Marjorie in Huntsville, Alabama, wonders about the saying Empty wagons make the most noise suggesting that the people who talk the most about a subject aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable. This notion goes all the way back to ancient Latin proverb Vasa vana plurimum sonant, which translates as “Empty pots make the most noise.” There are variations of this saying that involve an empty canister, kettle, vessel, barrel, pitcher, pail, or bowl. Yet another proverb along these lines is Shallow streams make the most noise. For that matter, you can describe someone as making more noise than a jackass in a tin barn. The opposite is also true: The proverb The loaded wagon makes the least noise suggests that it’s often the person who stays quiet on a subject who actually knows the most about it.

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