Accepted paper:

Use of proverbs in contemporary horoscopes (on the example of Estonian daily newspaper "Postimees")


Piret Voolaid (Estonian Literary Museum)

Paper short abstract:

The aim is to analyse proverbial units, their nature and functions in the horoscopes published in an Estonian newspaper. The study shows what kind of proverbs and proverbial expressions—both in their archaic form as well as their new modifications (modern proverbs)—are used in horoscopes and why.

Paper long abstract:

In Estonian newspapers the usage of proverbial sayings often occurs in the horoscopes. Daily horoscope is an inseparable accessory in any newspaper and (their) online news sites. The main purpose of my paper is to analyse paremiological material in the Estonian daily newspaper Postimees ('The Courier'), focusing on its proportion, nature and connotations. Postimees is the oldest newspaper in Estonia (on-line version is available in the website with widest circulation. At the end of the varia section is a daily horoscope, in which guidelines for the particular day are given for twelve signs of the zodiac. One can assume that generality which characterises the entire proverb genre seems to be very suitable for using proverbial expressions in the horoscopes dividing all humankind only for twelve different groups. The most usual proverbs in the horoscopes are connected with human-centred abstract concepts like happiness, health, etc. We can propose cultural explanations to the existence of proverbs in the horoscopes in national daily newspapers in Estonia. Researchers have confirmed that great popularity of modern astrology has been observed already during the times when Estonia was a part of Soviet Union and even today astrology is one of the most common folk beliefs in Estonia. The paper is a part of the joint project "Proverbial expressions in newspapers. Comparative study in Slovenia, Estonia and Finland" the aim of which is to make a comparative analysis of the proverbs and proverbial expressions in contemporary newspaper context.

panel Nar005
Short folklore forms in contemporary use