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  English Proverbs and Sayings 


Alphabetical lists of commonly-used proverbs and sayings in English.


 List A3 : "accidents will happen" → "ask no questions..."  



Proverbs and sayings are short statements of wisdom or advice that are transmitted from generation to generation and have passed into general use.


  • accidents will happen
    • Some unfortunate events must be accepted as inevitable.

  • Actions speak louder than words
    • What a person actually does is more important than what they say they will do.

  • Admiration is the daughter of ignorance
    • Admiration can lead to blindness. Some people do not want to see any faults in those they admire.

  • Adversity makes strange bedfellows.
    • People of all origins who share the same misfortune are drawn together.

  • Advice is cheap
    • It doesn't cost anything to offer advice.

  • Advice is least heeded when most needed.
    • When a problem is serious, people often do not follow the advice given.

  • Advisors run no risks.
    • It's easier to give advice than to act.

  • After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a while.
    • Dinner is called 'lunch' nowadays, and supper has become 'dinner'.

  • Age before beauty
    • Older people should be given precedence over the younger (who are thought to be more beautiful).

  • Agree, for the law is costly.
    • A compromise is better than an expensive lawsuit.

  • All cats are grey in the dark.
    • People are undistinguished until they have made a name for  themselves.

  • All covet, all lose
    • If you try to obtain everything, you risk losing everything.

  • All days are short to industry and long to idleness.
    • Time goes by slowly when you have nothing to do.

  • All days are short to industry and long to idleness.
    • Time goes by slowly when you have nothing to do.

  • All good things come to those who wait.
    • If you are patient you will be rewarded.

  • All that glitters is not gold.
    • Appearances can be deceptive.

  • All in good time.
    • Be patient. Things will happen when the time is right.



  • All is fair in love and war.
    • Things that are done in love or war can often be excused.

  • All's well that ends well.
    • There is a solution to everything even if there are doubts.

  • All roads lead to Rome
    • There are many different ways to reach an objective.

  • All things grow with time -  except grief.
    • As time goes by, grief subsides little by little.

  • All things are difficult before they are easy.
    • With practice everything becomes easier.

  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
    • Everybody needs a certain amount of relaxation. It is not good to work all the time.

  • An ant may well destroy a whole dam.
    • A small problem can sometimes cause a lot of harm.

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
    • Eating an apple every day can help to keep you healthy.
      Other interpretation: A small preventive treatment wards off serious problems.

  • An empty purse frightens away friends.
    • When one's financial situation deteriorates, friends tend to disappear.

  • An Englishman's home is his castle
    • An Englishman's home is a place where he feels safe, enjoys privacy and can do as he wishes.

  • An idle brain is the devil's workshop
    • When you are busy working, you avoid temptation.

  • An old fox is not easily snared.
    • A person of experience is difficult to fool or manipulate.

  • An onion a day keeps everyone away.
    • A humoristic version of "an apple a day..."

  • An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.
    • It is better to be cautious and discreet than to try to be funny.

  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    • It is easier to prevent something from happening than to repair the damage or cure the disease later.

  • nger is the one thing made better by delay.
    • When you are angry, it is best not to speak or act immediately.

  • Another day, another dollar.
    • A job may be hard or tedious but at least there is some financial reward.

  • Any time means no time.
    • If the date of an event remains vague, it will never happen.

  • (The) apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
    • Children resemble their parents.

  • April showers bring May flowers.
    • Something bad or unpleasant today may bring good things in the future.

  • As you sow, so shall you reap.
    • You have to accept the consequences of your actions.

  • Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies.
    • There are subjects one would rather not discuss.

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.