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A bad excuse is better than none
A bad penny always turns up
A bad workman blames his tools.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
A cat may look at a king
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link
A dog is a man's best friend.
A fool and his money are soon parted
A friend in need (is a friend indeed)
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
A little learning is a dangerous thing
A leopard cannot change its spots.
A mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
A miss is as good as a mile
A new language is a new life. Persian proverb
A penny saved is a penny earned.
A picture is worth a thousand words
A rising tide lifts all boats
A rolling stone gathers no moss
A stitch in time (saves nine)
A watched man never plays
A watched pot/kettle never boils
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Absolute power corrupts absolutely. John Dalberg-Acton, 1887
Accidents will happen (in the best-regulated families).
Actions speak louder than words.
Adversity makes strange bedfellows
All good things come to he who waits
All good things must come to an end
All hands on deck/to the pump
All is grist that comes to the mill
All roads lead to Rome,
All that glitters/glistens is not gold,
All the world loves a lover
All things come to those who wait
All things must pass
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All you need is love
All is fair in love and war
All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds
All is well that ends well
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
An army marches on its stomach. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), military leader and Emperor of France
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), leader of the Indian independence movement
An Englishman's home is his castle/A man's home is his castle
Another day, another dollar.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Any port in a storm
Any publicity is good publicity
April showers bring forth May flowers,
As you make your bed, so you must lie upon it
As you sow so shall you reap
Ask a silly question and you will get a silly answer
Ask my companion if I be a thief
Ask no questions and hear no lies
Attack is the best form of defense
Bad news travels fast
Barking dogs seldom bite,
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Beauty is only skin deep
Beggars cannot be choosers
Behind every great man, there is a great woman
Better late than never
Better safe than sorry
Better the Devil you know (than the Devil you do not)
Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt
Better wear out than rust out.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Trojan War, Virgil in the Aeneid
Big fish eat little fish
Birds of a feather (flock together)
Blood is thicker than water
Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth
Boys will be boys
Brevity is the soul of wit (Shakespeare),
Business before pleasure
Caesar's wife must be above suspicion
Careless talk costs lives
Charity begins at home
Cheats never prosper
Cheese, wine, and friends must be old to be good.
Children should be seen and not heard
Christmas comes but once a year
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Clothes make the man
Coffee and love taste best when hot. Ethiopian proverb
Cold hands, warm heart
Comparisons are odious
Count your blessings
Courage is the measure of any person- big or small, short or tall
Cowards may die many times before their death
Crime does not pay
Cross the stream where it is shallowest
Cut your coat according to your cloth
Curiosity killed the cat
Dead men tell no tales
Devil take the hindmost
Discretion is the better part of valour
Do as I say, not as I do
Do as you would be done by
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Do not bite the hand that feeds you
Do not burn your bridges behind you
Do not cast your pearls before swine
Do not cry over spilled milk
Do not change horses in midstream
Do not count your chickens before they are hatched
Do not cross the bridge till you come to it
Do not cut off your nose to spite your face
Do not fish for a shark with your hands, fish for hands with a shark.
Do not judge a book by its cover
Do not keep a dog and bark yourself
Do not let the bastards grind you down
Do not let the grass grow beneath (one's) feet
Do not look a gift horse in the mouth
Do not make a mountain out of a mole hill
Do not meet troubles half-way
Do not put all your eggs in one basket
Do not put the cart before the horse
Do not put too many irons in the fire
Do not put new wine into old bottles
Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Do not rock the boat
Do not shut/lock the stable door after the horse has bolted
Do not spend it all in one place
Do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar
Do not throw pearls to swine
Do not teach your Grandmother to suck eggs
Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater
Do not try to walk before you can crawl
Do not upset the apple-cart
Do not wash your dirty linen in public
Do not sympathize with those who can not empathize
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Often referred to as the Golden Rule
Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), polymath and Founding Father of the United States
Easier said than done
East is east, and west is west (and never the twain shall meet)
East, west, home is best,
Easy come, easy go
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper
Eat, drink and be merry, (for tomorrow we die)
Empty vessels make the most noise
Enough is as good as a feast
Even a worm will turn
Even from a foe a man may learn wisdom.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Every dog has his day
Every Jack has his Jill
Every little bit helps
Every man for himself (, and the Devil take the hindmost)
Every man has his price
Every picture tells a story
Every stick has two ends
Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die
Everyone has their price
Everything comes to those who wait
Every tide has its ebb
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Faint heart never won fair lady (Scott),
Fair exchange is no robbery
Faith will move mountains
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
False friends are worse than open enemies.
Fake it til' you make it.
