Last modified on 3 November 2014, at 18:09

English proverbs (alphabetically by proverb)

Proverbs are popularly defined as short expressions of popular wisdom. Efforts to improve on the popular definition have not led to a more precise definition. The wisdom is in the form of a general observation about the world or a bit of advice, sometimes more nearly an attitude toward a situation.

See also English proverbs


Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

0 - 9Edit

  • 80 % of life is showing up.
    • Note: Said by Woody Allen.
    • Meaning: Don't dream it, do it. According to Woody Allen, those who do this are 80 percent of the way to having something good happening to them.
    • Lewis, Carole (2009). Give God a Year & Change Your Life Forever: Improve Every Area of Your Life (Gospel Light Publications ed.). p. 17. ISBN 0830751327. 

AEdit

  • A cheerful wife is the spice of life.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • A good mind possesses a kingdom.
    • Note: Translated from Latin: Mens bona regnum possidet.
    • Meaning: Material assets are fleeting, but intellectual assets will basically stay with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, intellectual assets are much more worth than material ones.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • A good name is the best of all treasures.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • The apple never falls far from the tree.
    • Meaning: Children are in many regards like their parents.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Advice most needed is least heeded.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xxiv. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Advisers run no risks.
    • Meaning: It is easy to give advice, but hard to act.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • All are not thieves that the dogs bark at.
    • Idiomatic translation: "All are not thieves that dogs bark at.”
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • All's fair in love and war.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xxiv. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • All are not friends that speak us fair.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • All roads lead to Rome.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • All things come to those who wait.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
    • Meaning: Be sure to take breaks from work and do something entertaining.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xxiv. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • An army marches on its stomach.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers.
    • Meaning: Sometimes unpleasant things are required to bring good things.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
    • Similar to You reap what you sow
    • Knowles, Elizabeth (2006). Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2, illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 816. ISBN 019920246X. 
  • A hedge between keeps friends green.
    • Meaning: It is best to have some sort of wall towards your neighbours.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
    • Meaning: A verbal contract is completely useless.
    • Note: Originally said by Samuel Goldwyn.
    • R.Shapiro, Fred (2006). The Yale Book of Quotations. Yale University Press. p. 317. 0300107986. .
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    • Meaning: When you're away from something you miss it more.
    • From Isle of Beauty by Thomas Haynes Bayly
    • Spears, Richard A (2006). McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 2. 0071469346. .
  • Actions speak louder than words.
    • Hill Festetits, Kate Neely (2011). McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. BiblioBazaar. pp. 248. 1179034821. .
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    • John Heywood, A Dialogue Conteynyng Prouerbes and Epigrammes (1562) has
      Prove thy friend ere thou have need; but, in-deed
      A friend is never known till a man have need.
  • All cats love fish but hate to get their paws wet.
    • Meaning: Everyone wants success but many lack the self-discipline to become successful.
    • Martyn, Elizabeth (2007). Why Do Cats. 477. Love Eating Fish But Hate Getting Wet Paws. New Holland Publishers. pp. 272. 1845379535. .
  • All for one and one for all.
    • Although people associate it with Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers it is much older. It is a translation of the Latin Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno, the motto for Switzerland.
  • All good things must come to an end.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • All's well that ends well.
    • Title of a play by William Shakespeare
    • Variant: All is well that ends well. - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
  • A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.
    • Meaning: Someone who wants to be mean will find things to be mean about no matter what.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 103. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
    • Cf. Notes and Queries magazine, Feb. 24, 1866, p. 153: "Eat an apple on going to bed, // And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread." [2]
    • Adapted to its current form in the 1900s as a marketing slogan used by American growers concerned that the temperance movement would cut into sales of apple cider. (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, Random House, 2001, ISBN 0375501290, p. 22, cf. p. 9 & 50).
  • As the old cock crows, so crows the young.
    • Meaning: Children will become like older generations.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
    • Cf. Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer (1773): "Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs".
  • A rotten apple injures its companions.

BEdit

  • Bad news travels fast.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A bad penny always turns up.
    • Meaning: An unpopular person will always return to the place he came from.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit.
    • Filipp, M. R. (2005). Covenants Not to Compete, Aspen.
  • Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
    • Potter, A. (2009). Be Careful What You Wish For, Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Well begun is half done.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xcv. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • A bellyful is one of meat, drink, or sorrow.
    • H. Manser, Martin (2006). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Proverbs. Wordsworth Editions. p. 45. ISBN 1840223111. .
  • The best things come in small packages.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • The best things in life are free.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Better is the enemy of good.
    • Meaning: The aim for perfection or mastery might be in the way of progress.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xcv. ISBN 0195053990. 

Big thunder, little rain.


  • Better late than never.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xcv. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Better safe than sorry.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves. (Matthew; bible quote)
    • Meaning: The seemingly most respectable people are quiet often scoundrels; Evil people often act innocently.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 170. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Birds of a feather flock together.
    • Meaning: Alike people get along well.
    • ** Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Bitter pills may have blessed effects.
    • Note: Both a figurative and literal proverb.
    • Meaning: The remedy might be bitter, but the cure might be wonderful.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 128. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Blood is thicker than water.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A bad workman blames his tools.
    • George Herbert reports early English variants in Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, Etc. (1640):
    • Compare the older French proverb:
    • Galen explains clearly, if less succinctly, in De Causis Procatarcticis (2nd c. A.D.), VI. 63–65:
      • They blame their tools: why did the carpenter make the bed so badly, if he was any good? He will reply: "Because I used a poor axe and a thick gimlet, because I did not have a rule, I lost my hammer, and the hatchet was blunt", and other things of this kind. And the scribe, asked why he wrote so badly, will say that the paper was rough, the ink too fluid, the pen blunt, that he did not have a smoother, so that he could not write any better. Once again, this man holds his material responsible, and blames his tools as well, in mentioning the pen and smoother. And who does not know that artisans make themselves responsible for the deficiencies in their work too, when they cannot pin the blame on material and tools?
  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
    • Meaning: A person who often threatens rarely carries out his threats.
    • Devraj, Venkat (2000). The Sterling Book Of Prose Compositions. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 5. 8120721381. .
  • Before criticizing a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
    • Preston, R. Preston (2005). Competitive solutions: the strategist's toolkit. Princeton University Press. p. XV. 0691124035. .
  • Beggars can't be choosers.
    • Meaning: If you are in a bad situation or do not have much to offer you must be content with whatever help you can get.
    • Hiner, Kirk (2002). Mowin' the Heavenly Lawn. iUniverse. p. 87. 0595236839. .
  • The belly has no ears.
    • This Proverb intimates, that there is no arguing the Matter with Hunger,
      the Mother of Impatience and Anger.
      - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [3]
  • Better to be alone than in bad company.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 162. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Better the devil you know (than the one you don't).
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    • Variant: Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt. (often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but taken from Solomon's Proverbs).
  • Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
    • From Virgil's Aeneid Book II, line 48: timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Translation: I fear the Grecians even when they offer gifts.
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • John Bunyan cites this traditional proverb in The Pilgrim's Progress, (1678):
      • So are the men of this world: They must have all their good things now; they cannot stay till the next year, that is, until the next world, for their portion of good. That proverb, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," is of more authority with them than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come.
  • A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.
    • Robert Burton cites this traditional proverb in The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621):
      • It is an old saying, "A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword:" and many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrilous and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-play or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever.
        • Part I, Section II, Member IV, Subsection IV
    • Compare: "The pen is mightier than the sword."
    • Contrast: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."
  • Bloom where you are planted.
    • Meaning: It is often better to escalate your commitment rather than starting over with something new.
    • Other meaning: Make use of your geographical advantages.
    • Szerlip (2004). Grow Where You Are Planted: Learning by Design. Martha Szerlip. pp. 320. ISBN 0974567507. .
  • Boys will be boys.
    • Miedzian, Myriam (2002). Boys will be boys: breaking the link between masculinity and violence. Lantern Books. pp. 386. ISBN 1590560353. .
  • Brag is a good Dog, but Holdfast is a better.
    • Meaning: A variation of "Talk is cheap".
    • This Proverb is a Taunt upon Braggadoccio's, who talk big, boast, and rattle:
      It is also a Memento for such who make plentiful promises to do well for the
      future but are suspected to want Constancy and Resolution to make
      them good.
      - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [4]
  • A broken watch is right two times a day.
    • Meaning: A person who is wrong will eventually be right about something.
    • Honthaner, Eve Light (2010). I Hollywood drive: what it takes to break in, hang in & make it in the entertainment industry. Elsevier. p. 341. ISBN 0240806689. .
  • A burnt child dreads the fire.
    • Meaning: You will avoid an activity which has given you a bad experience for the rest of your life.
    • Chinese Version: One bitten by a snake for a snap dreads a rope for a decade.一朝被蛇咬,十年怕井绳
    • Indian Version: The one burnt by hot milk drinks even cold buttermilk with precaution. Transliteration: Doodh ka jala chhanchh ko bhi phoonk phoonk ke peeta hai.
    • Cf. "Once bitten, twice shy"
    • "This Proverb intimates, That it is natural for all living Creatures, whether rational or irrational,
      to consult their own Security, and Self-Preservation; and whether they act by Instinct or Reason, it still
      tends to some care of avoiding those things that have already done them an Injury." - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [5]
  • By hooke or crooke.
    • Meaning: By any means.
    • Indian Version: By Compromise, By Bribery, By Punishment, By Blackmail one can make his job done. Transliteration: Saam Daam Dand Bhedh.
    • John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter XI; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639. In a letter of Sir Richard Morysin to the Privy Council in Lodge's Illustrations &c. I. 154. Holland's Suetonius, p. 169. John Wyclif, Works. Ed. by Arnold, III. 331. Rabelais, Bk. V, Chapter XIII. Du Bartas, The Map of Man. Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book III, Canto I, Stanza 17. Beaumont and Fletcher, Women Pleased, Act I, scene 3. Shelton, Duke of Clout. Compare "Which he by hook or crook has gather'd
      And by his own inventions father'd", Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part III (1678), Canto I, line 109; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.

