Introduction: Make your daily conversations and speeches more dynamic and interesting by incorporating proverbs. These short phrases are a fun and wise way to express something or for advising someone. We are providing a list of such 165 proverbs along with their meanings and an example for their usage in this article.
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Proverbs with Meanings and Examples
1. A house is not a home.
A house is just a physical thing, but a home is where your heart lies.
Example: David could not stay at his newly built house alone. His house is not home yet
2. A man is known by his friends
A man shares similar interests with the people he spends time with.
Example– I knew he would be in prison because all his friends are like that. A man is known by his friends after-all.
3. A word to the wise is enough
A hint is all it takes for the intelligent person to understand
Example– I warned him about the stock market before. A word to the wise man is enough, I think.
4. A friend in need is a friend indeed
A friend is only reliable when he helps you go through a difficult situation.
Example: Ram always helps people around him with all sorts of things. Afterall a friend in need is a friend in need.
5. All roads lead to Rome
Variety of ways will eventually lead you to the centre of your goal
Example– I have never seen him give up. He always tried different methods for the same thing and finally succeeded. All his roads led him to Rome.
6. A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what a ship is for.
No great things can ever be achieved by staying in your comfort zone.
Example: If someone wants to live at his full potential, he has to be like a ship. He has to welcome all challenges along the road because there are no ships that are made for staying in the harbour.
7. A bad workman always blames his tool.
One who blames other factors or situations instead of blaming his poor performance.
Example: The team has conceded two goals. The defender is blaming the striker for not scoring any goal. I guess this is the case of a bad workman blaming his tools.
8. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
It is wise to be at peace with what you have instead of taking a risk for the betterment and lose it all.
Example: Ram is quitting his job and starting a youtube channel. He could try to do both at the same time. Afterall a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
9. A cat has nine lives.
A cat is said to be able to endure and survive near-death situations.
Example: This guy repeatedly survived two fatal accidents with minor injuries. I believe what they say is true; a cat has nine lives.
10. A chain which is only as strong as its weakest links.
No matter how strong the other links in a chain are, its strength is limited to its weakest link.
Example: Indian cricket team may have some star performers, but we have to remember all members are essential in a team. Afterall a chain is only as strong as its weakest links.
11. A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.
A small beginning step is required to achieve a big goal.
Example: Sayan used to be very bad at English. But he leapt faith and started working on his English. Now he is an English teacher. His journey of thousand miles began with a single step.
12. Action speaks louder than words.
It is easy to say something, but proving those words is difficult.
Example: David always says he is the best batsman in the team. But we never saw him score even a half-century. John still scores runs when needed. John’s action speaks louder than his words.
13. A drowning man will clutch at straws.
Even there’s a small ray of hope, whatever bad situation a man is in, will opt for it.
Example: Amal immediately needs a job to support his family. That is why, despite being ill, he is going to attend the interview. I guess Amal being a drowning man will clutch at a straw.
14. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Distance in love only makes two people want each other more.
Example: Growing up, I never saw my mom become emotional or sentimental. But when my dad went away for work, she became emotional for the first time. Absence made her heart grow fonder.
15. Adversity and loss make a man wise.
Challenging situations bring the best out of anyone.
Example: Robin’s parents divorced when he was eleven. He is taking care of his mother since then. Adversity and loss made him wise.
16. A fool and his money are soon parted.
A man who is not smart with his money will lose it very soon.
Example: Rathin carelessly spent all his money on gambling while he was young. Now he is dependent on his brother for money. It is right when they say a fool and his money are soon parted.
17. A leopard can’t change his spots.
No matter how much someone tries to change, his inner character can never be altered entirely.
Example: Rekha continues to cheat even after being caught in the last exam. A leopard can’t change his spots after all.
18. All good things come to an end.
Nothing ever lasts forever; even good things like happiness also comes to an end.
Example: The death of Chester made the band Linkin Park break apart. I guess it is a hint of all good things must come to an end.
19. All’s well that ends well.
If the ending of a journey is beautiful, one can forget about the difficulties during the trip.
Example: Though they suffered big losses during the group stage, still they managed to win the competition. All is well when it ends well.
20. All that glitters is not gold.
Something may not be as precious as they appear to be.
Example: Shreya used to date a lot of guys. After getting cheated by nearly everyone, she finally understood that all that glitters is not gold.
