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Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies

  • Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies is a proverb that is hundreds of years old. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that may be a famous quote, an inspirational quote, an epigram, or the topic of a parable. These common sayings are language tools or figures of speech that particularly give advice or share a universal truth, or impart wisdom. Synonyms for proverb include adage, aphorism, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb himself because these common phrases and popular sayings are so well known. Certain phrases may be a metaphor or a quotation; but if it is a proverb, it is often-used and has a figurative meaning. Speakers of English as a second language are sometimes confused by these pithy sayings as translations from English to other languages do not carry the impact that the English phrases carry. Some common proverbs are the wise sayings better late than never; early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise; an apple a day keeps the doctor away; don’t cry over spilt milk; actions speak louder than words; haste makes waste, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth; and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. One of the books of the Bible is the Book of Proverbs, which contains words and phrases that are still often quoted in the English language because they are wise. Many current proverbs are quotations taken from literature, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the Bible and other sacred writings. We will examine the meaning of the proverb ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

     

    Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies means I cannot give you a true or accurate answer; therefore, do not ask me that question. The phrase ask me not questions and I’ll tell you no lies is a warning that one is unable or unwilling to answer a query truthfully. The expression ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies is attributed to the Irish playwright, Oliver Goldsmith, and his work, She Stoops to Conquer, written 1773.

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    Examples

    The statement reads: “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies – President Muhammadu Buhari started his second term as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as he meant to continue: with no message of hope and nothing to offer the good people of this country.” (Sahara Reporters)

    “Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies, Earth creature!” the Robot sasses in “The Ghost Planet” (Season 2), inasmuch as an affectless “tintinnabulating tin can” can sass. (New York Times)

    I was browsing an Irish website that sells sex toys (ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies, my friends) and I came across something that has haunted me ever since. (Irish Examiner)


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