village


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it takes a village

Many people's help or involvement is needed to achieve some goal. A shortening of the proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child." Come on, you'll never get this bill passed without their help. It takes a village, you know.
See also: take, village

it takes a village to raise a child

Those who are raising a child need many people's help and support. When my wife and I got divorced, I learned firsthand that it takes a village to raise a child.
See also: child, raise, take, village

Potemkin village

Something that is made to seem very grand, elaborate, or prosperous for the purposes of impressing others, but which in reality has no real worth or substance. Taken from a story about Russian minister Grigory Potemkin (1739–1791), who allegedly erected false, painted façades to mimic a thriving, successful village along the Dnieper River in Crimea to impress the visiting Empress Catherine II. The tightly controlled totalitarian country is often accused of creating a Potemkin village each time it televises some event, a meager attempt to convince the outside world that its people are happy under the thumb of the dictatorship.
See also: Potemkin, village

village idiot

Someone known for being stupid or foolish. I know I've made some big mistakes in the past and everyone in town sees me as the village idiot, but I'm not that girl anymore—I've grown up.
See also: idiot, village

a Potemkin village

a sham or unreal thing.
Count Potemkin ( 1739–91 ), a favourite of Empress Catherine II of Russia, reputedly ordered a number of fake villages to be built for the empress's tour of the Crimea in 1787 .
See also: Potemkin, village
References in classic literature ?
A few minutes later he returned to the village gate, calling to the natives within.
When the gates had been once more secured the self-confidence of the savages returned, and as Tarzan walked up the village street toward the chief's hut he was surrounded by a host of curious men, women, and children.
Dozing in the shade he saw several men, while at the extreme outskirts of the clearing he occasionally caught glimpses of armed warriors apparently guarding the village against surprise from an attacking enemy.
Nowhere was there evidence of a man tilling the fields or performing any of the homely duties of the village.
Probably, Monsieur Gabelle passed a long night up there, with the distant chateau for fire and candle, and the beating at his door, combined with the joy-ringing, for music; not to mention his having an ill-omened lamp slung across the road before his posting-house gate, which the village showed a lively inclination to displace in his favour.
There was a change on the village where the fountain fell, and where the mender of roads went forth daily to hammer out of the stones on the highway such morsels of bread as might serve for patches to hold his poor ignorant soul and his poor reduced body together.
I forgot to say that Chrysostom, who is dead, was a great man for writing verses, so much so that he made carols for Christmas Eve, and plays for Corpus Christi, which the young men of our village acted, and all said they were excellent.
"I say then, my dear sir," said the goatherd, "that in our village there was a farmer even richer than the father of Chrysostom, who was named Guillermo, and upon whom God bestowed, over and above great wealth, a daughter at whose birth her mother died, the most respected woman there was in this neighbourhood; I fancy I can see her now with that countenance which had the sun on one side and the moon on the other; and moreover active, and kind to the poor, for which I trust that at the present moment her soul is in bliss with God in the other world.
How he himself had really killed Shere Khan; and how Mowgli had turned himself into a wolf, and fought with him all the afternoon, and changed into a boy again and bewitched Buldeo's rifle, so that the bullet turned the corner, when he pointed it at Mowgli, and killed one of Buldeo's own buffaloes; and how the village, knowing him to be the bravest hunter in Seeonee, had sent him out to kill this Devil-child.
The youngest of the elders, a man of about fifty, had been bred from infancy in a Shaker village, and was said never to have clasped a woman's hand in his own, and to have no conception of a closer tie than the cold fraternal one of the sect.
They rode through the village of Rykonty, past tethered French hussar horses, past sentinels and men who saluted their colonel and stared with curiosity at a Russian uniform, and came out at the other end of the village.
In the past he had had experience with the rodents and vermin that infest every native village, and, while he was not overscrupulous about such matters, he much preferred the fresh air of the swaying trees to the fetid atmosphere of a hut.
The great number of horses grazing around the village, and scattered over the neighboring hills and valleys, bespoke the equestrian habit of the Arickaras, who are admirable horsemen.
The other herd children, watching with the cattle half a mile away, hurried to the village as fast as their legs could carry them, crying that the buffaloes had gone mad and run away.
The afternoon was almost spent when Korak arrived at the village of Kovudoo.