Grannyís Favorite Sayings


Scottish grannies have always been known for their down-to-earth wisdom and common-sense, and hours whiled away in the kitchen and washhouse served to create an entire philosophy of their own. This philosophy has been passed down from generation to generation in the form of sayings and proverbs, from Scotland to Ulster, then Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, and on west and south. Many of these observations have survived in our American English, even though the understanding of their origin may have been lost in the repeated telling. Here are a few:

          A friend at court is worth a penny in the purse.

        Maintaining good contacts is always worthwhile.

          Clawing is bad: it begins wií pleasure and ends in pain.

        Donít scratch an itch.

          Fair hair may have foul roots.

        Fair hair may be bleached hair.

          Four and twenty tailors canna mak a man.

        Good clothes donít make the man.

          Great minds move slowly.

        Great minds donít make rash decisions.

          A nodís guid as a wink to a blind horse.

        Always be sure you make your meaning clear.

          If ye had everything, whar wud ye keep it?

        You canít have everything in this world.

           Love is as warm among paupers as courtiers.

         Love is special regardless of ones station.

          He that oppresses honesty neíre had any.

        Anyone who ridicules honesty is dishonest himself.

          Lean liberty is better than fat slavery.

        Better to be poor and happy than rich and a slave to a job.

          Sow guid memory for the comin seasons.

        Memory is a good garden; it can bloom in all seasons.

          He who was poor when he marries will be rich at death.

        Marriage improves your lot in life.

          Folk may die, but the clock will continue to chime.

        People die but life goes on.

          The shortest road is where the company is good.

         Being in good company makes time pass pleasantly.

          Hunger is the best kitchen.

        Food tastes better when youíre hungry.

          Lock your door and keep your neighbor honest.

        Donít put temptation in the way of your neighbor.

          A bald head is soon shaven.

        Every situation has some advantage.

          Bid a wee.

        Hold on for a moment.

          Have friends and have life.

        Good friends result in a full life.

          Live noo no back.

        Live for today. Donít dwell on the past.

          Slow fires  make sweet meat.

        Do anything well, and it will have lasting merit.

          Stay and drink what you brewed.

        Take responsibility for the problem that you have caused.