Misquoted Quotes and Thier True Meaning

There are so many misquotes of original quotes and sayings have been warped and changed over time. As someone who has been interested in linguistics, it is especially frustrating. I want to talk about four specific quotes.

Misquoted quotes

“Curiosity killed the cat”

The full saying is “curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” The original saying is telling you to: yes, try new things. It doesn’t matter if you fail at it! You’re not hurting anyone. It won’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t work out or if you aren’t an expert in it.

As a kid, a lot of times they tell you that “curiosity killed the cat.” In other words, that you are being nosy and you should stay in your lane, or stop getting in other people’s business, even if you aren’t. The original quote has nothing to do with any of those things.

“Blood is thicker than water”

Everyone uses this quote to tell you how you should always honor and respect your family, because they’re the closest thing to you. If you’re lucky, then it is, but it’s not always true for other people. There are many people who are awful to their parents, siblings, cousins, or whoever else they are blood-related to.

The original saying is “blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.” This means the exact opposite of blood is thicker than water. It means that those who stand by you, who shed blood with you, are your actual family. You can choose who your family is, based on who is the most loyal and the most likely to be by your side, and who wants what is best for you. If you’re lucky, some people you choose to be family are actually family.

“Seeing is believing”

One perspective of this is science, where unless you can test it and get results, then it’s not real. Yet, proving if something is real or not is hard to do. So, you can believe it when you do see it, but there are things that you can’t see and do still believe in, such as oxygen and air.

The original saying is: “seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth.” Sometimes you know in your heart what the answer is, whether or not it is something you can see. Sometimes you can’t see it yet, but you know it is the truth.

If the saying was simply “seeing is believing,” then we would need a hundred different ways to back up what we feel is the right answer. Sometimes you need to know the truth, and sometimes it is a feeling that can’t be proven or quantified.

As introverts, this is an especially tough one. Some people may say to you: “well, I see you out all the time at events and talking to people, you can’t possibly be an introvert,” but that’s not how it works. We know what an introvert is. A lot of things don’t fit into boxes.

“Great minds think alike”

This one implies that everyone with a great mind knows the answers to certain things, or all feel a certain way. It’s like the commutative ideas, where everything gives the same result. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but the idea of it is.

The original saying is: “Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ,” which is a very big difference. Maybe you do think alike and hold some of the same ideas, but you are allowed to have individual differences, and you should. If you’re too much alike, that’s not healthy or safe, because soon, you may get into the mindset of: if you think differently than us, then you are the problem.

Hearing people say these misquotes and sayings that are so far off frustrates me. They are trying to force people to believe something they believe or just prove a misguided point. Quoting the original sayings is important.