"A lie has no legs, but scandalous wings."

Circus performer Asha Tank
I first found this quotation attributed to a "Japanese proverb." But it was also said to have been said by the 17th Century English writer Thomas Fuller. And it wasn't always "scandalous wings" but "a scandal has wings," as in ""A lie has no legs, but a scandal has wings." So what's the truth?

"A quote has no firm sources, but like jello is eaten."

Thomas Fuller>>

1 comment:

  1. "A lie has no legs, but scandalous wings" doesn't make nearly as much sense as "a lie has no legs, but a scandal has wings." It's easy to see how the latter could be muddled into the former.
    As for where it comes from-- I found this particular page when I came across the English phrase, "a lie has no legs" in the lyrics of a Japanese song. It doesn't make much sense alone, which is why I originally thought it might be a translation of a Japanese proverb, and went searching for the original phrase. To find this little post is very curious indeed! Makes you wonder. I suppose this is a chicken and egg question: Did Fuller discover the Japanese proverb or did the Japanese discover Fuller?


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