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Proverbs: 55 Famous English Proverbs With Their Meanings


A proverb is a short statement of a common sense truth or popular advice.Proverbs are popular sentences or a familiar, meaningful word. The proverbs announces a naive truth, drawn from observation

In this post  you will find numerous proverbs that you can use on various occasions. We’ll help you understand them by explaining what they mean. You have surely used some of them without knowing more about them. Proverbs are an integral part of our vocabulary, but they can also be used in different regions. If you come across a saying you don’t know, you can check it out here.

First come first serve.
Intentional meaning: Whoever comes first has an advantage.
Shards bring luck.
Intentional meaning: If something breaks, you will be lucky.
The early bird catches the worm.
Intentional meaning: Getting up early is worth it. It is easier to work in the morning, so early risers achieve more.
All that glitters is not gold.
Meaning: Appearances are deceptive. Deficits, mistakes and defects can often only be discovered on closer inspection. Something is not kept as promised.

Anyone who digs a pit for others will fall into it themselves.
Meaning: Whoever sets a trap for others falls into it himself. It is warned against reprehensible behavior: Those who want to harm others also run the risk of harming themselves.
The rats are leaving the sinking ship.
Intentional meaning: Turning away from failing, unsuccessful plans or undertakings or fleeing from an unpleasant situation.
Shoemaker, stick to your last.
Intentional meaning: Do not criticize anything that you have no idea about. Stick to what you know about.
 Whoever sits in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones. Intentional meaning: Do not accuse anyone of their faults or characteristics that you yourself have.
Even a blind chicken can find a grain.
Intentional meaning: Happiness or success is sometimes also possible despite a lack of skills. A thing can also happen by accident.
Don’t postpone what you can get today until tomorrow.
Intentional meaning: You should do unavoidable or important tasks directly instead of postponing them further and further. They add up, cause more stress, and have to be done at some point anyway. Another possibility is that an opportunity arises that should be seized before it goes by.
Better to have a sparrow in hand than a pigeon on the roof. Intentional meaning: Rather be content with something safe, everyday that you can safely achieve than wanting something greater and more valuable that there is a risk that you cannot achieve.
Still waters run deep. 
Introverts have a side to them that they keep hidden. The proverb is used, for example, when someone who is shy suddenly surprises with a loud and conspicuous demeanor or someone who does not otherwise show his skills suddenly impresses with special skills.
All good things come in threes.
Intentional meaning: A kind of justification that the third attempt to do something will work.
Haughtiness comes before the event.
Meaning: Arrogance, overconfidence and arrogance lead to fall or failure.
Did a louse run down your liver? / A louse ran over his liver.
Meaning: Are you in a bad mood? Did something annoy you? Often the term is used for little things that cause trouble.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Meaning: Everyone has their own taste. Something different is nice for everyone.
Long story short.
Meaning: Is said when you talk about something around it, although it could have been expressed in a shorter way. “Long story short,” is often followed by a concise summary of what has been said.
That doesn’t go on a cow skin.
Meaning: That is unacceptable, a cheek, not to be endured, exceeds the measure.
Lies have short legs
Meaning: Lies are revealed after a short time and are not worthwhile. Similar to: “Honesty lasts the longest”.
All roads lead to Rome.
Intentional meaning: There are several ways to complete a task. Comparable to: “All rivers flow into the sea.”
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Intentional meaning: A child adopts characteristics or behaviors from their parents, or a child has obvious hereditary characteristics of their parents’ appearance.
Old love doesn’t rust.
Meaning: Those who have loved each other for a long time will continue to love each other in the future.
The dumbest farmer has the thickest potatoes.
Meaning: A person who achieves a high profit without high intellectual effort.
Age before beauty.
Meaning: The younger ones let the older ones go first. Today this proverb is often used in an ironic, derogatory way and can be misunderstood.
The Devil is a squirrel.
