suffer fools gladly

to tolerate those whom one thinks are stupid
—Don’t expect her to be kind to those who disagree with her viewpoint. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

The suffer in this phrase has the same meaning as it has in suffer the little children: “to allow or tolerate.” In Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he writes that he feels foolish having to defend his status as an apostle and teacher. But he knows that “false apostles” are lying about themselves and the Corinthians are eager to listen to their foolish talk:

I say again, let no one think that I am a fool. But if you do, then at least accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence I do not say the way the Lord would. Instead it is, as it were, foolishness. Since many are boasting according to human standards, I too will boast. For since you are so wise, you put up with fools gladly [suffer fools gladly]. For you put up with it if someone makes slaves of you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone behaves arrogantly toward you, if someone strikes you in the face. (2 Corinthians 11:16-20)

Today, the phrase is most often used in the negative, to say that someone doesn’t suffer fools.

Advertisements
Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    Culture Stress, Home, and Space, the Final Frontier

    Traveling to far-away places and coping with new surroundings brings about lots of adjustments—adjustments in thought patterns and in ways of doing even mundane tasks. Few know this as dramatically as those who have lived aboard the International Space Station. But you don’t need to venture into outer space to be able to relate to […]

    “Wherever You Go, There You Are” and Other Such Words of Wisdom

    Somewhere, in one of the back rooms of the internet, sits a frazzle-haired, bespectacled gentleman thumbing through a box of yellowed index cards. On each card is typed out a well-known saying, often in multiple versions, and it’s the man’s job to assign to each one a source. He doesn’t track down the actual origin, […]

  • Advertisements