What would be the standard English proverb for something like this:

Your leg starts to ache when you see a horse.


When you see a useful resource/means, you feel lazy to do the job/work.

EDIT: It essentially means, I think, that a 'lazy man will find many excuses to avoid work'.

Here is the original Kannada language proverb:

Kudure kandre kaalu novvu.

Which literally means:

"Your leg starts to ache when you see a horse."


"When you notice a horse, you act limp"

SevenSidedDie explains it below quite well:

"Nice car! Oh, uh, I suddenly have a cramp, can I get a ride?"

(Note: Proverbs are pieces of traditional wisdom passed down to us from previous generations - kinda like universal truths, while quotes are just opinions of one or more persons. "A bad workman quarrels with his tools" is a proverb while "I can resist anything but temptation" is a quote. What I want is a proverb, not a quote, thanks.)

  • 2
    Can you give more of an explanation of what those proverbs mean? It is not clear just form the words themselves. Can you give an extended situation in which the proverb would apply?
    – Mitch
    Jul 5, 2014 at 0:29
  • 1
    @Mitch Agree it should be clarified. FWIW, my reading is something like "Nice car! Oh, uh, I suddenly have a cramp, can I get a ride?" Jul 5, 2014 at 0:46
  • Also, can you give the original in the original language?
    – Mitch
    Jul 5, 2014 at 0:55
  • SevenSidedDie you got it. It is like a 'lazy man will find many excuses to avoid work'. I will add the original Kannada language there if I can but I doubt it will be much helpful as most users here are native English speakers (I guess?)
    – pingpongi
    Jul 5, 2014 at 12:32
  • This is tricky. Nothing suggested so far gets specifically at the cause of the laziness being the sudden availability of an alternative.
    – Henry74
    Jul 16, 2014 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


This proverb (collected in Illinois) from Mieder, Kingsbury & Harder, A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992) seems somewhat related:

No man does as much work today as he is going to do tomorrow.

As does this one (collected in Maryland) from the same reference:

Too light for heavy work, and too heavy for light work.

Neiher of these proverbs is particularly widespread, however, as far as I know.

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