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Proverbs are popular sayings that provide nuggets of wisdom.
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Proverbs Meaning
A bad workman always blames his tools Someone blames the quality of their equipment or other external factors when they perform a task poorly.
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush Things we already have are more valuable than what we hope to get.
A cat has nine lives Someone can survive seemingly fatal events
A drowning man will clutch at a straw When someone is in a difficult situation, s/he will take any available opportunity to improve it
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step You must begin something if you hope to finish it; something that takes a long time to finish begins with one step.
A leopard doesn’t change its spots A person can’t change its innate character, especially bad.
A picture is worth a thousand words An image can tell a story better than words.
A rolling stone gathers no moss A person who is always changing jobs and places has the advantage of less responsibilities, but also the disadvantage of no fixed place to live.
A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is for Get out of your comfort zone to grow and fulfill your potential.
A stitch in time saves nine It’s better to deal with problems immediately rather than wait by when they worsen and become much bigger.
A watched pot never boils If something takes time to do, it doesn’t help to constantly check on it. You just have to give it time.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder Being away from someone or something for a period of time makes you appreciate that person or thing more when you see them or it again.
Actions speak louder than words What you do is more important than what you say.
All good things must come to an end Everything ends; good times don’t last forever.
All’s fair in love and war One can break the rules of fair play under extenuating circumstances.
All’s well that ends well As long as the outcome is good, problems on the way don’t matter.
Always put your best foot forward Try as hard as you can or give your best.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away If you eat healthily, you will be healthy.
An empty vessel makes much noise Foolish or stupid people are the most talkative.
An idle brain is the devil’s workshop If you’ve nothing to do, you’ll likely think of mischief.
Barking dogs seldom bite People who appear threatening rarely do harm.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder What is “beautiful” is different for each person
Beggars can’t be choosers If you’re in a bad situation and someone offers to help you, you have to take whatever they give you and shouldn’t ask for more.
Best things in life are free The most valuable things are often free.
Better late than never It’s better to finish something late than to never do it at all
Birds of a feather flock together People who are similar spend time together
Blood is thicker than water Relationships with family (or blood relatives) is stronger than other relationships.
Cleanliness is next to godliness It’s good to be clean. God is clean, and you should be too.
Cross the stream where it is shallowest To do things in the easiest possible way
Curiosity killed the cat Enquiring into others’ work can be dangerous. One should mind own business.
Curses, like chickens, come home to roost The consequences of doing wrong always catch up with the wrongdoer.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you Don’t make someone angry or hurt someone who is helping you or paying for you.
Don’t blow your own trumpet You should avoid proudly talking of your achievements and success in front of others.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch Don’t expect a positive result before you actually see it.
Don’t judge a book by its cover Don’t judge someone or something by appearance alone.
Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs If you kill a goose that lays golden eggs, you destroy something that makes lot of money for you.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket Don’t put all of your hopes and resources into one goal or dream.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today If you can do something today, do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow; don’t procrastinate.
Don’t put too many irons in the fire Don’t try to do too many things at the same time; focus on one thing at a time.
Easy come, easy go When you make money quickly, it’s very easy to lose it quickly as well.
Every cloud has a silver lining Every bad or negative situation can result in some benefit to you.
Fall seven times. Stand up eight Be resilient and try despite failures. That’s how you succeed.
Fortune favors the bold People who are brave and who take risks are more successful than people who are do things safely all the time.
God helps those who help themselves Don’t just wait for good things to happen to you. Work hard to make them happen.
Good things come to those who wait If you are patient, good things can happen.
Grief divided is made lighter If you share your grief, it’ll get easier to bear.
Half a loaf is better than none Getting less than what one wants is better than not getting anything.
Honesty is the best policy It’s always better to tell the truth than it is to lie.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst In any situation, be optimistic about the result, but always be ready for the worst outcome.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it If something is already working well, there’s no point trying to change it.
If you can’t beat them, join them If you can’t change someone’s behavior or opinion, sometimes it’s better or easier to do what they want to do.
If you play with fire, you’ll get burned If you get involved in something dangerous or beyond your abilities, you will probably experience negative consequences.