CEdit

  • The calm (comes) before the storm.
    • Meaning: Turbulent times wait just around the corner when it is calm.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 67. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • A cat may look at a king.
    • Meaning: Mere formal signs of being an authority does not make you one.
    • Variant: The beard were all, the goat might preach.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Clothes make the man.
    • Meaning: The more dressed up a man is, the more influential he is.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 657. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • The customer is always right.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
    • You don't lose anything by enlightening others.
    • Groft, Jan (2010). As We Grieve: Discoveries of Grace in Sorrow. Greenleaf Book Group. p. 19. 0984230602. .
  • Catch not a shadow and lose the substance.
    • Meaning: We should not waste time on trivial aspects of a matter and neglect the essential matter itself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 638. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
    • Variant.: A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
    • Meaning: A group is not stronger than its weakest member.
    • Cf. Thomas Reid Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, 1786, Vol. II, p. 377, Essay VII, Of Reasoning, and of Demonstration, ch. 1: "In every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the weakest link of this chain, whatever may be the strength of the rest." [6].
  • Common sense is not so common.
    • From Voltaire's Dictionnaire philosophique portatif (1765)
    • Paraphrased by graphic designers as 'Comic Sans is not so comic'.
  • Confidence begets confidence.
    • Meaning: Confidence spills over to your coworkers.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Courage lost, all lost.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 675. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • A coward dies a thousand times before his death. The valiant never taste of death but once.
    • From William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar The original is spoken by Caesar (Act II scene 2). The actual words as written were: 'Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.' Complete text at [7]

DEdit

  • Deal gently with the bird you mean to catch.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 689. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Deep calls to deep.
    • Meaning: Deeper thinking leads to deeper understanding.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Different strokes for different folks.
    • Meaning: Different things suit different people.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. 
  • Don't bark if you can't bite.
    • Meaning: Don't do things you haven't got the competence for.
    • Other Meaning: Don't give directions if you are incompetent at the subject at hand.
    • Sadler, P. (1873). Grammaire pratique de la langue anglaise: ou m√©thode facile pour apprendre cette langue, J.H. Truchy.
  • Don't bite off more than you can chew.
    • Heacock, Paul (2003). Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms (Illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 31. ISBN 052153271X. 
  • Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. xxiv. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Don't burn the candle at both ends.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN 0195053990. 
    • Meaning: Don't work early in the morning and late into the evening as well.
  • Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Don't cross a bridge before you come to it.
    • Meaning: Focus on a problem the moment you are facing it, and not earlier.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 50. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
    • Meaning: Do not take action to spite others that will harm you more than them.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Don't fall before you're pushed.
    • Meaning: Don't give up in the face of adversity.
    • Mason, John (2000). Know Your Limits-Then Ignore Them. Insight International, Inc. pp. 206. ISBN 1890900125. .
  • Don't have too many irons in the fire.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 588. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Don't judge a book by its cover.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 0195053990. 
    • Meaning: Never judge something based on its outward appearance.
  • Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Meaning: Never criticize gifts.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 516. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Meaning: Don't make a big deal out of a little thing.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 708. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Don't make clothes for a not yet born baby.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 683. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Don't mend what ain't broken.
    • Alternatively, If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    • Alternatively, Leave well enough alone.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Do not play with edged tools.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 716. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Doctors make the worst patients.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 937. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Discretion is the better part of valor.
    • Meaning: Being cautious is better than to merely be courageous.
    • Derived from "The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life." Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    • Based on the Bible (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" in the King James version; "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." in the New International Version.
  • Don't carry coals to Newcastle.
    • Variation: Carrying coals to Newcastle.
    • The Newcastle region of England mined and shipped coal.
    • Meaning: Don't do things in a needlessly laborious way; don't pursue a goal already accomplished.
    • Lane (1821). Carrying Coals to Newcastle!! …. G. Humphrey, 27 St James's st. 
  • Don't go between the tree and the bark.
    • Meaning: Don't interfere when two people are having an argument.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise dictionary of European proverbs. Routledge. p. 204. 0415160502. .
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
    • First recorded 1662, G. Toriano, Italian proverbial phrases ("To put all one's eggs in a paniard"); 1710, Samuel Palmer, Moral essays on proverbs ("Don't venture all your eggs in one basket")
    • Apperson, GL (2006). Dictionary of proverbs. Wordsworth. p. 170. ISBN 978-1840223118. .
  • Don't put the cart before the horse.
    • Cf. Dan Michael of Northgate, Ayenbite of Inwyt (1340): "Many religious folk set the plough before the oxen." (Middle English: "Moche uolk of religion зetteþ þe зuolз be-uore þe oksen.").
  • Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    • Meaning: Don't reject an idea entirely because parts of it are bad.; Someone who is absolutely right about parts of an idea, can still be absolutely wrong about another part of it.
    • Brown, James Kyle (2001). I Give God a Chance: Christian Spirituality from the Edgar Cayce Readings. Jim Brown. p. 8. ISBN 0759621705. .
  • The door swings both ways.
    • Meaning: What you do to me, I can do to you.
    • Borcherdt, Bill (1996). Making families work and what to do when they don't: thirty guides for imperfect parents of imperfect children. Routledge. p. 65. 0789000733. 

EEdit

NOTE: The below quotes require sources before being moved back to the page.

  • Each to his own taste
    • French: Chacun à son goût
    • Alternatively: à chacun son goût - "To each his own".
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 802. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • The early bird catches the worm. But the second mouse gets the cheese.
    • Meaning: Pioneers will get much.
    • Other meaning: Those who starts working early in the morning will get much done.
    • Other meaning: One person might discover or create something, but the person after him will become rich because of it.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • An empty vessel makes the most noise
    • French equivalent: It is not the cow that moos the most that gives the most milk.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • An Englishman's home is his castle.
    • Variant of "A man's home is his castle."
    • Meaning: There is no place like home.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
    • Meaning: There is nothing bad that does not bring about something good.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 115. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Every rose has its thorn.
    • Meaning: No one is perfect.
    • Bradley, E. and H. Bradley Every Rose Has Its Thorn: The Rock 'n' Roll Field Guide to Guys, Penguin Group USA.
  • The exception proves the rule.
    • Note: Often mistakenly referred to as a misquote. In reality, the Latin probate may mean either to probe or to prove. The key is that prove in this case carries the older meaning of to test, as in the phrases proving (testing) ground or the proof (test) of the pudding is in the eating.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Eat your own dog food.
    • Meaning: Consume your own product in order to recognize its flaws.
    • Stolley, Karl (2011). How to Design and Write Web Pages Today (illustrerad ed.). ABC-CLIO. p. 123. ISBN 0313380384. .
  • Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
    • Will Durant, quoted in "Books: The Great Gadfly", Time magazine, 8 October 1965.
  • The ends justify the means.
  • Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
    • Meaning: An incompetent person will be right sometimes.
    • Tassone, John J. (2002). Go For It!. Cypress House. p. 11. 187938485X. .
  • Even a dog can distinguish between being stumbled over and being kicked.
    • Holmes, Oliver Wendell (1923). The Common Law 3. .
  • Every dog has its day.
    • Meaning: Everyone gets their chance eventually.
    • Variation on a quote from Hamlet: "...whatever Hercules says, the cat will mew and dog will have its day."
  • Every tub must stand upon its bottom.
    • Charles Macklin, Man of the World (1792), Act I, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639. Compare: "Every fat [vat] must stand upon his bottom", John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), Part I; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Everyone talks of changing the world, but no one talks of changing himself.
    • Leo Tolstoy.
    • Tome, Brian (2010). Free Book. Thomas Nelson Inc. p. 132. 084992006X. .
  • Evil begets evil.
    • O'Donnell, Cynthia (1983). Evil Begets Evil in Mourning Becomes Electra and Desire Under the Elms. Manhattan College. pp. 71. .
  • An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
    • Justice, G. (2004). Jesus the Maverick King. AuthorHouse. p. 56. 1418486698. 
    • A response, often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, is "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind."
      • Bregman, Lucy (2009). Religion, Death, and Dying: Volume 3: Bereavement and Death Rituals. ABC-CLIO. p. 177. 0313351791. 

FEdit

  • Failure is the stepping stone for success.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 291. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • Faint heart ne'er won fair lady.
    • Meaning: Women don't like wimps.
    • Manser, M. H. (2006). Dictionary of Proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
    • Meaning: We easily find faults among those we spend a lot of time with.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Fifty percent of something is better than one hundred percent of nothing.
    • Meaning: Talking is a long way from working, thus a halfway done paltry project is better than an unstarted ambitious project.
    • Scaffidi, S. Ain't Dat Super!, Xlibris Corporation.
  • Fine feathers make fine birds.
    • Meaning: You will be judged by how you look.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Fine words butter no parsnips.
    • Cf. Actions speak louder than words.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • First come, first served.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • First deserve, then desire.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 195. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • The first step to health is to know that we are sick.
    • Palta, N. (2006). Spoken English, Lotus Press.
  • First things first.
    • Meaning: The most important and most urgent worries should be taken care of first.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A fool and his money are soon parted.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Forewarned is forearmed.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Forgive and forget.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang (1991). A Dictionary of American Proverbs (Reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 357. ISBN 0195053990. .
  • A fox smells its own lair first. Or: A fox smells its own stink first.
    • Meaning: You believe that others have the same faults as yourself.
    • Palta, N. (2006). Spoken English, Lotus Press.
  • Fretting cares make grey hairs.
    • Meaning: Worrying can age you prematurely.
    • Palta, N. (2006). Spoken English, Lotus Press.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. 


  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
    • Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism"
    • Meaning: Fools are often reckless in dangerous situations.
  • For want of a nail the shoe is lost, for want of a shoe the horse is lost, for want of a horse the rider is lost.
    • Meaning: A seemingly insignificant thing that goes wrong can result in problems of enormous proportions.
    • Proverb reported by George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651), #495.
  • From those to whom much is given, much is expected.
    • Biblical quote Luke 12:48.
  • Fortune favours the brave.
    • Meyer, Bruce (2004). Fortune Favors the Brave. St. Martin's Press. p. 8. ISBN 0312996802. .
  • Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.
    • Meaning: Idle people will quickly be forgotten by history.
    • Manser, Martin H.; Fergusson, Rosalind; Pickering, David (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. pp. 499. 0816066736. 

GEdit

  • Garbage in, garbage out.
    • Meaning: Faulty instructions will only result in faulty results.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 98. 0816066736. .
  • Give a dog a bad name and hang him.
    • Meaning: Once you have lost your reputation, it is very hard to regain it.
    • Dickens, Charles (1999). Our Mutual Friend. ARcade Publishing. p. 373. 1559705485. .
  • Give a dog a bad name and he'll live up to it. (or ...he'll repay you for it.)
    • Meaning: How well a dog behaves depends on how he has been treated.
    • Clarke, Nick (1865). Alistair Cooke: a biography. Routledge. p. 174. 1420931989. .
  • Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • Blue, Kevin (2006). Practical Justice: Living Off-Center in a Self-Centered World. InterVarsity Press. p. 51. 0830833684. 
    • This quote is much older than 2006.citation needed
  • Give and take is fair play.
    • Meaning: It is fair to treat someone equally bad as you have been treated yourself.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 133. 0816066736. .
  • Give, and ye shall receive.
    • Luke 6:38
  • Give credit where credit is due.
    • Derived from Romans 13:7
    • Variant: Give the Devil his due.
  • Give him an inch and he'll take a yard.
    • Variant: Give the Camel an inch and it will take an ell.
    • Variant: Give a nigger an inch and he'll take an ell.
    • Twain, Mark (1885). Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Charles L. Webster and Company. p. 222 (EBook). 
    • Variant: Give him an inch and he'll take a mile.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise dictionary of European proverbs. Routledge. p. 240. 0415160502. .
  • Go with the flow.
    • Meaning: Accept your lot, but make the best out of it.
    • Ellis, Rex (2009). Go with the Flow. Wakefield Press. pp. 208. ISBN 1862548536. .
  • God cures and the physician takes the fee.
    • Collier, Robert (2008). Secret of the Ages. Wilder Publications. p. 143. ISBN 1604590467. .
  • A golden bit does not make the horse any better.
    • Meaning: An ugly thing will remain ugly even if its appearance is taken care of.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Good fences make good neighbors.
    • Robert Frost, "Mending Wall"
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 106. 0816066736. .
  • Good men are hard to find.
    • O'Connor, Flannery; Asals, Frederick (1844). A good man is hard to find. Littell, Son and Co.. p. 252. .
  • A good surgeon has an eagle's eye, a lion's heart, and a lady's hand.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 449. .
  • Good swimmers are often drowned.
    • Meaning: Beware of letting your competence lead you into overconfidence.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Good wine needs no bush.
    • Note: It was customary since early times to hang a grapevine, ivy or other greenery over the door of a tavern or way stop to advertise the availability of drink within.
    • Meaning: A good product does not need advertising: it will spread through word of mouth or by the sight of others using it.
    • Martin (2010). Good Wine Needs No Bush. Arthur Bruce Martin. pp. 200. ISBN 0646539477. .
  • The grass is always greener on the other side.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 105. 0816066736. .
  • Grasp all, lose all.
    • Meaning: Trying to get everything will often result in not gaining anything.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 884. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Great events cast their shadows before them.
    • The Edinburgh review, Volym 132. A. and C. Black. 1870. p. 231. .
  • Great minds agree.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 882. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    • Albert Einstein
    • Buziak, Cari (2011). Calligraphy Magic: How to Create Lettering, Knotwork, Coloring and More. North Light Books. p. 79. 
  • A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 112. 0816066736. 

