English Proverbs

  • A black plum is as sweet as a white.
  • A blind man will not thank you for a looking-glass.
  • A cold April the barn will fill.
  • A fair booty makes a fair thief.
  • A full cup must be carried steadily.
  • A goose quill is more dangerous than a lion's claw.
  • A joy that's shared is a joy made double.
  • A joyful evening may follow a sorrowful morning.
  • A leap year is never a good sheep year.
  • A maid who laughs is half taken.
  • A man is as old as he feels himself to be.
  • A man is as old as he feels, and a woman as old as she looks.
  • A proverb is the child of experience.
  • A shady lane breeds mud.
  • A small family is soon provided for.
  • A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
  • A stumble may prevent a fall.
  • Absence is a shrew.
  • Absence sharpens love; presence strengthens it.
  • Absence, and a friendly neighbor, washeth away love.
  • Accusing the times is but excusing ourselves.
  • Action is the proper fruit of knowledge.
  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Advantage is a better soldier than rashness.
  • Adventures are to the adventurous.
  • Adversity flatters no man.
  • Adversity is easier borne than prosperity forgot.
  • Advice is least heeded when most needed.
  • Advice to all, security for none.
  • Age and wedlock bring a man to his nightcap.
  • Age and wedlock tame man and beast.
  • Ale in, wit out.
  • All be the same in a hundred years.
  • All happiness is in the mind.
  • All temptations are found either in hope or fear.
  • Alms never make poor.
  • An abundance of money ruins youth.
  • An empty barrel makes the most noise.
  • An empty belly hears nobody.
  • An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
  • An illiterate king is a crowned ass.
  • And he repents in thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.
  • Anger dies quickly with a good man.
  • Anger edges valor.
  • Anger is often more hurtful than the injury that caused it.
  • Anger is shortlived in a good man.
  • Better wear out shoes than sheets.
  • Better wed over the mixen than over the moor.
  • Beware of a man of one book.
  • Big boast, small roast.
  • Big thunder, little rain.
  • Blest is the bride the sun shines on.
  • Blind is the bookless man.
  • Blind men can judge no colours.
  • Blind men should not judge of colours.
  • Cats hide their claws.
  • Children are poor men's riches.
  • Children suck the mother when they are young and the father when they are old.
  • Confession is the first step to repentance.
  • Craftiness must have clothes, but truth loves to go naked.
  • Crooked logs make straight fires.
  • Danger and delight grow on one stalk.
  • Danger is next neighbor to security.
  • Death always comes too early or too late.
  • Death closes all doors.
  • Deeds are fruits, words are leaves.
  • Despair doubles our strength.
  • Despair gives courage to a coward.
  • Desperate cuts must have desperate cures.
  • Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.
  • Discretion in speech is more important than eloquence.
  • Discretion is the better part of valor.
  • Disease is soon shaken By physic soon taken.
  • Diseases are the interest of pleasures.
  • Do not be in a hurry to tie what you cannot untie.
  • Do not halloo until you are out of the wood.
  • Do not triumph before the victory.
  • Do when ye may, or suffer ye the nay, in love 'tis the way.
  • Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork.
  • Don't fall before you're pushed.
  • Elbow grease is the best polish.
  • Every ass loves to hear himself bray.
  • Every bean hath its black.
  • Every dog has his day.
  • Every dog is entitled to one bite.
  • Every path has its puddle.
  • Everyone must row with the oars he has.
  • Fame is a magnifying glass.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • Fancy passes beauty.
  • Far fowls have fair feathers.
  • Far from court, far from care.
  • First deserve, and then desire.
  • First impressions are the most lasting.
  • Fools build houses, and wise men buy them.
  • Foul water will quench fire.
  • Give neither advice nor salt, until you are asked for it.
  • Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it.
  • Give the devil his due.
  • Gray hairs are death's blossoms.
  • Have you any Spanish? (Meaning, Have you got any money?)
  • He declares himself guilty who justifies himself before accusation.
  • He is lifeless that is faultless.
  • He opens the door with an ax.
  • He that buyeth magistracy will seek justice.
  • He that does amiss may do well.
  • He that goes barefoot must not plant thorns.
  • He that seeks trouble always finds it.
  • He that seeks trouble never misses.
  • He that serves at the altar ought to live by the altar.
  • He that shippeth the devil must make the best of him.
  • He that will steal an egg will steal an ox.
  • He that will take the bird must not scare it.
  • He that will thrive must first ask his wife.
  • He that will to Cupar maun to Cupar.
  • He that would the daughter win Must with the mother first begin.
  • He who says what he likes will hear what he does not like.
  • His fore feet though you sever, his grip he'll make good.
  • If thou canst not see the bottom, wade not.
  • If thou hast not a capon, feed on an onion.
  • If you swear you will catch no fish.
  • In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.
  • In for a penny, in for a pound.
  • In the morning be first up, and in the evening last to go to bed, for they that sleep catch no fish.
