A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 01, 2015
“Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high”

Experientia docet (experience teaches) is a Latin phrase. “Experience is the best teacher” is a proverb that has been cited since at least the 18th century.

The tuition cost was added to the saying in the 1890s. “Experience is the best teacher but she charges heavily for her services” was cited in 1895. “They say that experience is the best teacher but the price of tuition is pretty steep” was cited in 1896. “"Experience is the best teacher, but his tuition is a high one” was cited in 1920.


Wikipedia: List of Latin phrases
experientia docet (Latin) experience teaches (English)

Google Books
May 1788, , pg. 355:
(From a letter dated August 5, 1775 by Dr. Samuel Johnson.—ed.)
It is said, and said truly, that experience is the best teacher; and it is supposed that as life is lengthened experience is increased.

Google Books
Essays, Moral and Religious
By Edward Thomson
Cincinnati, OH: R. P. Thompson, Printer
1856
Pg. 161:
History is a valuable source of instruction; experience is the greatest teacher; let us profit by consulting the history of the past.

1 December 1895, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, “Editorial Wisdom” (from the N. Y. World), pg. 32, col. 2:
Experience is the best teacher but she charges heavily for her services.

Google Books
October 1896, Medical Era (Chicago, IL), pg. 318, col. 1:
THEY SAY
(...)
THAT experience is the best teacher but the price of tuition is pretty steep.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
25 May 1911, Antioch (IL) News, pg. 8, col. 4:
Expensive Schooling.
“Experience is the best teacher.”
“Well, she ought to be; her teaching comes mighty high.”

Chronicling America
15 February 1920, Washington (DC) Herald, “Group Clothes Plan Is Latest,” pg. 8, col. 2:
Pooling of dearly bought experience in buying yard goods of ready-made clothing by groups of women is advised by Miss Edith Strauss, of the Department of Justice.

“Experience is the best teacher, but his tuition is a high one,” says Miss Strauss.

15 August 1948, Seattle (WA) Times, Magazine, pg. 23, col. 4:
Cryptogram
Experience is the best teacher but the tuition fee is often high.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 285:
Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is much too high.

Twitter
Proverbs
‏@ProverbParty
“Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high.” - #Norwegian #Proverb
8:22 AM - 10 May 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Wednesday, April 01, 2015 • Permalink