HEdit

  • A half truth is a whole lie.
    • Tal (2005). Double Crossing. Cinco Puntos Press. p. 78. ISBN 0938317946. .
  • You can't Have your cake and eat it too.
    • Cf. George Herbert The Sizz "Wouldst thou both eat thy cake and have it"
    • Have Your Cake and Eat It Too. Brandy House. 2005. ISBN 1440466823. .
  • Hard words break no bones.
    • Meaning: It is often good to tell someone a harsh truth (including yourself).; Don't lie to yourself.; Don't live in denial.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 17. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Haste makes waste.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 115. 0816066736. .
  • Hawks will not pick out Hawk's eyes.
    • Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 400. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • The head and feet keep warm, the rest will take no harm.
    • Meaning: If you take care of the important matters, everything else will fall into place.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs. Wordsworth Editions. p. 272. ISBN 1840223111. .
  • He laughs best who laughs last.
    • Meaning: He who wins in the end wins.
    • Ammer, Christine (1997). The American Heritage dictionary of idioms. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 368. 039572774X. .
  • He that can have patience can have what he will.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • He who dares wins.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 174. .
  • Health is wealth.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs. Wordsworth Editions. p. 273. ISBN 1840223111. 
  • Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 117. 0816066736. .
  • Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.
    • 20-20 refers to perfect vision.
    • Meaning: It is easy to be prudent in hindsight.
    • Brenner, Gail Abel (2003). Concise dictionary of European proverbs. Wiley. p. 284. 0764524771. 
  • Home is where the heart is
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • He who hesitates is lost.
    • Meaning: The person who waits too long loses the opportunity.
    • Other meaning: Delay may have disastrous results.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 492. .
  • Handsome is what handsome does.
    • Behaviour is more important than looks.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. 

IEdit

  • I complaine I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.
    • Letshabo, Ronnie (2010). No Limits. Quickfox Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 0620459018. .
  • Idle hands are the devil's playthings.
    • Lowry, Lois (1980). Autumn street. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 59. ISBN 0395278120. .
  • If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 133. 0816066736. .
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
    • Cf. William Edward Hickson's Try and Try again
      "Tis a lesson you should heed:
      Try, try, try again.
      If at first you don't succeed,
      Try, try, try again"
    • Butts, Darlene Gudrie (2009). Lessons from the Depression. Lessons from the Depression. p. 102. ISBN 1440135800. .
  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    • Variation: If it isn't broken, don't fix it.
    • Perkins, David N (2007). Outsmarting intelligence quotient. Simon and Schuster. p. 123. 0029252121. .
  • If it can't be cured, it must be endured.
  • If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
    • Meaning: If something seems to be in a certain way, that is probably the case.
    • Cryer, Max (2011). Who Said That First?: The Curious Origins of Common Words and Phrases. ReadHowYouWant.com. p. 163. 1458785599. .
  • If it's too good to be true, then it probably is.
    • Else, David (2005). England. Lonely Planet. p. 96. 1740599225. .
  • If God had wanted man to fly, He would have given him wings.
    • Bennett, W. J. (1993). The Book of Virtues, Simon & Schuster.
  • If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    • Meaning: If you have had many bad experiences, make something good out of it.
    • Jenkins, Jayme (2011). Garden Rules: The Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener. Cool Springs Press. p. 80. 1610598148. .
  • If something can go wrong, it will.
  • If the shoe fits, wear it.
    • Meaning: Accept an accurate description of you, even if it is not flattering.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • If the truth hurts, you are not living right.
    • From the television show "The Killing".
  • If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets.
    • Marsden, John (2009). Circle of Flight. Scholastic Inc.. p. 114. ISBN 0439783216. .
  • If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
    • Marsden, John (2009). Circle of Flight. Scholastic Inc.. p. 114. ISBN 0439783216. .
  • If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.
    • Alternatively: You get what you pay for
    • Herrero Ruiz, Javier (2009). Understanding Tropes: At the Crossroads Between Pragmatics and Cognition. Peter Lang. p. 101. 3631592620. .
  • If you buy quality, you only cry once.
    • Burch, Geoff (2010). Irresistible Persuasion: The Secret Way to Get to Yes Every Time. John Wiley and Sons. p. 138. 190731248X. .
  • If you can't be good, be careful.
    • Sandburg, C. (2002). The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg: Revised and Expanded Edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • If you can't beat them, join them.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    • Meaning: If the stress a task is giving is bothering you too much, leave it t others.
    • Ammer, Christine (1997). The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 640. ISBN 039572774X. 
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
    • Morem, Susan (2005). One hundred one tips for graduates. Infobase Publishing. p. 69. 0816056765. .
  • If you got it flaunt it.
    • Jenkins-Sanders, Marsha (2007). The Other Side of Through. Simon and Schuster. p. 21. ISBN 159309115X. 
  • If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were.
    • Israel, Yahdon (2009). Show Me a Nigger and I'll Show You a Racist: The Mind of a Psychopathic Genius. AuthorHouse. p. 100. ISBN 1438976607. .
  • If you make yourself into a doormat, people will wipe their feet on you.
    • Meaning: Others will abuse you if you let them.
    • Robinson (2011). War for Your Dreams: Enter the Matrix. AuthorHouse. p. 128. ISBN 1456716786. .
  • If you snooze you lose
    • Meaning: If you get distracted from your goals, someone else might beat you to them.
    • Lane, L. (2004). Confessions Of A Stripper: Tales From The Vip Room, Huntington Pr.
  • If you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.
    • Meaning: Someone who treats others badly will eventually turn on you.
    • Coulter, Ann H (2005). How to talk to a liberal (if you must): the world according to Ann Coulter. Thorndike Press. p. 13. 0786275200. .
  • If you trust before you try, you may repent before you die.
    • Meaning: Trust makes way for treachery.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [8]
  • If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.
    • Kreuger (2008). The college grad job hunter: insider techniques and tactics for finding a top-paying job. Adams Media. p. 65. ISBN 1598695479. .
  • If you want a thing done right, do it yourself.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 139. 0816066736. .
  • If you're in a hole, stop digging.
    • Meaning: Cut your losses.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
    • Kahane, Adam (2010). Power and love: a theory and practice of social change. Tate Publishing. p. 125. ISBN 1605093041. .
  • Ignorance is bliss.
    • Common mal-shortening of "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise."
    • Thomas Gray, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College" [[9]]
  • In for a penny, in for a pound.
    • Meaning: Commitment will often escalate.
    • Alternate version: In for a dime, in for a dollar.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • In one ear and out the other.
    • Cf. Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales: "One eare it heard, at the other out it went"
  • In order to get where you want to go, you first have to leave where you are.
    • From Sandy Elsberg's Bread Winner, Bread Baker; Upline Press, Charlottesville, VA; 1977, p. 80
  • In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
    • O'Hara, K. (2011). Lost and Found in London: How the Railway Tracks Hotel Changed Me, Xlibris Corp.
  • Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
    • Alternatively "Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results"
    • Smart, S. (2005). Flight Pattern, Lulu.com.
  • It ain't over till the fat lady sings.
    • Variation: Church ain't over until the fat lady sings.
    • Attributed as an old Southern saying in Smith & Smith, Southern Words and Sayings (1976), according to Quinion, Michael (21 August 1999). "It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings". World Wide Words. Retrieved on 2007-01-23.
  • It's a cracked pitcher that goes longest to the well.
    • Meaning: Frail people lasrs long.
    • Project, M. o. A. (1870). Harper's magazine, Harper's Magazine Co.
  • It's a good horse that never stumbles.
    • Chambers, W. and R. Chambers (1858). Chamber's information for the people: A popular encyclopædia, J.L. Gihon.
  • It's a long lane that has no turning.
    • Meaning: Bad times won't last for long (relatively speakiing)
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It's always darkest before the dawn.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 174. .
  • It's an ill wind that blows no good.
    • Meaning: There is nothing bad that does not bring about something good.
    • Ammer, Christine (1997). The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 316. ISBN 039572774X. 
  • It's better to be safe than sorry.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It's better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt.
    • Marques, J. F. (2004). Empower The Leader In You!: An Analysis Of The Most Important Factors That Distinguish A Great Leader From An Average One, Authorhouse.
  • It is better to die on one's feet than live on one's knees.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It's better to give than to receive.
    • Spears, R. A. (2005). McGraw-Hill's dictionary of American idioms and phrasal verbs, McGraw-Hill.
  • It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It's cheaper to keep her.
    • Meaning: It is often costly to divorce someone.
    • Dattilio, F. M. (2001). Case Studies in Couple and Family Therapy: Systemic and Cognitive Perspectives, Guilford Press.
  • It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
  • It's easy to be wise after the event.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It's never too late to mend.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 602. .
  • It's no use crying over spilt milk.
    • Ammer, Christine (1997). The American Heritage dictionary of idioms. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 139. 039572774X. .
  • It ain't over till it's over.
    • Yogi Berra
    • Often attributed to sportscaster Dan Cook (1978)
    • Meaning: No matter how the outlook is things can always turn back. In other words you should not celebrate until you are 100% sure there is a reason to do so.
    • Goldman, Steven (2008). It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: The Baseball Prospectus Pennant Race Book. pp. 480. .
  • It's the early bird that gets the worm.
    • Meaning: Pioneers will get much.
    • Other meaning: Those who starts working early in the morning gets much done.
    • Ayres, Gene (2010). Inside the New China: An Ethnographic Memoir. p. 36. ISBN 1412813506. .
  • It's the empty can that makes the most noise.
    • French equivalent: It is not the cow that moos the most that gives the most milk.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It takes all sorts to make a world.
    • Alternatively: It takes all sorts to make the world go round.
    • Alternatively: It takes all kinds to make the world go round.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It takes two to make a quarrel.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • It takes two to tango.
    • Oshry, Barry (1996). Seeing systems: unlocking the mysteries of organizational life. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. p. 59. 1881052990. 

