the frog in the well knows nothing of the sea
- Japanese proverb, meaning that one should be aware of the limitations of one’s own experience. Cf. Chinese the frog in the well cannot talk of Heaven.
1918 E. J. BANFIELD Tropic Days 189 Among coastal blacks—all of whom may be said to be fishermen—some are ardent devotees to the sea. Others of the same camp restrict themselves to unsensational creeks and lagoons. The frog in the well knows nothing of the salt sea, and its aboriginal prototype contents himself with milder and generally less remunerative kind of sport than that in which his bolder cousins revel.
1976 R. STORRY ‘Soldiers of the Showa Empire’ in Pacific Affairs vol. 49 (spring) 105 Japanese officers could be forgiven for supposing that they were the wave of the future. In reality they were prisoners of the past and (in the apt if trite Japanese phrase) ‘frogs in a well’. [footnote] I no naka no kawazu taikai wo shirazu (the frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean).
2006 ‘Oregon Caves’ on http://www.nps.gov 11 Sept. Amphibians..‘The frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean.’
2007 D. KENNEDY ‘Faust—The Seven Games of the Soul’ on http://www.justadventure.com 14 Feb. The paper reads ‘The frog in the well knows nothing about the high seas.’ Recall that there is a well outside the house.
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nothing — see nothing comes of nothing nothing for nothing nothing is certain but death and taxes nothing is certain but the unforeseen nothing is for ever there is nothing new under the sun … Proverbs new dictionary
well — noun see let well alone adjective see the devil was sick, the devil a saint would be; the devil was well, the devil a saint was he! adverb see well begun is half done all’s well that ends well he lives long who lives well … Proverbs new dictionary
sea — see he that would go to sea for pleasure, would go to hell for a pastime the sea refuses no river there are as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it the frog in the well knows nothing of the sea keep your own fish guts for your own sea maws … Proverbs new dictionary
frog — see the frog in the well knows nothing of the sea … Proverbs new dictionary
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