Familiarity breeds contempt
Feed a cold and starve a fever
Fight fire with fire
Fine feathers make fine birds
Finders keepers (, losers weepers)
Fine words butter no parsnips
First come, first served
First impressions are the most lasting
First things first
Fish always stinks from the head downwards
Fish and guests smell after three days
Flattery will get you nowhere
Fools rush in (where angels fear to tread)
For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the man was lost
Forewarned is forearmed
Fortune favours the bold/brave
Free is for me
Fretting cares make grey hair
From the sublime to the ridiculous (is only a step)
Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains
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
Give a man rope enough and he will hang himself
Give credit where credit is due
Give him an inch and he will take a mile
Give the devil his/her due
God helps those who help themselves
Good fences make good neighbours
Good talk saves the food
Good things come to those who wait
Great minds think alike
Half a loaf is better than no bread
Handsome is as handsome does
Hard cases make bad law
Hard work never did anyone any harm
Haste makes waste
He that goes a-borrowing, goes a-sorrowing
He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches
He who hesitates is lost
He who laughs last laughs longest
He who lives by the sword, die by the sword
He who loves the world as his body may be entrusted with the empire. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – c. 531 BC)
He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man
He who pays the piper calls the tune
He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – c. 531 BC)
He who sups with the Devil should have a long spoon
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd.
William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, Act III scene viii
Hindsight is always twenty-twenty
History repeats itself
Home is where the heart is
Honesty is the best policy
Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.
Hope springs eternal
Horses for courses
Hunger never knows the taste, sleep never knows the comfort
History repeats itself, and it does not care what it repeats
If anything can go wrong, it will. Also referred to as Murphy's Law
If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well
If at first you do not succeed, try, try again
If God had meant us to fly, he would have given us wings
If ifs and ands were pots and pans, there would be no work for tinkers
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
If it were not for hope the heart would break.
If it were a snake, it would have bit you.
If the shoe fits, wear it
If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain
If wealth is lost, nothing is lost. If health is lost, something is lost. If character is lost, everything is lost.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
If you're growing in Age, then you're nearing to the Graveyard
If you cannot be good, be careful
If you cannot beat them, join them
If you cannot live longer, live deeper.
If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll always ask for a glass of milk
If you think that you know everything, then you're a Jack ass
If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
If you play with fire, you will get burned.
If you steal from one author, it is plagiarism; if you steal from many, it is research. Wilson Mizner (1876–1933), American writer and entrepreneur
If you want a thing done well, do it yourself
If you have never seen the bottom of the tree, you cannot know how tall it stands
If you must dance with the Devil, you might as well know his favorite song. (H. Anthony Ribadeneira)
If you've got it, flaunt it
Ignorance is bliss
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
In for a penny, in for a pound
(March comes) in like a lion, (and goes) out like a lamb
In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king
In the midst of life, we are in death
Into every life a little rain must fall
It ain't over till/until it's over
It ain't over till the fat lady sings
It goes without saying
It is a small world
It is all grist to the mill
It is an ill wind (that blows no one any good)
It is best to be on the safe side
It is better to be smarter than you appear than to appear smarter than you are.
It is better to give than to receive
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
It is better to cultivate a Land with two Bulls, rather working under Boss who never gives Wage when asked
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness
It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive
It is easy to be wise after the event
It is like juggling sand (Ian Murray)
It is never too late
It is no use crying over spilt milk
It is no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted
It is not enough to learn how to ride, you must also learn how to fall.
It is on
It is the early bird that gets the worm
It is the empty can that makes the most noise
It is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease
It needs a Hundred Lies to cover a Single Lie
It never rains but it pours
It takes a thief to catch a thief
It takes a whole village to raise a child
It takes all sorts to make a world
It takes one to know one
It takes two to tango
I'm going to have to give you the pink slip
It will come back and haunt you
It will be the same a hundred years hence.
Jack of all trades, master of none/one/some
Judge not, that ye be not judged
Keep your chin up
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Keep your powder dry. Valentine Blacker, 1834 from Oliver's Advice
Kill the chicken to scare the monkey.
Kill the goose that lays the golden egg(s).
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – c. 531 BC)
Knock on/touch wood
Know which side (one's) bread is buttered (on)
Knowledge is power, guard it well.
Laugh before breakfast, cry before supper.
Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone
Laughter is the best medicine
Late lunch makes day go faster.
Learn a language, and you will avoid a war. Arab proverb
Least said, soonest mended
Less is more
Let bygones be bygones
Let not the sun go down on your wrath
Let sleeping dogs lie
Let the buyer beware
Let the cat out of the bag
Let the dead bury the dead (N.T.)
