Category Archives: gnome

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, maxim, paroemia, proverb, and sententia.


“The handwriting’s on the wall.” Sayings are supposed to help you with their compact helpings of wisdom. I have never understood “the handwriting on the wall” thing. I’ve seen plenty of handwriting on the walls of men’s rooms—99% of it sexual— the rest fart jokes, racist insults, reputation attacks, love letters to Trump, and quotes from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. “Who is John Galt?” they ask. I could care less. I care more about the hangnail that’s wreaking havoc on my pinky.

Another possible meaning is that something you’ve done is public knowledge—everybody knows about it and there’s no place to hide—it’s a public wall that everybody walks past and everybody reads. It could say something like “Barbara is a dummy.” That’s it for Barbara: “the handwriting’s on the wall.” There are no public walls where I live, so the public wall idea would not apply to my town—we have to use restroom walls to besmirch and libel people we hardly know.

Another possible meaning of the saying is far-fetched and not very easy to believe, especially if you live in the 21st century like we do! What if “handwriting” is a metaphor for prophecy? Something “written” before it comes—something inevitable. I don’t know why it has to be on a wall—it could be on a piece of paper. My Grandpa used the saying on me: “Son, you’re going to prison, the handwriting’s on the wall.” I think the “handwriting” was all the bad things I’d done, from kidnapping dogs to selling stolen merchandise—blenders, tool sets, lawnmowers, etc.

Grandpa was right. The handwriting was on the wall. I served 2 years in state prison for “the transportation and sale of stolen goods.” Why did it take until now to “get” what Grandpa was trying to tell me? Well it’s like they say, “Actions speaker louder than walls.”


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is also available for $5.99.

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, maxim, paroemia, proverb, and sententia.


“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” “The world is satisfied with words, few care to dive beneath their surface” (Pascal). “There are no secrets in life; just hidden truths that lie beneath the surface” (Hall), or any of a bunch of sayings that worry about surfaces, and the power they have to draw you away from the truths and realities they cover, contain, conceal and decorate. But, sometimes it’s good to be led away, or distracted from the truth.

When I was nine years old a giant pustule erupted on the back of my neck. It stuck out about two inches, was bright red, and looked like a volcano. It would erupt on occasion spurting puss that had a faint, but bad, odor—something like the air around the refineries in Linden, New Jersey where we lived at the time. Not that bad, but bad. The doctor assured us it wasn’t contagious and would go away on its own in a month or so. Nevertheless, my sister wouldn’t come near me and begged my father every day to make me live in the old tool shed alongside the house. Whenever she said that to my father, I would cry and my mother would put on a pair of rubber gloves and console me.

My father started calling my pustule a “bimple” making everybody laugh, me included. I would rather be teased than shunned, so I made up a “Bimple Dance” that I would do to the tune of “Howdy Doody Time.” I would point at my bimple, hold my nose, and make a bad smell face while I rotated my hips.

Despite my malady, I still had to go to school, but I was afraid I’d be bullied, especially by Stew Contraglio the class bully. My father felt my pain and made me what he called a “Bimple Tent” cover my bimple—to conceal it. The tent was black cotton. Mom had embroidered the Brooklyn Dodgers logo on it. It tied in the front under my chin. The “tent” was formed by an empty Dixie cup, circling and sheltering and hiding the bimple’s soft volcano shape under the tent. My cover story for the tent was right out of the fifties: my neck had been probed by space aliens and I had to keep it covered at all times to block the lingering space rays. Word got out about my alien encounter, but I declined all newspaper, radio and TV news interviews due to the “anguish” I had already endured.

The bimple healed, and only my family knew about it and it’s concealment.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is also available for $5.99.

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Epictetus tells us that “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” I think this captures the essence of Donald Trump–mired in stupidity he continuously touts his “unbelievable” intelligence, yet he has has failed at nearly every decision point he has engaged. This is disturbing enough, but what about his supporters? They live somewhere in the ‘dupesphere’. How they got there and why they stay there, I can’t tell. If America survives all this bullshit, I hope we’ll be able to learn something from it. We must learn something from it. It must never happen again or our country might dry up and blow away.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is also available for $5.99.

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Knowlege is power, but it won’t run a table saw.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is also available for $5.99.

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Ingratitude is the essence of adolescence.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

The truth does not speak for itself.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’-mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adageapothegmmaximparoemiaproverb, and sententia.

Valor is the future’s promise steadfastly kept by love of country, community, family, and friends–by a spirit that overshadows fear and death.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Gnome

Gnome (nome or no’mee): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings. Others include adage, apothegm, maxim, paroemia, proverb, and sententia.

Liars are the loneliest people in the world.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)