comparisons are odious

The earliest recorded use of this phrase appears to be by Sir John Fortescue, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, in his 15th century work, De laudibus legum Angli?. It was used by several authors later, notably Cervantes, Christopher Marlowe and John Donne.
In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare gives Dogberry the line 'comparisons as odorous'. It seems he was using this ironically, knowing it to be a misuse of what would have been a well known phrase by 1598/99 when the play was written.

Meaning and origin of phrases. 2013.

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  • comparisons are odious — Cf. early 14th cent. Fr. comparaisons sont haÿneuses, comparisons are hateful. c 1440 J. LYDGATE Minor Poems (EETS) 561 Odious of old been all comparisouns. 1456 Gilbert of Hay’s Prose MS (STS) 282 I will nocht here mak questioun..quhy [why] that …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • odious — see comparisons are odious …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • comparison — comparison, contrast, antithesis, collation, parallel mean a setting of things side by side so as to discover or exhibit their likenesses and differences, especially their generic likenesses and differences. Comparison is often used as the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • similarity — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Resemblance Nouns 1. similarity, resemblance, likeness, similitude, semblance; affinity, approximation, parallelism; agreement; analogy; family likeness; alliteration, rhyme, pun. See imitation, nearness …   English dictionary for students

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Enzo Stuarti — Enzo Stuarti, Italian American tenor. (Born: March 3, 1919 Rome, Italy Died: December 16, 2005 Midland, Texas, USA). Born Lorenzo Scapone, Enzo moved to the United States in 1934, settling in Newark, New Jersey with his family who had already… …   Wikipedia

  • W. J. T. Mitchell — is the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago. He is also the editor of Critical Inquiry , and contributes to the journal October . His monographs, Iconology (1986) and Picture… …   Wikipedia

  • comparison — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Representation as similar Nouns 1. comparison, matching, examining side by side, holding up to comparison; cross check, verification; analogy, parallel; contrast, opposition; relation. 2. comparability,… …   English dictionary for students

  • comparison — see comparisons are odious …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Malapropism — A malapropism is an act of misusing or the habitual misuse of similar sounding words, especially with humorous results. An example is Yogi Berra s statement: Texas has a lot of electrical votes, [1] rather than electoral votes . Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

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