Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#114228 - 10/22/03 07:00 PM he who laughs first
guest Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 19
i'm curious about the "he who laughs first" adage*...

(1) any ideas of its origin?

(2) what is the actual quote... i've seen it as
(a) he who laughs first laughs last
(b) he who laughs first laughs best
(c) he who laughs first cries at the last
??

(3) what is its point?



*as an aside, and please don't let this divert the scholars from addressing my original question, but i'm curious as to the distinctions between [among?] maxims, adages, proverbs and aphorisms...

TIA =)




Top
#114229 - 10/22/03 08:47 PM Re: he who laughs first
hev Offline
addict

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 477
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hello guest,

I've only heard it as "He who laughs last, laughs loudest". I don't know what the guy who laughs first does. (Although I have also heard "He who laughs first didn't really understand the situation.")


Top
#114230 - 10/22/03 09:47 PM Re: he who laughs first
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I've always heard/read it as "He who laughs last, laughs longest."

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

Top
#114231 - 10/22/03 09:50 PM Re: he who laughs first
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Yup, are you sure about that laughs first part? I've only ever heard the laughs last version.


Top
#114232 - 10/22/03 10:08 PM Re: he who laughs first
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
he who laughs last, is the slowest person to get the joke...

or more conventionally,
he who laughs last, laughs best..
(i think its to do with pranks and practical jokes.. the person who get the last joke in gets the best laugh. but the just MHO!)

_________________________
my other obsession

Top
#114233 - 10/22/03 10:23 PM Re: he who laughs first
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I've always understood it as meaning, wait till the final result before you start crowing because the underdog can always make a comeback

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

Top
#114234 - 10/23/03 12:44 AM Re: he who laughs first
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 2788
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA

"He who laughs last, laughs best."

~The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002.



Top
#114235 - 10/23/03 02:13 AM Re: he who laughs first
sjmaxq Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
Up here, it's normally, "he who laughs last, laughs longest."

_________________________
noho ora mai
http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

Top
#114236 - 10/23/03 10:28 AM Re: he who laughs first
dodyskin Offline
addict

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
I always thought it was, 'he who laughs last, laughs loudest' but my SO insists it is definitely, 'he who laughs last, laughs loudest'. As to it's meaning, I'm with Bingley.
**incidentally** here's http://www.calvin.edu/~lhaarsma/maxims.html a muted chuckle.

those googlesults in full
he who laughs last, laughs loudest 231
he who laughs last, laughs longest 303
he who laughs first, laughs loudest 0
he who laughs first, laughs longest 0
he who laughs first laughs last 78
he who laughs first laughs best 1
he who laughs first cries at the last 0

from Cambridge Int.
maxim
noun [C]
a brief statement of a general truth, principle or rule for behaviour
adage
noun [C]
a wise saying; proverb: (from Latin i fink, means saying)
proverb
noun
a short pithy saying in frequent and widespread use expressing a basic truth or practical concept.
aphorism
noun [C]
a short clever saying which is intended to express a general truth.

so, not much difference really. a maxim is more like a rule. proverb and adage really are the same thing. an aphorism seems to me to be more likely to be a direct quote, and doesn't have to be in widespread use.





Top
#114237 - 10/23/03 11:03 AM Re: googlesults
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Ya left out "he who laughs last, laughs best" 1230


Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8746 Members
16 Forums
13809 Topics
215503 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
bobwar, Johnreed28, Lakshman, dcsteve, Jorg
8746 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 33 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
endymion6 107
LukeJavan8 100
wofahulicodoc 81
A C Bowden 53
Tromboniator 10
tuhin 2
FoFong 1
Jorg 1
TitoMatito 1
chicablanca 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10523
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
LukeJavan8 6591
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith