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Questions tagged [proverbs]

The tag has no usage guidance.

-1
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1answer
27 views

“Once bitten, twice shy” Vs “A burnt child, dreads fire”

I need to know which one of the following synonymous proverbs is widely used by American English speakers: Once bitten, twice shy. A burnt child, dreads fire. I don't know whether they ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts

I am looking for an English equivalent for a proverb of my language which says: "A wolf (a bad person) will never laugh at you, but it wants to get something (an achievment) from you". I have found a ...
0
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2answers
39 views

A crow is never whiter for washing itself often

There is a proverb in my language which says: "Finally, a wolf's cub, would be grow up as a wolf, although it is rised along with a human being." For more clarification, please consider the following ...
0
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1answer
19 views

An old fox understands the trap

Is the proverb "an old fox understands the trap" considered as a common English proverb? If yes, what does it exactly mean? If no, what is the exact equivalent for that in everyday speech?
0
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2answers
24 views

Idioms for { repairment is costlier than the price of new }

We often come across situations like: Investment is costlier than profit. Repairment is costlier than the price of new. I actually want to ask that if there any idiom or Proverb exists in English ...
12
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7answers
5k views

Is there an idiom about how humanely killing something is better than letting it live in pain?

The thing in question can be a wounded animal or a dysfunctional relationship. In mild sense, it can be an object or idea that requires a lot of investment for it, and when it turns out that it not ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Why “The pump don't work …” correct here?

"The pump don't work 'Cause the vandals took the handle." -- Bob Dylan I came across this sentence in a book. It looks like the author quoted that sentence written by Bob Dylan -- who might be a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Idiom for trying to avoid misfortune, but it happens anyway

Is there an idiom, proverb or expression in English describing a situation in which a person is trying really hard to avoid misfortune (by taking precautions) but what exactly he`s trying to distance ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Is there a proverb with the meaning never/nobody knows when?

I need a proverb with ironical sense. To answer a "when" question with the meaning never or nobody knows when. for example, in Russian it will be like - когда рак на горе свистнет. I'm interested in ...
0
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1answer
36 views

Describing a person who changing his opinion too frequent

Is there a proverb describing a person who changing his opinion too frequent? Need a proverb which will have a bit negative meaning to describe a person who is inconsistent in his opinions.
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Proverb - If someone inadvertently makes their life worse

Let’s say someone takes a wrong decision instead of thinking clearly, which leads him to another wrong decision and on and on. I heard that there is a proverb - "give him enough rope to hang himself". ...
-3
votes
1answer
390 views

proverb: A man's home is his castle [closed]

I'd like to know whether the following scenario illustrates the proverb, "A man's home is his castle." Sir Henry Pellatt was a wealthy Canadian businessman. He ordered the construction of Casa Loma,...
0
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6answers
191 views

need a proverb for “not to stoop to a lower level”

I am looking for a proverb describing not to stoop oneself to another person's "level". A similar proverb is "If you lie down with a dog, you'll get up with fleas" but this is not exactly what I ...
2
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2answers
549 views

Idiom Many go out for wool and come home shorn

We've got a saying in Spain: ir por lana, volver trasquilado I've found that in English already exists a similar proverb: Many go out for wool and come home shorn whose meaning is also ...
0
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2answers
76 views

Is there a proverb meaning that “one cannot give what one does not herself have”?

Is there an proverb meaning that "one cannot give what one does not herself have"?
-1
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2answers
104 views

meaning of “lost” in “All is not lost”

I'd like to know if "All is not lost" is an idiom or a proverb. Also, what does "lost" mean literally here? I know the meaning of this saying. I just want to see if the meaning of this saying is ...
1
vote
1answer
144 views

Proverb on hot weather

Is there a proverb which can be used to tell someone that it's OK that the weather is so hot because it won't do them any harm (heat stroke and sunstroke are out of the question)? For example, Oh, ...
1
vote
5answers
202 views

An idiom or proverb for very easy to find but you are unable to see the object, which is very beside or close to you

For example: A speaker said to a listener go in and bring me the chair. He went in and looked for it but couldn't find, then the speaker said, " Where were you looking for the chair? It is beside ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

What is an idiom used for when we say something unfortunate and it comes true?

There is a Chinese idiom 乌鸦嘴 or Crow's Mouth which means saying something unfortunate, and then it comes true. For example: Anthony: I think there will be a thunderstorm later [Some time passes ...
-1
votes
1answer
114 views

How to understand the proverb: [closed]

Who stands bail for someone is being teased by the devil. Who stands bail for someone is being teased by the devil.
3
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3answers
85 views

Is there proverb about war and mother?

In Ukrainian, there is proverb "Кому війна, кому мати рідна". I would translate it into English as following: "What is war for one, that is mother for another". This means that while some people are ...
1
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4answers
362 views

A proverb for “You can pay your dues and enjoy the fruits of your labor for the rest of your life” in AE

Scenario 1) Imagine someone is living a hard life because they have to save their income to invest in a very worthwhile field that can be very helpful in their future financially. You want to ...
0
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1answer
54 views

I need a proverb for one's absence in a function or place

I need a proveb for situation " when one person is absent in a function or city or institute. So we say it doesn't make any problem, if he is absent, still the function goes on. So which proverb is ...
1
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3answers
203 views

Sometimes the tongue talks at your life / the head’s cost

Imagine someone had a very bad tongue / mouth [in our language "tongue" is the figurative responsible body limb for what is said and not mouth] and speaks very bluntly and without considering what ...
2
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2answers
327 views

