French Proverbs from 1611

In 1611, Randle Cotgrave published A dictionarie of the French and English tongues, a French/English dictionary with about 50,000 entries. In addition to word definitions, Cotgrave's dictionary contains numerous proverbs, presumably to illustrate word usage. These proverbs provide an interesting look into both French and English proverbs in this era, and is one of the earliest printed collections of proverbs.

Cotgrave's dictionary was digitized as part of the Early Modern English Dictionaries Database project. Unfortunately the EMEDD folks did not publish the dictionary itself; they only provide an interface for searching the entries. I wrote a clever script to use this interface to attempt to extract the proverbs. I found a total 2,671 proverbs, which is probably most of them. There are many duplications, so about 1,552 of them look unique. Due to the formatting of the EMEDD database, the spacing of the result is a bit suspect, and there are numerous extra square brackets: [ ].

All the proverbs are accessible on alphabetical lists:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

In addition, I have placed 911 of the proverbs into categories:

See also

Gregory Blount of Isenfir (Greg Lindahl)