"Fingers were made before forks" Could you explain

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"Fingers were made before forks" Could you explain

Postby Paul » 2005-03-16, 3:17


Could you explain the meaning of the following proverb?

"Fingers were made before forks"

Thanks a lot.

Paul. :)

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Postby bluechiron » 2005-03-16, 3:36

People ate with their hands before making forks and other utensils with which to eat.
Shukta shimi yuyankapak, kanpa ñawikunata wichkana ushankakunarakmi kanpa shungutawan uyankirakpish.
To know another language, first your eyes will have to be open, and you will have to listen with your heart.


Postby Julius » 2005-03-19, 12:10

Actually, I have no idea what it means. Perhaps the proverb means "go back to the basics" or "simplicity is preferred to complexity"?

It is just a guess. I have never heard the proverb before, it must be rare.

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Postby weemaxcat » 2005-03-20, 4:04

Had a wee search and it seems an earlier saying was "God made hands before knives"
Then Johnathan Swift said "They say fingers were made before forks and hands before knives"
I had never heard of it either - and would take it to mean the same as you, Julius - that maybe we make things too complicated, or are too clever for our own good.

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an Oklahoman/Coloradoan/Missourian's take on the phrase

Postby Tim SJ » 2005-03-21, 23:07

Hi, all. I'm relatively new to Unilang, but I noticed this thread and thought I'd throw in my two cents.

I've heard (and used) the phrase, but only literally, never figuratively. If there's a guest at the dinner table and she has to pick something up with her hands to eat it, she might be embarrassed, since this is contrary to good manners in my part of the States. I ignore it politely, of course, but if she expresses her embarrassment, that's when I might use the phrase: "Don't worry about it. After all, fingers were made before forks."

Hope this helps.

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