A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Without Arabians, 9/11 wouldn’t exist. It would be IX/XI instead” (6/25)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/25)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/25)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/25)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/25)
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Entry from March 22, 2013
“A closed mouth doesn’t get fed”

"A closed mouth doesn’t get fed” means that unless one open’s one’s mouth and communicates, one doesn’t get “fed” information or answers. Similar sayings include “if you don’t ask, you’ll never know” and “she can’t say ‘yes’ if you never ask” (dating adage) and “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

“A closed mouth doesn’t get fed” is sometimes said to be an old adage, but there are no known printed citations before the 1990s. It appears to have started on the west coast (California, Washington), possibly within the prison population.


Google Books
Filmmaker
Volume 2, Issues 1-3
1993 (The Google Books date is possibly incorrect—ed.)
Pg. 61:
And, when trying to extend what seems to be an impossibly low budget, it’s of the utmost importance to remember that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Low budget producers must be prepared to sell themselves, and their project, and to ask if they wish to receive.

15 August 1997, National Public Radio, GAP program in CA:
You know, like they say a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)
Tuesday, June 16, 1998
A marriage made in prison
Convicted murderer Chris Mayo likes to talk. He and Corinne talked by phone, got married and now plan for the day when’s he’s out.

By Julie Sullivan
(...)
“A closed mouth doesn’t get fed,” he says. “Talking is an integral part of being locked up.”

Google Books
The Mysterious Mummer
By L. M. Falcone
Toronto, ON; Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press
2003
Pg. 80:
“If you have somethin’ to say, speak up. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.”

someecards
A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.
02.24.2011

Twitter
Marcellus Wiley
‏@marcelluswiley
A closed mouth doesn’t get fed & an open mouth catches flies! 
6:17 PM - 21 Sep 11

Google Books
When a King of Hearts Meets a Queen of Diamonds:
Playing Your Hand to Win at “Relationships”

By Paul Simms
Xlibris Corp (Xlib ris.com)
2012
Pg. 53:
My auntie taught me, “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed,” and that applies also to your hunger for knowledge.

Google Books
The Journey to Finding Yourself
By Rena Camille
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
2012
Pg. 39:
As the old saying goes, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed; when your need for support goes unannounced, and you yourself become content with the way the relationship is, nothing will ever be done about the issue.

Twitter
Chad Johnson
‏@ochocinco
Closed mouth doesn’t get fed so speak ya mind just know once u crack the whip I’ll oblige RT @FeministaJones: @ochocinco So wait. never mind
5:04 PM - 2 Mar 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, March 22, 2013 • Permalink