More On "Proverbs"
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Every culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. These sayings are called "proverbs".


It's good to know the really common English proverbs because you hear them come up in conversation all the time. Sometimes people say the entire proverb to give advice to a friend.
Learning proverbs can also help you to understand the way that people in English-speaking cultures think about the world.

Proverbs can also give you good example sentences which you can memorize and use as models for building your own sentences.

This is a list of some of the most important and well-known English proverbs. Below each one, there's a simple explanation.

The meanings of some of these phrases have shifted over the years, so a proverb might have originally had a different meaning.

"BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER."
People like to spend time with others who are similar to them.


"KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER."
If you have an enemy, pretend to be friends with them instead of openly fighting with them. That way you can watch them carefully and figure out what they're planning.

"A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS."
Pictures convey emotions and messages better than written or spoken explanations. That's why PhraseMix has illustrations :)

"THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH."
Things that are offered for free always have a hidden cost.


"THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME."
Your own home is the most comfortable place to be.

"DISCRETION IS THE GREATER PART OF VALOR."
Sometimes it's important to know when to give up and run away, instead of always acting brave and maybe getting hurt.

"THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM."
You should wake up and start work early if you want to succeed.

"NEVER LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH."
If someone offers you a gift, don't question it.


"YOU CAN'T MAKE AN OMELET WITHOUT BREAKING A FEW EGGS."
When you try to do something great, you'll probably make a few people annoyed or angry. Don't worry about those people; just focus on the good results.

"GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES."
Don't just wait for good things to happen to you. Work hard to achieve your goals.

"YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT."
Don't whine and complain if you don't get what you wanted.

"CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS."
Be clean. God likes that.


"A WATCHED POT NEVER BOILS."
If something takes time to finish, don't watch it too closely because it will seem like it's taking forever.

"BEGGARS CAN'T BE CHOOSERS."
If you're asking for a favor from someone else, you have to take whatever they give you.

"ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS."
Just saying that you'll do something doesn't mean much. Actually doing it is harder and more meaningful.

"IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT."
Don't try to improve something that already works fairly well. You'll probably end up causing new problems.


"PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT."
You have to practice a skill a lot to become good at it.

"TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH."
When there are too many people trying to lead and give their opinions, it's confusing and leads to bad results. Jobs and projects should have one or two strong leaders.

"EASY COME, EASY GO."
When you get money quickly, like by winning it, it's easy to spend it or lose it quickly as well.

"DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU."
If someone's paying you or helping you out, you have to be careful not to make them angry or say bad things about them.


"ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END."
You can't keep having good luck or fun forever; eventually it will stop.

"IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM, JOIN 'EM."
When you try to change someone's behavior and it doesn't work, you might have to change instead. For example, if you're trying to get your classmates to focus on studying but they want to party, maybe you should just party with them.

"ONE MAN'S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE."
Different people have different ideas about what's valuable.

"THERE'S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT."
If you need to do something, don't wait until later. Do it now.


"BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER."
Different people have different ideas about what's beautiful.

"NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION."
When you're really in need, you think of creative solutions to your problems.

"A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED."
Save your money. Saving money is just like making money.

"FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT."
When you're around someone for too long, you get tired of them and annoyed by them.


"YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER."
Things sometimes look different than they really are. A restaurant that looks old and small might have amazing food, for example.

"GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT."
Be patient. Eventually something good will happen to you.

"DON'TBPUTVALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET."
Have a backup plan. Don't risk all of your money or time in one plan.

"TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE."
When two people cooperate with each other, they come up with better ideas.


"THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL."
People tend to want whatever they don't have.

"DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU."
Don't do mean things to people.

"A CHAIN IS ONLY AS STRONG AS ITS WEAKEST LINK."
If one member of a team doesn't perform well, the whole team will fail.

"HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY."
Don't lie.

"ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER."
Sometimes it's good to be away from your partner, because it makes you want to see each other again.


"YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER, BUT YOU CAN'T MAKE HIM DRINK."
If you try to help someone, but they don't take your advice or offers, give up. You can't force someone to accept your help.

"DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH."
Your plans might not work out, so don't start thinking about what you'll do after you succeed. Wait until you've already succeeded, and then you can think about what to do next.

"IF YOU WANT SOMETHING DONE RIGHT, YOU HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF."
Don't trust other people to do important things for you. You have to do things yourself to control the quality of the results.

"TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE RIGHT."
When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.


"THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD."
Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.

"WHEN IN ROME, DO AS THE ROMANS."
Act the way that the people around you are acting. This phrase might come in handy when you're traveling abroad notice that people do things differently than you're used to.

"THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE."
You can get better service if you complain about something. If you wait patiently, no one's going to help you.

"WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING."
Strong people don't give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder.


"NO MAN IS AN ISLAND."
You can't live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people.

"FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD."
People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely.

"PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULD NOT THROW STONES."
Don't criticize other people if you're not perfect yourself.


"HOPE FOR THE BEST, BUT PREPARE FOR THE WORST."
Bad things might happen, so be prepared.

