[1250–1300; Old French avis, from the phrase ce m'est a vis it seems to me]
syn: advice. counsel refer to opinions offered as worthy bases for thought, conduct, or action. advice is a practical recommendation, generally from a person with relevant knowledge or experience: Get a lawyer's advice about the purchase. counsel is weighty and serious advice, given after careful deliberation and consultation: to seek counsel during a personal crisis.
- Advice after an evil is done is like medicine after death —Danish proverb
It’s quite common to substitute the word’mischief for ‘evil.’
Professor Carvell’s simile was specific to a proposal for investment research.
don’t let anyone sell you a wooden nutmeg This bit of advice to the unwary to be on the lookout for fraudulent sales schemes derives from the 19th-century practice of selling imitation nutmegs made of wood.
A Yankee mixes a certain number of wooden nutmegs, which cost him 1-4 cents apiece, with a quantity of real nutmegs, worth 4 cents apiece, and sells the whole assortment for $44; and gains $3.75 by the fraud (Hill, Elements of Algebra. 1859)
This practice was supposedly prevalent in Connecticut, “The Nutmeg State,” although whether the sellers were itinerant peddlers or natives of Connecticut is debatable.
don’t take any wooden nickels According to Wentworth and Flexner (Dictionary of American Slang ), an Americanism equivalent to “Good-bye, take care, protect yourself from trouble.” A wooden nickel is a wooden disc or souvenir which costs a nickel but has no legal value. The exhortation may have originated as a reminder not to be duped into buying such a worthless thing. Popular in the early 1900s, don’t take any wooden nickels is less frequently heard today.
In the mean wile [sic ]—until we meet again—don’t take no wood nickels and don’t get impatient and be a good girlie and save up your loving for me. (Ring W. Lardner, The Real Dope. 1919)
keep your breath to cool your porridge This Briticism is an oblique admonition to “mind your own business” or “practise what you preach.”
kitchen cabinet A group of unofficial, personal advisers to an elected official. The original kitchen cabinet consisted of three friends of President Andrew Jackson who met with him frequently for private political discussions. They reportedly entered by the back door (perhaps through the kitchen) so as to avoid observation and were believed to have had more influence than Jackson’s official Cabinet. Use of the expression dates from at least 1832.
One of the most important members of Gov. Stevenson’s kitchen cabinet will be the new head of the State Department of Labor. (The Chicago Daily News. December, 1948)
reck one’s own rede To follow one’s own advice; to “practice what you preach.” Reck ‘heed, regard’ appears only in negative constructions. Rede ‘advice, counsel’ is now archaic and limited to poetical or dialectal use. This expression is found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet .
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
the tune the old cow died of Advice instead of aid, words in lieu of alms. This expression alludes to the following old ballad:
There was an old man, and he had an old cow,
But he had no fodder to give her, So he took up his fiddle and played her the tune;
“Consider, good cow, consider, This isn’t the time for the grass to grow,