What is the origin of the phrase "patience, grasshopper"?
January 24, 2005 10:19 AM   Subscribe

What is the origin of the phrase "patience, grasshopper"? I'd never heard it said before, and in the last few months it's popping up around me like kudzu. Often said in a fake "kung fu movie" accent.

Google is not helping (I only get pages where people use the phrase, including a site about learning Icelandic and another about how to have multiple orgasms), and I couldn't find anything in the AskMe or MeFi archives either.
posted by matildaben to Society & Culture (7 answers total)
It's from Kung Fu the 70s television show.
posted by Juicylicious at 10:21 AM on January 24, 2005

Best answer: Kung Fu. Caine's teacher, Master Po, called him "grasshopper" as a child.
posted by kindall at 10:22 AM on January 24, 2005

Because he would achieve such concentration, he could close his eyes and listen to the grasshoppers.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:27 AM on January 24, 2005

One possible reason it's popping up is the minor resurgence in popularity enjoyed by David Carradine, ever since Kill Bill vol. 2 came out. Carradine played Caine in Kung Fu.
posted by Hildago at 10:53 AM on January 24, 2005

Quick as you can, snatch this pebble from my hand.
posted by TimeFactor at 12:44 PM on January 24, 2005

I know that grasshopper is, somewhere in Chinese lore, the lowest end of the learning curve. When a friend of mine went to learn CHinese, the teacher said how she was a but a grasshopper and hsd to really commit in order to learn Chinese.

Anyone know anything about Chinese calendars or symbolism?
posted by scazza at 1:38 PM on January 24, 2005

If only Bruce Lee had been given the role, as (possibly) originally planned.

posted by Aquaman at 3:48 PM on January 24, 2005

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