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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face"

"Cutting off your nose to spite your face" - is a warning against acting out of pique or revenge that hurts you more than the other; self destructive anger. It seems to have first appeared around 1200 as a Latin proverb cited by Peter of Blois, a French poet of the day. The phrase then crops up a bit later in a history of France, written in the mid-17th century, attributed to a courtier who supposedly used it to deter King Henry IV from destroying Paris to punish the occupants' low opinion of his rule. It may be associated with the numerous legends of pious women disfiguring themselves in order to protect their virginity. These cases include Saint Eusebia, Saint Ebba, Saint Oda of Hainault and Saint Margaret of Hungary. The most famous of these cases was that of Æbbe the Younger, the Mother Superior of the monastery of Coldingham. In 867 AD, Viking pirates from Zealand and Uppsala landed in Scotland. When news of the raid reached Saint Ebba, she gathered her nuns together and urged them to disfigure themselves, so that they might be unappealing to the Vikings and avoid rape. She cut off her nose and upper lip, and the nuns proceeded to do the same. The Viking raiders were so disgusted that they burned the entire building to the ground anyway.

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