- A bad
workman always blames his tools - A careless or unskilled worker blames bad work
on his tools rather than himself.
- A bird in
hand is worth two in the bush - Something that one already has is better than
going after something seemingly more worthwhile that one may not be able to
- A burnt
child dreads fire - A bad experience or a horrifying incident may scar one's
attitude or thinking for a lifetime.
- A chicken
and egg question-A mysterious question which can't be answered
constant guest is never welcome-We are apt to grow to dislike friends who visit
us too often
contented mind is a perpetual feast-Contentment of mind is the cause of lasting
- A fool
and his money are soon parted-A person who spends his money foolishly will soon
- A friend
in need is a friend indeed - A friend who helps when one is in trouble is a real
- A good
name is sooner lost than won-It takes a long time to build up a good reputation
which can be easily destroyed by misconduct.
- A great
talker is a great liar -A smooth and persuasive talker may be a good
- A house
divided against itself cannot stand-Discord breaks up
- A hungry
man is an angry man - A person who does not get what he wants or needs is a
frustrated person and will be easily provoked to rage.
- A job
worth doing is a job worth doing well-When you do something you should do it as
well as you can.
- A leopard
cannot change its spots - A person's nature cannot change.
- A light
purse makes a heavy heart-We cannot be cheerful when we have financial
- A man is
as old as he feels - A person's age is immaterial - it is only when he thinks
and feels that he is ageing that he actually becomes old.
- A miss is
as good as a mile - Something that one already has is better than something that
one may not be able to get
- A new
broom sweeps clean - A person newly appointed is always eager and enthusiastic
in his work.
- A nod is
as good as a wink-A hint or suggestion can be accepted and acted upon without
- A penny
saved is a penny gained - By being thrifty one will be able to save
- A rolling
stone gathers no moss - A person who never settles in one place or who often
changes his job will not succeed in life; one who is always changing his mind
will never get anything done.
- A rose by
any other name would smell just as sweet-It is not what a thing is called that
matters, but what it is.
- A stitch
in time saves nine- By taking immediate action we can prevent a fault, damage or
trouble from getting worse
- A straw
will show which way the wind blows- A small incident can reveal an important
- A thing
of beauty is a joy forever- It means that though something beautiful may not
last, the happy memory of it will live forever.
- A trouble
shared is a trouble halved - Your troubles seem half as great when you discuss
them with someone else
- A watched
pot never boils - If you watch or wait for something to get done or to happen it
seems to take forever
makes the heart grow fonder -One usually desires another more when he or she is
speak louder than words - Children usually learn more from the examples set by
their elders than from what they are told; a person's character is judged by the
thing she does and not by what he says; actions give evidence or proof
- All that
glitters is not gold - Do not be deceived by things or offers that appear to be
fish that comes the net-When something comes our way we should consider how it
might be useful or benefit us.
- An apple
a day keeps the doctor away-It means that apples are so nutritious they keep you
in the peak of health.
exception to the rule-Something does not conform to or agree with a
- An idle
brain is the devil's workshop - One who has nothing to do will be tempted to do
many mischievous acts.
- An ounce
of discretion is worth a pound of wit - It is better to be careful and discrete
than to be clever.
- An ounce
of prevention is better than a pound of cure-It is even better to be cautious
and prevent a misfortune or an accident from happening.
- Any time
means no time - When an event is not decided on or planned earlier it will never
- As you
make your bed so must you lie on it -You must accept the consequences of your
- As you
sow, so you shall reap - One will either enjoy or suffer the consequences of his
earlier actions or inactions.
dogs seldom bite - Those who make loud threats seldom carry them out.
- Be on the
safe side-To take special precautions to avoid making a mistake
- Beauty is
in the eye of the beholder-What is beautiful to one person may not be beautiful
can't be choosers-Someone in need should be grateful for what is given to him --
even if it's not what he wants or expects
late than never -To do something that is right, profitable, or good a little
late is still better than not doing it at all.
- Between a
rock and a hard place - To be in a difficult situation from which there seems to
be no escape
the devil and the deep sea - To choose between two equally bad alternatives in a
- Birds of
a feather flock together -People of the same sort of character or belief always
- Bite off
more than one can chew - To try to do something one is unable to do or incapable
- Blood is
thicker than water - Family ties are stronger than any other.
- Burn the
candle at both ends-Those who are always busy and seem to get little
- Buy a pig
in a poke-Buy something without examining it for faults or checking to see if
they are really getting what they believe they have purchased
- Call a
spade a spade -If you say that someone calls a spade a spade, you mean that they
speak frankly and directly, often about embarrassing or unpleasant subjects; an
- Catch as
catch can-To do anything or use any means to achieve an aim or reach a
- Catch not
at the shadow and lose the substance-We should not waste time on trivial aspects
of a matter and neglect the essential matter itself.
begins at home - A person's first obligation should be to help the member of his
own family before he can begin thinking of talking about helping
should be seen and not heard-To stop a child from asking questions, talking, or
making unnecessary noise.
comes but once each year-An excuse to indulge in food and drink and spend money
during the Christmas season.
is next to Godliness - To be clean and tidy is just as important as being
spiritually good and religious.
