Exercise 5 of 10

Try to determine this proverb’s function, frame, and finish.
Expand each section by clicking the “+” to see how well you did.

“A closed mouth gathers no foot.”

What is the FUNCTION of this proverb?

This is a prediction proverb, because it’s predicting a positive outcome by simply shutting one’s mouth.

What FRAME is this proverb built upon?

This is a special case where the author has created a derivative frame by cleverly combining two popular sayings: A rolling stone gathers no moss and Open mouth, insert foot. The author probably started with a comparison frame–comparing the results of choosing to speak versus holding one’s tongue.

What FINISH (or finishes) have been applied to this proverb?

This proverb has 2 finishes:

1) Wordplay Association: The author is playing on the relationships between body parts (mouth and foot).

2) Wordplay opposite: While the opposite words, open and closed do not both appear in this proverb together, their relationship is implied by the fact that people understand the reference.

EXTRA CREDIT: What METAPHOR is this proverb built upon?

The proverb is built upon the metaphor: Mouth is speech.