Cryptoquote Spoiler – 05/18/18

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There is no eel so small but it hopes to become a whale.”   —   German Proverb

(My people!  Well, at least half.  I’m English and Dutch on my Mom’s side.  Even so . . . I don’t get it.  With the negative and the “but”.  Are they saying an eel longs to be a whale, meaning bigger, badder, and – supposedly – better?  Top of the food chain kinda thing?  Most people want to be richer and more respected, I guess, but not all.  “Be just what you is, not what you is not. Folks what do this has the happiest lot.”   Can anyone dig back for that one?  It’s from my childhood, the early ’60s!  Be well and do good, friends.)   —   YUR

Image courtesy of Google


6 Responses to “Cryptoquote Spoiler – 05/18/18”


  1. 1 roy odom jr May 18, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    I think it’s an archaic usage of “but,” UR. It means something like “who * * * not” or “that * * * not.” Dictionary.com gives the example, “No leaders worthy of the name ever existed but they were optimists” = “No leaders worthy of the name ever existed who were not optimists.” Our German proverb would be as you surmised: “There is no eel so small that it did not hope to become a whale.”

  2. 2 Dave Kennison May 18, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    I did a Google search and found a site that gives the original German as, “Es ist kein Aal so klein, er hofft ein Walfisch zu werden.” My knowledge of German is pretty sketchy, but I would translate that as, “There is no eel so small that it hopes to become a whale.”

  3. 3 unclerave May 18, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks, Roy! I guess I should trust my instincts! — YUR 🙂

  4. 4 unclerave May 18, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks, Dave! Nice research, and great translation! — YUR

  5. 5 lwc May 22, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Could you be referring to Tooter Turtle: “Be just what you is, not what you is not”.
    http://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2013/09/be-just-what-you-is/

  6. 6 unclerave May 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Congrats, lwc! It was one of my favorite cartoons! LOL! — YUR


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