21. All is fair in love and war.
It is fair to not follow the rules and regulations in certain circumstances.
Example: When James and Mike realised that they like the same girl, they both tried everything to put the other down in front of the girl. They acted like it is all fair in love and war.
22. Always put your best foot forward.
It is advisable to create an excellent first impression for long term benefit.
Example: When Michael went to meet his girlfriend’s parent, he put his best foot forward to create a good impression.
23. Among the blind, the one-eyed man is the king.
Someone with few skills is considered the best among the men with no skills at all.
Example: Ram is not a good sprinter. But among the boys half of his age, he is the one-eyed king among the blind.
24. An apple a day keeps a doctor away.
Taking an apple every day is a healthy replacement for junk foods.
Example: Anjali now eats an apple every afternoon as an apple a day keeps a doctor away.
25. An empty vessel makes much noise.
A person who is incapable of doing anything is the person who always talks.
Example: Riya always boasts about how good she is in maths, yet she barely passed the math exam. I guess she is an empty vessel which always makes noise.
26. An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.
A man with lots of free time will certainly do something terrible or problematic.
Example: Donald was fired from his job six months ago. Yesterday the police arrested him because of theft. I guess an idle brain is the devil’s workshop.
27. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.
It is better to prevent something bad from happening than do something after it has happened.
Example: Cancer screening for older people is necessary because an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.
28. A picture is worth a thousand words.
People understand a complicated thing better through a picture than words.
Example: It is a difficult task to make students understand geography without maps. A picture is worth a thousand words.
29. Appearances can be deceptive.
A person is not all about the way their appearances make you think.
Example: No one can understand how rich Suresh is by looking at him. Afterall appearance can be deceptive.
30. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
A person who stays unsettled will not have any responsibilities, commitments, wealth or status.
Example: My cousin often changes jobs and has no permanent location to live. I think he is a rolling stone who gathers no moss.
31. A stitch in time saves nine.
It is wise to deal with problems at earliest because the more time passes, the problem gets bigger.
Example: The small problem in the machine needs to be fixed as soon as possible because a stitch in time saves nine.
32. As you sow, so you shall reap.
The actions of the present will always shape future consequences.
Example: If you help others now, you will also get help when it is needed in future because as you sow, so you shall reap.
33. A thing begun is half done.
A good step towards the beginning of anything makes it easy to achieve it successfully.
Example: Smith always puts reasonable effort towards the beginning of anything, as he believes a thing begun is half done.
34. Better to be poor and healthy rather than rich and sick.
It is more beneficial to be healthy than to be rich.
Example: Money has never been that important to me because I know it is better to be poor and healthy rather than sick but rich.
35. Barking dogs seldom bite.
An intimidating appearance often results in no harm.
Example: Rajat always threatens people for little reasons, but never actually does anything. He is the barking dog who seldom bites.
36. Be slow in choosing but slower in changing.
It is wise to take time to select something and holding on it to it.
Example – I don’t have many friends. But I choose my friends slowly and become even slower, making changes in my friend-circle.
37. Beauty is only skin deep.
Physical beauty is superficial and not as important as a person’s emotional, intellectual, and spiritual characteristics.
Example: You might love the way the actress looks until you meet her and realise that beauty is only skin deep.
38. Beggars can’t be choosers.
People who are in great need must accept any help that is offered, even if it is not a complete solution to their problem.
Example: I would have preferred a house of my own rather than sharing, but beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.
39. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
It is used to express the fact that not all people have the same opinions about what is attractive.
Example: In the judge’s eyes, she may have a beautiful face, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
40. Best things in life are free.
Often the things that have the most value or quality cost nothing.
Example: Experiencing the love and care of your parents is life-changing, and the best things in life are free, indeed.
41. Better late than never.
The delayed occurrence of something a person desired is better than it not happening at all.
Example: I am sorry her gift came in late but isn’t it better late than never?
42. Better to wear out than to rust out.
It is better to work until one dies rather than to be idle just because you are old.
Example: My grandmother works at the farm despite her age. She believes it is better to wear out than to rust out.
43. Blood is thicker than water.
Family is more important than anything else.
Example: Can’t you give your brother a job at your company? Blood is thicker than water!
44. Cold hands, warm hearts.
People whose hands are usually cold have gentle and loving personalities.
