Spanish proverb filter
June 14, 2010 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Can you tell me anything about this quote: "The lucky man has a daughter as his first child. -- Spanish Proverb"? Or do you know of any others in the same vein?

I'm having something engraved for my husband's first father's day and can't seem to find the perfect quote. The Spanish proverb would work but I can't seem to find any information about -- though I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Is it a real Spanish proverb? Is there any meaning behind it other than the obvious?

Other ideas for quotes are welcome! They just need to be short.
posted by wrinkle to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A man is not a man until he has a daughter.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:08 PM on June 14, 2010

It's an old Judeo-Castilian proverb associated with the Sephardim:
Al hombre venturero, la hija le nace primero.
Al hombre venturoso, la hija le nace primero.
The earliest source I find for the quote in Google Books is this 1621 source that is actually a republication of a book written in 1508 and published in 1555. It looks like lots of people interpret the English quote warmly, but the old book isn't quite as affectionate: Porque está crecida quando nace[n] los varones, y ayuda a criarlos. When his sons are finally born, the daughter is old enough to help raise them.

(See also entry 2053 in this book of Sephardi proverbs for similarly pleasant sentiments.)
posted by hat at 7:01 AM on June 15, 2010

I believe there is a Chinese saying along the same lines; a daughter first to help raise the son.

Of course, the actual meaning (daughters as tools to raise the preferred child) is kind of problematic. So maybe something more modern might be better.

Maybe try poetry searches instead of quotes?

Or maybe...not a gender-specific quote at all? I always found the "Dad/daughter, Mother/son" type observations to be, well, a little Freudian. But you could probably find a nice quote about the joys of being a father that didn't have to refer to daughters. Or a quote about how great it is to raise a daughter without referring to her in relation to her father.
posted by emjaybee at 8:34 AM on June 15, 2010

You might look through the results of this search, from a site recently linked on the blue. (Warning: Many of the proverbs are unflattering!)
posted by jocelmeow at 12:35 PM on June 15, 2010

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