April 14, 2007

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

Does this post belong here? Isn't the blog about etymology? It sure is. So what's a quote from the ever-wicked and eminently-quotable Mark Twain doing here?

The quote has gone beyond being just a quote. It's a popular expression now and I love the play of words involved. Many great authors have coined some beautiful expressions and Shakespeare for one, takes credit for the most: salad days, one fell swoop, in one's heart of heart..........am sure there must be others by GB Shaw, Kipling, Dickens, Saki, Lewis Carroll and a detailed research will not go in vain. I shall embark on that journey once I have more time on hands :)

The expression, "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt." uses the similarity between the way the name of the river, "The Nile" and the therapeutic term "denial" sound when spoken. It is a humorous way of saying that some one refuses to see what is obvious to every one else, usually as a way of protecting himself from the pain the truth would cause.

An example of the use of expression as I found it on http://www.phrases.org.uk/

"Junior weighs as much as a grown man even though he is only ten. He has second and third helpings at meals. In between meals he snacks on chocolate bars and cake. His mother insists he isn't fat; he just has big bones."

"Ha! She is living proof that denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

Source: http://www.phrases.org.uk/


suramya said...

Thats another refresher to my memory, can't wait to use it and show off :):), lovely post, sparkling with wit :):)

Radha said...

Hey Moi, just discovered this blog!! What a fun concept :)

666 & suramya,
We havent met before, so here comes a 'Hi, loved your posts too!' :)

Will be more regular visitor here

Moi said...

Su : It's one hep expression, isn't it!!! I really love to show off with this one..haha!!!

Radha : am glad u made ur way to this blog....and we appreciate ur patronage....:)

suramya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
suramya said...

moi: we are living up to the soul sisters tag u gave us :)

radha: thank u so much :) and a hi back to you :)

Jas Bhambra said...

I did not know of this one, Swati!. I'll use it for sure.:)

AlterinG Abhishek said...

LOvely POst!

I hv so fallen for this blog and really look forward for the entries!!

Moi said...

Su, so true!! :)..sounds like a rhyme ..haha!!!

jas: the expression will become the focal point of conversation, u'll notice..they all get fascinated by this one!!! :)

AA: and we enjoy ur coming here and leavin' behind appreciative comments....:)

666 said...

@ moi: Didnt know this one. Reminds me somewhat of 'the emperor's new clothes' However interesting is 'denial' and 'the nile' ... these are mondegreen words. will update your post soon explaining this point

@ radha and abhishek: thanks and most welcome. appreciate your comments

uranrising said...

I have looked in quite a few published dictionaries of quotations without coming across this 'denial' quote. So I think attributing it to Twain is probably another internet thing; i.e. people quoting without verifying