Example: I always thought he was aloof before he donated so generously to our cause. I think he is just one of those cold hands, warm hearts people.
45. Count your blessings
To reflect on the good things in one’s life and be grateful for them.
Example: I know you are disheartened that you did not win this competition, but so many other incredible things that happened to you this year. Count on your blessings, not your miseries.
46. Curiosity killed the cat.
Inquisitiveness can be dangerous, primarily when it extends to things one does not need to know about.
Example: Jack: I want to see what is down the streets; it looks dark.
Jill: Let’s not find out, you know curiosity killed the cat.
47. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
It is necessary and morally correct to keep yourself and your surroundings clean.
Example: My mother is always adamant that we wash our hands after every meal because cleanliness is next to godliness.
48. Cowards die many times before their deaths.
People who continuously fear death feel the stress associated with it many times before actually dying.
Example: Every time my brother went out to work, he was always afraid. It is rightly said that cowards die many times before their deaths.
49. Cross the stream where it is shallowest.
To do something using the most straightforward methods available.
Example: X: How do I get the permission of my parents to visit my friend’s party this week?
Y: Cross the stream where it is the shallowest, ask your father first. Then your mother will have to agree.
50. Clothes do not make the man.
A person cannot be judged solely by his appearance.
Example: I need to wear better clothes to work, but I don’t have money. At least, clothes do not make the man!
51. Curses, like chickens, come home to roost.
One’s previous misdeeds will eventually have consequences or cause problems for them.
Example: You may not be bothered keeping up your studies right now, but you will regret it when the final exam comes around. You know, curses, like chickens, come home to roost.
52. Discretion is the better part of valour.
Caution is more important than bravery.
Example: I know you want to jump over the fence directly, but remember that discretion is the better part of valour.
53. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Avoid celebrating, planning, or taking advantage of a potential positive future outcome before it has happened.
Example: Why are you preparing your acceptance speech before even being nominated? Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
54. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Do not take on more work or more significant tasks than what you can handle.
Example: Bill: I applied for or a second additional job this month.
Jacob: Don’t bite off more than what you can chew!
55. Don’t blow your own trumpet.
Do not boast or brag about your abilities, skills, success or achievements to others.
Example: Don’t blow your own trumpet in front of people who are not able to achieve as much as you.
56. Don’t cast pearls before swine.
Do not present something valuable to someone who does not recognise its worth.
Example: Playing classical music for elementary students is like casting pearls before swine, they hardly appreciate it.
57. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Don’t scorn or poorly treat the people on whom you depend.
Example: Politics is dangerous, therefore don’t bite the hand that feeds you when pursuing a political career.
58. Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.
Don’t be concerned or decide on something that has not happened yet.
Example: My mother often crosses the bridge before she comes to it due to her anxiety.
59. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Don’t base your opinion based on something or someone on the way they look.
Example: If they are happy together, let us not judge a book by its exterior cover.
60. Don’t kill the Goose that Lays the golden eggs.
Do not ruin or destroy something that brings you wealth.
Example: My current job doesn’t pay me enough but quitting it would be like killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs.
61. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Avoid dumping all your hopes, resources and efforts in one single area.
Example: If I were you, I would have a backup plan, rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.
62. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
Don’t do things pre-emptively or out of the proper order.
Example: Tune the guitar and then play it. Don’t put the cart before the horse.
63. Don’t throw the baby with the bathwater.
To discard something valuable while disposing of something of a lesser value.
Example: You are scraping the entire project. Let’s not throw the baby with the bathwater.
64. Dead men tell no tales.
Those who are dead cannot reveal any secrets.
Example: The boss wants to kill that man because it is the only way we can guarantee his silence; after all, dead men tell no tales.
65. Devil looks after his own
Evil people are often prosperous or well taken care of.
Example: Abby: I don’t understand why the shop in the corner is still in business after cheating everybody.
Ron: Well, the devil looks after his own.
66. End justifies the means.
A positive outcome justifies the method one uses to reach it, even if it is unethical.
Example: I know you think that the end justifies the means, but stealing to feed the poor is still stealing.
67. Early bird catches the worm.
Someone very active and alert in the early hours of the morning is apt to find success.
Example: We need to go to the store early if we want to have the best selection because only the early bird catches the worm after all.
68. Easy come, easy go.
When something is obtained easily, it is typically lost just as quickly.