JEdit

  • Jack of all trades and master of None. (18th Century)
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. section
  • Joan is as good as my lady in the dark. (17th Century)
    • Meaning: Ugliness is not noticed in the dark.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
    • Laozi, Tao Te Ching, Ch. 64, line 12. 千里之行,始于足下
  • Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.
    • Note: Coined by Robert Louis Stevenson.
    • Battle Cries for the Underdog: Fightin' Words for an Extraordinary Life, Volume 1.
  • Justice delayed is justice denied. (Legal Proverb, India)
    • Sanda, Akin A (2001). Justice delayed is justice denied: problems and solutions. Spectrum Books. pp. 54. ISBN 9780292519. 

KEdit

  • Kill your darlings.
    • Meaning: Remove the favorite parts of your work.
    • Blacker (2001). Kill Your Darlings: A Novel. St. Martin's Press. 
  • Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.
    • Titelman, G. (2000). Random House dictionary of America's popular proverbs and sayings, Random House.
  • Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
    • Meaning: It is best to gather as much information about your enemies as possible. This might give the false impression that your enemies are your friends.
    • Williams, Spencer D (2011). The Man Book: The 100 Things Every Man Should Know, Or Live by. Xlibris Corporation. p. 195. 1456899333. .
  • Keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
    • Manser, M. H., R. Fergusson, et al. (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs, Facts On File.
  • Kindness, like grain, increase by sowing.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 426. .
  • A kingdom is lost for want of a shoe.
    • See: "For want of a nail the shoe is lost, ..."
  • Knaves and fools divide the world.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 213. .
  • Knowledge is power. (17th Century)
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.
    • Cavitt, C. (2007). Customer Service Superstars, Lulu.

LEdit

  • Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.
    • Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and your mascara runs. - variation by advice columnist Ann Landers.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 165. .
  • Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
    • Richardson, B. (2001). Working with challenging youth: lessons learned along the way, Brunner-Routledge.
  • The law is a jealous mistress.
    • Meaning: The law must constantly be updated.
    • - Professor Ferdinand Fairfax Stone, Tulane Law School, early and mid 1960s.
  • Law is the solemn expression of legislative will.
    • Johnson, A. and P. H. Bergeron (1997). The papers of Andrew Johnson: September 1867-March 1868, University of Tennessee Press.
  • Lead by example.
    • Baldoni, John (2009). Lead by example: 50 ways great leaders inspire results. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. 0814412947. .
  • Learn to walk before you run.
    • Meaning: Learn the basics of any subject first.
    • Rich, David A (2006). 7 Biblical Truths You Won't Hear in Church: But Might Change Your Life. Harvest House Publishers. p. 145. 0736916075. .
  • Least said sooner mended.
    • Meaning: A bad event can more easily be forgotten if you do not talk about it.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 699. .
  • Less is more.
    • Campbell, Cimberly Hill (2007). Less is more: teaching literature with short texts, grades 6-12. Stenhouse Publishers. 157110710X. 
  • Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
  • Let sleeping dogs lie.
    • From Troilus and Criseyde (bk. III, 764) by Geoffrey Chaucer - Chaucer wrote this in just the reverse form -- 'It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.
  • Let the cobbler stick to his last.
    • Meaning: Don't talk about things you don't know anything about.
    • Whitling, Bartlett Jere (1977). Early American proverbs and proverbial phrases. Harvard University Press. p. 145. 0674219813. .
  • A lie can be halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.
    • Charles Spurgeon. A great lie may be widely accepted before the truth comes to light.
  • Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.
    • Meaning: You will become like your company.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 224. .
  • Life begins at forty.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 626. .
  • Life imitates art.
    • Bloom, H. (2007). Arthur Miller, Bloom's Literary Criticism.
  • Life imitates chess. - Garry Kasparov
    • Kasparov, G. (2008). How Life Imitates Chess, Random House.
  • Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
  • Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
  • Life is too short.
    • Variant: Life is too short to drink bad wine
    • Hoggart, S. (2009). Life's Too Short to Drink Bad Wine: 100 Wines for the Discerning Drinker, Quapuba.
  • Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
  • Life is what you do while you're waiting to die.
    • Quote from song sung by Zorba from the musical 'Zorba' by Kander and Ebb
  • Life's battle don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can.
    • Lucier, T. J. (2005). How to make money with real estate options: low-cost, low-risk, high-profit strategies for controlling undervalued property-- without the burdens of ownership!, Wiley.
  • Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
    • Meaning: The same misfortune won't happen to a person twice.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 634. .
  • Like cures like.
    • Mallandaine, C. E., C. Shepperson, et al. (1901). Like cures like, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
  • Like father, like son.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Little by little and bit by bit.
    • Meaning: Many incremental changes will after some time transform what is pathetic into something grand.
    • Dickens, Charles (1867). Nicholas Nickleby, Volumes 1-4. Hurd & Houghton. p. 145. 0814412947. .
  • A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
    • A little Learning is a dangerous Thing;
      Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
      There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
      And drinking largely sobers us again.
      ~ Alexander Pope
  • Live and let live.
    • Meaning: Let others do whatever they want as long as it does not hurt anyone.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. 
    • Alternative: Live simply to let others simply live.
  • The longest mile is the last mile home.
    • Meaning: It is always the end of something that feels the most difficult.
    • Macfarlane, David (2001). The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Proverbs. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.. p. 296. ISBN 0806974893. .
  • Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Look before you leap.
    • Meaning: Think before you act.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Look on the sunny side of life.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 788. .
  • Loose lips sink ships.
    • Eugene, D. (2002). 20 Good Reasons to Stay Sober, Booksurge Llc.
  • Love is blind.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 657. .
  • Love is like war, Easy to start, Hard to end, Impossible to forget.
    • Kumar, E. S. The Unofficial Joke book of New SMS, Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd.
  • Love is not finding someone to live with; it's finding someone whom you can't live without.
    • Lipper, D. and E. Sagehorn (2008). The Everything Wedding Vows Book: How to Personalize the Most Important Promise You'll Ever Make, Adams Media.
  • Love is stronger than any addiction, baby. Hell, it is one. - Madea
    • Williams, T. M. (2008). Black pain: it just looks like we're not hurting : real talk for when there's nowhere to go but up, Scribner.
  • Love laughs at locksmiths.
    • Meaning: Love is powerful.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. BLANK. ISBN 0199539537. 

MEdit

  • Make the best of a bad bargain.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. lxxv. .
  • A man is known by the company he keeps.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 125. .
  • A man's home is his castle.
    • William Blackstone refers to this traditional proverb in Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–1769), Book 4, Chapter 16:
      • And the law of England has so particular and tender a regard to the immunity of a man's house, that it stiles it his castle, and will never suffer it to be violated with immunity: agreeing herein with the sentiments of ancient Rome, as expressed in the works of Tully; quid enim sanctius, quid omni religione munitius, quam domus unusquisque civium?
        • Translation: What more sacred, what more strongly guarded by every holy feeling, than a man's own home?
  • A mans worst enemies are often those of his own house.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • Man proposes but God disposes.
    • Meaning: Things often don't turn out as you have planned.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 103. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Manners maketh the man.
    • Meaning: A person who treats others like he would like to be treated himself is a real man.
    • From 'Manners makyth man' - the motto of William of Wykeham(1320 - 1404).
  • Many a mickle makes a muckle.
    • Meaning: Many small parts will eventually creat something impressive.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 698. .
  • Many a true word is spoken in jest.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Many go out for wool, and come home shorn themselves.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part II, Chapter XXXVII; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Many hands make light work.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Many things are lost for want of asking.
    • Canfield, J. and M. V. Hansen (2003). Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living Your Dreams : Inspirational Stories, Powerful Principles, and Practical Techniques to Help You Make Your Dreams Come True, Health Communications.
  • Many words will not fill a bushel.
    • Meaning: Act, don't talk.
    • "This Proverb is a severe Taunt upon much Talking." - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [10]
  • Marry in haste, and repent at leisure.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 463. .
  • Measure twice, cut once.
    • Meaning: Think before you act.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 171. .
  • Mind your P's and Q's.
    • British: Mind your manners (origin theories)
    • Makhene, E. R. W. (2008). Mind Your Ps and Qs, Lulu.com.
  • Misery loves company.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 125. .
  • Misfortunes never come singly.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 704. .
  • A miss by an inch is a miss by a mile.
    • Meaning: A miss is a miss regardless the distance.
    • Cf. Scottish Proverbs Collected and Arranged by Andrew Henderson, 1832, p. 103: "An inch o' a miss is as gude as a span". [11]. William Camden, Camden's Remains (1614): "An inch in a miss is as good as an ell"; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732): "An inch in missing is as bad as an ell"; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Missing the wood for the trees.
    • Meaning: While tending to every detail you might miss out the big picture.
    • Singh, Amita (2006). Administrative reforms: towards sustainable practices. Sage Publications. p. 169. 0761933921. .
  • Money cannot buy happiness.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 457. .
  • (Love of) Money is the root of all evil.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 276. .
  • Money makes the mare go.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 407. .
  • Money makes the world go around.
    • Garson, B. (2002). Money makes the world go around, Penguin Books.
  • Money talks.
    • Variant: Money talks, bullshit walks.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. 
    • Related: Talk is cheap.
    • Related: Actions speak louder than words.
  • Monkey see, monkey do.
    • Meaning: People will do like others without thinking.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 709. .
  • More haste, less speed.
    • Meaning: Hurry, but work slowly to make sure what you attend to gets done properly.
    • Sharma, B. D (2006). General English for Competitive Examinations. Lotus Press. p. 25. 8183820808. .
  • The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    • From the French: Plus ça change, plus c'est pareil.
    • Meaning: The only thing consistent is the absence of consistency.
    • Washington, Ruth (2007). The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same: A Behind the Scenes Look at United Airlines Maintenance Base. Authorhouse. pp. 132. ISBN 1425985386. .
  • The more you study, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. The less you know the more you study.
    • Riggs, J. L. and L. L. Bethel (1979). Industrial organization and management, McGraw-Hill.

