Proverbs


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




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 happening.




The longest day must have an end


All difficult jobs or situations also have an end.




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 and all.




Many hands make light work


Many people sharing a job or tasks make easier work of it.




The mountain labors and brings forth a mouse


To work hard and long on a project that turns out to be pretty useless.




Opportunity only knocks once


Seize an opportunity when it occurs for it may never happen again.




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.




Possession 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




Promises are like pie crust


Most promises cannot be kept




Put a quart into a pint pot

  Doing something that's impossible
     

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 them.
     

Someone's bark is worse than his bite

  People sometimes bark but in time we learn they're not always as frightening as they seem.
     

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

  To do something unworthy just because it gives you the pleasure
     

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 event
     

Teach an old dog new tricks

  It is impossible to change someone's ways or habits, especially if he is old and resists change
     

That's where the shoe pinches

  That's the source or cause of a problem or an annoyance
     

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's more than one way to skin a cat

  There is more than one way of getting a job done
     

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 problem.
     

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.
     

Time heals old wounds

  The passing of time helps us to forget things that have caused us pain or made us unhappy.
     

The truth will out

  Truth about something will eventually be discovered or made known
     

Turn up like a bad penny

  Something or someone disliked just won't go away
     
Two 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.
     

Uneasy is the head that wears the crown

  Notable or important people are often concerned about losing their positions.
     

Waste not, want not

  If we're careful and waste nothing we'll never go without things we need.
     

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.
     

Wear out one's welcome

  One is no longer welcome, usually because he has become a nuisance
     
When poverty comes in the door, love flies out the window   As soon as a happily married couple begin having financial problems and the bills pile up their love will disappear.
     

Who keeps company with wolves, will learn to howl

  If we associate with bad companions we, too, will become bad
     

You pays your money and you takes your chances

  A humorous way of saying that we sometimes must trust in luck when buying something.
     

Prosperity 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.
     

Between the devil and the deep sea


To choose between two equally bad alternatives in a serious dilemma.


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




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 happening.




The longest day must have an end


All difficult jobs or situations also have an end.




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 and all.




Many hands make light work


Many people sharing a job or tasks make easier work of it.




The mountain labors and brings forth a mouse


To work hard and long on a project that turns out to be pretty useless.




Opportunity only knocks once


Seize an opportunity when it occurs for it may never happen again.




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.




Possession 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




Promises are like pie crust


Most promises cannot be kept




Put a quart into a pint pot

  Doing something that's impossible
     

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 them.
     

Someone's bark is worse than his bite

  People sometimes bark but in time we learn they're not always as frightening as they seem.
     

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

  To do something unworthy just because it gives you the pleasure
     

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 event
     

Teach an old dog new tricks

  It is impossible to change someone's ways or habits, especially if he is old and resists change
     

That's where the shoe pinches

  That's the source or cause of a problem or an annoyance
     

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's more than one way to skin a cat

  There is more than one way of getting a job done
     

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 problem.
     

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.
     

Time heals old wounds

  The passing of time helps us to forget things that have caused us pain or made us unhappy.
     

The truth will out

  Truth about something will eventually be discovered or made known
     

Turn up like a bad penny

  Something or someone disliked just won't go away
     
Two 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.
     

Uneasy is the head that wears the crown

  Notable or important people are often concerned about losing their positions.
     

Waste not, want not

  If we're careful and waste nothing we'll never go without things we need.
     

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.
     

Wear out one's welcome

  One is no longer welcome, usually because he has become a nuisance
     
When poverty comes in the door, love flies out the window   As soon as a happily married couple begin having financial problems and the bills pile up their love will disappear.
     

Who keeps company with wolves, will learn to howl

  If we associate with bad companions we, too, will become bad
     

You pays your money and you takes your chances

  A humorous way of saying that we sometimes must trust in luck when buying something.
     

Prosperity 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.
     



Where there's a will there's a way


When a person really wants to do something, he will find a way of doing it.




A burnt child dreads fire


A bad experience or a horrifying incident may scar one's attitude or thinking for a lifetime.




First come, first served


The first in line will be attended to first.




A friend in need is a friend indeed


A friend who helps when one is in trouble is a real friend.




Discretion 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.




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.




Empty vessels make the most noise


Those people who have a little knowledge usually talk the most and make the greatest fuss.




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.




Great talkers are little doers


Those people who talk a lot and are always teaching others usually do not do much work.




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.




Faint heart never won fair lady


To succeed in life one must have the courage to pursue what he wants.




A penny saved is a penny gained


By being thrifty one will be able to save up.




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.




As you sow, so you shall reap


One will either enjoy or suffer the consequences of his earlier actions or inactions.




Barking dogs seldom bite


Those who make loud threats seldom carry them out.




Better late than never


To do something that is right, profitable, or good a little late is still better than not doing it at all. 




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 get.




Birds of a feather flock together


People of the same sort of character or belief always go together.




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 informal expression.




Charity 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 others.




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.)




A great talker is a great liar


A smooth and persuasive talker may be a good liar.




Every 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.




All that glitters is not gold


Do not be deceived by things or offers that appear to be attractive.




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.




Don't put all your eggs in one basket


One should not risk everything he has in a single venture.




Every dog has its day


Everyone will get a period of success or satisfaction during his lifetime.




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.




Any time means no time


When an event is not decided on or planned earlier it will never take place.




Fair 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











Actions 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 of.




Fortune 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.




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 wrongdoings.




God helps those who help themselves


God only helps those people who work hard and make an honest effort.




It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good


A bad or evil occurrence.




Great minds think alike


Wise people will normally think and behave alike in certain situations.




