Saying  

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A rolling stone gathers no moss --Sententiae by Publilius Syrus
This page Saying is part of the linguistics series. Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)
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This page Saying is part of the linguistics series.
Illustration: a close-up of a mouth in the film The Big Swallow (1901)
Iconologia  (1593) by Cesare Ripa was an emblem book highly influential on Baroque imagery
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Iconologia (1593) by Cesare Ripa was an emblem book highly influential on Baroque imagery

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A saying is any concisely written or spoken linguistic expression that is especially memorable for its meaning.

There are a number of specific types of saying:

  • Aphorism – A saying that contains a general, observational truth; "a pithy expression of wisdom or truth".
    • Adage, proverb, or saw – A widely-known or popular aphorism that has gained its credibility by virtue of long use.
    • Apophthegm – "[A]n edgy, more cynical aphorism; such as, 'Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.'"
  • Cliché or bromide – An unoriginal and overused saying.
    • Platitude – A cliché unsuccessfully presented as though it were truly meaningful, original, or effective.
  • Epigram – A clever and often poetic written saying that comments on a particular person, idea, or thing.
  • Epitaph – A saying in honor of a dead person, often engraved on a headstone or plaque.
  • Epithet – A descriptive word or saying widely already associated with a particular person, idea, or thing.
  • Idiom – A non-literal saying; "an expression whose meaning can't be derived simply by hearing it, such as 'Kick the bucket.'"
  • Mantra – A religious, mystical, or other spiritual saying that is repeated over and over, for example, in meditation.
  • Maxim or gnome – (1) A instructional saying about a general principle or rule for behavior; or, simply, (2) an aphorism.
  • Motto – A saying used frequently by an individual person or group to concisely state their general outlook or intentions.
  • Quip – A clever or funny saying based on an observation.
  • Witticism – A saying that is clever, and also usually funny, notable for its form or style just as much as (or more than) its content.

Etymology

From Middle English seyen, seggen, from Old English secġan (“to say, speak”), from Proto-Germanic *sagjaną (“to say”), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ-, *sekʷe-, *skʷē- (“to tell, talk”). Cognate with West Frisian sizze (“to say”), Dutch zeggen (“to say”), German sagen (“to say”), Swedish säga (“to say”).

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Saying" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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