My mom often used the phrase, “word to the wise” before explaining something to me.
When I was old enough to officially think like a smart aleck, I wondered about the wisdom in that idiom, questioning the need for words to the wise.
Don’t the wise already know everything?
Fortunately, as I grew a bit wiser, I realized only the wise would heed that word.
Aha! A breakthrough, a veritable epiphany! I got it – Any warnings and cautions would be lost on the foolish. Hence the proverb in it’s entirety, “A word to the wise is sufficient.”
And, as Sean Connery’s character Jim Malone in The Untouchables would say, “Here endeth the lesson.”