A simple truth that expresses an idea or fact.

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Springtime is when

I heard the saying below, and don't understand what it means. I heard it in a concert, but it is also recorded in an american book of proverbs linked below. (b) In spring a young man's fancy turns ...
9
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1answer
306 views

A swallow does not make a summer … or a spring?

The famous proverb, one swallow does not make a summer means: A single fortunate event doesn’t mean that what follows will also be good. (ODO) the origin, according to the Phrase ...
11
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13answers
4k views

How should I say “I don't have anything useful to say so I am quiet”?

I am having a discussion/conversation with a very close friend, and this conversation concerns me personally (you might even go as far as saying this is my best friend). At one point in our ...
5
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1answer
236 views

What is the accurate English translation/meaning of the phrase “In nocte consilium”, the motto of Birkbeck College in London?

Not sure if this is the appropriate place to pose this question, but apparently we don't have a Latin Stackexchange... The motto of Birkbeck College in London is "In nocte consilium". However I have ...
8
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5answers
487 views

Proverb about cultural differences [closed]

There is a Czech proverb which translates roughly to "different countries, different customs". Is there an English equivalent? Thanks!
5
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4answers
331 views

Mexican Proverb equivalent

I'm looking for an equivalent to the following proverb which states, "The cactus is only visited when he has prickly pears." It means something like "He is only visited when he has money." I can't ...
9
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6answers
2k views

Is there a saying in English corresponding to “Another loach under the willow tree”?

In Japanese there's a saying "another loach" in the short form, "look for another loach under the same willow tree" in the long form. This saying is for ridiculing a person who blindly repeats what ...
4
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3answers
109 views

What English term is used to describe “sarcasm toward questions about trivial issues”?

The question is difficult to mention in a single line as a title, hence feel free to edit the title. Person-1: Did Brazil win the football match today? Person-2: People are dying across the ...
8
votes
4answers
96 views

Looking for an English proverb equivalent to a Hindi one (translated)

In Hindi language, there is a prevalent saying: sau chuhe maar billi haj ko chali which, if directly translated into English, becomes After killing/eating 100 mice, the cat goes on a ...
12
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5answers
4k views

“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.” — What does it mean?

"When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry." I can't understand what this quotation means. Can anyone help me understand its meaning?
0
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4answers
427 views

“A friend to all is a friend to none” - Aristotle. What does this exactly mean? [closed]

Why shouldn't a person be friendly to everyone? Is "being friendly" and "being a friend" being differentiated here? Also, I consider a person as one's friend only if that person doesn't betray ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Etymology of the idiom “There's no disputing matters of taste” (de gustibus non est disputandum) [duplicate]

I've been reading around, looking for the origin of the set phrase "There's no disputing matters of taste", and in particular trying to discover who said it first, or at least who popularized it. My ...
4
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3answers
18k views

What does “Way out of a paper bag” mean?

What do they mean when they say "He can't find himself way out of paper bag?" Or "Couldn't manage himself out of paper bag?" Also what is the history of this statement? What is the origin?
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1answer
89 views

Translation of most used sayings and proverbs [closed]

I know that some sayings or proverbs are different in some languages. So is the Dutch proverb "Een vis op het droge" in correct English A fish out of water. If you translate the Dutch proverb ...
5
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3answers
211 views

Meaning of Corsican Proverb “Ropes that are too long become snakes”? [closed]

I came across this proverb recently Ropes that are too long become snakes. This is a direct translation from the Corsican of I funi longhi diventani sarpi. However, I could neither understand ...
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4answers
104 views

Questions on “Like father, like son” [duplicate]

I have a few questions on this phrase "Like father, like son". Is it an idiom or a proverb? Or both? Can it be analysed grammatically? If the answer is "Yes", can you analyse it grammatically for ...
6
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4answers
8k views

Why is “xxxx doth not a yyyy make” considered valid English?

