English Proverbs

A few proverbs…

  • The acorn (apple) never falls far from the tree.
  • Bad news travels fast.
  • Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
  • Better late than never.
  • Better safe than sorry.
  • Better the devil you know (than the one you don’t).
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Birds of a feather flock together.
  • Variant: Birds of the same feather flock together.
  • Blood is thicker than water.
  • Boys will be boys.
  • Beauty lies in Simplicity
  • The calm (comes) before the storm.
  • A chain is as strong as its weakest link.
  • The customer is always right.
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  • Don’t burn your bridges.
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover.
  • Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
  • Don’t take life too seriously; you’ll never get out of it alive.
  • Doctors make the worst patients.
  • The early bird gets (or catches) the worm.
  • The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
  • First things first.
  • Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • Fortune favours the brave.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed.
  • Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
  • Give people a common enemy and hopefully they will work together
  • Good fences make good neighbors.
  • (You can’t) Have your cake and eat it too
  • He who hesitates is lost.
  • If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
  • If something can go wrong, it will.
  • If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.
  • If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
  • It takes two to tango.
  • Learn to walk before you run.
  • Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
  • Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
  • Like father, like son.
  • Live and let live.
  • Look before you leap.
  • Look on the sunny side of life.
  • Luck favors the prepared.
  • Misery loves company.
  • The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
  • Never say never.
  • No man can serve two masters.
  • No pain, no gain.
  • No time like the present.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • An old dog will learn no tricks.
  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • Pride comes before a fall
  • Revenge is a dish best served cold.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day
  • Something is better than nothing.
  • Something worth doing is worth doing well.
  • Spare the rod, spoil the child.
  • Talk of the devil and he’s sure to appear.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  • Two heads are better than one.
  • We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
  • When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

 Wikipedia contributors, “English Proverbs,” Wikiquote, http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/English_proverbs (accessed August 19, 2011).


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