November 25, 2018

“Give a man a fish…”

Give a man a fish photo quote QC


“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
       A proverbial saying attributed to many different sources
       As noted by quotation maven Garson O’Toole on his Quote Investigator website, this has been cited as a Chinese, Italian, Native American, Biblical and Indian proverb and attributed to various people. Garson, his fellow quote origin sleuth Ralph Keyes, and the site believe that it may be derived from lines written by Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie, daughter of the famed novelist William Makepeace Thackeray. In her novel Mrs. Dymond, first published in 1885 Macmillan's Magazine, the character Max Du Pare says: “...if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.”
       The saying is also widely attributed to Maimonides, the medieval Jewish philosopher. However, although he did expound on the wisdom of teaching a man a trade as an alternative to charity, he didn’t coin the saying about fish. The attribution to him seems to be a paraphrase that morphed into a common misattribution via internet posts.

Give a man a Santa costume

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Give a man a Santa costume, feed him for a month.”             
       Dan Piraro
       American cartoonist
       The caption of his cartoon from December 5, 2016 showing one of the Santas that show up near shopping centers to collect donations every year at Christmas time

Jingo by Terry Pratchett

“Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.”
       Terry Pratchett
       English author of fantasy novels, best known for his Discworld series
       A dark humor quip in his Discworld novel Jingo (1997)

Muhammad Waseem

“Give a man a program, frustrate him for a day. Teach a man to program, frustrate him for a lifetime.”
       Muhammad Waseem (Muhammad Waseem Latif)
       Pakistani Software Engineer
       A sardonic joke computer programmers can relate to that is widely attributed to Waseem in posts on the internet, though when he said it is not clear

Lauren DeStefano

“Give someone a book, they’ll read for a day. Teach someone how to write a book, they’ll experience a lifetime of paralyzing self doubt.”
       Lauren DeStefano
       American author best known for her young adult science fiction and fantasy novels
       DeStefano posted this humorous observation on her Twitter feed in 2015. It has since been widely quoted by other writers, including my friend, author Paul Bishop, who brought it to my attention.

Vote for Dogbert

“Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for life. Give him someone else’s fish and he’ll vote for you.”
       A popular internet meme

Give a man a fish prayer

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Give that man a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.”
       Another popular internet meme

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