"BETTER LATE THAN NEVER."
It's best to do something on time. But if you can't do it on time, do it late.
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1. A cockroach cannot boast before the cock. Meaning: Everything knows its worth (limitation)


2. The chameleon says it believes in unity that is why it co-operate with any colour it comes in contact with. Meaning: When  you associate with different persons, you will have different experience and make you to struggle to get to the greater height.

3. The lizard that nod it's head for the down fall of it's colleagues will die of stiff neck. Meaning: He that plan evil will reap evil.

4. That the tiger prows along quietly does not mean it is timid. Meaning: Stop judging people by their faces because, you do not know their inner mind.

5. A needle is small but it draws blood when you step on it. Meaning: Do not judge thing/people by their sizes because some things appear small but they are dangerous.


6. If the sun says it has power over the moon let it come and shine in the night. Meaning: Everything has it's area of important.

7. The monkey that wants to see the hunter's face will one day receive a bullet in it's face. Meaning: Avoid trouble as soon as you sense it.

8. New broom sweeps clean but, old one knows the corners. Meaning: Experience is the best teacher.

9. If you are a man and you can not cater for yourself do not bother to have a wife. Meaning: Do not venture the responsibility you can not bear.

10. A monkey woke up one early morning and saw that all the trees in the forest have fallen, the monkey said one day the herbs will grow. Meaning: Encourage yourself in the time of difficulties.


11. Nobody can lock door against smoke. Meaning: No secret is secret.

12.He that eats eggs does not know that hen pass through pains before laying the eggs. Meaning: People do not regard what they don't Labour for, only the wise ones do.

13. Procrastination is a grave in which opportunities is buried. Meaning: Many people have miss their chance of success because of postponement.

14. Wills made by the dead are changed by the living. Meaning: Situation cannot remain the same for ever, they are bound to be changed.

15.The old age of Methuselah has nothing ti do with the wisdom of Solomon. Meaning: Age doesn't determine maturity.


16. Rome was not built in a day and all the builders were not Roman. Meaning: Wealth cannot be acquired in a day.

17. The axe that contends with the rock for battle will face a blunt edge. Meaning: Any creature that tries to outweigh the creator will be brought totally to ruin.

18. Penny wise, pound foolish. Meaning: In sparing small things, you might lose big things.

19. A wilful waste of time gives woeful end. Meaning: A time not properly utilised results in bad ends.

20. The ruins of a land and its people begins in their homes. Meaning: Bad character generates due to lack of home training.


21. Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet.

Meaning: You don’t jump straight into a situation without thinking about it first.

22. Knowledge is like a garden: If it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.

Meaning: If you don’t make efforts to acquire knowledge then you would not expect to have it and if you do not put the knowledge you have to use, you cannot expect to gain anything from it.

23. Sugarcane is sweetest at its joint.

Meaning: Good and sweet things of live may appear difficult to achieve but in the end, it is worth it.

24. If you offend, ask for a pardon; if offended forgive.

Meaning: This is as simple as it sounds: If you upset someone, apologize to him or her. If someone upsets you, forgive him or her because what goes around, comes around.

25. Don’t set sail using someone else’s star.


Meaning: Avoid copying someone else. Just because someone has been successful in what he/she does should not be what will make you to do the same thing and expect to be successful.

26. The best way to eat an elephant in your path is cut him up into little pieces.

Meaning: The best approach to solving a problem is to take it bit by bit; one at a time.

27. A restless feet may walk into a snake pit.

Meaning: If someone is busy doing nothing or is involved in what he does noe know about, it is easy for him to get into trouble.

28. A chick that will grow into a cock can be spotted the very day it hatches.

Meaning: You can easily foresee the future of something through the character and tell-tale signs it exhibits today.

29. After a foolish deed comes remorse.

Meaning: Feeling sorry always follows a foolish act.

30. A man who pays respect to the great paves the way for his own greatness.


Meaning: What goes around, comes around so whatever you sow, you shall reap

31. He who does not know one thing knows another.

Meaning: No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.

32. A roaring lion kills no game.

Meaning: You cannot achieve or gain anything by mere sitting around and just talking about it.

33. Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle.

Meaning: Do not insult someone who is capable of taking your responsibility or taking care of you

34. When a king has good counselors, his reign is peaceful.

Meaning: What defines a man is the circumstances and people around him and if they are good, he turns out good.

35. It takes a whole village to raise a child.


Meaning: The society is responsible for the moral characters it creates and everyone in a community should be responsible for helping to train a child irrespective of who the parents are; offering correction where they are needed.

36. If a child washes his hands he could eat with kings.

Meaning: If you prepare and allow yourself to be well trained when you have the opportunity, you will achieve a lot and be favored in due course.

 37. Rain does not fall on one roof alone. Meaning: Trouble comes to everyone at one time or another.

38. Life is like a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by, and is no more.


Meaning: Life is short, and you only live it once.

39. Wherever a man goes to dwell, his character goes with him. Meaning: What defines a man is his character which is inseparable from him and follows him wherever he goes.

40. Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped. Meaning: Don’t look at your mistakes; look at what caused you to make the mistakes otherwise you may repeat the mistake.