- Cross the
stream where it is shallowest-Don't make things difficult for yourself; always
find the simplest means of achieving your objective.
- Cry over
spilled milk-It's pointless to get upset or feel regret about a loss or mistake
that can't be undone
killed the cat-To warn people not to show too much interest in affairs that
don't concern them.
- Cut off
your nose to spite your face-When people are dissatisfied or angry, they
sometimes react by doing foolish things that prove harmful to themselves.
- Cut your
coat according to your cloth - Live within your income; don't be too ambitious
in your plans
- Dead men
tell no lies - (often used as an argument for killing someone whose knowledge of
a secret may cause one loss or get into serious trouble.)
is the better part of valor - If you say discretion is the better part of valor,
you mean that avoiding a dangerous or unpleasant situation is sometimes the most
sensible thing to do.
- Do not
cross a bridge till you come to it-Do not worry about something before it has
- Do not
have too many irons in the fire-If we attempt to do too much at once, we shall
not do anything properly
- Do not
ride the high horse-Do not be arrogant
- Do unto
others as you would others do unto you-Treat others as you would like them to
- Dog eat
dog- In competitive situations where each person has his own interests at heart,
it is usually the strong and the determined who succeed.
count your chickens before they are hatched. - Do not make plans based on
something that has not happened.
judge a book by its cover - Do not be deceived by appearances.
make a mountain out of a molehill - Do not make a big fuss or issue over
something minor or small
- Don't put
all your eggs in one basket - One should not risk everything he has in a single
- Eat to
live, but do not live to eat - Man was created for a divine purpose and he has a
destiny with his Creator - he was not born just to enjoy food.
vessels make the most noise - Those people who have a little knowledge usually
talk the most and make the greatest fuss.
Homer sometimes nods-Even the best of us are liable to make mistakes.
cloud has a silver lining - If you say that every cloud has a silver lining, you
mean that every sad or unpleasant situation has a positive side to it. If you
talk about silver lining you are talking about something positive that comes out
of a sad or unpleasant situation.
- Every dog
has its day -Everyone will get a period of success or satisfaction during his
flow must have its ebb- Life has its ups and downs, neither good fortune nor ill
fortune lasts forever.
- Every oak
must be an acorn- Everything has to have a small beginning.
- Every one
can find fault, few can do better - It is easier to find fault in other people's
actions or methods than to do it properly or correctly.
is the best teacher - The best way to learn a job is to do it.
heart never won fair lady - To succeed in life one must have the courage to
pursue what he wants.
exchange is no robbery - A contract is fair as long as both the parties
understand and agree to the conditions willingly; after a deal is closed neither
side can turn around and say that he was unfairly treated.
- Fire is a
good servant but a bad master - Fire, like any other manmade tool or device,
will serve man well only when it is controlled and used wisely.
come, first served - The first in line will be attended to first.
mud at someone-To say evil or bad things about someone and in doing so, to
damage his or her reputation.
rush in where angels fear to tread - Foolish people tend to act too hastily and
do things that wise people would avoid.
and forget- Excusing or pardoning someone for doing something
knocks once at every man's door - Everyone gets at least one good opportunity in
his lifetime; everyone has the opportunity to be successful in life.
someone enough rope and he will hang himself-If we allow someone to continue in
his bad ways he'll eventually bring about his own downfall or ruin.
- Give the
devil his due - Be just and fair-minded, even to the one who does not deserve
much or who is unfriendly or unfair; we should punish a person according to his
- Go from
the sublime to the ridiculous - Move from one situation which is wonderful or
perfect to another which is absurd or awful
- God helps
those who help themselves - God only helps those people who work hard and make
an honest effort.
haste makes great waste - If one does things hastily he will make a lot of
mistakes - he will need to spend a lot of time correcting those mistakes
minds think alike - Wise people will normally think and behave alike in certain
talkers are little doers - Those people who talk a lot and are always teaching
others usually do not do much work.
- Grin and
bear it- To put up with discomfort or a bad situation without
- Habit is
second nature - An act done repeatedly and often enough will sooner or later
become a habit or second nature.
- Half a
loaf is better than none - It's better to have or receive less than one desire
than to have or receive nothing at all.
an old head on young shoulders - Youngsters who possess
qualities of wisdom one would only expect to find in experienced older
- Have eyes
in the back of one's head - An ability to know what is happening not within the
scope of one's vision.
- He laughs
best who laughs last - A person who does his best is the one who will get the
greatest satisfaction in the end.
