English Proverbs & Sayings (2)

  • What is a Proverb?

A proverb (from the Latin proverbium), also called a byword or nayword, is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. If a proverb is distinguished by particularly good phrasing, it may be known as an aphorism.

Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language. Both the Bible (Book of Proverbs) and medieval Latin have played a considerable role in distributing proverbs across Europe, although almost every culture has examples of its own.

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 Dont-put-all-your-eggs-in-one-basketjust 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:

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 split 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 Let-sleeping-dogs-lie!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.

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