Proverbs of the Pennsylvania Germans is a follow-up and companion volume to Edwin Miller Fogel’s 1915 publication Beliefs and Superstitions of the Pennsylvania Germans. This volume focuses on the proverb in its broadest sense, including adages, aphorisms, and some appropriate idiomatic expressions. This “spontaneous expression of experience,” so widely used in the Germanic linguistic tradition, is in Fogel’s words “the very bone and sinew of the [Pennsylvania German] dialect.”
This collection is the result of the author’s years of field research in Pennsylvania and comprises over two thousand proverbs dealing with all facets of folklife. Each entry is accompanied by an English translation and often, where applicable, a High German translation. Citations also note instances in which a parallel proverb had been documented in either a British or High German collection. The proverbs are arranged alphabetically by keyword, in the conventional style for a collection such as this one.
Nearly one hundred proverbs deemed “vulgar,” which were originally published separately with only High German translations, have been reproduced as an appendix in this Metalmark edition.