Example: My friend spent all the money he obtained from the casino today. As they say, easy come, easy go.
69. An empty bag cannot stand upright.
One must eat to carry out their duties.
Example: Sit down and have something before you go back to your research work. An empty bag cannot stand upright.
70. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Every negative situation has the potential to produce something beneficial or positive.
Example: When I go through a hard time, I try to remind myself that every cloud has a silver lining.
71. Every dog has its day.
Even the least fortunate person will get a chance eventually and have success at some point.
Example: They may not listen to you now, but don’t worry, every dog has its day after all.
72. Every man is the architect of his destiny.
Your own activity and determinations decide what you achieve (or don’t) in life.
Example: If a person works hard, he can achieve anything in life as every man is the architect of his destiny.
73. Every man has his price.
Everyone is open to corruption if the inducement offered is huge enough.
Example: “I offered him ten thousand rupees to sign the agreement, but he declined.” “Just keep trying! Give him more. You know, every man has his price!”
74. Fall seven times. Stand up eight.
It means to choose to never give up hope, and always strive for more.
Example: Despite failing a number of elections, Abraham Lincoln eventually became the President of States. Thus, it is rightly said “Fall seven times. Stand up eight.”
75. Familiarity breeds contempt.
Extensive knowledge of or close association with someone or something leads to a loss of respect for them or it.
Example: Thirteen years at the same job, and now he hates it—familiarity breeds contempt.
76. Failing to plan is planning to fail
The absence of proper planning can adversely affect the timely meeting of the on-going project deliverables.
Example: I’ve no doubt you’ve heard Benjamin Franklin’s quote ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’.
77. Faint heart never won fair lady
Timidity will prevent you from achieving your objective.
Example: Cassie: Yeah! He’s so funny and active, and he’s had an exciting life. Rebecca: Always remember that faint heart never won fair lady.
78. Fair exchange is no robbery.
Swapping two things or subjects of equal value is considered a fair deal.
Example: Mark had a flat on one side of town, and Tom had a very similar apartment of roughly the same value on the other side. When they decided to swap, it was a case of fair exchange is no robbery. And the donors of the gifts never found out.
79. Faith will move mountains.
If someone’s beliefs and confidence are strong enough, they can achieve something complicated.
Example: You may feel disheartened sometimes, but remember that faith will move mountains.
80. Feed a cold and starve a fever
The belief is that eating a lot of food may help the body produce warmth during a “cold” and that avoiding food may allow it cool down when overheated.
Example: I’ve never heard this “If you eat while you have a cold, you’ll get a fever and then starve.”
81. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
People without good sense or judgement will have no hesitation in tackling a situation that even the wisest would avoid.
Example: Inexperienced or rash people attempting things that more experienced people avoid rightfully describes the phrase meaning fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
82. Fortune favours the brave.
A successful person is often the individual who is willing to take risks.
Example: The guy should have gone all out to achieve his destiny. He would have been married to the love of his life had he showed some courage back then. Fortune favours the bold.
83. Good things come to those who wait.
A patient seeker will be satisfied in due time because patience is a virtue.
Example: “When investing, it pays to be patient. Remember those good things come to those who wait.
84. Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.
Make a small concession, and they’ll take advantage of you.
Example: I told her she could borrow the car for one day and she’s been gone a week—gives an inch!
85. God helps those who help themselves.
To be able to come out of a critical situation by self-help rather than hoping for divine intervention.
Example: The businessman refused to help you this time because he realised that you run to him every time you have the slightest difficulty. Please remember that he has a company to run, and God helps only those who help themselves.
86. Get out while the going (getting) is good.
To cease, end, or give up (doing) something before it becomes too difficult or the consequences become too severe.
Example: He just had a good offer from a rival firm and decided to get out while the getting is good.
87. Grief divided is made lighter.
If you share your grief with your relatives, you can alleviate it.
Example: You shouldn’t hold back the news of financial loss you’ve incurred in your business. Grief divided is made lighter.
88. Honesty is the best policy.
It is used to say that telling the truth is better than lying even when it is hard to do
Example: He realised honesty is the best policy and told them what really happened to their car.
89. Half a loaf is better than none.
It is better to accept less than one wants or expects than to have nothing at all.
Example: Something is better than nothing, even if it is less than one wanted. For example, He had asked for a new trumpet but got a used one—oh well, half a loaf is better than none.
90. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Be optimistic but ready for hard times as well.
Example: My father was hoping for the best, but was prepared for the worst at the time my mother was going through some serious ailments.
91. If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.
If one’s will does not prevail, one must submit to an alternative.
Example: You’ll have to go woo investors if they won’t come to you. If the mountain does not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
92. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
It is used to say that one should not try to change something that is working well.
Example: I am not updating things in the house right now because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
93. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
It is used to say that it is better to be careful now so that problems do not occur later on.
Example: It’s probably not necessary to check the figures again, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
94. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
If one could readily have what one wanted, life would be easy.
Example: Wendy would love a brand-new car for her sixteenth birthday but—if wishes were horses.
95. If you can’t beat them, join them.
If you are unable to outdo enemies or rivals in some endeavour, you might as well cooperate with them and thereby possibly gain an advantage.
Example: If you can’t defeat your opponent, then you might as well work alongside them or do what they do.
96. If you play with fire, you’ll get burned.
If you fool around with something that is probably dangerous, you must anticipate getting harmed.
Example: Joe said, “I have no sympathy for race-car drivers who get injured. They should know that if you play with fire, you get burned.”
97. Ignorance is bliss.
If one is unaware of an unpleasant fact or situation, one cannot be troubled by it.
Example: “I don’t want to hear about them: ignorance is bliss in this case”.
98. It’s not over till it’s over.
The final outcome cannot be assumed or determined until a given situation.
Example: It doesn’t look likely that the senator will be elected for another term, but it ain’t over until it’s truly over.
99. It’s easy to be wise after the event.
It is far easier to learn how something bad and that it could have been prevented after it has already occurred.
Example: I would never have bought this car, but if I had known that it required so much work done. Well, it’s easy to be cautious and wise after the event has occurred.
100. It’s never too late to mend.
It is never impossible (to do something), regardless of how old one is.
Example: X: I thought that you would not come to my help anymore – anyways, better late than never.
101. It takes two to tango.
Both parties involved in a situation or argument are equally responsible for it.
Example: “Ihadn’t been all that easy to deal with, myself—it took two to tango”.
102. It’s no use crying over spilt milk.
There is no use of crying or getting upset over the situations that have already occurred and which cannot be changed.
Example: “I know you didn’t mean to break my phone, so there’s no use in crying over spilt milk now.”
103. It takes two to make a quarrel.
One cannot blame an argument entirely on the other side.
Example: Jill: Why are you always so quarrelsome? Jane: Hey, it’s not just my fault.
104. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.
Not say anything, especially not reveal a secret.
Example: We’re in an antagonistic territory. So, to avoid problems, keep your mouth shut and your eyes open.
105. Laughter is the best medicine.
Trying to be happy is a good way to stop worrying.
Example: After spending several hours in good company, Martha felt her depression lifting and realised that laughter is indeed the best medicine.
106. Learn to walk before you run.
To take smaller steps initially and to progress gradually.
Example: The plan will gradually get the company the revenue that they need to sustain in this market, but you need to learn to walk before you run.
107. Look before you leap.
You should always check the consequences and consider them before taking any action.
Example- The film industry is a tricky one, so, look before you leap.
108. Let sleeping dogs lie.
Avoid interfering in the situations that are currently causing no problems but may well do so as a result of such interference.
Example: As Eliza was in good spirits that morning, Andy decided not to bring up the argument they had last night. It was best to let sleeping dogs lie.
109. Life begins at forty.
It is only after you gather essential skills and experiences up till an age, that you truly begin to live life and enjoy it.
Example- Who says you are old? Cheer up! Life begins at forty!
110. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
It is unlikely to believe that an unusual misfortune will occur again in the same way or to the same person.
Example- Last year I met with an accident on Christmas and now I am afraid to set foot outside on that day. However, my mother said that lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
111. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
Money or wealth is not available in abundance. You cannot just make it easier.
Example- Don’t waste all your money on a luxury. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees.
112. Money talks.
Having money gives you the power and the right to have opinions.
Example- Don’t get surprised by his success. It is money talking.
113. Make hay while the sun shines.
Make the best of the things while they last.
Example- Youth and beauty are temporary. So, make hay while the sun shines.
114. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
Never invest all your attention or wealth on one particular thing. It does more harm than good.
