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Ancient Proverbial Expressions in Pictures


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Sour Grapes
Sour Grapes. From The Aesop for Children, by Aesop, illustrated by Milo Winter

Sour Grapes. From The Aesop for Children, by Aesop, illustrated by Milo Winter.

Sword of Damocles | The Lion's Share | Cut the Gordian Knot | Weight of the World | Achilles' Heel
The expression sour grapes is used when someone wants something, finds he can't attain it, and then decides it must not have been be worth it, in the first place. While the expression "sour grapes" is used contemptuously, against someone who is bitter because he or she failed, it is a coping mechanism to avoid what's called cognitive dissonance.

Aesop wrote a fable about a fox who wanted to eat some grapes hanging from a lofty vine. When he found he couldn't reach them, he said they must have been sour, anyway; hence, sour grapes.

"A famished fox saw some clusters of ripe black grapes hanging from a trellised vine. She resorted to all her tricks to get at them, but wearied herself in vain, for she could not reach them. At last she turned away, hiding her disappointment and saying: 'The Grapes are sour, and not ripe as I thought.'"
The Fox and the Grapes, by Aesop, translated by George Fyler Townsend

Image: PD Courtesy of Wikipedia

  1. Sword of Damocles
  2. Sour Grapes
  3. The Lion's Share
  4. Cut the Gordian Knot
  5. Weight of the World
  6. Achilles' Heel
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