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You're either very brave, or very stupid

It's a common as dirt line from basically every action or drama movie ever, some examples from the top of my head would be Spooks S05E08- Agenda, Star Trek DS9 S05E23- Blaze of Glory and Red Dwarf: S06E03- Gunmen of the Apocalypse (mighty instead of very, to fit in with the western theme of the episode).

I've had a google around but I couldn't find any information on this, and surprisingly TVTropes doesn't have a page for it.

Does anyone know where this phrase came from? It must be something famous because it shows up everywhere. From those I remember the earliest is Red Dwarf in 1993, so that's the number to beat.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's a book from 1945:

The pilot was either very brave or very stupid

http://books.google.ie/books?id=TvsDAAAAYAAJ&q=%22very+brave+or+very+stupid%22&dq=%22very+brave+or+very+stupid%22&hl=ga&sa=X&ei=9Y68U9bSNoWI7AbZgYHoCQ&redir_esc=y

Experiment with Google n-gram viewer to find other/closer versions of the quote.

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I think The Sea Hawk (1940) might qualify as an origin, at least in film.

You were very brave, trying to take this ship single-handed.

Thank you, sir.

Brave but stupid.

Source

I would venture to guess that something very similar was written in a book long before.

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I think that dialogue is a bit too different from the very common phrase the questioin asks about. –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 6 at 14:08
    
That's saying "brave and stupid", not "brave or stupid". –  Urbycoz Jul 10 at 15:55

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