”

Text: “Pride feels no pain.”

Minor Genre: Proverb

Context:

L explained, “This proverb came down from my great-grandmother on my mother’s side. It was a saying among Southern women, maybe just ladies in general. The context was that you had to put up with pain for beauty; your looks were associated with how proud you were and how you presented yourself.

“Every time my mother brushed my hair when I was little, there were always tangles, and she would say, ‘Be quiet. Pride feels no pain.’”

Analysis:

The proverb “pride feels no pain” has a fairly straightforward meaning regardless of context: it implies that behaving in a manner that fills you with pride is enough to overcome any discomfort you may feel as a result of such actions. It reminds me of the phrase “beauty is pain,” which more directly relates to the idea that discomfort is an inherent part of beauty –– and that pain is a worthy price to pay to feel beautiful. In comparing the two phrases, considering “beauty is pain” as perhaps the more modern counterpart to “pride feels no pain,” it is interesting to consider the implied difference between the words “pride” and “beauty.” The word “pride” carries a more negative connotation for the person it describes, hinting that it is hubris that really disguises pain, while the word “beauty” seems to be used as more of an attribute for a person, and it is the attainment of the attribute that can be a negative experience.

You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.

Context: The informant was four years old at a preschool birthday party when she first heard this phrase, said to her by a friend’s mother after she asked for a different popsicle flavor.

Analysis: This rhyming phrase is typically said to children in response to expressions of dissatisfaction (I’ve heard it many times as well). It seems to encourage a philosophy of being grateful for what one has, and not to trouble others with your own disappointment.

Horses for courses

Context: The informant heard this saying primarily from her mom as a child; similar to “different strokes for different folks,” this phrase is meant to say that there are different people or things suited for different situations. More specifically, as the informant adds, “not all horses are racehorses.”

Analysis: I was confused when I first heard this, but in context it makes sense – racehorses are meant for racecourses, while others are not. It’s an interestingly horse-specific way of acknowledging individual differences.

American Proverb

“Worse Things Have Happened to Better People”

The informant first heard this saying from a guest speaker at UVA when she was in college in the 80’s. The speaker was Ilana kloss, a pro tennis player and author. It greatly resonated with the informant and she still uses it to this day. It means that whatever you’re going through, it could probably could be worse. You say it to someone whenever they are feeling bad about themselves (usually not something very serious like a death).

“Worse things have happened to Better people” is meant to keep life in perspective and to help keep one’s own head up. The source for this proverb is a famous tennis player, who has no doubt had tough and frustrating losses in her career. However, at the end of the day she is still a pro tennis player and her life is pretty good despite what she may feel after a difficult loss. This saying helps bring perspective for the good things in peoples lives and to stop one from feeling overly sorry for themselves. It’s telling that it was used by a very successful individual (pro tennis player and repeated by another well off person ( someone econimcally well off and at a prestigious school). This proverb likely reflect the values of successful individuals as a way to remain happy using gratefulness. All in all this quote reflects the gratefulness and the pursuit of happiness by those that repeat it.