NEdit

  • The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.
    • Meaning: A person that sticks out will often be badly treated.
    • Whatling (2009). A Vigil for Joe Rose: Stories of Being Out in High School. iUniverse. p. 13. ISBN 1440178550. .
  • Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.
    • Meaning: A nature loving person does well in the nature.
    • Robinson, J. F. and J. J. Marshall (1902). The flora of the East Riding of Yorkshire: including a physiographical sketch, A. Brown & Sons.
  • Nature, time, and patience are three great physicians.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • Necessity is the mother of invention.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • Never cast a clout till May be out.
    • Meaning: Don't discard your winter clothing untill May is over.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Never judge a book by its cover.
    • Meaning: Never judge something based on its outward appearance.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 32. .
  • Never let the right hand know what the left hand is doing.
    • Meaning: Charity should be done in secret, so you won't do things just for praise.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 447. .
  • Never lie to your doctor.
    • Huler, Scott (1999). From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback. John Wiley & Sons. p. 200. 0471356522. .
  • Never lie to your lawyer.
    • Huler, Scott (1999). From Worst to First: Behind the Scenes of Continental's Remarkable Comeback. John Wiley & Sons. p. 200. 0471356522. .
  • Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Meaning: Don't criticize gifts.
    • Goudreau, Colleen Patric (2011). Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately. Quarry Books. p. 133. 1592536794. .
  • Never put off till (until) tomorrow what you can do today.
    • Templeton (2002). Wisdom from world religions: pathways toward heaven on earth. Templeton Foundation Press. p. 264. .
  • Never say die.
    • Meaning: Don't give up if there is still a chance that you will succeed.
    • Jacoby, S. (2011). Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age, Pantheon Books.
  • Never say never.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Never trouble trouble 'til trouble troubles you.
    • Meaning: Stay out of trouble, but be prepared in case you become troubled.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 734. .
  • Never wear a brown hat in Friesland.
    • Meaning: When in Rome do as Rome does.
    • Brewer (2001). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Wordsworth Editions. p. 531. .
  • A new broom sweeps clean.
    • Meaning: Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • Oxnam, Robert B. (2005). A fractured mind: my life with multiple personality disorder. Hyperion. p. 159. 1401302270. ; previously reported as "A new broome sweepeth cleane", John Lyly, Euphues. Arber's Reprint, p. 89; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • No man can serve two masters.
  • No man is an island.
    • Meaning: We are all interdependent and influenced by each other.
    • Merton, Thomas (2005). No Man Is an Island. Shambhala Publications. pp. 272. ISBN 1590302532. .
  • No man is born into this world, whose work is not born with him.
    • Meaning: There is work to do, even for you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1107. ISBN 0415096243. .
  • No man is indispensable.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 319. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • No news is good news.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 734. .
  • No pain, no gain.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • No time like the present.
    • Meaning: Don't spend time regretting past actions or worrying about the future. Take care of the major problems you have today instead.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Noblesse oblige.
    • French expression: the nobility is obligated to care for the lower classes.
    • Applegate, S. (2009). Noblesse Oblige: Spending Your Life on What Matters Most, Tate Pub & Enterprises Llc.
  • None but the brave deserve the fair.
  • There are none so blind as they who will not see.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 320. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Nothing succeeds like success.
    • Meaning: An inversion of "Misery loves company."
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • Nothing to be feared in life, but understood.
    • Templeton, J. M. (1998). Worldwide Laws of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles, Templeton Foundation Press.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    • Variant: Nothing ventured, nothing have. - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 ..[12]

OEdit

  • An old dog will learn no tricks.
    • Meaning: It is impossible, or almost impossible, to change people's habits or traits or mindset.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721[13]
  • Old habits die hard.
    • Hunt, La Jill (2009). Old Habits Die Hard. Urban Books. pp. 280. ISBN 1601621949. .
  • One good turn deserves another.
    • Meaning: Treat someone good who has been treating you good.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721[14]
  • One grain of sand can tip the scale.
    • Waldman, S. (2005). Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, Feldheim Publishers.
  • One man's junk is another man's treasure.
    • Guyer, C. S. (2011). On the Money Journal, Atlasbooks Distribution.
  • One man's meat is another man's poison.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. - Ronald Reagan
    • Abdul-Nabi, R. (2002). "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter": the role of the media in constructing Palestinian identity.
  • One might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. - English, 17th century
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • One murder makes a villain, millions a hero.
    • Milton, J. (1996). Tramp: The Life of Charlie Chaplin: The Life Of Charlie Chaplin, HarperCollins.
  • One rotten apple will spoil the whole barrel.
    • Meaning: One bad person can influence many others to behave in a bad way.
    • Other meaning: One flaw will ruin the overall impression.
    • Cf. Dan Michael of Northgate, Ayenbite of Inwyt (1340): "A rotten apple will spoil a great many sound ones." (Middle English: "A roted eppel amang þe holen: makeþ rotie þe yzounde.")
  • One scabbed sheep mars the whole flock.
    • "This Proverb is apply'd to such Persons who being vicious themselves,
      labour to debauch those with whom they converse." - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [15]
  • One swallow doesn't make a summer.
    • Webb, P. and C. Bain (2010). Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals, Cambridge University Press.
  • Once bitten, twice shy.
    • William Caxton, the first English printer, gave the earliest version of this saying in 'Aesope' (1484), his translation of Aesop's fables: 'He that hath ben ones begyled by somme other ought to kepe hym wel fro(m) the same.' Centuries later, the English novelist Robert Surtees referred to the saying in 'Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour' (1853) with '(He) had been bit once, and he was not going to give Mr. Sponge a second chance.' The exact wording of the saying was recorded later that century in 'Folk Phrases of Four Counties' (1894) by G.G. Northall and was repeated by, among others, the English novelist Joseph Conrad (1920, 'The Rescue'), the novelist Aldous Huxley (1928, 'Point Counter Point'), and the novelist Wyndham Lewis (1930, 'The Apes of God'). 'Once bitten, twice shy' has been a familiar saying in the twentieth century. From Wise Words and Wives' Tales by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).
    • A variation, once burned, twice shy, is also traced back to Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour. Once burned was First attested in the United States in 'Dead Sure' (1949) by S. Sterling. The meaning of the saying is One who had an unpleasant experience is especially cautious. From the Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
  • The only free cheese is in the mouse trap.
    • Russian saying.
    • Gage, R. (2010). Why You're Dumb, Sick & Broke...And How to Get Smart, Healthy & Rich!, John Wiley & Sons.
  • The only stupid question is the one that is not asked.
    • Hull, E., K. Jackson, et al. (2005). Requirements engineering, Springer.
  • Opportunity knocks only once.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 752. .
  • An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 906. .
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.
    • Confucius
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 153. .
  • Out of sight... Out of mind.
    • Cf. Fulke Greville's sonnet "And out of minds as soons as out of sight"
    • Meaning: You will not see a thing which is out of your sight.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Out of small acorns grow mighty oaks.
    • A meager beginning can still result in something magnificent.
    • Waters Yarsinke, Amy (2000). Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow: The History of Norfolk Collegiate School. Hallmark Pub Co Inc. pp. 144. 0965375994. 

PEdit

  • Paddle your own canoe.
    • Meaning: Act independently.
    • Lababidi, Lesley Kitchen (1997). Paddle your own canoe: an American woman's passage into Nigeria. Spectrum. pp. 168. ISBN 9782463132. .
  • The pen is mightier than the sword.
    • Mazer, Anna (2009). The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword. Baker & Taylor. 1442012889. .
  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • Penny wise, pound foolish.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. BLANK. .
  • People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
    • Variation: Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.
      • George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640; cited in "Proverbs 120". The Yale Book of Quotations. 2006. pp. p. 613. ISBN 0-300-10798-6. 
      • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum, 1651, number 196
  • Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. (a.k.a The six P's)
    • Mitchell, D. A. (2006). An Introduction to Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery, Oxford University Press.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.
    • (Originally a marketing slogan, promoting magazine display ads.)
    • Sexton, P. (2008). A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, F+W Media.
  • The pitcher which goes too often to the well gets broken.
    • Meaning: Long-term success will eventually result in failure.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 131. .
  • Politeness costs nothing and gains everything. <M.W. Montagu>
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 143. .
  • Politics makes strange bedfellows.
    • Meaning: Politics will create unholy alliances.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Poets are born, but orators are trained.
    • Meaning: Some things can be improved by training, others require innate talent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 331. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    • Attributed to Lord Acton
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Practice before you preach.
    • Variation: Practice what you preach
    • Maister, David H (2001). Practice What You Preach: What Managers Must Do To Create A High Achievement Culture. Simon and Schuster. pp. 272. 0815776314. .
  • Practice makes perfect.
    • James, Julie (2009). Practice Makes Perfect. Berkley Sensation. 0425226743. .
  • Prevention is better than cure.
    • Variation: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    • Meaning: It is best to be proactive.
    • Russell, Louise B (1986). Is prevention better than cure?. Brookings Institution Press. p. 159. 0815776314. .
  • Pride comes before the fall. (Pride comes before a fall.)
    • Jakes, TD (2010). Help Me I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up. ReadHowYouWant.com. p. 1. 1459600363. .
  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
    • Meaning: You will not really learn about something unless you test it.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Procrastination is the thief of time.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. 233. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Proverbs run in pairs.
    • Meaning: Every proverb seems to be contradicted by another proverb with an opposed message, such as "too many cooks spoil the broth" and "many hands make light work."
    • Burton, Richard Francis (1863). Abeokuta and the Camaroons Mountains: an exploration, Volym 1. Tinsley Brothers. p. 309. .
  • Put a beggar on horseback and he'll ride it to death.
    • Meaning: If you get rich suddenly you will spend a lot of money.
    • Ammer, Christine (1997). The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. xciii. ISBN 039572774X. 
  • Put a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the devil.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Put your money where your mouth is.
    • Barry M, Casper (2000). Lost in Washington: finding the way back to democracy in America. Univ of Massachusetts Press. p. 190. 155849247X. 

REdit

  • Reality is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
    • Caper, R. (1999). A mind of one's own: a Kleinian view of self and object, Routledge.
  • Reality is often stranger than fiction.
    • Pearce, G. and C. McLaughlin (2007). Truth or dare: art & documentary, Intellect.
  • Repetition is the mother of memory.
    • Latin: REPETITIO MATER MEMORIAE
    • Rowlingson, Cameron B. (1919). Fundamentals of memory development. University Pub. Co.. p. 15. .
  • Revenge is a dish best served cold.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A rising tide lifts all boats.
    • Meaning: General improvements in the economy will benefit everyone.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. 
    • This traditional proverb is sometimes attributed to John F. Kennedy because he repeated it several times, but he disclaimed originality in his address in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt, West Germany, 25 June 1963:
      • As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats.
  • The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • Earlier variants of this proverb are recorded as Hell is paved with good intentions. recorded as early as 1670, and an even earlier variant by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Hell is full of good intentions or desires.
    • Similar from Latin: "The gates of hell are open night and day; Smooth the descent, and easy is the way" — Virgil, the Aeneid Book VI line 126
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 770. 
    • Early versions include:
      • Saxum volutum non obducitur musco
        • A rolling stone does not gather moss.
        • Publius Syrus (var. Publilius), Sententiae (c. 42 BC), Maxim 524
      • Musco lapis volutus haud obducitur.
        • A rolling stone is not covered with moss.
        • Desiderius Erasmus, Adagia (1500–1536), III, iv
      • The rollyng ſtone neuer gathereth moſſse.
        • The rolling stone never gathers moss.
        • John Heywood, Proverbs (1546), Part 1, Ch. 11
  • Rome wasn't built in a day.
    • Meaning: It takes time to create something impressive.
    • Coady, Linus J. (1984). Rome wasn't built in a day: the history of the foundation of Brent's Cove Parish, 1959-1965. L.J. Coady. pp. 86. .
  • The rotten apple injures its neighbors.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Rules were meant to be broken.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. 

