On the Tip of the Tongue

There’s many a slip

(often when trying not to)

Betwixt lip and cup



n.b. This haiku is in the most part an old English proverb that is akin to the more popular, almost clichéd saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.”

However, the lip and cup proverb has a possibly more nuanced interpretation. Is there is also a warning implied in the reference to the lip? This has connotations of speaking prematurely, or mistakenly, thereby letting out a word which reveals secrets or truths that may lead to unravelling of plans.

Other associated sayings that consider spoken word, or I suppose in the world of social media through which so much conversation is held, include:

“Hoist by his/her own petard”

“Out of the mouths of babes”

“All that glitters is not gold”

“Betrayed by his / her own mouth”

This is not one, but I offer:

“So many words, so many interpretations.”

Sometimes a few words can easily lead to misunderstandings. Sometimes a few words can reveal deeper truths by mistake.

CLP 09/03/2019

Published by

Christopher Perry

Liberté, Equalité, Humanité