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 English Proverbs and Sayings  


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


 List O :  "oil and water..."  →  "out of sight, out of mind"   



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


  • Oil and water do not mix
    • Some people or things are incompatible by nature.

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

  • Once bitten, twice shy.
    • After an unpleasant experience, people are careful to avoid something similar.

  • One father is (worth) more than a hundred schoolmasters.
    • A teacher cannot replace a father. A child is raised by a father and taught by a teacher.

  • One good turn deserves another.
    • You should be helpful to someone who helps you.

  • One of these days is none of these days.
    • Until a date is set, 'one of these days' remains a vague promise.

  • One today is worth two tomorrows.
    • What you have today is better than what is promised or hoped for.

  • One man's meat is another man's poison.
    • People don't always like the same things.

  • One man's trash is another man's treasure.
    • What is useless to one person could be valuable to another.

  • One swallow doesn't make a summer.
    • A single satisfactory event does not mean that all the others will be as good.

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

  • Only real friends will tell you when  your face is dirty.
    • Only a real friend will tell you the truth.

  • Opportunity seldom knocks twice.
    • Don't miss opportunities that come along.

  • (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.

  • Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings.
    • Children often speak wisely.

  • Out of sight, out of mind.
    • We tend to forget people or things that we do not see.

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

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