Every now and then I am reminded of this:

English: great minds think alike.
German: Zwei Dumme, ein Gedanke (roughly: two idiots, one thought)

What I find fascinating here is that it embodies two completely opposing views on a kind of spontaneous consensus. The British mindset apparently sees it as a suggestion that there is something to it, while the German reacts with suspicion.

The matter is complicated -and simplified - by the fact that both expressions are often used to describe the ...

@jens Isn't the full quote "Great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ", mirroring the German variation? Never mind the consonance between "*d*umme/*d*deppen" and "ge*d*anke".


@jens I've heard it occasionally as a counterpoint. On the other hand, I often just hear "Great minds...", too, so I'm not sure what it expands to in the average listeners mind.

Do you have any further examples, because if I were to guess whether Brits or Germans are better in self-depreciation, I wouldn't vote continental.

The origins are also interesting. The German one was originaly "two souls", whereas the English one originated from a French author.

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