There is a saying in Malayalam which can be roughly translated as "In the land where no one has a nose, the broken-nosed one is the king". Is there a way to express the same sentiment in English?

  • Chinese version: 山中无老虎,猴子称大王。 – Terry Li Jan 23 '13 at 20:15

The customary saying is In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, which was apparently coined by Erasmus.

  • thanks for the quick answer and for leading me to other phrases coined by this Erasmus dude ... – Samhan Salahuddin Jan 23 '13 at 12:48
  • is there any word or adjective to describe such a person ? – Samhan Salahuddin Jan 23 '13 at 12:49
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    There's a phrase - a big fish in a small pond. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 23 '13 at 14:31
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    It would not surprise me if Erasmus were in fact the origin of the Malayalam saying. – MetaEd Jan 23 '13 at 15:02
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    I wonder what it is about Malayalam speakers that makes them think powers of olfactory discrimination are more relevant to social advancement than the ability to see. Is it maybe that at least the broken-nosed man can still sniff out corruption in "high" places? – FumbleFingers Jan 23 '13 at 15:08

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