SEdit

  • Say something nice or say nothing at all.
    • Fluke, Joanne (2010). Plum Pudding Murder. Kensington Books. p. 270. 0758210256. .
  • Seek and ye shall find.
  • Seeing is believing.
    • Meaning: You believe in something when it is confirmed by concrete evidence.
    • Martin, Elena (2005). Seeing Is Believing. Capstone Press. pp. 16. 0736852638. .
  • Self trust is the first secret of success.
    • Scorza, J. A. (2008). Strong liberalism: habits of mind for democratic citizenship, University Press of New England.
  • Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, he eats for the rest of his life.
    • Karl Marx
    • D'Ambrosio-Crabtree, G. (2008). Secondhand Hope, Lulu.com.
  • Set a thief to catch a thief.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Shit or get off the pot.
    • Meaning: Fullfil your goals or give up them.
    • Gaddis, W. (1975). J R, Knopf : distributed by Random House.
  • Shoemaker, not above the sandal
    • Meaning: Do not talk about things you do not know anything about.
  • Silence is golden.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Slow and steady wins the race.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 734. 
    • Variant: Slowly but surely wins the race.
  • Smile, and the world smiles with you; cry, and you cry alone.
    • Dela Riva, M. Pebbles in the Pond, Goodwill Trading Co., Inc.
  • Some days you get the bear, other days the bear gets you.
    • Meaning: Some days you win, and some days you lose.
    • (2002). The economist, Economist Newspaper Ltd.
  • Someone who gossips to you will gossip about you.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 424. .
  • Something is better than nothing.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • A son is a son 'till he gets him a wife; a daughter's a daughter all her life.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. BLANK. .
  • Spare the rod, spoil the child.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 99. .
  • The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
  • The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    • Meaning: A person that complains about a service often gets much.
    • King, Jim (2009). Writings of a Cave Man. Jim King. p. 309. 0981688470. .
  • Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
    • Contrast: "A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword."
  • A still tongue makes a wise head.
    • From Lewis the (Black) Barber; Lake Charles, LA; who always told people, "Never let the right hand know what the left hand is doing; a still tongue makes a wise head; still water runs deep."
  • Still waters run deep.
    • Meaning: Taciturn people have the most interesting things to say.
    • Knoebel, Suzanne (2004). Still Waters Run Deep: A Health Care Novel. Warren H. Green Inc. pp. 200. 0875275443. .
  • A stitch in time saves nine.
    • Cf. Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs Collected by Thomas Fuller, 1732, Vol. II, p. 283, Nr. 6291 : "A Stitch in Time // May save nine." [16]
  • Stolen fruit is the sweetest.
    • Meaning: Forbidden things are the most desirable.
    • Manser, Martin H (2007). The Facts on File dictionary of proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 93. 0816066736. .
  • Strike while the iron is hot.
    • George Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem, Act IV, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642. Walter Scott, The Fair Maid of Perth, Chapter V. Webster, Westward Ho, III. 2. Geoffrey Chaucer, Troylus and Cresseyde, Book II, Stanza 178.
    • Variant: Make hay while the sun shines.
      • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 467. .
  • Success (only) comes after every necessary precaution.
    • Only time will tell (what was, or wasn't, necessary).
  • Success grows out of struggles to overcome difficulties.
    • Peterson, C. W. and D. C. Jones (1989). Wake up, Canada!: reflections on vital national issues, University of Alberta Press.
  • Success is a journey not a destination.
    • Puckridge, P. (2006). Success Is a Journey, Not a Destination, Success Technologies.
  • Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
    • Meaning: Don't worry about the future; focus on today's worries.
    • From Matthew 6:34.

TEdit

  • Take an old dirty, hungry, mangy, sick and wet dog and feed him and wash him and nurse him back to health, and he will never turn on you and bite you. This is how man and dog differ.
  • Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Talk of the devil and he's sure to appear.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 197. .
  • That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.
    • Meaning: Unpleasant experiences will make you wiser.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols (1888)
  • The dogs bark but the caravan goes on.
    • Meaning: Let the world say what it will.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • The worth of a thing is what it will bring.
    • Carr, D. H., D. R. E. Education, et al. (2003). Mastering Real Estate Appraisal, Kaplan Publishing.
  • There is luck in odd numbers.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • The teacher has not taught, until the student has learned.
    • Nater, Swen; Gallimore, Ronald; Walton, Bill; Sinegal, Jim (2010). You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned: John Wooden's Teaching Principles and Practices. Fitness Information Technology, Incorporated, 2010. pp. 151. 1935412086. .
  • There is no smoke without fire.
    • Meaning: Everything happens for a reason.
    • Other meaning: A rumour contains some truth.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 830. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • There are no small parts, only small actors.
    • Southgate, M. (2006). Third Girl from the Left, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • There is a thin line between love and hate.
    • William T. Golson, J. (2007). On the Matter of Relationships, Xulon Press.
  • There's always a calm before a storm.
    • Mills, J. (2001). The Sacred Seal, Key Porter Books.
    • or The calm before the storm.
  • There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip.
    • Note: This comes from a Greek legend, as follows: One of the Argonauts returned from his voyage, and went home to his winery. He called for the local soothsayer, who had predicted before his voyage that he would die before he tasted another drop of his wine, from his vinery. As he finished saying this, he raised a cup filled with wine to his lips, in toast to the soothsayer, who said something in reply. Just then, he was called away to hunt a wild boar that was approaching, and died in his attempt to kill it. The phrase that the soothsayer said is translated best as, There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.
    • Meaning: Don't celebrate until you are 100 % sure there is a reason to do so.
  • Where there's muck there's brass.
    • Meaning: There is money to be made in dirty jobs.
    • ** Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • There's more than one way to skin a cat.
    • Meaning: There is more than one way to solve a problem.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 81. .
  • There's no accounting for taste.
    • From the Latin: De gustibus non est disputandum.
    • Kramer, Gary M (2006). Independent queer cinema: reviews and interviews. Routledge. p. 1. 1560233435. .
  • There's no fool like an old fool.
    • Meaning: An old person's experiences are supposed to make him wise.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 351. .
  • There's no peace for the wicked.
    • Granger, P. (2011). No Peace For The Wicked, Transworld.
  • There's no place like home.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 503. .
  • There is no royal road to learning.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • There's no such thing as a free lunch.
    • Meaning: You can't get something for nothing.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • There's no time like the present.
    • Meaning: Don't regret past actions or worry about the future. Focus on todays major worries instead.
    • Elkin, A. (1999). Stress management for dummies, John Wiley & Sons.
  • There is only eight years between success and failure in politics.
    • Jim Brown, Louisiana statesman..
  • A thief thinks everyone steals.
    • Sweeney, J. (1995). 350 Fabulous Writing Prompts: Thought-Provoking Springboards for Creative, Expository, and Journal Writing, Scholastic.
  • Think before you speak.
    • Lewicki, R. J., A. Hiam, et al. (1996). Think before you speak: the complete guide to strategic negotiation, J. Wiley.
  • This, too, shall pass.
    • Meaning: Things will often return to normal after bad times.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 3. .
  • Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
    • Meaning: Don't be a hypocrite.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 405. .
  • Time and tide wait for none.
    • Meaning: If you don't prepare for the future, you will fall behind.
    • Spender, D. (1984). Time and tide wait for no man, Pandora Press.
  • Time flies.
    • Cosby, B. (1988). Time flies, Bantam Books.
    • Latin: Tempus fugit!.
  • Time flies when you're having fun.
    • Hauser, J. R., G. L. Urban, et al. (1992). Time flies when you're having fun: how consumers allocate their time when evaluating products, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Time is money.
    • Leonard, F. (1995). Time is money: a million dollar investment plan for today's twenty- and thirty-somethings, Perseus Books Group.
  • Time will tell.
    • Meaning: Sometime you just can't know.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
    • (Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "In Memoriam:27")
  • Tit for tat.
    • Meaning: Treat someone equally well as you have been treated yourself.
    • Smith, J. G. (2008). Tit for Tat: BiblioLife.
  • To each, his own.
    • Meaning: Mind your own business.
    • Sciascia, L., & Foulke, A. W. (2000). To each his own: New York Review Books.
  • To err is human; to forgive, divine.
    • Pope, Essay on Criticism.
  • To know the road ahead ask those coming back.
    • Meaning: Ask someone with the experience.
    • Peltason, R. (2008). I Am Not My Breast Cancer: Women Talk Openly about Love & Sex, Hair Loss & Weight Gain, Mothers & Daughters, and Being a Woman with Breast Cancer: HarperCollins.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
    • Meaning: You can't do everything today.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 139. .
  • Too much of one thing, good for nothing.
    • From Shakespeare
    • Meaning: You can have too much of something good.
    • Hattaway, Michael (2000). As you like it. Cambridge University. p. 165. 052122232X. .
  • Tread on a worm and it will turn.
    • Meaning: Even the most weakest person will try to defend when he feels threatened.
    • "This Proverb is generally used by Persons who have received gross insults and
      Injuries from others (which they have for some time bore with Patience) to excuse their
      being at last transported to some Warmth of Resentment and Passion." - Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [17]
  • Trouble shared is trouble halved.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Truth is stranger than fiction.
    • "Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron, Don Juan.
  • The truth shall set you free, or The truth will set you free.
    • In the Bible, John 8:32.
  • Truth will out.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.
    • Wiersbe, W. W. (2001). Be Successful (1 Samuel): Attaining Wealth That Money Can't Buy: David C. Cook.
  • Two heads are better than one.
    • John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter IX; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Two things prolong your life: A quiet heart and a loving wife.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs, Wordsworth Editions, Limited.
  • Two wrongs don't make a right.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Two is a company; three is a crowd.
    • A loving couple wants to be left alone.
    • William Ickes, P. D., & Ickes, W. K. (2004). Two's Company; Three's a Crowd: Booksurge Llc.

UEdit

  • Unity is strength.
    • Dunkerley, Whitehouse (1980). Unity is strength: trade unions in Latin America : a case for solidarity. Latin America Bureau. 
  • Unprepare to prepare, be prepared to be unprepared.
    • supposedly said by W.B.Govo in 1916
  • Use it or lose it.
    • Meaning: Not using a skill might lead you into losing it.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Use it up, wear it out, make do with, or do without.
    • Great depression era proverb.

VEdit

  • Variety is the spice of life.
    • An early version is found in William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book II, "The Timepiece", lines 606–7:
      • Variety's the very spice of life,
        That gives it all its flavour.
  • Virtue which parleys is near a surrender.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [18]
  • The voice of the people is the voice of god.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1164. ISBN 0415096243. 

