Just Another Murine Monday: Mouse Proverbs from the Suda

Four proverbs involving mice from the Suda:


“A beetle on mice”: A proverb used for people [or things] who are worthless.”

Μυσὶ κανθαρίς: ἐπὶ τῶν μηδενὸς ἀξίων.


“A White Mouse”: Pet mice are compelled to mate excessively—especially the white ones (which are female) This proverb is used for those who are powerless in sexual matters”

Μῦς λευκός: οἱ κατοικίδιοι μύες ἄγαν πρὸς τὴν ὀχείαν κεκίνηνται, καὶ μάλιστα οἱ λευκοί. οὗτοι δέ εἰσι θήλεις. ἐπὶ τῶν ἀκρατῶν περὶ τὰ ἀφροδίσια ἡ παροιμία εἴρηται.


“A mouse tasting pine-pitch”: A proverb used of those who just attempted something with great effort. There is also “as much as a mouse in pitch” which is taken from Muos of Tarentium who competed poorly at the Olympic games.

Μῦς πίσσης γεύεται: ἐπὶ τῶν νεωστὶ ἀπαλλασσόντων μετὰ κόπου. καὶ Ὅσα μῦς ἐν πίσσῃ, ἀπὸ Μυὸς τοῦ Ταραντίνου, κακῶς Ὀλυμπίασιν ἀπαλλάξαντος.


“A Mouse just tasting pine-pitch”: A saying used for those who act boldly at the start and without shame but eventually prove to be cowards. There is also a dream-interpretation: when a mouse appears again, he is tricky in his ways.”

Μῦς ἄρτι πίττης γευόμενος: ἐπὶ τῶν πρῴην μὲν τολμηρῶν καὶ ἀναιδῶν, ἀθρόον δὲ δειλῶν ἀναφανέντων. λύσις ὀνείρου: Μῦς δ’ αὖ φανεὶς ἔνδολος ἐν τρόποις πέλει.


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