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#114228 - 10/22/03 11:00 PM he who laughs first  
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guest Offline
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stranger

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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 =)




#114229 - 10/23/03 12:47 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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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.")


#114230 - 10/23/03 01:47 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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I've always heard/read it as "He who laughs last, laughs longest."

Bingley


Bingley
#114231 - 10/23/03 01:50 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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Yup, are you sure about that laughs first part? I've only ever heard the laughs last version.


#114232 - 10/23/03 02:08 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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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!)


#114233 - 10/23/03 02:23 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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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
#114234 - 10/23/03 04:44 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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"He who laughs last, laughs best."

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



#114235 - 10/23/03 06:13 AM Re: he who laughs first  
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Up here, it's normally, "he who laughs last, laughs longest."


#114236 - 10/23/03 02:28 PM Re: he who laughs first  
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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.





#114237 - 10/23/03 03:03 PM Re: googlesults  
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Ya left out "he who laughs last, laughs best" 1230


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