I' m looking for a common saying or catchphrase that has the same meaning as "a picture is worth a thousand words". I need this as a title for an article that illustrates that point in a specific context, but the original is obviously worn out.

EDIT To clarify: I'm trying to illustrate the point that it's easier to convince someone of a fact if you show them it, than if you just describe it.

  • 2
    Are you asking for something that doesn't exist? I mean, aren't idioms like "a picture is worth a thousand words" around because they meet a language need that isn't otherwise being met?
    – ect
    Sep 11, 2011 at 3:54
  • @ect No. Just as there are synonymous words, there are synonymous expressions. Sep 11, 2011 at 5:08

5 Answers 5


The closest phrase that comes to mind is “Show, don't tell”. The meaning is a little different, but it might still be applicable.


How about "Seeing is believing."


If you want your title remain catchy but at the same time that it would not be a platitude, you best either modify it slightly, or completely through some metaphors, obviously depending on your audience and additional information you would like to convey. Some examples for the inspiration:

  1. (Playful, traditional, oriental) A picture is worth a thousand and one words.
  2. (Playful, modern, Western) A picture is worth a thousand and 42 words.
  3. (Modern, technological) A pixel is worth 1024 bits.
  4. (Controversial) One Monet worth 1000 Shakespeares.
  5. (Scientific) One whiteboard is worth approximately 31415 words.
  6. (Inverse) One word is one thousandth of a picture.
  7. (Multiplied) 3 pictures are worth 3000 words.
  8. (Postmodern) Bargain today: 1 picture for 1000 words!
  9. (Everyday life, sayings): 1 picture is worth 365 words.
  10. (Postmodern, Stock market): 1 picture closes at 1000.0 words.
  11. (Metaphoric): Better to open the eye than to scratch the ear.
  12. (Playful on Nietzsche): And those who were watching were thought to be insane by those who just heard the music.
  • When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss doesn't gaze back, you know its a bogus abyss? Sep 10, 2015 at 19:09
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    @David Toth, this is a great list! By the way, there's a word for this type of wordplay: anti-proverbs or perverbs!
    – DyingIsFun
    Sep 10, 2015 at 19:46

The soul never thinks without a picture.

  • 1
    Can you demonstrate that this is a "common saying or catchphrase" as the question requests?
    – choster
    Oct 8, 2013 at 22:35

This quote is supposedly attributed to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte:

a good sketch is better than a long speech

In french: "Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu'un long discours".

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