Apothegm archaic sp: Apophthegm
n. A short witty instructive saying; an aphorism or maxim.
Ben Franklin may be best known for the apothegms he printed in Poor Richard’s Almanac. Julius Caesar did write a collection of apophthegms, as appears in an epistle of Cicero, so did Macrobius, a consular man…they are mucrones verborum, pointed speeches. “The words of the wise are as goads,” saith Solomon. Cicero prettily calleth them salinas, salt-pits, that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle where you will. — Francis Bacon, “Apophthegms, New and Old” (1625) Etymology As these ten dollar words often are, this one has a neoclassical, Renaissance origin: “To speak plainly”, in Ancient Greek: apo: from; phthengesthai: to speak