A simple truth that expresses an idea or fact.

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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 ...
2
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1answer
57 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
95 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
37 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 ...
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13answers
3k 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 ...
0
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1answer
57 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.
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2answers
99 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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
46 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.
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4answers
3k 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?
2
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1answer
93 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
45 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
8k 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
55 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?
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3answers
130k 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
114 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
8k 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
82 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
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3answers
108 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 ...
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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 ...
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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
182 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 ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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15answers
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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 ...
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1answer
89 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
666 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 ...
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6answers
578 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 ...
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13answers
6k 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
1k 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, ...
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8answers
232 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
1k 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
133 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 ...
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5answers
4k views

Ne'er cast a clout till May be out. Meaning?

Today across southern England, it was one of those glorious May mornings of which the poets wrote. The darling buds in bloom, the scent of the blossom hanging like nectar in the air, and the sun up in ...
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2answers
297 views

Meaning of 'proverbial worm'

"An appropriate and dramatic end to a singular and yet typical case," said Thorndyke, as he put down the newspaper. "I hope it has enlarged your knowledge, Jervis, and enabled you to form one or ...
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2answers
171 views

“If you put in the work to sharpen the steel, it will eventually turn into needles.” Do you have a similar proverb in English?

This is a Vietnamese proverb: If you put in the work to sharpen the steel, it will eventually turn into needles. It means that no matter how difficult the goal (like a long-term mission) is, if ...
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0answers
59 views

What does it mean to say “The tie has got quite a lot”

Today, when I was making some tea for myself in the staff room, my colleague told me something that I didn't really understand. I would like to know what does this saying mean. I filled half my glass ...
0
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2answers
192 views

Is “fortune favors the bold; cheek brings success” a popular idiom or proverb in English? [closed]

I want to express the idea that: If you want to be rich, you have to have guts and take a big risk. If you want to achieve a high position in your society, like becoming a doctor or lawyer, you ...
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7answers
887 views

English equivalent to the Japanese saying “高転びに転ぶ” - A haughty man should tumble down?

I was asked by my friend who happened to see my question I posted before about English equivalents to Chinese (and Japanese) proverbs, 塞翁失馬 Life is like old Sai’s horse, whether there is an English ...
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17answers
8k views

What is the English equivalent to the Chinese/Japanese saying, “塞翁失馬— Life is like Old Sai’s horse”?

Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, 2012 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, the initiator of all-around (iPS) cells told a recently-held public symposium, quote: “I’m often asked by many people: ‘You ...
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5answers
1k views

Is there English counterpart to Japanese proverb, 一期一会 , meaning “Cherish once -in -a-lifetime encounter”?

I met a married couple of elderly American tourists to Japan who are both attorney at law in Connecticut a few days ago, and happened to have to introduce a Japanese proverb, “一期一会 - Ichigo ichie” in ...
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4answers
2k views

Expression for “pulling out something from the past”

I am looking for an expression (proverb / idiom) meaning "pulling out something from the past" in disapproval. An example of this would be: somebody mentioning a thing of the past, which is not ...
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2answers
119 views

absence makes the heart grow fonder [closed]

Why does the idiom: absence makes the heart grow fonder have the form of grow and not grows?
2
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3answers
116 views

Proverb to express this concept: foregoing immediate gratification in favor of long-term reward

In other words, if you forego getting X in the short-term, you'll get more X than you'd have otherwise in the longer-term. I'm drawing a blank at the moment. The proverb, "a penny saved is a penny ...
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5answers
301 views

Is there an English equivalent to the Chinese saying, 君子之交淡如水 …? [closed]

The original expression, from the famous Chinese book 'Zhuangzi' continues: "君子之交淡如水,小人之交甘若醴 ..." and its author is expressing that true friendships are like water, but that some relationships, in ...
2
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4answers
206 views

English equivalent of 'стерпится - слюбится'?

Are there any proverbs in the English-speaking world that are close in their meaning to the Russian proverb "стерпится - слюбится"? Meaning of the proverb: if you do something unpleasant at first for ...
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4answers
6k views

Can “the chickens have come home to roost” have positive as well as negative connotations?

In answering a recent EL&U question (Idiom for the phrase "someone who gets what he deserved"), I cited the phrase "The chickens have come home to roost," and said that it "applies ...