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gggritso's avatar

Is praise from Caesar praise indeed?

Asked by gggritso (5424 points ) December 14th, 2009

I was about to use the quote “Praise from Caesar!” in response to a complement I received, but I realized I know neither the background nor the connotation. Where does this quote come from, and what is the context? Is it sarcastic or genuine?

I fully admit that I first heard it on “The Simpsons” before anyone asks.

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3 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t find any attribution for it. I think it is just a saying, an aphorism, like “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

Like any other such saying, I imagine it could be used both sarcastically and genuinely, but I don’t think it can be said in the absence of all irony. For example, if the greatest living painter praised your modest exhibit, it might be said to you as a way of noting the extraordinary weight of such praise, but at the same time even the greatest living painter is no Caesar, so it is inflating him a bit as well.

gggritso's avatar

So, in essence I should be careful with how I use it. If I don’t mean it as sarcasm I’ll make sure I clarify.

Jeruba's avatar

That seems wise to me. It could sound mocking of the person who paid the compliment.

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