WEdit

  • Walk softly, carry a big stick.
    • Meaning: He affable, but be sure to have powerful punitive measures.
    • Variant of an African proverb that was made famous in the U.S. by Teddy Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far".
  • Walk the walk and talk the talk.
    • Meaning: First do your task, then talk about it.
    • Skoll, Geoffrey R (1992). Walk the walk and talk the talk: an ethnography of a drug abuse treatment facility. Temple University Press. pp. 198. 0877229171. .
  • Waste not, want not.
    • Meaning: Not being wasteful will keep you away from poverty.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 872. .
  • A watched pot never boils.
    • Meaning: While waiting for something to happen, it feels like time is moving slower.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 872. .
  • The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
    • Manser, M. (2006). The Wordsworth dictionary of proverbs. Wordsworth Editions. p. 272. ISBN 1840223111. .
  • We can't always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
  • We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
  • We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without that drop.
    • Chinoda, A. K. (2009). Simply Significant: Leaving a Legacy of Hope: Morgan James Publishing.
  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
    • Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi
  • Well begun is half done.
    • Variant: Well begun is half ended.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [19]
  • "Well done" is better than "well said".
    • Whiting, B. J. (1977). Early American proverbs and proverbial phrases: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  • What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
    • Meaning: A lie will always spawn a bigger lie.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 875. .
  • What goes around comes around.
    • Meaning: Good acts will quite often reward you. Conversely, evil acts will quite often punish you.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • What goes up must come down.
    • Meaning: You can't always be on top (figuratively speaking).
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • What you see is what you get.
    • McLenighan, Valjean (1981). What you see is what you get. Follett Pub. Co.. p. 4. 0695313703. 
  • What you sow is what you reap.
    • Goodwin, F. A. (2005). You Reap What You Sow. R.A.N. Pub id = 1411643550. pp. 203. .
  • Where there is a will, there is a way.
    • Similar to You reap what you sow
    • Based on the Bible (Gal. 6:7): "for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." [20]
  • What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
    • Meaning: What is good for men is also good for women and vice versa.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. BLANK. .
  • When a thing is done advice comes too late.
    • Richardson, S. (2010). Clarissa Harlowe and Pamela: Clarissa Harlowe or the history of a young lady (in 9 volumes) and Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (Mobi Classics): MobileReference.
  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • When one door closes, another door opens.
    • Meaning: When you lose something, an opportunity for something else presents itself.
    • Bachom, Sandi (2007). Hell in the Hallway: When One Door Closes Another Door Opens--But It's. Hazelden Publishing. pp. 125. 1592853684. .
  • When the cat is away, the mice will play.
    • Meaning: Mice do not generally like cats.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 81. .
  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
    • Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, John (2009). The Oxford dictionary of proverbs. Oxford University Press. pp. 388. ISBN 0199539537. .
  • Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise. [[21]]
    • Thomas Gray, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"
  • Where there's a will, there's a way.
    • Maguire, L. (2006). Where there's a will there's a way: or, all I really need to know I learned from Shakespeare: Perigee Book.
  • Where vice goes before, vengeance follows after.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [22]
  • The whole dignity of man lies in the power of thought.
    • B. Pascal
  • Willful waste makes woeful want.
    • Meaning: If you waste something, you might regret it in the future.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 872. .
  • The wish is father to the thought.
    • Meaning: BLANK
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 303. .
  • Wise men learn by other men men's harms, fools by their own.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 0415160502. .
  • A woman is like a tea bag; you'll never know how strong she is until she's in hot water.
    • Massing, M. (2000). The Fix: University of California Press.
  • A woman's work is never done.
    • From a folk rhyme - "A man may work from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done."
  • Women need men like a fish needs a bicycle.
    • Gurian, M. (2002). The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters: Pocket Star.
  • A word spoken is past recalling.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 925. .
  • The world is your oyster.
    • Meaning: You can create your own happiness.
    • Opdyke, J. D. (2008). The World Is Your Oyster: The Guide to Finding Great Investments Around the Globe, Crown Business.
  • Worship the Creator not His creation.
    • McDowell, S. (2010). Apologetics Study Bible for Students: B&H Publishing Group.
  • The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them.
    • Hall, M., & Hunt, J. (2005). FW: FW : through the firewall: Publish On Demand.
  • Work is worship.
    • Furuseth, A. (1927). Work is worship: a call to and defense of freedom, labor and labor unions based upon Christian belief and historical evolution : delivered to the students at the California University, Labor Day, 1927: s.n.

YEdit

  • You always admire what you really don't understand.
    • Cook, J., S. Deger, et al. (2007). The Book of Positive Quotations, Fairview Press.
  • You always find something in the last place you look.
    • Mass, W. (2008). Jeremy Fink and the meaning of life, Scholastic.
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
    • Meaning: You can give someone an opportunity, but you can't force him to take advantage of it. Your control over a situation may be limited.
    • Medlin, Carl (2008). Second Great Reformation: Man Shall Not Live by Faith Only. Xulon Press. p. 74. 1606476459. .
  • You know the tree by its fruit.
    • Meaning: You can judge someone based on his surroundings. For instance, a person living in a messy house is messy.
    • Speake, Simpson (2009). A Dictionary of Proverbs. Oxford University Press, USA. 
  • The younger brother the better gentleman.
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [23]
  • You can't have an omelette unless you break the egg.
    • Meaning: You must sometimes sacrifice something in order to create a new thing.
    • Mieder, Wolfgang; Kingsbury, Stewart A.; Harder, Kelsie B. (1992). A Dictionary of American proverbs. p. 259. .
  • You can't see the forest for the trees' mean
    • Meaning: While tending to every detail you might miss out the big picture.
    • Van Dertuin, R. L. (2006). Miracles: You Can't See the Forest for the Trees, iUniverse.
  • You don't shit where you eat.
    • Meaning: Different segments of your life must remain contiguous such as business, your love life and leisure.
    • Iles, Greg (2007). Third Degree. Simon and Schuster. p. 159. 0743292502. .

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported as proverbs in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639-43.

