What Is An Aphorism?

An aphorism is a phrased statement that encapsulates one's beliefs, opinions, or life truth. It’s roughly similar to a “saying.” Aphorisms often use metaphors to convey their hidden message that can be regarded as a universal moral or truth. Aphorisms tell us about people’s life philosophies. Aphorisms may sound interesting or silly but when you draw curtains, you will see the idea beyond pure words. Anyone can easily remember aphorisms because they’re so short. Striking metaphors, humorous words give them even more staying power. However, there’s always the risk that readers will misunderstand what you mean to say because your aphorism may lack real meaning or significance.

Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, coined the term aphorism. He wrote a book called Aphorisms, which was full of short statements expressing medical truths. The best aphorisms are also applicable to all sorts of different situations, which further adds to their memorable quality. Today, we even know aphorisms from early periods of the world such as “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” by Lao Tzu. So people who write good aphorisms are seen as extremely wise, and their words have the power to inspire us even a thousand years after the writer has died.

Many popular quotes that we see on wallpapers or on the Internet are examples of aphorisms. Some of them are attributed to famous people, while others are anonymous and have become cliches or proverbs. Here are some aphorism examples:


1. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Confucius

In other words, even the most difficult tasks can be accomplished by starting small and working diligently.


2. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid. Albert Einstein

Everyone has their own sort of genius. The point of the aphorism is that we cannot set a single standard of success or intelligence. We should realize that there are many different forms of genius and talents.


3. Hunger is the best sauce.

He who’s down one day can be up the next unless he really wants to stay in bed.


4. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings

We can waste our time by worrying about what will happen next or we can have it to change things in our life.


5. Actions speak louder than words.

When you speak a lot, it doesn’t mean anything at all, people will remember you with your works. Seen work is remembered more and has a profound effect on others.


6. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

 It is easy to judge people but you can only understand when you look at them close and empathetically.


7. I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Every person has freedom of speech and thought, it doesn’t matter whether we agree with them or not.


8. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The one you concretely have is more precious than the one which you don’t have or dream having. It is not worth taking a risk to have it if it means you may lose the one you have.


9. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

You can show someone the way how to do but he can only achieve it if he wants it.


10. "My Mama always said, 'Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get.'" Forrest Gump

Life is unexpected, you cannot know what will happen next. You can have good things, be successful or you can be a loser. The aphorism points the same thing as Woody Allen says “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

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