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«Bis dat, qui cito dat»

«Gegengabe» in Paremiology, Folklore, Language, and Literature – Honoring Wolfgang Mieder on His Seventieth Birthday

Edited By Christian Grandl and Kevin J. McKenna

Bis dat, qui cito dat – never has a proverb more aptly applied to an individual than does this Medieval Latin saying to Wolfgang Mieder. «He gives twice who gives quickly» captures the essence of his entire career, his professional as well as personal life. As a Gegengabe, this international festschrift honors Wolfgang Mieder on the occasion of his seventieth birthday for his contributions to world scholarship and his kindness, generosity, and philanthropy. Seventy-one friends and colleagues from around the world have contributed sixty-six essays in six languages to this volume, representative of the scope and breadth of his impressive scholarship in paremiology, folklore, language, and literature. This gift in return provides new insights from acknowledged experts from various fields of research.
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Proverbial Advice Dealing with One's Health


Saša Babič

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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