Proverbial origins

I blogged before about the proverb ‘the grass is always greener’.

Since then I’ve come across this article in the Electronic Journal of International Proverb Studies (no, me neither).

Apparently the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs traces this to a 1545 proverb, “The corne in an other mans ground semeth euer more fertyll and plentifull then doth oure owne”, itself based on the snappier Latin proverb “Fertilior seges est alieno semper in arvo”.

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1 Comment »

  1. Helen Elsom said

    Ah, my old mucker Erasmus. The Adagia (this one’s 1.6.72, though I had to look the exact reference up) is a handy collection of Renaissance sound bites. I’ve always assumed that the original source of the idea, if not the exact proverb, was in Aesop, perhaps via Phaedrus, — something about a goose — but I can’t find anything specific quickly via google.

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