A list of common Proverbs

  1. A bad workman quarrels with his tools.
  2. A beggar cannot be a bankrupt.
  3. A burnt child dreads the fire.
  4. A chip of the old block.
  5. A drop in the ocean.
  6. A fool to others, to himself a sage.
  7. A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
  8. A guilty mind is always suspicious.
  9. A just cause wins in the long run.
  10. A known face needs no painting.
  11. A light purse is a heavy curse.
  12. A little learning is a dangerous thing.
  13. A prophet is not honoured in his own country.
  14. A self-constituted leader.
  15. A tree is known by its fruit.
  16. All his geese are swans.
  17. All’s well that ends well.
  18. As is the party so are his witnesses.
  19. As thick as thieves.
  20. As you make your bed, so you must lie.
  21. As you sow, so shall you reap.
  22. Barking dogs seldom bite.
  23. Beggars must not be choosers.
  24. Better an empty house than a bad tenant.
  25. Between Scylla and Charybdis.
  26. Between the devil and the deep sea.
  27. Between two fires.
  28. Birds of a feather (or, of the same feather) flock together.
  29. Black will take no other hue.
  30. Blessings are not valued till they are gone.
  31. Blood is thicker than water.
  32. Brothers will part.
  33. Cheap goods are dear in the long run.
  34. Cut your coat according to your cloth.
  35. Danger often comes where danger is feared.
  36. Diamond cut diamond.
  37. Empty vessels sound much.
  38. Even good Homer sometimes nods.
  39. Everybody’s business is nobody’s business.
  40. Everybody makes a scapegoat of him.
  41. Everyman for himself.
  42. Everyone for himself.
  43. Familiarity breeds contempt.
  44. Faults are thick where love is thin.
  45. Fine words butter no parsnips.
  46. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
  47. Give him an inch and he will take an ell.
  48. God never sends mouth but He sends meat.
  49. Good wine needs no bush.
  50. Grasp all, lose all.
  51. Great cry and little wool (Brewer).
  52. Half a loaf is better than no bread.
  53. Harm watch, harm catch.
  54. He who excuses himself accuses himself.
  55. Hunger is the best sauce.
  56. Ill got, ill spent.
  57. Ill weed grows apace.
  58. Interested witnesses should be distrusted.
  59. It is no use crying over split milk.
  60. It takes two to make a quarrel.
  61. Let bygones be bygones.
  62. Let the dead past bury its dead.
  63. Like cures like.
  64. Like father like son.
  65. Many a little makes a mickle.
  66. Many men, many minds.
  67. Measure for measure.
  68. Might is right.
  69. Mind your own business.
  70. Misfortunes come in battalions.
  71. Misfortunes never come alone.
  72. Money begets money.
  73. Morning shows the day.
  74. Much ado about nothing.
  75. Much cry and little wool.
  76. Murder will out.
  77. Necessity knows no law.
  78. No pains, no gains.
  79. Nothing succeeds like success.
  80. O the times, O the manners.
  81. Oil (or, Grease) your own machine.
  82. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
  83. One nail drives out another.
  84. One swallow does not make a summer.
  85. Patience has its reward.
  86. Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.
  87. Pay the piper and call the tune.
  88. Penny wise and pound foolish.
  89. Physician, heal thyself.
  90. Practice makes perfect.
  91. Pride goes before destruction.
  92. Pride goth before a fall.
  93. Prophets are seldom respected at home.
  94. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
  95. Silence gives consent.
  96. Some have the hap, some stick in the gap.
  97. Something is better than nothing.
  98. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
  99. Strike the iron while it is hot. Make hay while the sun shines.
  100. Talk of the devil and he will appear.
  101. The devil will not listen to the scriptures.
  102. The early bird catches the worm.
  103. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
  104. The very ruins of greatness are great.
  105. The wearer knows where the shoe pinches
  106. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
  107. There is no rose without a throne.
  108. Tit for tat.
  109. To add fuel to the fire.
  110. To add insult to injury.
  111. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
  112. To be wise after the event.
  113. To blow hot and cold in the same breath.
  114. To break a butterfly on a wheel.
  115. To build castles in the air. To build a castle in Spain.
  116. To carry coals to Newcastle (coal).
  117. To cast pearls before swine.
  118. To cherish a serpent in one’s bosom.
  119. To count one’s chickens before they are hatched.
  120. To cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face.
  121. To err is human.
  122. To kill two birds with one stone.
  123. To lock the stable-door after the steed is stolen.
  124. To lose the substance for the shadow.
  125. To make a cat’s paw of a person.
  126. To make a mountain of a mole-hill.
  127. To pocket an insult.
  128. To rob Peter to pay Paul.
  129. To run with the hare and hunt with the hound.
  130. To set a thief to catch a thief.
  131. To the pure all things are pure.
  132. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  133. Too much courtesy, too much craft.
  134. Too much of anything is bad.
  135. What is sport to one is death to another.
  136. When the cat is away, the mice will play.
  137. Where there is a will, there is a way.
  138. While in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  139. While there is life there is hope.
  140. With foxes we must play the fox.