Derives from the noun proverb, which means a popular saying, usually of ancient and unknown origin, that expresses a commonplace truth. In the Bible, a proverb is a profound saying. The word proverbial thus means widely referred to, as if the subject of a proverb; commonly referred to, subject to common mention.
It is far easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the needle’s eye, hump and all, than for an erstwhile colonial administration to give sound and honest counsel of a political nature to its liberated territory.
—Kwame Nkrumah Former President of Ghana Consciencism (1964)
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