«Gegengabe» in Paremiology, Folklore, Language, and Literature – Honoring Wolfgang Mieder on His Seventieth Birthday
Edited By Christian Grandl and Kevin J. McKenna
Proverbial Advice Dealing with One's Health
A happy heart is one-half of health.(Slovenian proverb)
Man attempts to organize his life in a general way. Such organization also includes linguistic constructions such as proverbs. Proverbs are usually understood in a broader sense, including instructions and superstitions in proverbial form. Advice and superstitions also provide a framework and organization of one's life – with warnings, advice, prohibitions, assumptions, etc. In this paper we will distinguish instructions or advice from superstitions as they apply to legal proverbs; we will concentrate on proverbial instructions dealing with health.1
Proverbial Advice Versus Proverbs
Instructions or advice relate to sentences which provide direction and advice about how to behave in order to maintain one's health: Jabolko na dan odžene zdravnika stran / An apple a day keeps the doctor away; to get the best harvest (an agronomic proverbial instruction): Če Gabrijela (marec) zmrzuje, slana več ne škoduje / If there is frost on Gabriel (March), it will not harm the harvest; or what kind of weather one can expect (proverbial advice related to weather): Kakor se Medarda (junij) zdani, vreme še štirideset dni trpi / As the weather is on Medard (June), so it will be the next forty days. These proverbial forms are often marked as maxims.
Characteristics which distinguish instructions from real proverbs most often take the form of superstitions (frequent among weather proverbs) and the exact context of use, meaning, and reference of the...
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