Latin Proverb # 19 – Ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret!

Latin Proverb: Ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret! – Plinius Secundus, Nat. Hist. 35.85.5

English equivalent: A cobbler should stick to his last*, or, the today less common, Blind men must not judge of colour. 

Translation: A shoemaker should not judge beyond the shoe.

Meaning: In short: Stick to what you’re good at. One should not advise others, or make criticisms or interfere in matters outside of one's area of expertise.

Curiosities: According to Pliny, the Greek painter Apelles of Kos hid behind one of his paintings while showcasing them on the street. When a shoemaker, after having critiqued the shoes on the one of the figures on the painting, started criticizing the artwork itself Apelles shouted this expression in anger after the shoemaker. 

Apelles with the Shoemaker, mural by Giorgio Vasari.

Apelles with the Shoemaker, mural by Giorgio Vasari.

* The last is the wooden pattern/foot used to mold the shoe.


Ne supra crepidam sutor iudicaret in other languages? 

What would you say in your language(s)? Or do you have some fun new versions of this proverb? Let us know in the comments below!

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