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List of English proverbs

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Table of contents
1 Alphabetical listing
2 A
3 B
4 C
5 D
6 E
7 F
8 G
9 H
10 I
11 L
12 M
13 N
14 O
15 P
16 R
17 S
18 T
19 V
20 W
21 Y
22 See Also

Alphabetical listing


;A bad workman always blames his tools.:

;A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.: ;A cat may look at the king.: ;A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.: ;A creaking gate hangs long.: ;A fool and his money are soon parted.: ;A fox smells its own lair first.: ;A friend in need is a friend indeed.: ;A good beginning makes a good ending.: ;A good man in an evil society seems the greatest villain of all.: ;A good surgeon has an eagle's eye, a lion's heart, and a lady's hand : ;A jack of all trades is master of none.: ;A lie has no legs.: ;A lie can be halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on.: ;A little learning is a dangerous thing.: ;A merry heart makes a long life.: ;A miss is as good as a mile.: ;A penny saved is a penny earned.: ;A person is known by the company he keeps.: ;A rolling stone gathers no moss.: ;A sound mind in a sound body.: ;A stitch in time saves nine.: ;A woman's work is never done.: ;A word to the wise is enough.: ;A word to the wise is sufficient: ;A word spoken is past recalling.: ;An apple a day keeps the doctor away.: ;An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.: ;An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.: ;Absence makes the heart grow fonder. ;Actions speak louder than words.: ;Advice when most needed is least heeded.: ;After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.: ;After a storm comes a calm.; ;All flowers are not in one garland.: ;All good things come to an end.: ;All roads lead to Rome.: ;All's fair in love and war.: ;All's well that ends well.: ;All that glitters is not gold.: ;All things come to him who waits.: ;All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.: ;Another man's poison is not necessarily yours.: ;April showers brings May flowers.: ;Ask and you shall receive.: ;Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.: ;Ask no questions and hear no lies.: ;As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.: ;As you sow, so shall you reap.:


;Barking dogs seldom bite. ;Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ;Beauty is only skin deep. ;Beggars can't be choosers. ;Better late than never. ;Better safe than sorry. ;Better the devil you know than the devil that you don't know. ;Birds of a feather flock together. ;Bitter pills may have blessed effects. ;Blood is thicker than water. ;Blood will out. ;Boys will be boys. ;Brain is better than brawn. ;Bread is the staff of life. ;Butter is gold in the morning, silver at noon, lead at night.


;Cider on beer, never fear; beer upon cider, makes a bad rider.: ;Clothes don't make the man.: ;Cowards die many times, but a brave man only dies once.: ;Cross the stream where it is the shallowest.: ;Curiosity killed the cat.: ;Cut your coat according to your cloth.:


;Desperate diseases must have desperate cures. ;Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies. ;Different sores must have different salves. ;Diseases come on horseback, but steal away on foot. ;Do as you would be done by. ;Do unto others as you would have done to you. ;Doctors make the worst patients. ;Don't burn your bridges before they're crossed. ;Don't burn your bridges behind you. ;Don't change horses in midstream.; ;Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. ;Don't cross a bridge until you come to it. ;Don't cross the bridge till you come to it. ;Don't cry over spilt milk. ;Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. ;Don't have too many irons in the fire. ;Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. ;Don't put all your eggs in one basket. ;Don't put the cart before the horse. ;Don't shut the barn door after the horse is gone. ;Don't shut the gate after the horse has bolted. ;Don't spit into the wind. ;Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. ;Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.


;Early bird gets the worm.: ;Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.: ;Eat to live, don't live to eat.: ;Eat when you're hungry, and drink when you're dry.: ;East or West, home is best.: ;Empty barrels make the most sound.: ;Even a worm will turn.: ;Every cloud has a silver lining.: ;Every disease will have its course: ;Every dog has its day.: ;Every man has a price.: ;Every rule has its exception.: ;Everything comes to him who waits.: ;Every why has a wherefore.:


;Faith will move mountains.: ;Familiarity breeds contempt.: ;Fine feathers make fine birds.: ;Fine words butter no parsnips.: ;First come, first served.: ;First deserve than desire.: ;Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.: ;Forbidden fruit is the sweetest.: ;Forewarned is forearmed.: ;Fresh pork and new wine kill a man before his time.: ;Fretting cares make grey hairs.: ;Friend to all is a friend to none.:


;Give a dog a bad name and hang him.: ;Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.: ;God cures and the physician takes the fee.: ;Good eating deserves good drinking.: ;Good fences make good neighbors.:


;Half a loaf is better than none.; ;Haste makes waste.; ;Health is better than wealth.; ;Help a lame dog over a stile.; ;He that lives too fast, goes to his grave too soon.; ;He that will steal an egg will steal an ox.; ;He who hesitates is lost.; ;He who laughs last laughs best.; ;He who laughs last laughs longest.; ;He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.;
;He who sleeps forgets his hunger.; ;Hindsight is 20/20.; ;His bark is worse than his bite.; ;History repeats itself.; ;Home is where the heart is.; ;Home is where you hang your hat.; ;Honesty is the best policy.; ;Hunger is the best spice.;