- He who
pays the piper calls the tune-The person who pays for something has the right to
do as he wants.
- Hide your
light under a bushel-Concealing your talents, skills or abilities
tends to repeat itself-What has happened once is liable to happen
one's wagon to a star-To Move forward in a way to improve your chances of
- Home is
where the heart is-No matter where you are, 'home' is where you feel most
comfortable and content.
is the best policy - Being honest is believed to be the best route to
- If it's
not one thing it's another - The troubles seem to go on and on without
- If the
blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch-Those without knowledge
should not try to teach the ignorant.
- If wishes
were horses, beggars would ride- If we could get all the things we wanted just
by making a wish, everyone would have all he ever wanted.
- If you
can't lick them, join them-If you cannot defeat an opponent or get him to change
his ideas, plans or way of doing things, the best thing is to change your ideas,
- In for a
penny, in for a pound-If we decide to do something, we should commit ourselves
to it boldly and completely.
- It is
useless to flog a dead horse-It is no use spending your time and energy on an
activity or belief that is already widely rejected or outdated.
- It never
rains but it pours-Events, especially misfortunes, always come together and not
one at a time.
- It takes
all sorts to make a world - You should not expect everyone to think and act as
- It takes
two to make a quarrel - Both parties in a quarrel should share the blame or take
responsibility for it; no one can start a quarrel all by himself.
- It's an
ill wind that blows nobody any good - A bad or evil occurrence.
never too late to mend - It is never too late to correct one's mistakes or
- It's no
use crying over spilt milk - It is pointless to feel remorseful over a thing
lost that can never be found or a mistake done that can never be corrected or
- Jack of
all trades and master of none - Is a person who can do almost anything, but he
rarely excels in any of them.
- Jump from
the frying pan into the fire - To go from a bad position to a worse
- Keep the
wolf from the door- To avoid hunger and poverty
not a fire you cannot put out-Do not start something you cannot control or
- Laugh and
the world laughs with you- When someone is in a happy, cheerful mood, people
like being with him.
said, soonest forgotten- The less we say about it the sooner the incident will
bygones by bygones - One should consider forgiving one's and forget all the bad
deeds done by others.
- Let not
the pot call the kettle black - A person who has a fault should not point out
the same fault in another; do not criticize another person as you may have the
sleeping dogs lie - One should preferably avoid discussing issues that are
likely to create trouble.
- Life is
just a bowl of cherries-Life is full of happiness and pleasure
- Like a
bull in a china shop-A clumsy or tactless person
father, like son, like mother, like daughter - (used to describe a child's
behavior when he or she acts like the father or mother )
- Lock the
stable door after the horse has bolted-Once a mistake has been made or an error
committed, it's too late to take precautions to prevent it from
- Look at
the bright side - Be optimistic
before you leap - Avoid acting hastily, without considering the possible
- Losers weepers, finders keepers-If someone loses something,
he weeps -- but if someone finds it, he keeps it.
- Love me,
love my dog-If we want a person's friendship we must accept him totally, faults
- Make hay
while the sun shines - Seize opportunities
hands make light work-Many people sharing a job or tasks make easier work of
- Money is
the root of all evil - Crimes and wickedness are associated with
is the mother of invention - When a person is in great need of something, he
will find a way of getting it.
- Never do
things by halves - One should not do an incomplete or imperfect job - certain
tasks must not be left half done; they must be done away with
- No news
is good news - When there is no news, it is likely that everything is all
bitten twice shy - If a person has been tricked once he will more be careful and
alert the next time.
- One man's
meat is another man's poison - No two persons are alike - every one has his own
preferences, likes and dislikes.
swallow doesn't make a summer - One success doesn't guarantee complete
- Opportunity only knocks once-Seize an opportunity when it
occurs for it may never happen again.
- Out of
sight, out of mind - You will soon forget friends you do not meet or keep in
is nine points of the law-In disputes over property ownership, the person in
possession of something is sometimes said to have nine-tenths a chance of
winning it in a legal argument
makes perfect - It is believed that if one practices a certain skill often, he
will excel in it
is better than cure - It is better to be careful beforehand than to try to solve
a problem after it has arisen.
are like pie crust-Most promises cannot be kept
makes friends, adversity tries them-If you are rich and successful, you will
attract many friends, but if you should suffer hardship or have misfortune
(adversity), your friends will quickly depart.
- Put a
quart into a pint pot- Doing something that's impossible
Peter to pay Paul - (this is quoted when one takes another loan to pay off an
earlier loan ) taking from one to give
- Rome was not built in a
day - Any great plan or big dream cannot be achieved overnight or
bark is worse than his bite-People sometimes bark but in time we learn they're
not always as frightening as they seem.
- Spare the
rod and spoil the child - A child who is not punished and showed the error of
his ways will become unruly.
