A saying is something that is said, notable in one respect or another, to be "a pithy expression of wisdom or truth."

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English proverb or saying on “you can't have too many friends”

I'm curious if there's an English proverb or saying that has the meaning "you can't have too many friends". The matter is, we have such a saying in Russian ("Друзей много не бывает"). In other words, ...
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2answers
273 views

Meaning of a saying about the difference between L.A. and New York [closed]

What is the meaning of the following? The difference between L.A. and New York is that in New York when you get robbed, you see the gun... UPD: Below is a part of the original discussion: ...
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9answers
1k views

Word meaning “someone who does all the work” [closed]

Is there a word for someone who does all of the work? Or for the person who is exploited when someone else steals the credit?
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2answers
347 views

looking for a certain quote/saying about winning, luck and practicing

I'm not sure if this the correct forum, but I can't seem to be able to google it so you guys are my only hope. I know there is a saying that means something like "you have to be lucky to win, but ...
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6answers
7k views

“They know not of what they speak.”

Is this phrase wrong? Shouldn't it be, they know naught of what they speak?
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7answers
3k views

Which of “chafing at the bit” or “chomping at the bit” is more accepted/proper?

I've used "chafing at the bit" for quite some time, but have also heard "chomping at the bit" as a way to indicate impatience, etc. Which of these two is the more "proper" or accepted variant?
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4answers
512 views

Is there any saying or idiom equivalent to: “Hold your own hat, so the wind don’t blow it away?”

This saying refers to an individual who is not in a stable situation themselves, and worries about other people's problems. Please give me the English/American equivalent.
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1answer
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Is “the best thing since sliced bread” supposed to be taken sarcastically?

On one day my boss said that a tool I had created to speed up my work was “probably the best thing since sliced bread”. Neither one of us is a native english speaker and we don’t also have any similar ...
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3answers
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What does “gleaning the cube” mean?

If you also know the origin, please, share.
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2answers
390 views

Ways to ruin a hobby

Variations The best way to ruin a hobby is to make it a career. The fastest way to ruin a hobby is to try to make money with it. The quickest way to ruin a hobby is to make it a job. What's the ...
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1answer
122 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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2answers
145 views

The devil is in the details

Which would be a suitable alternative for the common idiom "The devil is in the details", without the use of the word "devil"? No detail is too small. or It's in the details. Alternative ...
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1answer
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“Rule the Roast” and “Rule the Roost”

John Ayto, Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (2009) has this entry for "rule the roost": rule the roost be in complete control The original expression was rule the roast, which was common ...
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What is a proper response to a joke about visiting dentist at 2:30/tooth hurty?

I advised my client that I would be unavailable on a particular day because I have an appointment with the dentist to remove a tooth. The client responded What time is the appointment? 2:30? The ...
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1answer
2k views

Idiomatic expression related to “cat-putting” [closed]

I lived in a scholarship house for all of one year when I was in college (in the US). At the end of every year, they held an event that they called "The Cat-Putting" in which a few residents would ...
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1answer
191 views

“Maybe I have colored it too much”

Is that understandable in English? Or maybe there is a better way to illustrate what I want to say. What I want to say is that maybe I have exaggerated. For example, God is always good. He ...
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1answer
2k views

English folk saying or proverb involving the number four (of people)?

We have: "it takes two to tango", "two is company; three is a crowd", etc... Are there any similar sayings that refer to four people?
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2answers
60 views

Delayed gratification reward expression

Is there a saying that means delayed gratification increases the eventual gratification?
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8answers
235 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 ...
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3answers
597 views

“Par for the course”

From your personal experience, is "par for the course" widely understood, or would you recommend using a less technical term? I am particularly interested in differences between American, British, ...
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4answers
118k views

Why is karma a bitch?

I came across this saying "karma is a bitch" a few times while reading some comments online recently. I understand karma as a religious concept to mean "what goes around, comes around". I also ...
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2answers
2k views

Put two and two together…and got five?

I know the phrase "put two and two together", and in fact someone has already asked a question regarding its origin. However, I recently heard someone say the phrase with an addition of the humorous ...
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2answers
232 views

Is there a saying or proverb for “an inventor being killed by his own invention”?

There is long list of inventors whose death was somehow related to the product, process or procedure they invented. To cite just a few, Marie Curie (1867–1934) invented the process to isolate ...
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Are there historic sayings in English equvalent to Japanese “It’s up to you how you comment . But it’s me who take the action after all.”

There is a popular Japanese saying “It’s up to you how you comment. But it’s me who take action after all.” The line came from the answer of Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟-1823-1829), who was the leading figure ...
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510 views

Is there a saying or idiom for “trying to get the truth from someone by lying”?

context Mary-Ann got home late from school. Asked where she had been, she said she had spent the afternoon at the library. Her father thinks she is lying and says: "I know you haven’t been there ...
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4answers
343 views

Is there a saying like “Plum trees bloom most beautifully as they stand and overcome the cold severe winter.”? [closed]

Is there a saying like "Plum trees bloom most beautifully as they stand and overcome the cold severe winter."? It is a part of Japanese poem translated into English. It basically means a great ...
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2answers
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Expression for “someone who's clueless of their surroundings”?