Example- I appreciate your start-up business but remember not to test the depth of the water with both feet.
115. Necessity is the mother of invention.
One comes up with solutions to problems when one needs them the most.
Example- The increased use of video calls during the quarantine proved how necessity is the mother of invention.
116. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Do not delay something that does not need to be delayed and finish your work as soon as you can.
Example- I thought of finishing the presentation tomorrow, but we should never put off until tomorrow what we can do today, right?
117. No gain without pain.
You can never earn anything without hard work and suffering.
Example- I know it’s difficult for you to sacrifice leisure to excel in your studies but no gain without pain.
118. No news is good news.
If you don’t get any news about someone’s then probably things are fine.
Example- When you have a son in the military, no news is good news.
119. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
What might seem as trash or not useful to someone can be something that is required by another.
Example- I always donate the clothes that I don’t need anymore as one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
120. Once bitten twice shy.
If someone gets a bad experience doing something for the first time, they shy away from doing it a second time.
Example- I am never cooking anything at home again after what happened last day because once bitten, twice shy.
121. One shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees.
Do not focus or give importance to the small things and miss out the broader concept altogether.
Example- I got so caught up in finding a marketing team for my business that I completely overlooked the quality of the product. That is the reason they say; one shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees.
122. Out of sight, out of mind.
If something is out of the sight for a significant period of time, it will soon be forgotten.
Example- She doesn’t talk to her old school friends anymore. I guess, they’re out of sight and out of mind.
123. Practice what you preach.
Believe in the ideals and values that you tell other people to believe in.
Example- You always encourage us to do yoga, but you should practice what you preach.
124. Pen is mightier than the sword.
Words can cause a lot of difference in people’s mind rather than the use of force.
Example- Tagore’s mighty words on the swadeshi movement proved how the pen is mightier than the sword.
125. Persuasion is better than force.
It is better to persuade someone into doing something rather them using force to achieve it.
Example- Sardar Valabbhai Patel persuaded the rulers of princely states to join India, thus proving how persuasion is better than force.
126. Practice makes perfect.
The more one practices a skill, and the better one gets at it.
Example- Do not lose hope on your magic tricks. Keep on practising; after all, practice makes one perfect.
127. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others.
Ones, who have faults and baggage of their own, shouldn’t go on pointing fingers at others.
Example- You blamed him of plagiarism while you have tons of plagiarised works accredited to you for you will become a living example of some shouldn’t throw rocks at others when they live in a house made of glass.
128. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You cannot make something great in one day. Every great thing takes time to be built.
Example- How can you expect me to finish this painting within an hour? Rome wasn’t built in a day.
129. Silence is half consent.
If you do not voice your opinion against something and are silent, it means that you agree to what is happening.
Example- The celebrity was silent during the political oppression of the workers. And silence is half consent.
130. Still, water runs deep.
Someone who comes off as calm and composed is one with great depth and knowledge.
Example- He doesn’t speak much, but he knows more than all of us. As they say, still water runs deep.
131. Slow and steady wins the race.
One who works slow but works consistently will eventually succeed.
Example- It took me three years to learn French, but I’ve finally done it. I guess slow and steady wins the race.
132. Strike while the iron is hot.
Make sure you grab the opportunity at the right time.
Example- It is not every day that you get such a good business deal. Strike while the iron is hot.
133. There are more ways than one to skin a cat.
There are several ways to reach the same goal.
Example- It doesn’t matter that we cannot sell gold and silver to buy the house. There are more ways than one to skin a cat.
134. The best-laid plans go astray.
Even the most well-planned events don’t go according to plan.
Example- We planned this trip for a year only to have it cancelled at the last moment. I guess, even the best-laid plans go astray.
135. The end justifies the mean.
If you get the results that you want; it doesn’t matter what your method of acquiring the result is.
Example- He is using bribes to get the job, but it doesn’t matter if the end justifies the mean.
136. The harder you work, the luckier you get.
The more you work, the more will you achieve.
Example- He started with a small salary, and now he is the manager. It is true that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
137. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
People always feel as if others are in better conditions than they are.
Example- No wonder you’re not satisfied with your luxury, the grass is always greener on the other side.
138. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
You cannot judge something until and unless you have tried it.
Example- You cannot just say that these cosmetics don’t work. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
139. There is no time like the present
Things should not be delayed and should be done in the present.