Let the punishment fit the crime
Let well alone
Let your hair down.
Life begins at forty
Life is too short not to do something that matters.
Life is not all beer and skittles
Life is what you make it
Lightning never strikes twice in the same place
Like father, like son
Little pitchers have big ears
Little strokes fell great oaks
Little things please little minds
Live and let live
Live for today, for tomorrow never comes
Live to fight another day. This saying comes from an English proverbial rhyme, "He who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day".
Loose lips sink ships
Look before you leap
Love is blind. The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II, Scene 1 (1591)
Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
Love makes the world go around
Love will find a way
Make hay while the sun shines
Make love not war
Man does not live by bread alone
Manners maketh man
Many a little makes a mickle
Many a mickle makes a muckle
Many a true word is spoken in jest
Many hands make light work
March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb
Marriages are made in heaven
Marry in haste, repent at leisure
Memory is the treasure of the mind
Men are blind in their own cause. Heywood Broun (1888–1939), American journalist
Men get spoiled by staying, Women get spoiled by wandering
Might is right
Might makes right
Mighty oaks from little acorns grow
Milking the bull
Misery loves company
Moderation in all things
Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go, Friday's child is loving and giving, Saturday's child works hard for its living, and a child that is born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise and good and gay.
Money does not grow on trees
Money earned by deceit, goes by deceit
Money is not everything
Money makes the world go around
Money talks
Money makes many things, but also makes devil dance
More haste, less speed
Mud sticks
Music has charms to soothe the savage breast
Nature abhors a vacuum
Necessity is the mother of invention
Needs must when the devil drives
Never cast a clout until May be out
Never reveal a man's wage, and woman's age
Never give advice unless asked.
Never give a sucker an even break
Never judge a book by its cover
Never let the sun go down on your anger
Never look a gift horse in the mouth
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Never speak ill of the dead
Never say never
Never say die
Never tell tales out of school
Never too old to learn.
Nine tailors make a man,
No guts, no glory
No man can serve two masters
No man is an island
No names, no pack-drill
No news is good news
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
No pain, no gain
No rest for the wicked
Nothing is certain but death and taxes
Nothing succeeds like success,
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Once a(n) _, always a(n) _
One might as well throw water into the sea as to do a kindness to rogues
One kind word can warm three winter months
One who speaks only one language is one person, but one who speaks two languages is two people. Turkish Proverb
Oil and water do not mix
Old soldiers never die, (they simply/just fade away). From a soldiers' folklore song, the phrase was most notably used by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) in his farewell address to the Congress.
Once bitten, twice shy
One good turn deserves another
One half of the world does not know how the other half lives
One hand washes the other
One man's meat is another man's poison
One man's trash is another man's treasure
One might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb
One law for the rich and another for the poor
One swallow does not make a summer
One who believes in Sword, dies by the Sword
One year's seeding makes seven years weeding
Only fools and horses work
Open confession is good for the soul.
Opportunity never knocks twice at any man's door
Other times other manners.
Out of sight, out of mind
Out of the frying pan and into the fire
Out of the mouths of babes (and sucklings)
Over greedy man, over wrathful woman will never flourish
Parsley seed goes nine times to the Devil
Patience is a virtue
Pearls of wisdom
Penny wise and pound foolish
Penny, Penny. Makes many.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones
Physician, heal thyself
Possession is nine-tenths of the law
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely
Practice makes perfect
Practice what you preach
Prevention is better than cure
Pride comes/goes before a fall (O.T.),
Procrastination is the thief of time
Put your best foot forward
Put your money where your mouth is
Red sky at night shepherds delight; red sky in the morning, shepherds warning
Respect is not given, it is earned.
Revenge is a dish best served cold
Revenge is sweet
Rome was not built in a day
Right or wrong, my country
Rules were made to be broken.
