Starting a new year, made me think about adages or idioms and where they came from.  The newspaper is an interesting place to find adages and how they were developed.  Of course, the Internet is a great place to quickly find idioms and meanings.    Just like these:


Where did “a penny saved is a penny earned” come from?


Meaning:  It’s just as useful to save money as it is to earn it.

Origin:  Originating the 17th century, this phrase implied that choosing to save a penny rather than spend it means you are a penny up; hence “a penny earned”.  Initial versions of the phrase used “gained” instead of “earned”, with the latter first appearing in 1899.

Example:  Instead of spending money on a takeaway, I cooked at home.  A penny saved is a penny earned.


Don’t judge a book but its cover


Meaning:  One should not form an opinion on someone or something based purely on what is seen on the surface, because after taking a deeper look, the person or thing may be very different than what was expected.

Origin:  The phrase is attributed to a 1944 edition of the African journal American Speech.  Others say it originated in the 1800s.

Example:  The candidate did not look very intelligent until he spoke.  You can’t judge a book by its cover.