Reading doth not a writer make. This sounds all wrong so why it is acceptable to use? The word order looks to be all out sequence (Object-Subject-Verb). It should be "reading does not make you a ...
2
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1answer
61 views

What is the first known use of the proverb “out of sight is out of mind”?

It is said that Shakespeare and Hopkins used ‘out of sight is out of mind’. But when was this phrase first used?
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3answers
136 views

Are there English equivalents to “Samurai uses (show off) a toothpick, even he hasn’t eaten anything (for a day)”?

There is a Japanese proverb, 武士は食わねど高楊子、of which literal translation is “Samurai uses (show off) a toothpick, even he hasn’t eaten meal,” meaning a Samurai glories in his honorable poverty. Samurais ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Proverb: a story explains best of all

I've got a question and I realize that the easiest way to answer it is to tell a story which will explain why the things are going in this way. However it does not look natural to start telling story ...
0
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1answer
170 views

Origin of “The first step is always the hardest”

I'm looking for the period when the American proverb The first step is always the hardest first appeared. Google Ngram won't let me do the search because the phrase contains more than 5 symbols.
3
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2answers
146 views

What is the English term, when someone provides truthful 'extra' information in support to promote own propaganda?

Though the title asks the main question, I will give an example. Imagine a tabloid, which wants to defame a famous personality, say Abraham Lincoln or Michael Jackson. The writers know that, just ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What is the similar meaning proverb in English?

We have a proverb in Bengali, if I translate it directly into English, it emerges as: Who is in there in the temple? I did not eat the banana! Meaning in the temple banana is used for prayer to ...
2
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4answers
3k views

What is the proverb of “big fish eats small fish”?

In English, do you have a proverb like “big fish eats small fish” which means “justice belongs to the stronger”? For example, suppose there is a successful new startup. Big companies start to eye the ...
0
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1answer
77 views

meaning: “a green wound is soon healed”

What does this saying mean? My English teacher gave it to us, but I could not find its meaning online. Please provide sources, if possible.
2
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1answer
101 views

Proverb: quit a habit

What proverb in English means that people get rid of old habits hard? (if there are any)
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1answer
61 views

A proverb: Enough is as good as a feast [closed]

What does it mean, and why? I was looking at several lexicons, but didnot find a satisfactory explanation.
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4answers
10k views

English proverb for when a solution comes too late

In Flemish we have a saying "Vijgen na pasen". Translated: "figs after Easter". It means a solution comes too late to be of any use. What is the English equivalent for this? Some googling gives me ...
3
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1answer
65 views

Is “bring grist to the enemy's mill” the same as “play into sb's hand”?

I would like to know if bring grist to the enemy's mill and play into sb's hand are idioms or proverbs and if their meaning are the same?
0
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3answers
143k views

Origin of the idiom “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts”?

I’m interested in the origin of the idiom: If "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas. When was it first used? Is this the original idiom, or was there an older ...
2
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1answer
264 views

Is the proverb “never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut” used and understood?

The saying “never ask a barber if he thinks you need a haircut” means “don’t ask a person about their own activity, because they are in a conflict of interest and can only answer in one way”. Thus, it ...
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4answers
10k views

Good Things Come In Threes - has a definite positive connotation.

From fairytales to hollywood blockbusters, “the rule of three” (Latin-"omne trium perfectum") principle suggests things that come in threes are inherently more humorous, satisfying and effective ...
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13answers
5k views

English idiom or proverb equivalent for “if everybody is doing it, I will also do it”

Can somebody please help me by giving an English idiom or proverb equivalent for: If everybody is doing it, I will also do it.
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3answers
100 views

verb, idiom or proverb equivalent for bringing two person to fight

I am looking for a verb, idiom or proverb that describes a situation that somebody tries to make two parties angry from each other. I found that mischief-maker means a person who create troubles for ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

Proverb about wealth and connectedness/friends [closed]

I remember reading somewhere a proverb. I don't remember exactly how it went. I also vaguely remember it being African, but I'm probably wrong. In a paraphrased form (in my head) it is: "The wealthy ...
22
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11answers
5k views

Is there English proverb equivalent to Japanese and Korean one, “The ground becomes solid after a heavy rain”?

