Which one is true? An apple a day keeps the doctor away – or – An onion a day keeps everbody away; Where there’s a will, there’s a way – or – If there is a “WILL”, there are 500 relatives. Probably all of them. Well, jokes apart, proverbs have been the carriers of wit for ages. Usage of proverbs makes the language rich and appealing. Nothing else can drive home a point more interestingly and efficiently than proverbs do. Here are some popular English proverbs.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
A bad penny always turns up.
A bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit.
A bean in liberty is better than a comfit in prison.
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
A burnt child dreads the fire.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
A closed mouth catches no flies.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
A man is known by the company he keeps.
A penny saved is penny earned.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
A stitch in time saves nine.
A word spoken is past recalling.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Actions speak louder than words.
Advice most needed is least heeded.
All good things must come to an end.
All roads lead to Rome.
All that glitters is not gold.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All’s fair in love and war.
All’s well that ends well.
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.
April showers bring May flowers.
As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.
As you sow, so shall you reap.
Barking dogs seldom bite.
Beggars can’t be choosers.
Better late than never.
Better safe than sorry.
Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Big things come in small packages.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Blood is thicker than water.
Brain is better than brawn.
Discretion is the better part of valour.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
Don’t cry over the spilt milk.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Don’t judge a man by the size of his hat, but by the angle of his tilt.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Don’t put the cart before the horse.
Easier said than done.
Empty vessel makes more noise.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Even angels have teeth.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Every dog has its day.
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.
Exception proves the rule.
Failure is the stepping stone for success.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
First deserve, then desire.
Forbidden fruit is the sweetest.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Fortune favors the brave.
Give a dog a bad name and hang him.
Give respect, take respect.
Give the camel an inch and it will take an ell.
Give the devil his due.
God cures and the physician takes the fee.
Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Half a loaf is better than none.
Half truth is a whole lie.
Handsome is as handsome does.
Happy wife, happy life.
Hard words break no bones.
Haste makes waste.
Have not, want not.
He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
He who fails to prepare, prepares to fail.
He who laughs last laughs best.
He who stands for nothing will fall for everything.
He who will steal an egg will steal an ox.
Health is better than wealth.
Home is where the heart is.
Honesty is the best policy.
Hope for the best, expect the worst.
Hurry makes bad curry.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
If you can’t beat them, join them.
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen.
If you want to judge a man’s character, give him power.
In one ear and out the other.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
In the middle of difficulties lie opportunities.
It never rains, but pours.
It takes all sorts to make a world.
It takes two to make a quarrel.
It’s always darkest before the dawn.
Jack of all trades and master of none.
Kill two birds with one stone.
Learn to walk before you run.
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Look before you leap.
Loose lips sink ships.
Make hay while the sun shines.
Mind your P’s and Q’s.
More haste, less speed.
No pain, no gain.
Nothing succeeds like success.
Once bitten, twice shy.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.
One scabbed sheep mars the whole flock.
Opportunity knocks only once.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Pay the piper and call the tune.
Penny wise and pound foolish.
Practice before you preach.
Practice makes a man perfect.
Prevention is better than cure.
Pride comes before a fall.
Put a cat among the pigeons.
Rob Peter to pay paul.
Rolling stone gathers no moss.
Rome was not built in a day.
Set a thief to catch a thief.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Spare the rod and spoil the child.
Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Still waters run deep.
Strike while the iron is hot.
Talk of the devil and he will appear.
The early bird catches the worm.
The end justifies the means.
The only free cheese is in the mouse trap.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
There’s always a calm before a storm.
There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.
Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Time and tide wait for none.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd.
Well begun is half done.
What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
When the cat is away, the mice will play.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
You can get glad in the same shoes you got mad in.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
You can’t change the wind, but you can adjust your sails.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
You can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.