Työläs on sinun potkia tutkainta vastaan.

-- Traditional Finnish proverb

Stop giggling -- the proverb originates from an old Finnish translation of the New Testament, in which Jesus consoles Saul with these words (Acts 26:14). A tutkain is a nearly obsolete word that means a pointed stick used by shepherds to guide their flock. (Newer translations use pistin, bayonet, instead.) In English, this was rendered by the KJV Bible as a prick, long before the word acquired its modern connotations.

At any rate, whenever a random authority is intent on doing something very much against someone's interests, this proverb is used to console the loser. This is also used -- perhaps even more commonly -- when somebody suggests changing an existing system to eliminate or reduce injustice. "That's the way it was when I had to deal with it, so shut up and take it like a man." Those who use this phrase in this way are quite literally telling people to be good little sheep and conform.

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