Habit is second nature


An act done repeatedly and often enough will sooner or later become a habit or second nature.




He laughs best who laughs last


A person who does his best is the one who will get the greatest satisfaction in the end.




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 immediately.




Great 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 later.




It's never too late to mend


It is never too late to correct one's mistakes or faults.




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 rectified.




Still waters run deep


One who is usually silent and goes about his business quietly may be a very wise person.




Jack of all trades and master of none


Is a person who can do almost anything, but he rarely excels in any of them.




Let 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 same weakness.




Let sleeping dogs lie


One should preferably avoid discussing issues that are likely to create trouble.




No news is good news


When there is no news, it is likely that everything is all right.




Look before you leap


Avoid acting hastily, without considering the possible consequences.




Necessity is the mother of invention


When a person is in great need of something, he will find a way of getting it.




Honesty is the best policy


Being honest is believed to be the best route to take.




One man's meat is another man's poison


No two persons are alike - every one has his own preferences, likes and dislikes.




Once bitten twice shy


If a person has been tricked once he will more be careful and alert the next time.




Like father, like son, like mother, like daughter


( used to describe a child's behavior when he or she acts like the father or mother )




Practice makes perfect


It is believed that if one practices a certain skill often, he will excel in it




Prevention is better than cure


It is better to be careful beforehand than to try to solve a problem after it has arisen.

     

Rome was not built in a day


Any great plan or big dream cannot be achieved overnight or easily.




Robbing Peter to pay Paul


( this is quoted when one takes another loan to pay off an earlier loan ) taking from one to give another.




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.




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.




Strike while the iron is hot


Seize a good opportunity as quickly as possible.




There's 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.




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 act.




What's 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.




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.




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.




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




Absence makes the heart grow fonder
One usually desires another more when he or she is far away.








Fire, like any other manmade tool or device, will serve man well only when it is controlled and used wisely.









Actions 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 of.




Fortune 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.




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 wrongdoings.




God helps those who help themselves


God only helps those people who work hard and make an honest effort.




It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good


A bad or evil occurrence.




Great minds think alike


Wise people will normally think and behave alike in certain situations.




Habit is second nature


An act done repeatedly and often enough will sooner or later become a habit or second nature.




He laughs best who laughs last


A person who does his best is the one who will get the greatest satisfaction in the end.




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 immediately.




Great 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 later.




It's never too late to mend


It is never too late to correct one's mistakes or faults.




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 rectified.




Still waters run deep


One who is usually silent and goes about his business quietly may be a very wise person.




Jack of all trades and master of none


Is a person who can do almost anything, but he rarely excels in any of them.




Let 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 same weakness.




Let sleeping dogs lie


One should preferably avoid discussing issues that are likely to create trouble.




No news is good news


When there is no news, it is likely that everything is all right.




Look before you leap


Avoid acting hastily, without considering the possible consequences.




Necessity is the mother of invention


When a person is in great need of something, he will find a way of getting it.




Honesty is the best policy


Being honest is believed to be the best route to take.




One man's meat is another man's poison


No two persons are alike - every one has his own preferences, likes and dislikes.




Once bitten twice shy


If a person has been tricked once he will more be careful and alert the next time.




Like father, like son, like mother, like daughter


( used to describe a child's behavior when he or she acts like the father or mother )




Practice makes perfect


It is believed that if one practices a certain skill often, he will excel in it




Prevention is better than cure


It is better to be careful beforehand than to try to solve a problem after it has arisen.

     

Rome was not built in a day


Any great plan or big dream cannot be achieved overnight or easily.




Robbing Peter to pay Paul


( this is quoted when one takes another loan to pay off an earlier loan ) taking from one to give another.




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.




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.




Strike while the iron is hot


Seize a good opportunity as quickly as possible.




There's 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.




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 act.




What's 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.




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.




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.




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




Absence makes the heart grow fonder
One usually desires another more when he or she is far away.



All's 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.




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 to others.




Beggars 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




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 action




Burn the candle at both ends


Those who are always busy and seem to get little rest




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




Catch as catch can


To do anything or use any means to achieve an aim or reach a goal.




Children should be seen and not heard


To stop a child from asking questions, talking, or making unnecessary noise.




Christmas comes but once each year


An excuse to indulge in food and drink and spend money during the Christmas season.




Cry over spilled milk

  It's pointless to get upset or feel regret about a loss or mistake that can't be undone
     

Curiosity 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.
     

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 pleasure
     

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.
     

An exception to the rule

  Something does not conform to or agree with a rule
     

Fling/throw mud at someone

  To say evil or bad things about someone and in doing so, to damage his or her reputation.
     

A fool and his money are soon parted

  A person who spends his money foolishly will soon be penniless
     

Forgive and forget

  Excusing or pardoning someone for doing something
     

Give 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.
     

Grin and bear it

  To put up with discomfort or a bad situation without complaining.
     

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
     

Hitch one's wagon to a star

  To Move forward in a way to improve your chances of achieving success.
     

Home is where the heart is

  No matter where you are, 'home' is where you feel most comfortable and content.
     

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, plans, etc.
     

In for a penny, in for a pound

  If we decide to do something, we should commit ourselves to it boldly and completely.
     

A job worth doing is a job worth doing well

  When you do something you should do it as well as you can.
     

Keep the wolf from the door

  To avoid hunger and poverty
     

Laugh and the world laughs with you

  When someone is in a happy, cheerful mood, people like being with him.
     
Least said, soonest forgotten   The less we say about it the sooner the incident will be forgotten.
     

A chicken and egg question

  A mysterious question which can't be answered
     

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


     
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