I have to make an idiom/proverb for 'there is more to something than meets the eye' in the context of culture; that often, traditions and customs are just symbolic/representative of bigger things. Could someone help me come up with something that means this?

  • 1
    None of these capture quite what you describe: Looks can be deceiving, Still waters run deep, Don't judge a book by its cover, Never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes, Don't jump to conclusions Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:03
  • So you’re not looking for an existing one- You want to make up a new one?
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:17
  • yes! but if there is an existing one you could think of, even that would help in figuring out a new one. Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:20
  • The paint job don't tell ya what's under the hood. Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:32
  • That little pot of tea’s been steeped in a thousand years of history.
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 26, 2019 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


Tip of the iceberg ( Cambridge Dictionary)

a small, noticeable part of a problem, the total size of which is really much greater:

These small local protests are just the tip of the iceberg.

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