Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Words.

 Word to the Wise (A).Working on the Dead Horse, 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Soft words butter no parsnips. In Scotland an excellent dish is made of parsnips and potatoes beaten up with butter. (See BUTTER.)   1
   Many words will not—fill a bushel. Mere promises will not help the needy. If we say to a beggar, “Be thou filled,” is he filled?   2
   The object of words is to conceal thoughts. (See LANGUAGE.)   3
   To have words with one. To quarrel; to have an angry discussion. Other phrases to the same effect are—They exchanged words together; There passed some words between them (in French, “Ils ont en quelques paroles”).   4

 Word to the Wise (A).Working on the Dead Horse, 


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