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Headword: Οὐδ' ἐν σελίνοις
Adler number: omicron,808
Translated headword: not even among celeries
Vetting Status: high
[sc. A proverbial phrase] in reference to those who have not even made a start. [Derived] from those going into their gardens; for at the edges, the so-called garden surrounds, they used to grow celeries and rues. So the proverb seeks to say, you have not yet made even a start on the business -- just as those not even entering their gardens are "among the celeries".
Greek Original:
Οὐδ' ἐν σελίνοις: ἐπὶ τῶν μηδὲ τὴν ἀρχὴν πεφθακότων. ἀπὸ τῶν εἰς τοὺς κήπους ἰόντων: ἐπὶ γὰρ τὰ ἄκρα, τοὺς λεγομένους περικήπους, σέλινα καὶ πήγανα κατεφύτευον. βούλεται οὖν λέγειν ἡ παροιμία, οὔπω οὐδὲ ἀρχὴν ἔχεις τοῦ πράγματος: καθάπερ οὐδὲ οἱ ἐν τοῖς κήποις εἰσιόντες ἐν τοῖς σελίνοις εἰσίν.
Same entry in Photius, Lexicon omicron619 Theodoridis, and similar ones in several of the paroemiographers. From a scholion to Aristophanes, Wasps 480, where the phrase occurs (with celery in the singular: web address 1).
See the concise but admirable note in MacDowell 198, preferring another scholiast's way of explaining the phrase (from the association of celery with newborn babies).
Aristophanes, Wasps, edited with introduction and commentary by Douglas M. MacDowell (Oxford 1971)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: botany; children; comedy; daily life; proverbs
Translated by: David Whitehead on 5 July 2001@04:28:13.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link) on 5 July 2001@13:39:31.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 20 November 2005@09:17:05.
David Whitehead on 5 February 2013@09:37:28.
Catharine Roth (typo, upgraded link) on 6 February 2013@00:41:19.
David Whitehead on 31 July 2013@06:13:34.
David Whitehead on 20 May 2016@05:44:33.


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