Intentional meaning: You should never be too sure, even from what is supposedly harmless, unexpected evil can emerge.
Age does not protect against stupidity.
Intentional meaning: Even old and experienced people make mistakes.
The cats does not stop to mice.
Intentional meaning: You can’t change a person’s fixed habits.
Attack is the best defense.
Meaning: Offensive behavior is more likely to lead to successful defense than defensive behavior.
Once bitten, twice shy.
Intentional meaning: Anyone who has had a bad experience with something will probably not do it again.
April, April, he doesn’t know what he wants.
Intentional meaning: In April the weather is inconsistent and can change quickly.
Misfortunes never come singly.
Intentional meaning: Misfortunes often tend to occur more frequently, or one misfortune causes further misfortune.
A lid belongs on every pot.
Intentional meaning: For every person there is another person who suits them well, or everyone should find a partner at some point .
One hand washes the other.
Meaning: A favor is followed by a consideration. You have to help each other.
Rain is followed by sunshine.
Intentional meaning: After bad times, only better can follow.
Postponed is not cancelled.
Intentional meaning: Even those who keep postponing their obligations will not let them disappear.
A swallow doesn’t make a summer.
Meaning: A single positive event does not mean that the turnaround has been made.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Meaning: Damage caused must be paid for in the same amount.
All’s well that ends well.
Intentional meaning: The positive outcome of something makes the negative things that have happened before unimportant.
Out of sight, out of mind
Meaning: Immediate forgetting of a matter, thing or person as soon as it is “out of sight”.
You have to forge the iron while it’s hot.
Intentional meaning: You have to act quickly before the opportunity passes.
Practice early.
Meaning: The earlier you learn something, the faster you become a master at it.
You learn from mistakes.
Intentional meaning: Avoid making mistakes and bad experiences over again.
Opposites attract.
Meaning: People without similarities appear attractive to each other.
Nothing becomes nothing.
Intentional meaning: If you don’t do anything, you won’t get anything. Comparable to “We harvest what we sow”.
Clothes make the man.
Meaning: Beliefs about inner values, morals and character that a person forms when looking at the external appearance of another person.
Better dumb than stupid.
Intentional meaning: Sometimes it’s better not to say anything than to say something stupid.
Time will tell.
Intentional meaning: In time you will find a solution. Similar to: “Time heals all wounds”.
Every animal has its own little toy.
Meaning: Everyone what they like. Everyone should have their pleasure.
Blood is thicker than water.
Meaning: The family comes first.
The mouth of a child reveals the truth.
Intentional meaning: Children often tell the truth bluntly because they are still foreign to the falsehood of adults and they are not able to lie.
The eye eats too.
Intentional meaning: When the food is nicely arranged, the appetite increases. Conversely, if something looks unsavory, you don’t want to eat it, even if it’s actually tasty.
People of the same kind stick together.
Intentional meaning: People with similarities get along well.
Tomorrow, tomorrow just not today all lazy people say.
Intentional meaning: This saying goes to someone who always postpones everything and is listless.
Dogs that bark do not bite.
Intentional meaning: Anyone who aggressively announces what they are going to do to you will probably not implement it or, conversely, if you seriously want to harm you, you will not announce it beforehand.
Beggars can not be choosers.
Intentional meaning: In an emergency you do things that you would not otherwise do. Related proverb: “Necessity makes inventive”.
Advice is also a blow.
Meaning: Advice can also be viewed as criticism or patronizing.
Money makes the world go round.
Meaning: money is power.
You make your own luck.
Intentional meaning: Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. Everyone determines their own future. Life is what you make of it.
Shut up, monkey dead.
Meaning: Said when a thing is abruptly done or a discussion is over.
One should not chickens before they hatch the day. Intentional
meaning: Don’t expect a good event to happen before it has actually happened. You shouldn’t be too sure of something, even if the prospect is good. Similar to: “Don’t get excited too soon”.

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Until next time, happy learning


N.A. Arora


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