Father Catich had many catch phrases (not all original) that he would often use to get the student’s attention and help drive the lesson home. He also had a list of pangrams and sentences that used all of the letters of the alphabet. He would encourage students to think of their very own and incorporate them into their calligraphy practice. What follows is a partial list of his best known phrases:

Sweat between the ears!

The mind is a wonderful thing. If only we would use it.

It is a poor craftsman that blames his tools.




Art is not freedom from discipline ~ but DISCIPLINED FREEDOM

Organizations like fish first decay in the head.

Stairs are not swept from the bottom up.

Gin in, wit out.

Reason in man is God in the world.

You don’t herd hogs with your hands in your pockets.

Who fears you present will hate you absent.

One learns well from an enemy.

Eloquence is useless against the voice of gold.

Fame feeds no one in the grave.

He must fear many, whom many fear.

Flattery corrupts both donor and receiver.

After the fling, the sting.

Lazy folks’ stomachs never tire.

What is in the heart of the sober is on the tongue of the drunk.


Beware of one who has two faces under one hat.

The father, praising his son, praises himself.

Flattery like perfume is to be smelt not swallowed.

You can hide the fire but not the smoke.

Don’t show a fool half-finished work.

What the sober conceals, the drunk reveals.


The mouse that has but one hole is quickly caught.

Envy, pride, avarice take no holidays.

The earth is a host who murders his guests (Persian)

The dullness of fools is the grindstone of wits (Shakespeare)

Put your eggs in one basket, then watch it (Twain)

One can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies (Wilde)


2 Responses to Catich-isms

  1. Eagles do not flock, you find them one at a time!
  2. Linda Kelty says:
    Anyone remember how he spoke using the terms “Doll” for the female students who invaded the previously male campus? Shady characters were “Jokers”. What else?

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