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Famous English Proverbs & Sayings with full Explanation

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قديم 10-09-2009, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή

Angry Famous English Proverbs & Sayings with full Explanation


Hi guys here's a new topic in which I'll put the most famous and well-known proverbs and sayings in English . so feel free to put whatever proverb comes into your minds so as to make a huge collection of them

and tell us which ones you like the most and why

here we go !

Between the devil and the deep sea

To choose between two equally bad alternatives in a serious dilemma.

Where there's a will there's a way

When a person really wants to do something, he will find a way of doing it.

A burnt child dreads fire

A bad experience or a horrifying incident may scar one's attitude or thinking for a lifetime.

First come, first served

The first in line will be attended to first.

A friend in need is a friend indeed

A friend who helps when one is in trouble is a real friend.

Discretion is the better part of valor

If you say discretion is the better part of valor, you mean that avoiding a dangerous or unpleasant situation is sometimes the most sensible thing to do.

A hungry man is an angry man

A person who does not get what he wants or needs is a frustrated person and will be easily provoked to rage.

Empty vessels make the most noise

Those people who have a little knowledge usually talk the most and make the greatest fuss.

A man is as old as he feels

A person's age is immaterial - it is only when he thinks and feels that he is ageing that he actually becomes old.

Great talkers are little doers

Those people who talk a lot and are always teaching others usually do not do much work.

An idle brain is the devil's workshop

One who has nothing to do will be tempted to do many mischievous acts.

An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit

It is better to be careful and discrete than to be clever.

Faint heart never won fair lady

To succeed in life one must have the courage to pursue what he wants.

A penny saved is a penny gained

By being thrifty one will be able to save up.

A rolling stone gathers no moss

A person who never settles in one place or who often changes his job will not succeed in life ; one who is always changing his mind will never get anything done.

As you sow, so you shall reap

One will either enjoy or suffer the consequences of his earlier actions or inactions.

Barking dogs seldom bite

Those who make loud threats seldom carry them out.

Better late than never

To do something that is right, profitable, or good a little late is still better than not doing it at all.

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

Something that one already has is better than going after something seemingly more worthwhile that one may not be able to get.

Birds of a feather flock together

People of the same sort of character or belief always go together.

Call a spade a spade

If you say that someone calls a spade a spade, you mean that they speak frankly and directly, often about embarrassing or unpleasant subjects; an informal expression.

Charity begins at home

A person's first obligation should be to help the member of his own family before he can begin thinking of talking about helping others.

Dead men tell no lies

( often used as an argument for killing someone whose knowledge of a secret may cause one loss or get into serious trouble.)

A great talker is a great liar

A smooth and persuasive talker may be a good liar.

Every cloud has a silver lining

If you say that every cloud has a silver lining, you mean that every sad or unpleasant situation has a positive side to it. If you talk about silver lining you are talking about something positive that comes out of a sad or unpleasant situation.

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 just 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.


التعديل الأخير تم بواسطة ΪrǾή♕MĂή ; 10-09-2009 الساعة 12:51 AM
ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-09-2009, 12:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή

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 spilt 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 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.

Honesty is the best policy

Being honest is believed to be the best route to take.

One man's meat is another man's poison

No two persons are alike - every one has his own preferences, likes and dislikes.

Once bitten twice shy

If a person has been tricked once he will more be careful and alert the next time.

Like father, like son, like mother, like daughter

( used to describe a child's behavior when he or she acts like the father or mother )

Practice makes perfect

It is believed that if one practices a certain skill often, he will excel in it

Prevention is better than cure

It is better to be careful beforehand than to try to solve a problem after it has arisen.

Rome was not built in a day

Any great plan or big dream cannot be achieved overnight or easily.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

( this is quoted when one takes another loan to pay off an earlier loan ) taking from one to give another.

Spare the rod and spoil the child

A child who is not punished and showed the error of his ways will become unruly.

Speech is silver, silence is golden

Talk may be beneficial, but sometimes acquiescence may be the best option to take.

