I came across the following proverb at this site.

He that is silent, gathers stones.

Can anyone explain its meaning?

Thanks in advance.

  • The person who says nothing gets more and more stones. The concrete meaning depents on the context. – marsh-wiggle Aug 3 '16 at 6:21
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    You have linked to an explanation. Please specify what you did not understand about that explanation. – Em. Aug 3 '16 at 6:27
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    @Max I think the comma and that instead of who confuse the OP. – Damkerng T. Aug 3 '16 at 6:30
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    It means: "Beware of the quiet ones. They're likely meditating on revenge". – Strawberry Aug 3 '16 at 15:44

This proverb shares the same idea (but is put the other way around) with A barking dog never bites.

He that is silent gathers stones (I don't think a comma should be there) literally means "a person who is silent gathers stones", and quite possibly this person is going to attack someone else with these stones sooner or later. (The word stones here doesn't have to refer to real stones. It can be and quite possibly is used figuratively.)

Barking dogs don't bite; they just keep barking.
On the other hand, angry people who are silent are more dangerous. They may be plotting something.


Just to add some more nice sayings expressing the same idea. You never know the way a silent or a reticent man may act ( you never know what to expect).

Still waters have deep bottoms. Beware of a silent dog and still water.


It means "Don't mistake someone being silent for someone not memorizing your confessions" or "Don't mistake someone saying nothing for someone achieving nothing" (the most likely reason to gather stones is either throwing them or building a house).

  • @Max Well I thought it's rather obvious, but there you go, I hope that's justification enough – Tobias Kienzler Aug 3 '16 at 13:09

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