English Proverbs

By | December 3, 2013

Sayings of English origin

A goose quill is more dangerous than a lion’s claw.

What will be, will be.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Many hands make light work.

Well begun is half done.

It is ill prizing of green barley.

Let every man praise the bridge he goes over.

Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.

A full cup must be carried steadily.

There’s no place like home.

Strike while the iron is hot.

Absence is a shrew.

A ragged colt may make a good horse.

Make not your sail too big for your ballast.

Death always comes too early or too late.

He laughs best who laughs last.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Big thunder, little rain.

Anger is often more hurtful than the injury that caused it.

A proverb is the child of experience.

Confession is the first step to repentance.

Learning makes a man fit company for himself as well as for others.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Conscience cannot be compelled.

England Flag and Map

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers much of the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic; and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight.

London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile (2.9 km2) medieval boundaries and in 2011 had a resident population of 7,375, making it the smallest city in England.

As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue spoken by 98% of the population. It is an Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family. After the Norman conquest, the Old English language was displaced and confined to the lower social classes as Norman French and Latin were used by the aristocracy.
Great Britain, also known as Britain Listeni, is an island in the North Atlantic off the north-west coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest island in Europe and the ninth-largest in the world. In 2011 the island had a population of about 61 million people, making it the third-most populous island in the world, after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. It is part of the British Isles archipelago along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, including the island of Ireland to its west.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign state in Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the country includes the island of Great Britain—a term also applied loosely to refer to the whole country—the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another state (the Republic of Ireland). Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-southwest. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The UK has an area of 93,800 square miles (243,000 km2), making it the 80th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)


More English Proverbs:

It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.

God gives the milk but not the pail.

A fool may ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years.

Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today.

For whom does the blind man’s wife paint herself?

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

A cold April the barn will fill.

Better late than never.

Crooked logs make straight fires.

Cats hide their claws.

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

He who killed the lion when absent feared a mouse when present.

It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.

He that will steal an egg will steal an ox.

Time heals all wounds.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

A black plum is as sweet as a white.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

All for one and one for all.

The grass is always greener on the other side.

Knowledge is power.

The bigger they are the harder they fall.

He that would the daughter win must with the mother first begin.

Beware of a man of one book.

Advice is least heeded when most needed.

Custom is the guide of the ignorant.

Gray hairs are death’s blossoms.

He that bulls the cow must keep the calf.

A shady lane breeds mud.

Don’t halt before you are lame.

An hour may destroy what an age was building.

Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

The leopard cannot change its spots.

All clever men are birds of prey.

Ale in, wit out.

Foul water will quench fire.

It’s money that begets money.

First deserve, and then desire.

A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder.

A friend to all is a friend to none.

A fair booty makes a fair thief.

You reap what you sow.

Children suck the mother when they are young and the father when they are old.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.

As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.

Misery loves company.

Once bitten, twice shy.

Age and wedlock tame man and beast.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Blest is the bride the sun shines on.

Don’t judge a book by its cover.

April showers bring May flowers.

An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.

A stumble may prevent a fall.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Still waters run deep.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

It is folly to sing twice to a deaf man.

Age and wedlock bring a man to his nightcap.

The devil dances in empty pockets.

Adversity flatters no man.

Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

Be not deceived with the first appearance of things, for show is not substance.

He is a fool that kissed the maid when he may kiss the mistress.

Everyone must row with the oars he has.

Cheat me in the price, but not in the goods.

What goes around comes around.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

A degenerate nobleman is like a turnip. There is nothing good of him but that which is underground.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Live and let live.

All is fair in love and war.

Don’t drown the man who taught you to swim.

Envy shoots at others and wounds itself.

It’s never too late to mend.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Friends are like fiddle strings; they must not be screwed too tight.

Character is easier kept than recovered.

Do not fall before you are pushed.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Don’t lock the stable door after the horse is stolen.

When it rains, it pours.

Don’t do all you can, spend all you have, believe all you hear, or tell all you know.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Innocent actions carry their warrant with them.

Half a loaf is better than none.

All temptations are found in either hope or fear.

All are not merry that dance lightly.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

A hungry man is an angry man.