Proverbs and Popular PhrasesEdit

(Alphabetically arranged by text of quote).
  • A baker's dozen.
    • François Rabelais, Works, Book V, Chapter XXII; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Add to golden numbers golden numbers.
    • Thomas Dekker, Patient Grissell (1599), Act I, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • A flea in his ear.
    • R. Armin, Nest of Ninnies (1608). T. Nash, Pierce Penniless (1592). R. Greene, Quip for an upstart Courier (1592). Teuton, Tragicall Discourses. (1579). Francis de l'Isle, Legendarie Life and Behavior of Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine (1577); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • After supper walk a mile.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher, Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding (c. 1609; printed 1629), Act II, scene 4; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • As clear as a whistle.
  • As cold as cucumbers.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge (1615), Act I, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • As high as Heaven, as deep as Hell.
    • John Fletcher, The Honest Man's Fortune, (1613; published 1647), Act IV, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • A thorn in the flesh.
    • II Corinthians, XII. 7; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Bag and baggage.
    • Richard Huloet, Abecedarium Anglico-Latinum pro Tyrunculas (1552). As You Like It, III. 2. How erst wee did them thence, sans bag and baggage, tosse. Burdet, Mirror for Magistrates, Stanza 75. "With bag and baggage, selye wretch, / I yelded into Beautie's hand." Tottel's Miscellany. Arber's Reprint, p. 173. Appears in translation. of Polydore Vergil's English History, edited by Sir Henry Ellis, Camden Society (1844). MS., in the handwriting of the reign of Henry VIII. (About 1540–50). Also in Camden Society Reprint, No. 53, p. 47. (1500). In Life of Lord Grey, Camden Society MS, p. 37. (About 1570). Credited to Froissart, in Lord Berner's translation, Volume I, Chapter CCCXX, p. 497. (Ed. 1523); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Barkis is willin'.
  • Beat all your feathers as flat as pancakes.
    • Thomas Middleton, Roaring Girl, Act II, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Better a bad excuse, than none at all.
    • William Camden, Remaines, Proverbs, p. 293; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Big-endians and small-endians.
    • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part I, Chapter IV. Voyage to Lilliput; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • But me no buts.
    • Henry Fielding, Rape upon Rape, Act II, scene 2. Aaron Hill, Snake in the Grass, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • By all that's good and glorious.
    • Lord Byron, Sardanapalus, Act I, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Curses are like young chickens,
    And still come home to roost!
    • Arabian Proverb quoted by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Lady of Lyons, Act V, scene 2. Chaucer, Persones Tale, Section 41; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Cut and come again.
    • George Crabbe, Tales VII, line 26; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Diamonds cut diamonds.
    • John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy (licensed 24 November 1628; printed 1629), Act I, scene 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Every one stretcheth his legs according to his coverlet.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Every why hath a wherefore.
    • William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, Act II, scene 2, line 44; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Facts are stubborn things.
    • Alain-René Lesage, Gil Blas (1715-1735), Book X, Chapter I. Smollet's translation; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 639.
  • Fast bind, fast find;
    A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
  • First come, first served.
    • John Fletcher, The Little French Lawyer (with Philip Massinger; c. 1619–23; published 1647), Act II, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Fitted him to a T.
    • Samuel Johnson, reported in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1784); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • From the crown of our head to the sole of our foot.
    • John Fletcher, The Honest Man's Fortune, (1613; published 1647), Act II, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640. Thomas Middleton, A Mad World, My Masters, Act I, scene 3. Pliny, Natural History, Book VII, Chapter XVII. Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, scene 2.
  • Glass, China, and Reputation, are easily crack'd and never well mended.
    • Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard (1750); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • God save the mark!
  • Going as if he trod upon eggs.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III. Sect, II. Memb. 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Go to Jericho.
    Let them all go to Jericho,
    And ne'er be seen againe.
    • Mercurius Aulicus (1648); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640; quoted in the Athenæum (Nov. 14, 1874).
  • Go West, young man! Go West.
    • John L. B. Soule, in the Terre Haute Express (1851); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Go West, young man, and grow up with the country.
    • Horace Greeley, Hints toward Reform, in an editorial in the Tribune; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Hail, fellow, well met.
    • Jonathan Swift, My Lady's Lamentation; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Harp not on that string.
    • William Shakespeare, Richard III (c. 1591), Act IV, scene 4, line 366; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • He can give little to his servant that licks his knife.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • He comes not in my books.
    • Thomas Middleton, The Widow; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • He did not care a button for it.
    • François Rabelais, Works, Book II, Chapter XVI; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Here's metal more attractive.
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-02), Act III, scene 2, line 115; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Hide their diminished heads.
    • John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book IV, line 35; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Hier lies that should fetch a perfect woman over the coles.
    • Sir Gyles Goosecappe (1606); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • His bark is worse than his bite.
    • George Herbert, Country Parson, Chapter XXIX; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Hit the nail on the head.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher, Love's Cure (c. 1612–13; revised c. 1625; published 1647), Act II, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Hold one another's noses to the grindstone hard.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section I. Memb. 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Hold their noses to the grindstone.
    • Thomas Middleton, Blurt, Master Constable, Act III, scene 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Honey of Hybla.
  • How well I feathered my nest.
    • François Rabelais, Works, Book II, Chapter XVII; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • I have other fish to fry.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part II, Chapter XXXV; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • I'll have a fling.
    • John Fletcher, Rule a Wife and Have a Wife (licensed 19 October 1624; 1640), III, 5; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • I'll make the fur
    Fly 'bout the ears of the old cur.
    • Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto III, line 278; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • I'll put a spoke among your wheels.
    • John Fletcher, The Mad Lover; (acted 5 January 1617; 1647), Act III, scene 5; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • In the name of the Prophet—figs.
    • Horace and James Smith, Rejected Addresses, Johnson's Ghost; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Leap out of the frying pan into the fire.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part I, Book III, Chapter IV; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Let the worst come to the worst.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Book III, Chapter V. Marston, Dutch Courtesan, Act III, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Love, and a Cough, cannot be hid.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Made no more bones.
  • Make ducks and drakes with shillings.
    • George Chapman, Eastward Ho, Act I, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 640.
  • Make three bites of a cherry.
    • François Rabelais, Works, Book V, Chapter XXVIII; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Many a smale maketh a grate.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, Persones Tale; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Mariana in the moated grange.
    • Alfred Tennyson, Motto for Mariana. Taken from "There, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana." Comedy of Errors, Act II, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Mind your P's and Q's.
    • Said to be due to the old custom of hanging up a slate in the tavern with P. and Q. (for pints and quarts), under which were written the names of customers and ticks for the number of "P's and Q's." Another explanation is that the expression referred to "toupées" (artificial locks of hair) and "queues" (tails); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Moche Crye and no Wull.
    • Fortescue, De Laudibus Leg. Angliæ, Chapter X; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Much of a muchness.
    • John Vanbrugh, The Provoked Husband, Act I, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Needle in a bottle of hay.
    • Nathan Field, A Woman's a Weathercock (reprint 1612), p. 20; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Neither fish, flesh nor good red herring.
    • Tom Browne, Æneus; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641. Sylvius. Letter. John Dryden, Epilogue to Duke of Guise. William Marsden, History of Christian Churches, Volume I, p. 267. In Sir John Mennes' (Mennis) Musarum Deliciæ. (1651). Thomas Nash, Lenten Stuff (1599). Reprinted in Harleian Miscellany. Sir H. Sheres, Satyr on the sea officers. Rede me and be nott wrothe. I, III. (1528).
  • No better than you should be.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher, The Coxcomb (c. 1608–10; 1647), Act IV, scene 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • No rule is so general, which admits not some exception.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section II. Memb. 2. Subsect. 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Nought venter nought have.
    • John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter XI. Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, October's Extract; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
    • William Cobbett. Also Gilray Caricature. May 22. 1797, after the bank stopped cash payments, Feb. 26, 1797. Sheridan, Life by Walter Sichel, p. 16. Refers to the bank as an elderly lady in the city, of great credit and long standing, who had recently made a faux pas which was not altogether inexcusable; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • On his last legs.
    • Thomas Middleton, The Old Law, Act V, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • One good turn deserves another.
    • John Fletcher, The Little French Lawyer (with Philip Massinger; c. 1619–23; published 1647), Act III, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Originality provokes originality.
    • Goethe; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Passing the Rubicon.
    When he arrived at the banks of the Rubicon, which divides Cisalpine Gaul from the rest of Italy … he stopped to deliberate…. At last he cried out: "The die is cast" and immediately passed the river.
    • Plutarch, Life of Julius Cæsar; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Performed to a T.
    • François Rabelais, Works, Book IV, Chapter LI; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Pons Asinorum.
    • The asses' bridge.
    • Applied to Proposition 5 of the first book of Euclid; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Present company excepted.
    • O'Keefe, London Hermit (1793); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Push on—keep moving.
    • Thomas Morton, A Cure for the Heartache, Act III, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Put himself upon his good behaviour.
    • Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto V, Stanza 47; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Put your toong in your purse.
    • John Heywood, Dialogue of Wit and Folly, Part II, line 263; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Quo vadis?
    • Whither goest thou?
    • From The Vulgate. John, XIII. 36. Domine, quo vadis? [St. Peter's question.] St. Thomas asks a similar question in John, XIV. 5. The traditional story is told by St. Ambrose, Contra Auxentium (Ed. Paris, 1690), II, 867; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Safe bind, safe find.
    • Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, Washing; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Scared out of his seven senses.
    • Walter Scott, Rob Roy, Chapter XXIV; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Set all at sixe and seven.
    • John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter XI. Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Cresseide, line 623. Also Towneley Mysteries. 143. Morte Arture. Manuscript at Lincoln. Degrevant. (1279). Richard II, Act II, scene 2, line 122. All reported as proverbial in Hoyt's New yclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 641.
  • Smell a rat.
    • Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto I, line 821; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642. Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part I, Book IV, Chapter X. Ben Jonson, Tale of a Tub, Act IV, scene 3. Thomas Middleton, Blurt, Master Constable, Act III, scene 3.
  • Snug as a bug in a rug.
    • The Stratford Jubilee (1779), II. 1.. Letter to Miss Georgiana Shipley (September, 1772); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Something given that way.
    • John Fletcher, The Lovers' Progress (licensed 6 December 1623; revised 1634; published 1647), Act I, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • So obliging that he ne'er oblig'd.
    • Alexander Pope, Prologue to Satires, line 207; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Sop to Cerebus.
    • If I can find that Cerebus a sop, I shall be at rest for one day.
    • William Congreve, Love for Love, Act I, scene 1; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • So was hir jolly whistel wel y-wette.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, The Reeve's Tale, line 4,155; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Spare your breath to cool your porridge.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part II, Chapter V. Rabelais, Works, Book V, Chapter XXVIII; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Strike the iron whilst it is hot.
    • François Rabelais, Works, Book II, Chapter XXXI; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Strike while the iron is hot.
    • George Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem, Act IV, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642. Walter Scott, The Fair Maid of Perth, Chapter V. Webster, Westward Ho, III. 2. Geoffrey Chaucer, Troylus and Cresseyde, Book II, Stanza 178.
  • That was laid on with a trowel.
    • William Shakespeare, As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act I, scene 2, line 112; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The coast was clear.
    • Michael Drayton, Nymphidia; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The fat's all in the fire.
    • Cobbe, Prophecies, Bullen's reprint (1614); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642. Marston, What You Will (1607). The Balancing Captain. Whole poem quoted by Walpole in a letter to Mann, Nov. 2, 1741.
  • The finest edge is made with the blunt whetstone.
    • John Lyly, Euphues. Arber's Reprint. (1579), p. 47; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The foule Toade hath a faire stone in his head.
    • John Lyly, Euphues. Arber's Reprint. (1579), p. 53; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The man that heweth over high,
    Some chip falleth in his eye.
    • Story of Sir Eglamour of Artoys. MSS. in Garrick Collection; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The more thou stir it the worse it will be.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Book III, Chapter VIII; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The next way home's the farthest way about.
    • Francis Quarles, Emblems, Book IV. Em. 2, Epistle 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The point is plain as a pike staff.
    • John Byrom, Epistle to a Friend; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • The total depravity of inanimate things.
  • This is a pretty flimflam.
    • John Fletcher, The Little French Lawyer (with Philip Massinger; c. 1619–23; published 1647), Act III, scene 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Though this may be play to you,
    'Tis death to us.
    • Roger L'Estrange, Fables, 398; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Thou will scarce be a man before thy mother.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher, Love's Cure (c. 1612–13; revised c. 1625; published 1647), Act II, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Three things are men most likely to be cheated in, a horse, a wig, and a wife.
    • Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard (1736); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Through thick and thin, both over bank and bush.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto I, Stanza 17; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Through thick and thin, both over Hill and Plain.
    • Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weekes and Workes, Second Week (1584), Fourth Day, Book IV; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Through thick and thin.
    • Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto II, line 370; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642. Cowper, John Gilpin. Drayton, Nymphidia. Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel, Part II, line 414. Kemp, Nine Days' Wonder. Middleton, The Roaring Girl (1611), Act IV, scene 2. Alexander Pope, The Dunciad, Book II.
  • Though last, not least in love.
    • William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act III, scene 1, line 189. "Although the last, not least." King Lear, Act I, scene 1, line 85. Spenser, Colin Clout, line 444; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • Thursday come, and the week is gone.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • 'Tis as cheap sitting as standing.
    • Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation (c. 1738), Dialogue I; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • 'Tis a stinger.
    • Thomas Middleton, More Dissemblers Besides Women, Act III, scene 2; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • 'Tis in grain, sir, 'twill endure wind and weather.
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act I, scene 5, line 253; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • 'Tis neither here nor there.
    • William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act IV, scene 3, line 58; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 642.
  • To rise with the lark, and go to bed with the lamb.
    • Breton, Court and Country (1618); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • To take the nuts from the fire with the dog's foot.
  • Turn over a new leaf.
    • Edmund Burke, letter to Miss Haviland; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643. Thomas Dekker, The Honest Whore, Part II, Act II, scene 1. Also A Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Serving-Men (1598). Middleton, Anything for a Quiet Life (1621), Act III, scene 3.
  • Walls have tongues, and hedges ears.
    • Jonathan Swift, Pastoral Dialogue, line 7; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643. Hazlitt, English Proverbs, etc. (Ed. 1869), p. 446. "Wode has erys, felde has sigt." King Edward and the Shepherd, Manuscript (Circa 1300). "Felde hath eyen, and wode hath eres." Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, The Knight's Tale, line 1,522. "Fieldes have eies and woodes have eares." Heywood, Proverbes, Part II, Chapter V.
  • Westward-ho!
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act III, scene 1, line 146; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • What is bred in the bone will never come out of the flesh.
    • Pilpay, The Two Fishermen, Fable XIV; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643. "It will never come out of the flesh that's bred in the bone." Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, Act I, scene 1.
  • What is not in a man cannot come out of him surely.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman and Dorothea, Canto III, line 3; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • What is sauce for the goose is sauce for a gander.
    • Tom Brown, New Maxims, p. 123; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • What is the matter with Kansas?
    • W. A. White. Title of an editorial in the Emporia Gazette, August 15, 1896; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • What mare's nest hast thou found?
  • What you would not have done to yourselves, never do unto others.
    • Alexander Severus. See also "Golden Rule." Matthew, VII. 12; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • When a dog is drowning, every one offers him drink.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Where McGregor sits, there is the head of the table.
    • Quoted in American Scholar by Ralph Waldo Emerson; attributed to The McGregor, a Highland Chief; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Whether the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it goes ill with the pitcher.
  • Whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad.
    • Robert Burns, Whistle, and I'll Come to You; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Whistle, and she'll come to you.
    • John Fletcher, Wit Without Money (c. 1614; published 1639), Act IV, scene 4; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.
    • Socrates; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • With tooth and nail.
    • Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weekes and Workes, First Week, Second Day; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Within a stone's throw of it.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part I, Book III, Chapter IX; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Whose house is of glass, must not throw stones at another.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651); reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • Why, then, do you walk as if you had swallowed a ramrod?
    • Epictetus, Discourses, Chapter XXI; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • You shall never want rope enough.
    • François Rabelais, Works, prologue to the Fifth Book; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.
  • You whirled them to the back of beyont.
    • Walter Scott, Antiquary; reported as a proverb in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 643.

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