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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

8841 Plutarh AD 46?-AD 120 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Plutarch (A.D. 46?–A.D. c. 120)
QUOTATION:“These Macedonians,” said he, “are a rude and clownish people, that call a spade a spade.” 1
ATTRIBUTION:Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. 2 Philip.
Note 1.
[greek].—Aristophanes, as quoted in Lucian, Quom. Hist. sit conscrib. 41.

Brought up like a rude Macedon, and taught to call a spade a spade.—Gosson: Ephemerides of Phialo (1579). [back]
Note 2.
Rejected by some critics as not a genuine work of Plutarch.—Ralph Waldo Emerson. [back]