What is saying?
What Does saying Mean
Saying is a word with an etymological origin that refers us to the French language and the word refrain . It is a short sentence , whose use is shared by a community, that promotes reflection, transmits a teaching or serves as an example.
Sayings are common in everyday speech , unlike proverbs and aphorisms , which are expressions with similar characteristics. All these sentences are part of the group of paremias.
The main characteristic of a saying is that it arises from experience . Through your expression, you can explain an action or offer advice. That is why it can be said that proverbs have an instructive purpose.
These councils are forged and shared socially over time , based on what a community has experienced . In this way the sayings are part of the cultural heritage of the people. They do not arise from the inventiveness of a single person, but are built and installed collectively. In fact, the sayings are anonymous (their author is not known).
To all this we must add another important characteristic about sayings and that is, with few exceptions, most of them have been transmitted from generation to generation through what is oral language. And we have all known, assimilated and used them since we have heard them from our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents ...
The collection of sayings is known as a proverb . When a proverb is edited, the proverbs move from speech to the printed word.
It is considered that one of the richest and most comprehensive sayings in the world is Spanish, since it is determined that it is composed of more than 100,000 different sayings. An amount that goes to demonstrate the value and importance of oral tradition in that language. However, among the best known are some such as the following:
- "A good understanding, few words are enough."
-"A god begging and with the hammer giving".
- "We were few and the grandmother gave birth."
- "Raise crows and they will gouge out your eyes."
-"Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are".
- "He who has a godfather is baptized."
-"Every cloud has a silver lining".
- "Barking dog, little biter."
-"The avarice breaks the bag".
-"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".
Precisely all these and many more are collected, for example, in the book "Spanish Proverb". A work carried out in 2001 by Berta Pallares and María Josefa Canellada, in which they not only present us with the most popular and used sayings, as well as an orderly classification of these, but also their origin or even their meaning.
"A gift horse does not look at his teeth" is an example of a saying. The phrase is linked to the traditional custom of observing the teeth of the animal before buying it to know its age and health conditions. If the "horse" is not a purchase but a gift, "you don't look at its teeth" : it is accepted as it is, without criticism.