;If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.: ;If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.: ;If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.: ;If the cap fits, wear it.: ;If the shoe fits, wear it.: ;If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.: ;If you can't beat them, join them.: ;If you can't be good, be careful.: ;If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.: ;If you keep your mouth shut, you won't put your foot in it.: ;If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.: ;In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.: ;It's a good horse that never stumbles.: ;It never rains, but it pours.: ;It's a long lane that has no turning.: ;It's an ill wind that blows no good.: ;It's an ill wind that blows no one good.: ;It's better to give than to receive.: ;It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.: ;It's easy to be wise after the event.: ;It's never too late to mend.: ;It's not over till it's over.: ;It's no use crying over spilt milk.: ;It's the early bird that gets the worm.: ;It's the empty can that makes the most noise.: ;It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.: ;It takes all sorts to make a world.: ;It takes two to make a quarrel.: ;It takes two to tango.:


;Laughter is the best medicine.: ;Learn to walk before you run.: ;Let sleeping dogs lie. (Cf. Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder.): ;Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.: ;Like cures like.: ;Little enemies and little wounds must not be despised.: ;Little by little and bit by bit; ;Long absent, soon forgotten.: ;Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.: ;Look before you leap.: ;Love is blind.:


;Make hay while the sun shines.: ;Many hands make light work.: ;Money talks.: ;Money talks, bullshit walks.: ;More haste, less speed.:


;Nature abhors a vacuum. ;Nature, time, and patience are three great physicians. ;Necessity is the mother of invention. ;Never put off till (until) tomorrow what you can do today. ;New brooms sweep clear. ;New broom sweeps clean. ;No cows, no cares. ;No gain without pain. ;No man can serve two masters. ;No man is content with his lot. ;No news is good news. ;No pain, no gain. ;No time like the present. ;No time to waste like the present. ;Noblesse oblige.
French expression. To be a member of the nobility carries obligations to care for the lower classes.
;Nothing ventured, nothing gained. ;Nothing succeeds like success.


;Once bitten, twice shy. ;One doctor makes work for another. ;One good turn deserves another. ;One hour's sleep before midnight is worth two hours after. ;One man's meat is another man's poison. ;One swallow doesn't make a summer. ;Opposites attract. ;Out of sight, out of mind.


;Paddle your own canoe. ;Penny wise, pound foolish. ;People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. ;Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. ;Practice makes perfect. ;Prevention is better than cure. ;Pride goeth before a fall. ;Procrastination is the thief of time.


;Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky in the morning, sailors take warning. ;Rome wasn't built in a day. ;Rules are made to be broken.


;Seek and ye shall find.: ;Still waters are the deepest.: ;Still waters run deep.: ;Strike while the iron is hot.:


;Talk is cheap.: ;Talk of the devil - and the devil appears.: ;The best things in life are free.: ;The coat makes the man.: ;The cure is worse than the disease.: ;The early bird gets the worm.; ;The end justifies the means.: ;The first step to health is to know that we are sick.: ;The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.: ;The head and feet keep warm, the rest will take no harm.: ;The more things change, the more they stay the same.: ;The more more you have, the more you want.: ;The pen is mightier than sword.: ;The proof of the pudding is in the eating.: ;There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians.: ;There are no small parts, only small actors.: ;There's always a calm before a storm.: ;There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip.: ;There's no accounting for taste.: ;There's no time like the present.: ;The road to hell is paved with good intentions.: ;The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.: (Gospel of Matthew 26:41) ;The squeaky wheel gets the grease.: ;The wish is ever father to the thought.: ;Think before you speak.: ;Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.: ;Time is money.: ;To err is human; to forgive, divine.: ;Tomorrow is another day.: ;Too many cooks spoil the broth.: ;Truth is stranger than fiction.: ;Two's company, three's a crowd.: ;Two heads are better than one.: ;Two things prolong your life: A quiet heart and a loving wife.:


;Variety is the spice of life.:


;Waste not, want not.: ;We all make mistakes.: ;We must take the bad with the good.: ;What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.: ;When in Rome do as the Romans do.; ;When the cat's away, the mice will play.; ;When the going gets tough, the tough get going.; ;Where one door shuts, another opens.; ;Where there's a will there's a way.; ;While the cat is away, the mice will play.; ;While there's life, there's hope.; ;Who keeps company with the wolves, will learn to howl.; ;Wide ears and short tongue are the best.; ;Without sleep, no health.;


;You can lead (take) a horse to water but you can't make it drink. ;You can't have it both ways. ;You can't have your cake and eat it too. ;You can't make an omlette without breaking eggs. ;You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. ;You can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. ;You can't teach an old dog new tricks. ;You can't judge a book by its cover. ;You have to crawl before you can walk. ;You never know what you've got till it's gone. ;You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

See Also