the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow


the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow
Marrow is an obsolete word (except in dialect), meaning ‘something that makes a pair with another’. The rhyme is found in a variety of forms, as in a 1508 J. SKELTON Poems (1969) 45 The prety wren..is our Ladyes hen.

1787 F. GROSE Provincial Glossary (Popular Superstitions) 64 There is a particular distich in favour of the robin and wren: A robin and wren Are God Almighty’s cock and hen. Persons killing [them]..or destroying their nests, will infallibly, within the course of a year, break a bone, or meet with some other dreadful misfortune. On the contrary, it is deemed lucky to have martins and swallows build their nests in the eaves of a house.

1826 R. WILBRAHAM Cheshire Glossary (ed. 2) 105 The following metrical adage is common in Cheshire: The Robin and the Wren Are God’s cock and hen, The Martin and the Swallow are God’s mate and marrow.

1945 F. THOMPSON Lark Rise ix. No boy would rob a robin’s or a wren’s nest..for they believe that: The robin and the wrens Be God Almighty’s friends. And the martin and the swallow Be God Almighty’s birds to follow.


Proverbs new dictionary.

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  • God — see you cannot serve God and Mammon where God builds a church, the devil will build a chapel God helps them that help themselves God is high above, and the tsar is far away God made the country, and man made the town …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • hen — see the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow a whistling woman and a crowing hen are neither fit for God nor men …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • cock — see every cock will crow upon his own dunghill there’s many a good cock come out of a tattered bag the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • swallow — noun see one swallow does not make a summer the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow verb see it is idle to swallow the cow and choke on the tail …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • wren — see the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • martin — see the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • robin — see the robin and the wren are God’s cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God’s mate and marrow …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary


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