comparisons are odious

Cf. early 14th-cent. Fr. comparaisons sont haÿneuses, comparisons are hateful.

c 1440 J. LYDGATE Minor Poems (EETS) 561 Odious of old been all comparisouns.

1456 Gilbert of Hay’s Prose MS (STS) 282 I will nocht here mak questioun..quhy [why] that alwayis comparisoun is odious.

c 1573 G. HARVEY Letter-Book (1884) 7 But thai wil sai, Comparisons ar odius: in deed, as it fals out, thai ar too odious.

1724 SWIFT Drapier’s Letters X. 82 A Judge..checked the Prisoner..taxing him with ‘reflecting on the court by such a Comparison, because Comparisons were odious’.

1939 G. MITCHELL Printer’s Error ii. ‘I will study the psychology of pigs instead of that of..refugees.’ ‘Comparisons are odious,’ observed Carey.

2001 P. J. O’ROURKE CEO of Sofa v. 82 And poets? Comparisons being odious, only a comparison will do to illustrate the odium of modern poesy.


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  • comparisons are odious — Meaning Origin The earliest recorded use of this phrase appears to be by Sir John Fortescue, Chief Justice of the King s Bench, in his 15th century work, De laudibus legum Angli?. It was used by several authors later, notably Cervantes,… …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • odious — see comparisons are odious …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • comparison — comparison, contrast, antithesis, collation, parallel mean a setting of things side by side so as to discover or exhibit their likenesses and differences, especially their generic likenesses and differences. Comparison is often used as the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • comparison — see comparisons are odious …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Malapropism — A malapropism is an act of misusing or the habitual misuse of similar sounding words, especially with humorous results. An example is Yogi Berra s statement: Texas has a lot of electrical votes, [1] rather than electoral votes . Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

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