- Speech is
silver, silence is golden - Talk may be beneficial, but sometimes acquiescence
may be the best option to take.
waters run deep - One who is usually silent and goes about his business quietly
may be a very wise person.
while the iron is hot - Seize a good opportunity as quickly as
- Teach an
old dog new tricks - It is impossible to change someone's ways or habits,
especially if he is old and resists change
where the shoe pinches- That's the source or cause of a problem or an
- The best
fish swim near the bottom-The best things are hard to come by
- The blind
leading the blind-A person helping or advising someone knows as little about the
subject as the person who is being advised.
- The buck
stops here-It means final decision or total responsibility for an
darkest hour is that before dawn-Even when things seem at their very worst, they
may shortly improve.
- The devil
finds work for idle hands- Unless one keeps busy doing useful or constructive
things he could be tempted into mischief or evil.
- The devil
has the best tunes-To do something unworthy because it gives you
- The last
straw that broke the camel's back - The final thing that, when added to a bad or
unpleasant situation, causes failure or ruin.
longest day must have an end -All difficult jobs or situations also have an
mountain labors and brings forth a mouse-To work hard and long on a project that
turns out to be pretty useless.
- The pen
is mightier than the sword-The written word is more to be feared than physical
- The rain
falls on the just and the unjust alike-No matter how good or bad a person, he
must still face the everyday problems that confront us all.
- The sins
of the fathers will be visited upon the children- People will be punished for
the wrongs committed by their parents, forefathers, or those who have preceded
- The sky
is the limit - There is no upper limit to something
spirit is willing but the flesh is weak- To do something unworthy just because
it gives you the pleasure
- The thin
end of the wedge - That something can appear to be small and of no particular
importance - yet it can turn out to be the beginning of a major
- The truth
will out-Truth about something will eventually be discovered or made
- The way
to a man's heart is through his stomach-Most men love to eat so feed your
husband well and he will always love you.
- There are
none so blind as those that will not see- People, who never admit they might be
wrong, refuse to listen to the opinions or ideas of anyone
- There are
none so deaf as those who will not hear- People sometimes hear only what they
want to hear
- There are
two sides to every question - There are always two ways of looking at
- There is
no place like home-Even a simple home is the best place in the world for the
people who live in it.
more than one way to skin a cat-There is more than one way of getting a job
no smoke without fire - Rumors do not spread unless there is some element of
truth in them.
- Time and
tide wait for no one - Time is precious, once it is past no one can go back and
claim it thus everyone should be mindful of how his time is spent.
heals old wounds- The passing of time helps us to forget things that have caused
us pain or made us unhappy.
- To err is
human, to forgive divine - It is only normal for man to make mistakes and do
wrong, but for one to forgive another for his wrong is indeed great and gracious
- To put
the cart before the horse - To do something in an incorrect order
- Too many
cooks spoil the broth - Too many people doing the same thing at the same time
will not be successful
- Truth is
stranger than fiction - Real life can be more incredible than anything which can
- Turn up
like a bad penny- Something or someone disliked just won't go away
- Two heads
are better than one - It is always better to get the view of another than to
rely entirely on one's own judgment.
wrongs do not make a right- If a person does something to harm or offend us,
that's wrong. If we do something to harm them back,
that's wrong too.
company, three's a crowd - It is always fun while there are only two people
whereas the third person is an unwelcome intrusion.
- Uneasy is
the head that wears the crown- Notable or important people are often concerned
about losing their positions.
is the spice of life- Life becomes very monotonous without some break or change
in the daily routine.
not, want not-If we're careful and waste nothing we'll never go without things
- We never
miss the water till the well runs dry -You only realize the importance of
something when it is gone
- Wear out
one's welcome-One is no longer welcome, usually because he has become a
done can't be undone - In life there are some things once done or decisions once
made cannot be changed; malicious words once uttered or harmful actions once
done cannot be taken back.
- When in
Rome do as the
Romans do - When one is in a new place, country or situation he must adapt
himself to the new manners and customs.
poverty comes in the door, love flies out the window- As soon as a happily
married couple begins having financial problems and the bills pile up their love
- When the
cat is away the mice will play - When law enforcers are not present, certain
public members will take the opportunity to break the law
there's a will there's a way - When a person really wants to do something, he
will find a way of doing it.
- Who keeps
company with wolves, will learn to howl- If we associate with bad companions we,
too, will become bad
the ground somebody walks on - Very much in love with somebody
- You can
lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink-We can help, show or
encourage someone to do something but we can't make him do what he is unwilling
or unable to do
cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear-You cannot change a person's real
- You can't
have your cake and eat it - You must choose between two things as it is
impossible to have both at the same time
- You pays your money and you takes your chances-A humorous way of
saying that we sometimes must trust in luck when buying something.