What is an expression or saying you could use to describe someone that is totally clueless of their surroundings?
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What does “When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth” mean? [closed]

I found this quote by George Bernard Shaw: When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. Can anyone please explain the meaning of this sentence?
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3answers
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Are there other well-known examples of the type “Illigitimi non carborundum”?

Illegitimi non carborundum, mock-Latin for "don't let the bastards grind you down", dates to early WWII, and later in the war was adopted by Gen."Vinegar" Joe Stillwell as his motto. For more, ...
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1answer
44 views

What is said to check on a planned date?

When you have preplanned a date for something with a friend or a group of people and you want to ask if they are still committed to it and it's sort of a reminder Are on date? That doesn't seem ...
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2answers
85 views

Looking for a folk saying or proverb that reflects “the closer, higher the competition”

I am looking for an American or UK folk saying or proverb that reflects the following idea: the closer are the players, the higher is the competition or the more level the playing field, the more ...
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4answers
47 views

Is 'We are for it' correct usage? [closed]

If war—or anything, for that matter—was impending, people might say "We are up for it," to hearten the spirits of everyone and to ready them for the coming conflict. 1: It looks like it is war. ...
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63 views

Saying for using an overly powerful tool to fix a minor problem

I found "A sledgehammer to crack a nut" as one example. What are some others?
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Antonym of Elder

After looking up the antonym of "Elder" and only finding "Younger," I'm wondering how to better say the opposite of: Respect your elders as Respect your youngers seems kind of strange to me. ...
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Saying or idiom that means learning a lesson from the bad or good experience

We usually get advice from a friend or books or social media or else, and it only becomes a part of our information, we might learn from it and remember it or not, but if we experience it ourselves, ...
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5answers
448 views

English equivalent of Greek saying

My Greek friend has told me a Greek saying, which roughly translates to: The thief screams to frighten the landlord Effectively it means: You are only making a fuss so that nobody accuses you, ...
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3answers
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Lost in the Midst vs Mists of Time [closed]

Which of the following is more correct, and why? My attempts at Googling haven't produced a definitive answer, and all seem as sensible as each other going from base definitions. Lost in the mists ...
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6answers
980 views

A phrase for ignoring the disparity at a low level, while seeking commonality at a high level

I'm having a hard time describing the phrase I'm looking for, so I think the best way to ask the question is to simply present the problem. At work I've been tasked with merging the guidelines (the ...
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1answer
93 views

Correct usage of “to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb.”

I am looking into the usage of the phrase to find oneself at daggers drawn with sb. It seems to require a person at the end of the phrase, but I would like to use it in the following way: ...
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1answer
499 views

What does “to be the lowest common denominator” mean? [duplicate]

I'm not English and I never encountered this saying: In almost all cases, it is possible and within reason to write completely portable code. In practice, this means that you shouldn’t ...
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2answers
169 views

The penny dropped slowly

In Germany we have the saying "der Groschen ist gefallen", which exists in the English language, too: The penny dropped. But there is also a variation for slower thinking, "der Groschen fällt ...
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1answer
897 views

Flog meaning to sell in “Flogging a dead horse”

I saw an article recently where the author used the term "flogging a dead horse" where the term flogging was meant in the UK slang sense of "to sell".It was accompanied by a drawing of a stuffed horse ...
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1answer
204 views

Source for the Adage: “The first liar is always believed most.”

In a couple of books and articles I've come across an adage, “the first liar is always believed most”: Now, I talked to the captain first, but I want you to know that great old saying, “The ...
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3answers
6k views

Is there an idiom beginning “when a dog is cornered”?

Is there any saying in a complete sentence including “a dog which is cornered”? I have tried to find a complete one, but there seems to be no one. Actually, what I want to know is how to explain the ...
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1answer
929 views

Origin of the phrase “That is how it is” [closed]

Where does this come from? That is how it is.
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2answers
4k views

“The crying baby gets the milk”

Where does the saying "The crying baby gets the milk" come from? I don't think it's from English.
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1answer
71 views

A sentence from Oliver Twist and its meaning

Saw this in his book a few days, would someone help me find clarity in its meaning? "brass can do better than the gold what has stood the fire" Here is the full context: The man ran upstairs. ...
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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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Is there a set phrase for being polite to a person only when they are present?

Is there a saying or proverb for when a person or group of people act politely and with respect towards a certain member of a group in front of a person of respect or elder, and then acts with ...
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1answer
227 views

Who translated “He's a muddled fool, full of lucid intervals.” [closed]

I have revised herein my question of Aug 18 and update my research based on the most helpful suggestions of Peter Schor and tchrist of Aug 18, 2013. I'm not a Cervantista and don't speak Spanish. ...