See a penny and pick it up, all the day you will have good luck; see a penny and let it lay, bad luck you will have all day
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
Seeing is believing
Seek and ye shall find
Set a thief to catch a thief
Shiny are the distant hills
Shrouds have no pockets
(Speech is silver but) Silence is golden
Slow and steady wins the race
Slow but sure
Softly, softly, catchee monkey
Some are more equal than others
Sometimes we are the student. Sometimes we are the master. And sometimes we are merely the lesson – Jacalyn Smith
Spare the rod and spoil the child
Speak as you find
Speak softly and carry a big stick
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me
Still waters run deep
Strike while the iron is hot
Stupid is as stupid does
Success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan
Speak of the devil and he shall/is sure/will appear
(A) swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon; but a swarm in July is not worth a fly
Take care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves
Talk is cheap
Talk of the Devil, and he is bound to appear
Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are
Tell the truth and shame the Devil (Shakespeare, Henry IV),
That which does not kill us makes us stronger
The age of miracles is past
The apple does not fall/never falls far from the tree
The best defence is a good offence
The best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry
The best things in life are free
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
The boy is father to the man
The bread never falls but on its buttered side
The child is the father of the man
The cobbler always wears the worst shoes
The course of true love never did run smooth
The customer is always right
The darkest hour is just before the dawn
The Devil finds work for idle hands to do
The Devil looks after his own
The die is cast
The early bird catches the worm
The end justifies the means
The enemy of my enemy is my friend
The exception which proves the rule
The female of the species is more deadly than the male
The good die young
The grass is always greener (on the other side) (of the fence)
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world
The husband is always the last to know
The innocent seldom find an uncomfortable pillow. William Cowper, English poet (1731–1800)
The labourer is worthy of his hire
The law is an ass. From English writer Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist
The leopard does not change his spots
The light is on but nobody is home
The longest day must have an end
The longest journey starts with a single step
The moon is made of green cheese
The more the merrier
The more things change, the more they stay the same
The only disability in life is a bad attitude. Scott Hamilton
The only way to understand a woman is to love her
The pen is mightier than the sword
The pot calling the kettle black
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions
The shoemaker's son always goes barefoot
The squeaky wheel gets the grease
The streets are paved with gold
The straw that broke the camel's back
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach
The work praises the man.
The worm will turn
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch
There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream
There are none so blind as those who will not see — attributed variously to Edmund Burke or George Santayana
There are two sides to every question
There but for the grace of God go I
There is an exception to every rule
There are always more fish in the sea
There is honour among thieves
There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle
There is many a slip 'twixt cup and lip
There is more than one way to skin a cat
There is no accounting for tastes
There is no fool like an old fool
There is no place like home
There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.
There is no smoke without fire/Where there is smoke, there is fire
There is no such thing as a free lunch
There is no such thing as bad publicity
There is no time like the present
There are none so deaf as those who will not hear
There is nowt so queer as folk
There is one born every minute
There is safety in numbers
They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind
Third time is a charm
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones
Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know. Czech proverb
Those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas
Time and tide wait for no man
Time flies
Time is a great healer
Time is money
(Only) time will tell
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
To be worn out is to be renewed. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – c. 531 BC)
To each his own.
To err is human, to forgive divine
To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world. Chinese proverb
To the victor go the spoils
To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive
Tomorrow is another day
Tomorrow never comes
Too many cooks spoil the broth
Truth is stranger than fiction
Truth is more valuable if it takes you a few years to find it. Often attributed to French author Jules Renard (1864–1910)
(The) truth will out
Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
Two can play at that game
Two heads are better than one
Two is company, but three is a crowd,
Two wrongs (do not) make a right
Variety is the spice of life. William Cowper, English poet (1731–1800)
Virtue is its own reward
Walk softly but carry a big stick. 26th U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, 1900 in letter relating an old African proverb
Walls have ears
Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs
Waste not, want not
Well begun is half done
Well done is better than well said.
What cannot be cured must be endured
What goes around, comes around
What goes up must come down
What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts
What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander
What the eye does not see (the heart does not grieve over.)
When in Rome, (do as the Romans do). St. Ambrose 347AD
When it rains it pours.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
When the cat is away, the mice will play
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
When the oak is before the ash, then you will only get a splash; when the ash is before the oak, then you may expect a soak
When three women gather, it becomes noisy.
When you have seen one, you have seen them all
What is learnt in the cradle lasts to the tombs.
What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over
Where there is a will there is a way
Where there is muck there is brass
Where there is life there is hope.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.
While there is life there is hope
Who will bell the cat?
Whom the Gods love die young
Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
With great responsibility comes great power
Woman is the root of both good and evil
Wonders will never cease
Work expands so as to fill the time available
Worrying never did anyone any good
You are never too old to learn
You are what you eat
You can have too much of a good thing
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink
You can never/never can tell
You cannot always get what you want
You cannot eat your cake and have it too
You cannot get blood out of a stone
You cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear
You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs
You cannot make bricks without straw
You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
(You cannot) teach an old dog new tricks
You cannot win them all
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
You pay your money and you take your choice
Youth is wasted on the young
You may/might as well be hanged/hung for a sheep as (for) a lamb
You must have rocks in your head
You scratch my back and I will scratch yours
You've got to separate the wheat from the chaff
You've made your bed and you must lie in/on it
Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.
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