10:24 pm - Thursday August 17, 2017

Proverb with Meaning

Proverbs with Meaning

Alphabetically (M-Z)

M

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear Manage to produce something good using poor material.
Man proposes, God disposes. Our destiny depends on God’s will.
Manners make the man. Possibly:  a person’s manners show their origins.
Many hands make light work. Sharing work makes work easier.
Marry in haste, repent at leisure. If you get married too quickly, you may spend all your life regretting it.
Might as well be hanged for a sheep as (for) a lamb If the penalty is going to be the same, you might as well commit the greater offence.
Money begets money. If you have money you can make more money.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. You shouldn’t waste money because it is not plentiful.
Money is the root of all evil. Money is the main cause of wrongdoing and problems.
Money talks. Money helps you obtain the desired result.

N

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Necessity is the mother of invention. The need for something forces people to find a way of obtaining it.
Need teaches a plan. Necessity will make you find a solution.
Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today Don’t postpone something you can do now
Never say die. Never give up.
No man can serve two masters. It’s impossible to follow instructions from two different sources.
No man is an island. We all need other people.
No news is good news. If the news was bad, we would hear of it.  Since we have heard nothing, we can assume that all is  well.
No smoke without fire. There could be some truth in the rumor.
No wind, no waves. Similar to  ‘no smoke without fire’.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You cannot expect to achieve anything if you don’t take risks.

O

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Once bitten, twice shy. After an unpleasant experience, people are careful to avoid something similar.
One good turn deserves another. You should be helpful to someone who helps you.
One of these days is none of these days. ‘One of these days’ remains vague.
One today is worth two tomorrow. 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.
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.
Out of the mouths of babes and suckling Children often speak wisely.
Out of sight, out of mind. We tend to forget people or things that we do not see.

P

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Patience is a virtue  It is good to be patient.
Penny wise, pound foolish. Refers to a person who is careful about spending small amounts of money, but not careful about spending large amounts of money.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. One should not criticize others for faults similar to one’s own.
Poverty waits at the gates of idleness. If you do not work you will not make money.
Practice makes perfect. Doing something repeatedly is the only way to become good at it.
Practice what you preach Do yourself what you advise others to do.
Prevention is better than cure It is easier to prevent something from happening than to repair the damage or cure the disease later.
Pride comes before a fall. Don’t be too self-confident or proud; something may happen to make you look foolish.
Procrastination is the thief of time Delaying an action for too long is a waste of time.
Punctuality is the soul of business You should always be on time for your business appointments.
Put all your eggs in one basket Risk everything by relying on one plan (by putting all one’s money in one business).

R

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Revenge is sweet. There is satisfaction in returning an injury.
Rome was not built in a day. It takes a long time to do a job properly.  You should not expect to do it quickly.

S

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Save me from my friends. Friends can be more dangerous than enemies.
Saying is one thing, doing is another. People don’t always do what they announce.
Short reckonings make long friends. Debts paid quickly encourage friendship.
Silence gives consent. If you don’t object to something it can be assumed that you agree with it.
Snug as a bug in a rug. Feeling very comfortable.
Spare the rod and spoil the child If you don’t punish a child when he does wrong, you will spoil his character.
Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me Physical attacks may harm me, but cruel words will not.
Still waters run deep. A quiet person can have much knowledge or wisdom.
Stolen fruit is the sweetest. What is forbidden is the most tempting.

 

T


Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Tall oaks grow from little acorns. Great things may come from small beginnings.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Children resemble their parents.
The best advice is found on the pillow. After a good night’s sleep we may find an answer to our problem.
The best things in life are free. You don’t have to pay for what is important : happiness, friendship, good health.
The darkest hour is just before dawn. There is hope even in the worst of times.
The devil looks after his own. Success comes to those who deserve it least  .
The devil makes work for idle hands People who have no work, or are idle, often get into or make trouble.
The die is cast. A decision has been made and it’s impossible to change it.
The early bird catches the worm. If you want to do something successfully, you should do it as soon as you can.
The end justifies the means. Wrong or unfair methods may be used if the result of the action is good.
The first step is the hardest. The most difficult thing is to begin.
The more haste, the less speed. A person makes more progress if they do things less quickly.
The more you have, the more you want. People have a constant desire to possess more.
The mouse that has but one hole is quickly taken. If you depend on just one thing, and it fails you, you will have no alternatives.
The pen is mightier than the sword Words and communication have greater effect than war and fighting.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The real value of something can be judged only after it has been tried or tested.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’s not enough to intend to do something, you must actually do it.
The tongue wounds more than a lance. Insults can be more hurtful than physical injuries.
The truth is in the wine. People speak more freely under the influence of alcohol.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Feed a man well and he will love you.
The wish is father to the thought. You think that something is true because you want it to be so.
There is a black sheep in every flock. There is always one who doesn’t  behave or perform like the others.
There is a trick in every trade. There is an established way of doing things.
There is no fool like an old fool. A older person is expected to behave more sensibly.
There is safety in numbers Being in a crowd makes you feel more confident.
Time and tide wait for no man. Delaying a decision will not prevent events from taking place.
Time has wings. Time goes by quickly.
Time is money. Time is valuable and should not be wasted.
To err is human, to forgive divine It is human nature to make mistakes, therefore one should forgive.
Too many cooks spoil the broth. If too many people are involved in something, it will not be done properly.
Too much bed makes a dull head. If you sleep too much, you are not able to think clearly.
True friends are tested in adversity. It’s when you have problems that you realize who your real friends are.
Trust not a horse’s heel nor a dog’s tooth. Be careful of the reaction of animals.
Truth has no answer. You cannot argue against facts or refute what is true.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Events in real life are sometimes stranger than in fiction.
Two wrongs don’t make a right It is wrong to harm someone because they have harmed you.

U

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Union is strength. A group has more force than an individual.
Unwillingness easily finds an excuse. A person who doesn’t want to do something always finds a reason to avoid it.

V

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Variety is the spice of life. Doing a lot of different things makes life more interesting.
Virtue is its own reward. You should not expect praise for acting in a correct or moral way.

W

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

Walls have ears. Be careful.  People could be listening.
Waste not, want not. If you never waste anything, you will have it when you need it.
What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over. If a person doesn’t know about something, it cannot hurt them.
What a man says drunk, he thinks sober. People speak more freely under the influence of alcohol.
What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals. People are less discreet under the influence of alcohol.
When the cat’s away, the mice play. People misbehave when their boss, or the person in authority, is absent.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. You should adopt the customs of the people or country you are visiting, and behave in the same way.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. A person with determination will find a way of doing something.
Who makes himself a sheep will be eaten by the wolves. Possible interpretation:  an easily influenced person can be mislead.
Wonders will never cease! Expresses surprise at an unexpected pleasure or event (ironic).
Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Worrying over small details can make them seem worse.

Y

Proverb

Meaning/Explanation

You are what you eat. What you eat has an effect on your well-being.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You can offer someone an opportunity to do something but you can’t force them.
You can’t teach old dog new tricks. A person who is used to doing things a certain way cannot change.
You never know what you can do until you try. Try first before deciding not to do something.

 

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