It takes two to make a quarrel

Both parties in a quarrel should share the blame or take responsibility for it; no one can start a quarrel all by himself.

Strike while the iron is hot

Seize a good opportunity as quickly as possible.

There's no smoke without fire

Rumors do not spread unless there is some element of truth in them.

Time and tide wait for no one

Time is precious, once it is past no one can go back and claim it thus everyone should be mindful of how his time is spent.

To err is human, to forgive divine

It is only normal for man to make mistakes and do wrong, but for one to forgive another for his wrong is indeed great and gracious act.

What's done can't be undone

In life there are some things once done or decisions once made cannot be changed; malicious words once uttered or harmful actions once done cannot be taken back.

Two heads are better than one

It is always better to get the view of another than to rely entirely on one's own judgment.

When in Rome do as the Romans do

When one is in a new place, country or situation he must adapt himself to the new manners and customs.

When the cat is away the mice will play

When law enforcers are not present, certain public members will take the opportunity to break the law

Absence makes the heart grow fonder One usually desires another more when he or she is far away.

ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-09-2009, 12:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή

A bad workman always blames his tools

A careless or unskilled worker blames bad work on his tools rather than himself.

A new broom sweeps clean

A person newly appointed is always eager and enthusiastic in his work.

Don't judge a book by its cover

Do not be deceived by appearances.

Blood is thicker than water

Family ties are stronger than any other.

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Do not make plans based on something that has not happened.

Don't make a mountain out of a molehill

Do not make a big fuss or issue over something minor or small

Experience is the best teacher

The best way to learn a job is to do it.

The last straw that broke the camel's back

The final thing that, when added to a bad or unpleasant situation, causes failure or ruin.

Look at the bright side

Be optimistic

Make hay while the sun shines

Seize opportunities

Out of sight, out of mind

You will soon forget friends you do not meet or keep in contact with.

A leopard cannot change its spots

A person's nature cannot change.

There are two sides to every question
There are always two ways of looking at something

Too many cooks spoil the broth
Too many people doing the same thing at the same time will not be successful

We never miss the water till the well runs dry
You only realize the importance of something when it is gone

To put the cart before the horse
To do something in an incorrect order

Bite off more than one can chew
To try to do something one is unable to do or incapable of doing.

Half a loaf is better than none
It's better to have or receive less than one desires than to have or receive nothing at all.

Have an old head on young shoulders
Youngsters who possess qualities of wisdom one would only expect to find in experienced older people.

Have eyes in the back of one's head
An ability to know what is happening not within the scope of one's vision.

If it's not one thing it's another
The troubles seem to go on and on without end.

The sky is the limit
There is no upper limit to something

A trouble shared is a trouble halved
Your troubles seem half as great when you discuss them with someone else

A watched pot never boils
If you watch or wait for something to get done or to happen it seems to take forever

Worship the ground somebody walks on
Very much in love with somebody

Between a rock and a hard place
To be in a difficult situation from which there seems to be no escape

Cleanliness is next to Godliness
To be clean and tidy is just as important as being spiritually good and religious.

Money is the root of all evil
Crimes and wickedness are associated with money.

Two's company, three's a crowd
It is always fun while there are only two people whereas the third person is an unwelcome intrusion.

It takes all sorts to make a world You should not expect everyone to think and act as you do.

Jump from the frying pan into the fire
To go from a bad position to a worse one.

Go from the sublime to the ridiculous
Move from one situation which is wonderful or perfect to another which is absurd or awful

One swallow doesn't make a summer
One success doesn't guarantee complete success

Truth is stranger than fiction
Real life can be more incredible than anything which can be imagined

You can't have your cake and eat it You must choose between two things as it is impossible to have both at the same time

A miss is as good as a mile
Something that one already has is better than something that one may not be able to get

As you make your bed so must you lie on it
You must accept the consequences of your act

Cut your coat according to your cloth
Live within your income; don't be too ambitious in your plans

ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-09-2009, 12:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή

All's fish that comes the net

When something comes our way we should consider how it might be useful or benefit us.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

It means that apples are so nutritious they keep you in the peak of health.

