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Language about Aging

Proverbial Language

Many dictionaries define proverbs as brief, fixed popular sayings that state a commonly held belief. A study of seventy-two Italian proverbs about aging and older people (Nuessel 2000a, p.312) found that thirty-nine were positive, thirty were negative, and three were ambiguous in their interpretation. In their thematically arranged dictionary of American proverbs, Mieder, Kingsbury and Harder (1992, pp. 12– 13, 437–438) include ninety-eight proverbs and variants under the rubrics age, aged, and old. Of these, seventy-five depict old age in a negative fashion, while twenty-three offer a positive view. Proverbs such as "nature abhors the old" and "there is no fool like an old fool" reflect the negative perspective in proverbial language, while "with age comes wisdom" and "old foxes are not easily caught" express the positive viewpoint.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 3Language about Aging - Designations For Older Adults, Vocabulary About Older Adults And Aging, Metaphoric Language, Proverbial Language - Slogans