Proverb: A good present need not knock long for admittance

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Ajidomo

New Member
Russian
Dear forum users,
There is a proverb - A good present need not knock long for admittance (found in English proverbs and proverbial phrases collected from the most authentic sources comp. by W. Hazlitt and in some other books of proverbs).

Does it mean that:
- Presents which are good are immediately and gladly accepted,
- or People who bring presents are always welcome,
- or something else?

:)
 
  • MJSinLondon

    Senior Member
    English - UK (London)
    I've never heard this 'proverb'; I doubt whether it would be familiar to many BE speakers. Your first suggestion would seem to be the most likely explanation of its meaning.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Ajidomo, if you Google your proverb, you will see that it is the sort of proverb that only ever appears in lists of proverbs compiled to mislead the reader, and never in speech or writing.
     

    paul f

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with MJSin - I've never heard of this proverb before and therefore doubt it would be very well understood by most people. The only two examples of it I found after three minutes on google were in books of proverbs both dating from the 19th century so I imagine it has simply fallen out of use. Unfortunately neither of them gave an explanation of its meaning but I would say that both of your suggestions seem to fit and I can't think of any alternative myself. If anything I would probably favour the second option you gave over the first, the image I have being that someone is welcomed warmly if they bring a present.
     

    paul f

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Ajidomo, if you Google your proverb, you will see that it is the sort of proverb that only ever appears in lists of proverbs compiled to mislead the reader, and never in speech or writing.
    I'm afraid I don't follow this se16teddy - a list of proverbs to mislead the reader? I don't see why or when that would ever be used.

    Just for info the links I found were:

    Gnomologia: adagies and proverbs; wise sentences and witty sayings, ancient and modern, foreign and British
    http://books.google.fr/books?id=3y8JAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq="A+good+present+need+not+knock+long+for+admittance"&source=bl&ots=Ps14CNxFOt&sig=A7xmmenraKT81_kP_EyWlLKuG0c&hl=fr&ei=ravUTp2QLIWk8QOxz7CnAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q="A good present need not knock long for admittance"&f=false

    Robert Christy, comp. Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages.
    1887.
    http://www.bartleby.com/89/719.html
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm afraid I don't follow this se16teddy - a list of proverbs to mislead the reader? I don't see why or when that would ever be used.
    I meant that Ajidomo's list of "proverbs" attempted to convince him that the items in the list are proverbs - that is, expressions that are (or possibly were) in everyday use that aim to promote a bit of wisdom. The list lied. This particular so-called proverb is not, and never was, in everyday use, and it is easy to prove that by looking on Google.
     
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