Creator: Josh Billings (pen name of Henry Wheeler Shaw), celebrated U.S. humorist
Context: A collection of “Sayings of Josh Billings” appeared in “The Alleghanian” newspaper of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania in 1864. Billings employed phonetic spelling. Here were three of the sayings: 1
I havn’t got as mutch muny az sum folks, but i hav got as much impudence az enny ov them, and that is the next thing tew munny.
It aint often that a man’s reputashunt outlasts his munny.
Don’t mistake arroganse for wisdom; menny people hav thought they wuz wize, when tha waz only windy.
The sayings above also appeared in the 1871 collection “Josh Billings, Hiz Sayings” although the precise phrasing and spelling sometimes differed. For example, in the first expression “mutch” became “much”. Also, “havn’t” was incorrectly changed to “have”. 2
Image Notes: Picture of Josh Billings from Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University via Wikimedia Commons. Picture of money from QuinceMedia at Pixabay.
- 1864 October 6, The Alleghanian (The Ebensburg Alleghanian), Sayings of Josh Billings, Quote Page 4, Column 1,Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com) ↩
- 1871, Josh Billings, Hiz Sayings with Comic Illustrations, Chapter 39: Remarks, Quote Page 115, Carleton Publisher, New York. (Google Books Full View) link ↩