Don’t fall before you’re pushed.

Great minds think alike.

You get what you pay for.

Look before you leap.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Hindsight is 20/20

Few are fit to be entrusted with themselves.

The show must go on.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Much ado and little help.

A blind man will not thank you for a looking-glass.

Time is money.

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.

Two is company, three is a crowd.

You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

Accusing the times is but excusing ourselves.

An apple never falls far from the tree.

Fools build houses, and wise men buy them.

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

In the morning be first up, and in the evening last to go to bed, for they that sleep catch no fish.

A burnt child dreads the fire.

Beauty is only skin deep.

Many a true word is spoken in jest.

All are not thieves that dogs bark at.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Whom we love best, to them we can say least.

In times of prosperity friends will be plenty, in times of adversity not one in twenty.

A good beginning makes a good ending.

Alms never make poor.

Death is a shadow that always follows the body.

Don’t cry over spilt milk.

Appearances can be deceiving.

One picture is worth a thousand words.

Silence is golden.

Keep counsel of thyself first.

If you snooze, you lose.

Ask God for what man can give, and you may get it.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Good words cool more than cold water.

A poor beauty finds more lovers than husbands.

If it’s not one thing it’s another.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

Each cross has its own inscription.

He that hath no children doth bring them up well.

Death keeps no calendar.

He who pays the piper may call the tune.

A small family is soon provided for.

An empty barrel makes the most noise.

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

He that seeks trouble never misses.

Little strokes fell great oaks.

If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.

A puff of wind and popular praise weigh the same.

A joy that’s shared is a joy made double.

Education begins a gentleman, conversation completes him.

An enterprising fool needs little wit.

If you want a thing done, go. If not, send. The shortest answer is doing.

A man’s first care should be to avoid the reproaches of his own heart, his next to escape the censures of the world.

A maid who laughs is half taken.

Far fowls have fair feathers.

Better a snotty child than his nose wiped off.

Actions speak louder than words.

Spread the table and contention will cease.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let him make use of instinct who cannot make use of reason.

Money is the root of all evil.

Measure twice, cut once.

It’s not over ’till the fat lady sings.

Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.

One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.

Better safe than sorry.

It takes all sorts to make a world.

A young man idle, an old man needy.

It’s no use crying over spilled milk.

Don’t put the cart before the horse.

What goes up must come down.

Absence sharpens love; presence strengthens it.

An abundance of money ruins youth.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

A black hen lays a white egg.

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.

If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden; if you want to be happy for life, plant a tree.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Do not triumph before the victory.

Do not be in a hurry to tie what you cannot untie.

Never fall out with your bread and butter.

A hero is a man who is afraid to run away.

A dog is a man’s best friend.

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

A lie has short legs.

Haste makes waste.

Make not the sauce till you have caught the fish.

Chains of gold are stronger than chains of iron.

Choose a wife rather by your ear than by your eye.

Make yourself all honey and the flies will devour you.

A broken clock is right twice a day.

Love your neighbor, yet pull not down your hedge.

Leave a great talker in the middle of the street.

He that does amiss may do well.

He that’s a wise man by day is no fool by night.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

You have to take the good with the bad.

It is ill fishing before the net.

Dead news, like dead love, has no phoenix in its ashes.

Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

Give neither advice nor salt, until you are asked for it.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

“God Save the Queen” (alternatively “God Save the King”) is the national and/or royal anthem in a number of Commonwealth realms, their territories, and the British Crown Dependencies. The words and title are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, i.e. replacing Queen with King and she with he when a king reigns.


Anthem Lyrics:

God bless our native land!
May heaven’s protecting hand
Still guard our shore:
May peace her power extend,
Foe be transformed to friend,
And Britain’s rights depend
On war no more.

O Lord, our monarch bless
With strength and righteousness:
Long may she reign:
Her heart inspire and move
With wisdom from above;
And in a nation’s love
Her throne maintain

May just and righteous laws
Uphold the public cause,
And bless our isle:
Home of the brave and free,
Thou land of liberty,
We pray that still on thee
Kind heaven may smile.

Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known
From shore to shore:
Lord make the nations see
That men should brothers be,
And form one family
The wide world over

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