Example: If your New Year’s resolution isn’t achieved, there is no time like the present to start.
140. There is safety in numbers.
When doing something, you are safer when there are a lot of people doing it rather than being alone.
Example: She will go to the trip only if all her friends go, she says that there is safety in numbers.
141. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Things always get messed up when too many people put in their work or opinion into one thing.
Example: There were too many people involved in the play. It got scratched off as too many cooks were spoiling the broth.
142. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
A good thought does not count if the result is terrible.
Example: He was a cheater; hence her friend tried to stop her from dating him, but their friendship ended. Well, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
143. The show must go on.
No matter the difficulties and event or performance must not be stopped or delayed.
Example: He fainted on the stage, but the teacher said that the show must go on.
144. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
The one who makes the most fuss gets the most notice or attention.
Example: Start complaining to the people concerned if you are not satisfied, always remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
145. Time and tide wait for no man.
Just the way one cannot control the tides. Similarly, one cannot control time either, do what you have to do now.
Example: They should come ashore, tide, just like time, waits for no man.
146. Two heads are better than one.
A second person to help you always works better than working alone.
Example: The Russo Brother and Duffer Brothers are doing better as directors than others proving that two heads are definitely better than one,
147. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
If someone hurts you, don’t hurt that person back because nothing good will come out of it.
Example: Don’t keep her waiting because she did; two wrongs never make a right.
148. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
When things get complicated, the strong-willed ones start taking action.
Example: She buckled up as soon as the last round of the quiz started. I guess the tough do get going when the going gets tough.
149. Watch the doughnut and not the hole.
Don’t keep your focus on what you don’t have but focus on what you have.
Example: Finish your craft by using whatever is available, keep watching the doughnuts and not the holes.
150. What goes around, comes around.
Someone’s actions will always be dealt with in the end.
Example: Don’t ignore his messages; remember that what goes around always comes back around.
151. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Always do what the majority does when visiting or living in a different place.
Example: I started loving poutine after living in Canada for a year. As they say, when in Rome always do as the Romans do.
152. When one door shuts, another opens.
When one opportunity closes, you will always find a different and better option.
Example: Don’t worry if you did not get the job, don’t forget that when one door shuts another opens on its own.
153. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
No matter how difficult a situation or task is, if you have enough will to do it, you will always find a way.
Example: I know this assignment is not easy, but there’s a way if there’s a will.
154. When there’s smoke, there’s fire.
If there are rumours, there must always be some amount of truth to it.
Example: The leaked footage of the robbery made me believe that when there’s smoke, there always is fire.
155. While the cat’s away, the mice will play.
People will always take advantage when an authoritarian figure is absent.
Example: Her parent were away for a weekend, and she threw a party. The mice will always play when the cat’s out.
156. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
People, most of the times, will not abandon age-old habits for new ones.
Example: You cannot make her drink milk. Don’t forget that you cannot teach an old dog tricks that are new.
157. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Polite behaviour gets people on your side rather than rude threats.
Example: Don’t threaten people if you want to win the campaign, always remember that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
158. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
You can always show people the right ways but cannot make then do something.
Example: No matter how much your advice him, he will not listen to you. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
159. You can’t always get what you want.
There are times when you will not accomplish what you are looking for.
Example: Eat the vegetables, you can’t get what you always want from life.
160. You can’t fit a round peg in a square hole.
No matter how much you try, you can’t force people into roles that aren’t meant for them.
Example: She quit as she realized that she was around the peg in a square hole as a bank executive.
161. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
You cannot want or try to do two things that are not compatible.
Example: If you want a better part, you should’ve paid more, you should know that you can have and eat your cake at the same time.
162. You show me the man, and I’ll show you the rule.
Depending on a person’s power and influence, the rules keep changing.
Example: The manager helped me himself as soon as he heard my name. As they say, you show me the man and I will show you the rule.
163. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
Achieving something of importance will compel you to cause unpleasant actions.
Example: I have to reduce their salary to save the company from going bankrupt. Well, without breaking eggs, you cannot make an omelette.
164. You can’t unscramble a scrambled egg.
Most actions are irreversible.
Example: You have to get used to the new haircut, you cannot unscramble an egg that is scrambled.
165. You can’t win them all.
You will not succeed in everything that you do.
Example: Don’t fuss about not cracking the job; you cannot win them all.