  • In times of prosperity friends will be plenty, In times of adversity, not one in twenty.
  • Innocent actions carry their warrant with them.
  • It is an equal failing to trust everybody and to trust nobody.
  • It is ill fishing before the net.
  • It is ill prizing of green barley.
  • Keep counsel of thyself first.
  • Keep counsel, thyself first.
  • Kill not the goose that lays the golden eggs.
  • Kisses that are easily obtained are easily forgotten.
  • Kissing goes by favor.
  • Kissing goes by favour.
  • Knock on wood.
  • Last ship, best ship.
  • Late children are early orphans.
  • Learning makes people fit company for themselves.
  • Least said is soonest mended.
  • Least said, soonest mended.
  • Lend your money and lose your friend.
  • Length begets loathing.
  • Let every man praise the bridge he goes over.
  • Let him make use of instinct who cannot make use of reason.
  • Many a true word is spoken in jest.
  • Many things are lost for want of asking.
  • Much ado and little help.
  • Never fall out with your bread and butter.
  • Never love with all your heart, it only ends in breaking.
  • None can guess the jewel by the casket.
  • None ever took a stone out of the temple but the dust did fly in his eyes.
  • Of wine the middle, of oil the top, and of honey the bottom is best.
  • One funeral makes many.
  • Peace makes plenty.
  • Plenty know good ale, but don't know much after that.
  • Poor Trust is dead; Bad Pay killed him.
  • Poor thieves in halters we behold; And great thieves in their chains of gold.
  • Proportion your expenses to what you have, not what you expect.
  • Prosperity discovers vices, and adversity virtue.
  • Proverbs are the children of experience.
  • Rain before seven; clear before eleven.
  • Raw cucumber makes the churchyards prosperous.
  • Raw leather will stretch.
  • Revenge is a dish that should be eaten cold.
  • Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
  • Self-praise is no praise at all.
  • Set out wisely at first; custom will make every virtue more easy and pleasant to you than any vice can be.
  • Short acquaintance brings repentance.
  • Soft fire makes sweet malt.
  • Some men go through a forest and see no firewood.
  • Some men have only one book in them, others a library.
  • Spread the table and contention will cease.
  • Spring has come when you can put your foot on three daisies.
  • Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
  • Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
  • Still he fisheth that catcheth one.
  • Sweep in front of your own door.
  • Take a dog for a companion and a stick in your hand.
  • Take a hair of the dog that has bitten you.
  • Take care of your pennies and your pounds will take care of your heirs and barristers.
  • Take heed of enemies reconciled, and of meat twice boiled.
  • The Devil's children have the Devil's luck.
  • The afterthought is good for nought, except it be to catch blind horses with.
  • The bait hides the hook.
  • The calmest husbands make the stormiest wives.
  • The camel asking for horns lost also his ears. [In grasping for things we need not, we often lose what we have.]
  • The cat has nine lives: three for playing, three for straying, three for staying.
  • The darkest hour is that before the dawn.
  • The difference is wide that the sheets will not decide.
  • The eyes are the window of the soul.
  • The face is no index to the heart.
  • The golden age never was the present age.
  • The greater the sinner, the greater the saint.
  • The greater the truth, the greater the libel.
  • The greatest barkers bite not sorest.
  • The more acquaintance, the more danger.
  • The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat.
  • The noisiest drum has nothing in it but air.
  • The noisy fowler catches no birds.
  • The north wind has no corn and a poor man no friend.
  • The old ox plows a straight furrow.
  • The person who is tired will find time to sleep. A person with a bad name is already half hanged.
  • The pitcher that goes too often to the well is broken at last.
  • The pitcher will go to the well once too often.
  • The tongue ever turns to the aching tooth.
  • The worse the passage the more welcome the port.
  • There's many a good cock come out of a tattered bag.
  • There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle.
  • Think of ease, but work on.
  • Too far East is West.
  • Too hot to last.
  • Two wrongs do not make a right.
  • Use soft words and hard arguments.
  • Venture not to defend what your judgment doubts of.
  • Vows made in storms are forgotten in calms.
  • We are all Adam's children, but silk makes the difference.
  • We are usually the best men when in the worst health.
  • When a proud man hears another praised, he feels himself injured.
  • When two agree in their desire, One sparke will set them both on fire.
  • Where old age is evil, youth can learn no good.
  • Who goes a beast to Rome, a beast returns.
  • Whom we love best, to them we can say least.
  • Write down the advice of him who love you, though you like it not at present.
  • Year of snow fruit will grow.
  • You can't get blood out of a stone.
  • You can't get blood out of a turnip.
  • You never miss a slice from a cut loaf.
  • You never miss the water till the well runs dry.
  • Young men may die, old men must.
  • Young men's knocks old men feel.
  • Young people don't know what age is, and old people forget what youth was.
  • Zeal without knowledge is like fire without light.
  • Zeal without knowledge is the sister of folly.

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