In the speech after toasting at the dinner party hosted by President of the Republic of Korea subsequent to the Meeting of Three-country (China, Japan and Korea - in Alphabetic order) Leaders held in ...
24
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17answers
5k views

Is there English proverb or saying equivalent to Chinese / Japanese common proverb 李下に冠を正さず- Don’t touch (redress) your coronet under the plum tree?

Recently I made an inadvertent mistake, which reminded me a familiar Japanese proverb to admonish us to stay away from situation and the likelihood to be suspected as a rule-offender. It is a set of ...
3
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3answers
223 views

Are there English equivalents to Japanese and Chinese proverb meaning “sell dog meat by displaying the head of lamb?

The saying, “A pig in a poke” quoted in Maureen Dowd's article in New York Times (August 10) referring to Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks in Presidential campaign debate (See ...
56
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11answers
5k views

English proverb for “They danced, but didn't take a bow”, as for failing good work on a final step

There is proverb in Ukrainian, "They danced and danced, but didn't take a bow" (Танцювали, танцювали, та не вклонилися). It is used to point out that someone has put a significant amount of time and ...
38
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15answers
6k views

Are there English equivalents for “as beautiful as butt inside out”?

There is an old saying in Ukrainian folklore, which literally sounds like “[someone is] as beautiful as ass inside out” (“Гарна як срака навиворіт”). It is used when one wants to point a person's ...
4
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1answer
95 views

Can verbally female-concerned idioms be used for male cases, (and vice versa)?

The idiom like Caesar's wife is mentioned in the book 1100 words you need to know (Murray Bromberg and Melvin Gordon, 4th edition), and used in the following sentence as an example: Mrs. Drake ...
2
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2answers
717 views

Idiom/Phrase/Proverb to describe a scenario where a person who saved me from a bad habit has now fallen into the the same habit

I am facing a dilemma. Someone I know once (long time back) helped me get into a good habit, and abandon the accompanying bad habit, and now they have fallen into the same trap as me. I want to let ...
10
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6answers
815 views

The etymology of “to prove dough”

prove [NO OBJECT] (Of bread dough) become aerated by the action of yeast; rise. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for about two hours in a warm ...
87
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13answers
8k views

Is there English counterpart(s) to Japanese old saying, “Present salt to your enemy.”?

We have a popular Japanese saying, “敵に塩を送る” — literally, “present (supply) salt to one's enemy”, meaning ‘play fair and square, not taking advantage of the weak point of your rival.’ It’s different ...
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11answers
3k views

Idiom for the effect that money from funding is easier to spend, as opposed to one's own savings

I am looking for an idiom in English, if it exists. In Czech it goes like "Z ciziho krev netece", literally "Someone else's property never bleeds" which was probably originally meant to describe the ...
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9answers
2k views

Are there figurative English proverbs (or idioms) to mean an expert (or likely winner) makes a great mistake?

The latest news that Serena Williams lost the semi-final round of U.S. Open to an unseeded Italian player, Roberta Vinci, whom Williams had never lost in the past reminded me of Japanese proverb, ...
2
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8answers
369 views

Maxims that have to do with persistence? [closed]

I am looking for idiomatic expressions that convey the value of persistence, such as a long, drawn-out battle where the victor is necessarily the person who simply outlasted the other. I know there is ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What is the origin of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes”?

I hear this term everywhere I go and from almost everyone I meet. I know this means to be more empathetic. Emotions and feelings if seen from a scientific point of view are just neurological responses ...
2
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1answer
228 views

Is there any proverb or idiom in English that says that “If you understand yourself and your opponent, you can win any battles”?

There is a Chinese proverb saying that "If you understand yourself and your enemy, you can win any battles"? It seems that the proverb was from "The Art of War" of Sun Tzu “If you know the ...