[PW] ? Earliest Use of "Live Long and Prosper" (Quotation Query#740)

Wayne Wiens waynewiens at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 16 12:36:06 PST 2016

>From Wikipedia:

"Live long and prosper"

The accompanying spoken blessing, "live long and prosper" – "dif tor heh 
smusma" in the Vulcan language (as spoken in Star Trek: The Motion 
Picture) – also appeared for the first time in "Amok Time", scripted by 
Theodore Sturgeon.[8] The less-well-known reply is "peace and long life", 
though it is sometimes said first, with "live long and prosper" as the 
reply. In science fiction, the phrase 'live long' first appeared in print in 
1957 in Eric Frank Russell's science fiction novel Wasp where it was used 
both as a greeting and as a farewell by a species of aliens called the 
Sirians.[citation needed] The phrase has been seen abbreviated 

This format is similar to common Middle Eastern greetings (Salaam alaykum in 
Arabic and Shalom aleikhem in Hebrew), meaning "peace be upon you", and its 
reply, "upon you be peace". An ancient Egyptian blessing "ankh wedja seneb", 
while its verbatim translation is uncertain, uses the three symbols "life", 
"prosperity" and "health"; it has been translated as "may he live, be 
prosperous, be healthy."[12] The New International Version of the Bible, 
Deuteronomy 5:33, includes the phrase "live and prosper" as part of Moses' 
admonitions to the Hebrew people prior to entering Canaan; other 
translations include the notion of long life as well.[13] William 
Shakespeare's 1594 Romeo and Juliet contains the line, "Live and be 
prosperous: and farewell good fellow", spoken by Romeo to Balthasar, his 
friend and servant.[14][15] The benediction "live and prosper" is attributed 
to the 18th-century organized crime figure Jonathan Wild in his 1725 
biography written by "H.D.," possibly a pseudonym for Daniel Defoe.[16]

In Trilby, by George Du Maurier (published in 1894), a description of an art 
student ends with the sentence, "May he live long and prosper!" [17]

-----Original Message----- 
From: Kevin O'Kelly
Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 10:52 AM
To: list at project-wombat.org
Subject: Re: [PW] ? Earliest Use of "Live Long and Prosper" (Quotation 

That is truly worthy of the term "stumper." For the exact phrase, I can't
find anything earlier than DuMaurier's *Trilby *"May he live long and
prosper!" (1894)

On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:17 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu>

> The Star Trek Vulcan blessing, "Live long and prosper," has been around
> for a while on earth, I believe.  Can anyone help me discover the earliest
> findable occurrence of this phrase?
> Fred Shapiro
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
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