Meaning of “gathering stone” in song lyrics

I need explanation of a line in lyrics by Glen Hansard from the song "Moving On." I struggle to understand the meaning of "(not here) gathering stone". Well, If you've got blood in your heart If ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Looking for a similar expression

We have a proverb in our language which i wanted to translate it word by word it would be "No one buys his art" or "There is no customer for the product which is produced by him". If you want to ...
7
votes
2answers
458 views

“Squeezing out of a dead man” proverb

There is a proverb with meaning "although the resource is almost empty, we still try to get something from it, regardless of that our attempts are most likely meaningless". I recall that I've heard a ...
0
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4answers
1k views

''Charity begins at home'' or ''Charity begins from home''? [closed]

Which one is correct, 'charity begins at home' or 'charity begins from home'? And I also want to know the exact meaning of the proverb.
11
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3answers
2k views

He that is silent, gathers stones

I came across the following proverb at this site. He that is silent, gathers stones. Can anyone explain its meaning? Thanks in advance.
17
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9answers
3k views

“Even vinegar, once you've gotten it for free, tastes sweet”: Is there an English equivalent for this saying?

There's a slang word in Russian, халява (pronounced halyava), meaning something that you get for free and without any effort despite its obvious monetary or effortful value. This something isn't ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

I need a proverb

We often say, in our native language, that Horses cannot fatten while grazing during the battle hours. which means that one cannot prepare himself at a time when something is impending upon him. ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

Only he who gives up is defeated

I have a query regarding the following statement from this page. "Only he who gives up is defeated." Why is "he" embedded in this sentence? Is it necessary for the sentence to make sense ...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

A proverb meaning, “he wanted to do a good thing for others, but he ended up being blamed/hurt”

In my native language when someone is well-intended to help someone else and does something but he ends up taking the blame or getting hurt, we say, "he wanted to be blessed by God, but got burnt by ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the English expression for “rafting to the upstream, swimming to the edge”

What is the English expression for the state that someone has to be "sick" beforehand, then at the end achieving the best result? In my native language, it's said: Rafting to the upstream areas (...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Looking for English proverb equal to “Chalti ka naam gaadi hai” = “a thing which runs is called a vehicle”

I need an English proverb for this mentioned Hindi/Urdu proverb: Chalti ka naam gaadi hai Literally, it means "a thing which runs is called a vehicle," but that doesn't sound good. Actually it is ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Need a proverb for a poor man who struggles for better life

I need a proverb for a person who is poor in his native place and migrates to another country for better living, but there too, he still remains poor. So how can we call that person in proverb. In my ...
6
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1answer
754 views

an English proverb meaning “the good suffer with the bad”

In my native language, when we want to describe a situation in which a group of people suffer a special consequence regardless of how they performed or whether they deserve that or not, we say "(When ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

An English equivalent of “need one ask to do a good act?”

In my native language, when we hear someone ask if it's a good idea to do something good for the sake of others, we say, "need one ask to do a good act?". It means doing a good thing for others, or ...
2
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2answers
2k views

What does X is the new Y mean, and why do we say this?

In English, I sometimes hear a phrase like green is the new black. Literally, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. What does it mean when someone says X is the new Y, when this makes no sense ...
3
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2answers
214 views

The English equivalent of the proverb “They sowed 'if', but it didn't grow”

In my native language, we have a proverb that its word-by-word translation is: They sowed 'if' (as if it was seeds and they had sowed it in the ground), but it didn't grow. It means, make sure that ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

Is there any similar idiom/proverb to Japanese proverb -Gesu no kanguri

There is a saying 下衆の勘繰り(Gesu no kanguri) in Japanese. "Gesu" means a person who is mean, lowly, or base in his/her heart. "Kanguri" means interpreting falsely someone's intention as bad. A ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Call for Proverb! [duplicate]

I've been looking for a proverb like the one below for long, and some people say its root is British English. But the more I search, the more I get disappointed. Would any one please tell me the ...
2
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3answers
1k views

English proverbs

I would just like to ask if anyone could give me any English proverbs which mean: "one may escape from someone but it isn't for forever, early or late he/ she will be caught"? Context: imagine that ...
0
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2answers
7k views

Proverbs similar to “We're not rich enough to buy cheap things”

I'm looking for other proverbs similar to "We're not rich enough to buy cheap things". This is because I want to use it for a similar but a little bit different purpose. I want it to be meant that to ...
2
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3answers
5k views

English saying similar/equivalent to: “When you give, you receive twice as much.”

In Greece we have a saying: If you give, you will receive twice as much. Does an equivalent saying exist in English, and if so, what is it?
1
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2answers
716 views

Is this funny or correct or…; [closed]

I am not a native English speaker. Yet, I make up "punish" proverbs while sleeping. Here is one: "Who exists exits." Don't hesitate, tell me the truth. Application for reopening; Edited (I had ...
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7answers
7k views

I need a proverb or idiom which can roughly mean “He has taken up more jobs than he can handle”

Something like "His head is in ten different places".
5
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2answers
1k views

Corresponding English saying for a Spanish one about misfortunes and circumstances?

There is a saying in Spanish that doesn't translate very well into English: Cuando las barbas de tu vecino veas pelar, pon las tuyas a remojar. When you see your neighbour's beard plucking[?], ...
5
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4answers
941 views

Proverb request: too much of something makes its value decrease or disappear

I am looking for a saying which means "too much of something makes the value of it decrease, or sometimes people doesn't value it at all". I know there is a phrase "to take something for granted", but ...
2
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3answers
505 views

proverb for about chance and love

I searched for an English proverb for about this subject: you should want (love) a person who he wants (loves) you, too In Persian, the phrase is this: خواهی که جهان در کف اقبال تو باشد خواهان ...