When opening or creating a new account, majority of us find it a struggle (next to finding the best profile pic) to figure out the coolest bio that describes us in less than 30 words. Whilst some opt for plain and short words like Fashion lover, foodie, pugs, etc. some just goes to the extent of re quoting a famous historian or influencer and take long minutes or even hours just to finally nail down one sentence. We can see a lot of these plastered all over Instagram or Facebook, but little did we know, that this whole time we’ve been using them wrongly, and their actual meanings will leave you shook.
Check out these quotes and start mentally preparing yourselves to change your profile bios (again!)
1. “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
As much as we’d like to think that we sound deep quoting Gandhi, whether it’s in our SPM essays, or in our graduation speeches; we’re sorry to break it to you, but Gandhi never said this. New York Times revealed that this whole sentence is just a wrapped up version that looks nice as a bumper sticker.
Gandhi actually said, “As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” Of course, “Be the change..” sounds a lot catchier (like a Michael Jackson or Beatles song).
2. “Blood is thicker than water”
The obvious noun that crosses our mind whenever we hear this phrase is, family. Although family is genetically tight, and close to us, some beg to differ when it comes down to where their true loyalty lies. The real words behind this Bible verse have been misadapted several times (amongst other Bible verses), because apparently people find it hard to say ‘covenant’.
The actual sentence is, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This means that blood shed amongst soldiers holds a stronger bond than simple genetics. In other words, this phrase has nothing to do with family. Sorry, bro.
3. “Curiosity killed the cat”
Honestly, we can’t relate to cats as what the phrase mentions. They have 9 lives, and we have 1 life (and that’s if we’re lucky). People often associate curiosity with trouble, but that’s cause they only know HALF of what the actual phrase is. The original sentence goes like “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” So in the end, we found out that the cat is still alive, and for us that means, our lives aren’t doomed just because of our curiosity. Unless it’s in horror movies, in this case, your curiosity will kill you.
4. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
Taken from a medieval French proverb back in the 16th century, there’s a whole bunch of different versions to this phrase, and one of the versions goes like: “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it burned in one.” We weren’t prepared for the completely sarcastic ending, but we sure would love to use this if we ever needed to throw some extra shade.
5. “Well-behaved women rarely make history”
Most of us believed that this came from Marilyn Monroe herself, and as much as we’d like to believe it, we have to tell you that you’ve been bamboozled. This quote actually came from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and she teaches on Women’s American History at Harvard. And by the way, ALL kinds of women can make history.
6. “Money is the root of all evil”
The original phrase for this one isn’t too far from it’s shortened version, except it lacks that extra kick which the original saying had. It goes like this: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” You see the zing it has now when the whole truth is revealed? This verse comes from 6:10 of 1 Timothy, and according to the Bible, money is the cause of evil, but it ain’t the only one.
7. “The proof is in the pudding”
For a life-lesson saying, this one sure sounds more tasty and positive than a saying someone uses to prove that they’re not lying. This pudding was whooped up around the 14th century, or earlier and was misquoted around the 1920s. The original saying is: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” and it actually, means to try out the food first before deciding on whether it’s good, according to NPR. Of course, once you’ve tried, tested or experienced something good, you’re either addicted or at the very least, you’d have to pay for it.
8. “Nice guys finish last”
Just as the saying goes with our number 5, except this one is the male version; nice guys don’t always finish last, and nice girls do make history too! This quote supposedly came from former Baseball Hall of Fame-r, Leo Durocher (aka Leo the Lip), who’s one of the greatest managers in history. When referring to another team, he said: All nice guys. They’ll finish last.” but he later clarified saying “I never did say that you can’t be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I’d trip her up.” Softboys, could you stop whining now?
9. “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
When it comes to the origins of this saying by Edward A. Murphy, there are several versions to it, but it all depends on who you’re asking. On one hand, George E. Nichols claimed that the original saying goes like: “If that guy has any way of making a mistake, he will,” and on the other hand, his son Robert says: “If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way.” But here’s the plot twist, the real saying is actually attributed to Major John Paul Stapp, a U.S Air Force officer who claimed it as, “We do all of our work in consideration of Murphy’s Law”, which come to think of it, isn’t a bad phrase to live by.
10. “Let the end justifies the means”
This phrase is commonly associated with a Machiavellian (someone who is basically good at manipulation) and it was originally introduced by Nicolo Machiavelli’s The Prince – where the outcome can justify any wrongs committed in the process. Despite the intro, I think we’ve all been manipulated into thinking that the statement was actually used this way. In fact, this phrase dates back all the way to 10 BCE where Machiavelli himself said “One must consider the final result.”
So, I guess it’s time to erase every phrase you thought you knew and let the truth behind these quotes sink in… and remember, don’t always believe what you read on social media.
For more of Thought Catalog’s truth on quotes, click here.