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.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/21)
“What do you call two witches who live together?"/"Broommates.” (10/21)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/21)
“So far eating hasn’t filled the emptiness I feel inside, but I’m no quitter” (10/21)
“Knives should be named chopsticks” (10/21)
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Entry from December 27, 2012
“Gold is the devil’s fishhook”

"Gold is the devil’s fishhook” (also “fish-hook” and “fish hook") is an American proverb that means that gold (or the desire to possess gold) captures people and leads to their demise. “Gold is the devil’s fishhook” has been cited in print since at least 1887 and is of unknown authorship.

In 1860, “alcohol” was defined as the “Devil’s fish hook.”


23 February 1860, Geneva Lake Mirror (Geneva, WI), pg. 4, col. 1:
Alcohol.—The Devils fish hook.

Google Books
Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages
Compiled by Robert Christy
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
1887
Pg. 451:
Gold is the devil’s fishhook.

Google Books
A Practical Book for Practical People
By a Corps of Special Writers
Albany, NY: The Eagle Publishing Company
1895
Pg. 220:
“Gold is the devil’s fish-hook.”

Google Books
Odd Derivations of Words, Phrases, Slang, Synonyms and Proverbs
By William Hardcastle Browne
Philadelphia, PA: Drexel Biddle
1901
Pg. 315:
... all is not gold that glitters; it is an unseen tyrant; it is the devil’s fishhook, and rules the world; ...

Google Books
Foundation Stones of Success:
Volume 3: Character-Building

By Estelle Avery SHarpe
Edited by Edwin Markham
Chicago, IL: The Howard-Severance Company
1917
Pg. 259:
Gold is the devil’s fishhook.

Google Books
A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Edited by Wolfgang Mieder, Stewart A. Kingsbury and Kelsie B. Harder
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1991
Pg. 201:
GOLD is the devil’s fishhook.

Google Books
Master Of The Estate
By Salim Khalid
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2004
Pg. 450:
“Like you said, there will be hell to pay and gold is the devil’s fishhook.”

Google Books
Lotus Petal
By Olymbia Kaboudahangi
Bridgnorth: Dreamstairway
2011
Pg. 107:
Laughing until his belly shook that ‘Gold is the Devil’s fishhook!’

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, December 27, 2012 • Permalink