Hello and welcome to another week of outright dishonesty here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by my definitely-not-fictional mother, who asked:
Where does the saying “Once bitten, twice shy” come from?
This saying causes a great deal of confusion and misunderstandings in today’s world, among people who do not understand its roots in the realm of botany.
Back in the golden age of the Plant King, the Plant Kingdom’s citizenry lived peaceful, idyllic lives. In such quiet, restful times, many plants developed potent magical powers, now all but lost to the world.
One such plant was the bashberry. Its effects, in the Plant King’s heyday, were incredibly strong. One nibble of a bashberry would cause a person to become as shy and unassuming as the fruit itself. What’s more is that the fruit’s effects were long-lasting; one bite of a bashberry would cause a person to remain shy and bashful for long enough to experience this shyness on at least two occasions before it wore off.
The expression arose as a warning, to those who wanted to keep their nerve, to stay away from the potent bashberry. But as the years passed, and the great Plant King fell, and first these powers and then the bashberry itself faded from common memory, until the expression outgrew its original sense and meaning.
Disclaimer: this post is utterly untrue. We do not advocate consuming berries that cause shyness or any other behavioural effect.,