Be on the safe side

To take special precautions to avoid making a mistake

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

What is beautiful to one person may not be beautiful to others.

Beggars can't be choosers

Someone in need should be grateful for what is given to him -- even if it's not what he wants or expects

The blind leading the blind

A person helping or advising someone knows as little about the subject as the person who is being advised.

The buck stops here

It means final decision or total responsibility for an action

Burn the candle at both ends

Those who are always busy and seem to get little rest

Buy a pig in a poke

Buy something without examining it for faults or checking to see if they are really getting what they believe they have purchased

Catch as catch can

To do anything or use any means to achieve an aim or reach a goal.

Children should be seen and not heard

To stop a child from asking questions, talking, or making unnecessary noise.

Christmas comes but once each year

An excuse to indulge in food and drink and spend money during the Christmas season.

Cry over spilled milk
It's pointless to get upset or feel regret about a loss or mistake that can't be undone

Curiosity killed the cat
To warn people not to show too much interest in affairs that don't concern them.

Cut off your nose to spite your face
When people are dissatisfied or angry, they sometimes react by doing foolish things that prove harmful to themselves.

The devil finds work for idle hands
Unless one keeps busy doing useful or constructive things he could be tempted into mischief or evil.

The devil has the best tunes
To do something unworthy because it gives you pleasure

Dog eat dog
In competitive situations where each person has his own interests at heart, it is usually the strong and the determined who succeed.

An exception to the rule
Something does not conform to or agree with a rule

Fling/throw mud at someone
To say evil or bad things about someone and in doing so, to damage his or her reputation.

A fool and his money are soon parted
A person who spends his money foolishly will soon be penniless

Forgive and forget
Excusing or pardoning someone for doing something

Give someone enough rope and he will hang himself
If we allow someone to continue in his bad ways he'll eventually bring about his own downfall or ruin.

Grin and bear it
To put up with discomfort or a bad situation without complaining.

He who pays the piper calls the tune
The person who pays for something has the right to do as he wants.

Hide your light under a bushel
Concealing your talents, skills or abilities

Hitch one's wagon to a star
To Move forward in a way to improve your chances of achieving success.

Home is where the heart is
No matter where you are, 'home' is where you feel most comfortable and content.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
If we could get all the things we wanted just by making a wish, everyone would have all he ever wanted.

If you can't lick them, join them If you cannot defeat an opponent or get him to change his ideas, plans or way of doing things, the best thing is to change your ideas, plans, etc.

In for a penny, in for a pound
If we decide to do something, we should commit ourselves to it boldly and completely.

A job worth doing is a job worth doing well
When you do something you should do it as well as you can.

Keep the wolf from the door
To avoid hunger and poverty

Laugh and the world laughs with you
When someone is in a happy, cheerful mood, people like being with him.

Least said, soonest forgotten The less we say about it the sooner the incident will be forgotten.

A chicken and egg question
A mysterious question which can't be answered

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink
We can help, show or encourage someone to do something but we can't make him do what he is unwilling or unable to do

ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-09-2009, 12:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή

Life is just a bowl of cherries

Life is full of happiness and pleasure

Like a bull in a china shop

A clumsy or tactless person

Lock the stable door after the horse has bolted

Once a mistake has been made or an error committed, it's too late to take precautions to prevent it from happening.

The longest day must have an end

All difficult jobs or situations also have an end.

Losers weepers, finders keepers

If someone loses something, he weeps -- but if someone finds it, he keeps it.

Love me, love my dog

If we want a person's friendship we must accept him totally, faults and all.

Many hands make light work

Many people sharing a job or tasks make easier work of it.

The mountain labors and brings forth a mouse

To work hard and long on a project that turns out to be pretty useless.

Opportunity only knocks once

Seize an opportunity when it occurs for it may never happen again.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure

It is even better to be cautious and prevent a misfortune or an accident from happening.

Possession is nine points of the law

In disputes over property ownership, the person in possession of something is sometimes said to have nine-tenths a chance of winning it in a legal argument

Promises are like pie crust

Most promises cannot be kept

Put a quart into a pint pot
Doing something that's impossible

The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike
No matter how good or bad a person, he must still face the everyday problems that confront us all.

The sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children
People will be punished for the wrongs committed by their parents, forefathers, or those who have preceded them.

Someone's bark is worse than his bite
People sometimes bark but in time we learn they're not always as frightening as they seem.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
To do something unworthy just because it gives you the pleasure

A stitch in time saves nine
By taking immediate action we can prevent a fault, damage or trouble from getting worse

A straw will show which way the wind blows
A small incident can reveal an important event

Teach an old dog new tricks
It is impossible to change someone's ways or habits, especially if he is old and resists change

That's where the shoe pinches
That's the source or cause of a problem or an annoyance

There are none so blind as those that will not see
People ,who never admit they might be wrong, refuse to listen to the opinions or ideas of anyone

There are none so deaf as those who will not hear
People sometimes hear only what they want to hear

There's more than one way to skin a cat
There is more than one way of getting a job done

The thin end of the wedge
That something can appear to be small and of no particular importance - yet it can turn out to be the beginning of a major problem.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever
It means that though something beautiful may not last, the happy memory of it will live forever.

Time heals old wounds
The passing of time helps us to forget things that have caused us pain or made us unhappy.

The truth will out
Truth about something will eventually be discovered or made known

Turn up like a bad penny
Something or someone disliked just won't go away

Two wrongs do not make a right If a person does something to harm or offend us, that's wrong. If we do something to harm them back, that's wrong too.

Uneasy is the head that wears the crown
Notable or important people are often concerned about losing their positions.

Waste not, want not
If we're careful and waste nothing we'll never go without things we need.

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach
Most men love to eat so feed your husband well and he will always love you.

Wear out one's welcome
One is no longer welcome, usually because he has become a nuisance

When poverty comes in the door, love flies out the window As soon as a happily married couple begin having financial problems and the bills pile up their love will disappear.

Who keeps company with wolves, will learn to howl
If we associate with bad companions we, too, will become bad

You pays your money and you takes your chances
A humorous way of saying that we sometimes must trust in luck when buying something.

Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them
If you are rich and successful, you will attract many friends, but if you should suffer hardship or have misfortune ( adversity ), your friends will quickly depart.

ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-09-2009, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً
الصورة الرمزية ❣МⒶЯⒾАМ❣
what a wonderful topic

there are sososo many proverbs that I have never heard before

Thank u so much for sharing

❣МⒶЯⒾАМ❣ غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-09-2009, 10:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
من مين
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الأبداع
الآثمون لا يعشقون المطر!
الصورة الرمزية من مين
very nice Kareem

so many proverbs coincide with the arabic ones in the meaning and expression

I have'nt read them all, I'll be back every while

thanks buddy
من مين غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
Little Cat
رومانسي فعال
الصورة الرمزية Little Cat
Yay, I've read them all and I truly enjoyed that. Reading English proverbs is one of my hobbies so seeing your topic made me happy.

Thank you Iron Man, I think I'll be adding some nice proverbs later, if you don't mind of course

Thanks again

Little Cat غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-11-2009, 04:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή
المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة بسـ الطفـε(。◕‿◕。)зـوله ــمة مشاهدة المشاركة
what a wonderful topic

there are sososo many proverbs that I have never heard before

Thank u so much for sharing

that's absolutely true

many proverbs look alike

because wisdom is universal

thanks for commenting Marioom

ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 10-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
مشرف متميز سابقاً - أمير الإبداع
الصورة الرمزية ΪrǾή♕MĂή
المشاركة الأصلية كتبت بواسطة من مين مشاهدة المشاركة
very nice Kareem

so many proverbs coincide with the arabic ones in the meaning and expression

I have'nt read them all, I'll be back every while

thanks buddy

as I said to Mariem

the fact that there's some resemblance

bt Arabic and occidental proverbs

shows to what extent

cultural inheritage is shared by the mankind

thanks for commenting my friend

regards mr Chafik
ΪrǾή♕MĂή غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
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