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English Proverbs

Alphabetical lists of commonly-used proverbs in English.

What is a proverb?

Proverbs and sayings are short statements of wisdom or advice that are transmitted from generation to generation and have passed into general use.
The advice given in proverbs is generally based on experience or a traditionally-held truth.
Proverbs can be found in every language or culture, but it is more difficult to interpret proverbs from other cultures.
500 commonly-used proverbs with their meaning are listed in alphabetical order in the following pages.

Alphabetical lists of Proverbs:

Proverbs A list From: "A bad excuse is better than none."
To: "Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies."
Proverbs B list From: "Bad beginnings lead to bad results."
To: "(A) burnt child dreads the fire."
Proverbs C list From: "(A) calm sea does not make a skilled sailor."
To: "No cure no pay."
Proverbs D list From: "(A) danger foreseen is half avoided."
To: "(A) dry March, a wet April and a cool May may fill the barn and cellar..."
Proverbs E list From: "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
To: "Experience is the father of wisdom."
Proverbs F list From: "Facts speak louder than words."
To: "Friendship is love with understanding."
Proverbs G list From: "Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade."
To: "(A) guilty conscience needs no accuser."
Proverbs H list From: "Half a loaf is better than none."
To: "(A) hungry wolf is fixed to no place."
Proverbs I list From: "(An) idle brain is the devil's workshop."
To: "It takes all sorts to make a world."
Proverbs J-K list From: "A jack of all trades is master of none."
To: "Knowledge is power."
Proverbs L list From: "Laughter is the best medicine"
To: "(A) loveless life is a living death."
Proverbs M list From: "Make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."
To: "(The) mouse that has but one hole is quickly taken."
Proverbs N list From: "Necessity is the mother of invention."
To: "Nothing ventured nothing gained."
Proverbs O list From: "Oil and water do not mix."
To: "Out of sight, out of mind."
Proverbs P-Q list From: "Parents are patterns"
To: "Put all your eggs in one basket."
Proverbs R list From: "(All) roads lead to Rome"
To: "A rotten apple spoils the barrel."
Proverbs S list From: "Safe bind, safe find."
To: "(A/one) swallow does not make the summer."
Proverbs T list From: "Tall oaks grow from little acorns"
To: "Two wrongs don't make a right."
Proverbs U-V list From: "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
To: "Vision without action is a daydream."
Proverbs W list From: "Walls have ears"
To: "Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow."
Proverbs X-Y-Z list From: "You are what you eat"
To: "(A) young idler, an old beggar."

English Idioms

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