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself Don’t depend on someone else to do a good job; do it yourself
It takes two to make a quarrel An argument of quarrel is not one person’s fault.
It takes two to tango Where two parties are involved in a situation, fault usually lies with both if things go wrong. Rarely can one party be blamed entirely.
It’s better to be safe than sorry You should always take any necessary precautions.
It’s not over till it’s over Till the event has completely played, you’re still in with a chance to succeed.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer If someone is your enemy, treat them like a friend so you can be ready if they ever try to betray you
Knowledge is power The more you know, the more powerful you can be in different areas of your life
Laughter is the best medicine When you’re in a difficult situation, laughing can make it easier to get through that situation.
Learn to walk before you run Learn basic skills first before venturing into complex things.
Life begins at forty A person truly starts enjoying life after forty as a result of accumulated skills and wisdom.
Lightning never strikes twice in the same place Misfortune does not occur twice in the same way to the same person.
Like father, like son Said when a son is similar to his father; also, “Like mother, like daughter”.
Money talks Money gives one power and influence.
No gain without pain It is necessary to suffer or work hard in order to succeed or make progress.
No man is an island No one is truly capable of living alone. We need human connection to be healthy.
No news is good news If you don’t receive any news about someone or something, it means that everything is fine and going normally.
Once bitten twice shy Someone will not do something a second time because they had a bad experience the first time they did it.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure What may seem to be junk to one person maybe valuable to another.
Out of sight, out of mind If someone or something is not seen for a long time, it’ll be forgotten.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones Don’t criticize someone if you’re not perfect either; don’t be a hyprocrite.
Play the waiting game To postpone or delay a decision or course of action so as to first see what might happen or what one's opponent(s) might do.
Practice makes perfect The more you do something, the better you will become at it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day Important work takes time to complete.
Silence is half consent If you don’t object to what someone says or does, you may be assumed to agree to some extent.
Slow and steady wins the race Slow and consistent work leads to better chance of success than quick work in spurts.
Still waters run deep If a person doesn’t speak much, it doesn’t mean they lack depth or are uninteresting.
Strike while the iron is hot Take advantage of an opportunity as soon as it comes along.
The early bird gets the worm People who wake up early or act promptly will have more opportunities available to them and a better chance of success.
The end justifies the means A desired result is so important that any method, even a morally bad one, may be used to achieve it.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend If someone whom I don’t like doesn’t like someone else whom I don’t like, we can act like friends and unite against the other person (common in war)
The grass is always greener on the other side People always want what they don’t have.
The pen is mightier than the sword If you’re trying to convince someone of something, words and ideas are stronger than using physical force (common in politics).
The show must go on A performance, event, etc., must continue even though there are problems.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease The person who complains in a situation is more likely to get something.
There is no place like home Your home is the most comfortable place in the world.
There is no such thing as a free lunch Nothing is free. Even the things that are free have a hidden cost.
There is no time like the present Don’t wait to do something. Do it now.
Time is money Don’t waste your time or other people’s time; also, if you can use your time to make money in some way, you should do that.
Too many cooks spoil the broth When too many people work together on a project, the result is inferior.
Two heads are better than one It’s easier to do something as a team than by yourself.
Two wrongs don’t make a right Trying to get revenge on someone who has hurt you will only make things worse.
What goes around comes around If someone treats other people badly, he or she will eventually be treated badly by someone else.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do When you are in a new place or situation, try to act like the majority of people in that place or situation.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going When a situation becomes difficult, strong people don’t give up; they work harder.
Where one door shuts, another opens. When you lose an opportunity to do one thing, an opportunity to do something else appears.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way If you are determined, you will find a way to achieve what you want.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire If something seems wrong, it probably is; also, there is usually some truth to a rumor.
While the cat’s away, the mice will play Without supervision, people will do as they please, especially in disregarding or breaking rules.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it You can try to help someone by giving good advice, but you can’t force them to accept it or follow it
You can’t always get what you want Don’t complain if you don’t get what you want
You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs It is hard to achieve something important without causing unpleasant effects.
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar If you have a sweet disposition you will get more from people than if you are rude to them.