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Questions tagged [proverb-requests]

This tag is for questions seeking a proverb that fits a certain context. If you are asking more generally about a suitable phrase to use in a particular context, see the "phrase-request" tag.

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3 votes
3 answers
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What do you call a moderate victory?

In the following bible passage, Prophet Elisha prophesies that King Joash should take his bow and arrows, and subsequently orders Joash to use his arrows to strike the ground to signify a symbolic act....
crazyTech's user avatar
  • 265
17 votes
14 answers
4k views

Proverb for someone who mistakenly assumes he has found the right answer and is unwilling to accept his error?

There is a proverb in the Telugu language: The hare he caught had only three legs. He has caught a hare that has only three legs and has now convinced himself this is a rare hare, not just one that ...
boni aditya's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
96 views

someone much too enthusiastic about something that doesn't concern them

A group of people is too interested, enthusiastic, and excited about a basketball tournament taking place in Armenia when they live in the farthest country from Armenia in the world—New Zealand. They ...
user366312's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
188 views

Ignorance is the opposite of bliss

The proverb "ignorance is bliss" is used to express that somebody feels better by not knowing all the details about a topic. In an existing thread titled "ignorance is not bliss", ...
Mew's user avatar
  • 289
18 votes
13 answers
4k views

Idiom for “pretending to like someone when you actually hate them”

I’m trying to translate a Vietnamese proverb into English, and I couldn’t find an idiom or proverb in English that provides an exact match with my Vietnamese one. The Vietnamese one goes as follows: “...
Lam Luu's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is there a popular expression in English equivalent of Russian "water wears away a stone"?

Is there a popular English expression equivalent to this Russian proverb? It translates to: Water wears away a stone. And has the meaning that, step by step, eventually we (it) will get there (reach ...
nightcoder's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
3k views

Similar quotes to "Eat the fish, spit the bones"

I need a quote similar to "Eat the fish, spit the bones". Basically, I want to convey this to someone - "Look, on the internet you'll find 1000s of articles explaining this topic. Not ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 139
1 vote
5 answers
175 views

Proverb or expression about a talent being ignored or unnoticed

In one of his songs, Eminem says: It ain't too late to finally see what you closed-minded f**ks were too blind to see. Whoever finds me is gonna get a finder's fee I'm looking for a proverb about ...
b3rry's user avatar
  • 11
-1 votes
1 answer
181 views

What is a word or phrase for student of the year? [closed]

I’m looking for a word/phrase similar to student of the year. I’m not using valedictorian, as I think it means student who has highest academic grade. I want to mean something that would mean like ...
Misha's user avatar
  • 107
16 votes
12 answers
4k views

English version of Russian proverb "The hedgehogs got pricked, cried, but continued to eat the cactus"

Is there anything in English similar to this Russian joke/proverb/or you could even say sarcasm: "The hedgehogs got pricked, cried, but continued to eat the cactus". It describes people ...
Artem S. Tashkinov's user avatar
21 votes
10 answers
10k views

What is a term for a phenomenon where two people doing the same job are less effective than one person doing it alone?

For example, imagine a worker in a widget factory who is responsible for checking if all the widgets on a conveyor belt are well-made. This worker is successful in their job 99% of the time. However, ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
4k views

English equivalent of a scornful Hindi expression, 'the rope got burnt, but the force did not'

There is a sarcastic Hindi proverb that goes like this: रस्सी जल गई पर बल नहीं गया Rassi (rope) jal gayi (got burnt) par (but) bal (literally: strength/force) nahi (not) gaya. The rope got burnt, but ...
AMN's user avatar
  • 3,102
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Expression, phrase, or idiom that describes lazy team members/coworkers who work only on the least important and demanding tasks [duplicate]

I'm looking for a expression, idiom, or even proverb that could be used to describe situations like In a work environment where it becomes apparent that coworkers set aside duties that require ...
Arcturus's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the phrase or expression which has the word ‘finger’ in it and means very easily or quickly

Long ago the Internet could not be accessed …. I am looking for a word to use in the above sentence. I want it to mean ‘easily’ and ‘quickly’. I remember there was a phrase or proverb which had the ...
Sasan's user avatar
  • 3,462
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the English equivalent to the proverb "Somebody finds his soup not thick enough, and somebody finds his pearls too small"

What's the equivalent to the Russian proverb "Somebody finds his soup not thick enough, and somebody finds his pearls too small"("Кому суп не густ, кому жемчуг мелок")? It means a ...
Marie Mit's user avatar
  • 301
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

A proverb that expresses the idea that an unaddressed problem will lead to consequences? [duplicate]

I'm trying to translate a proverb that roughly translates to "a wound untreated will fester," but I'm having trouble thinking of an English equivalent.
Seung's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a good equivalent for the Italian proverb "Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco"?

One of my favorite Italian sayings is Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco (literally "Not all donuts come out with holes"). It usually gets a smile from another Italian speaker, ...
DjinTonic's user avatar
  • 22k
0 votes
4 answers
295 views

Phrase for describing someone who ended up buying something much more expensive than what was originally needed

Is there any popular phrase (proverb/idiom/slang) for describing someone who ended up buying something much more expensive than what was originally needed? Somewhat like: Person A needs a bike, ...
abbr's user avatar
  • 101
1 vote
1 answer
79 views

Idiom/proverb reminding someone not mincing their words to be sporting when someone else responds in kind?

In German we have the sentence "Wer austeilt muss auch einstecken können", translated to: "Anyone who dishes it out must also be able to take it", as seen here. I was wondering if ...
loopy walt's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
335 views

Any similar idioms to "Don't blow your own horn/trumpet"? [closed]

I am looking for idioms in English which convey a message that a person should not testify about his own character. Any ideas?
Moyshe Zuchmir's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
290 views

Proverb for weak individuals uniting their power and manage to defeat stronger opponent

I'm looking for an idiom or proverb describing a situation where (otherwise weak and insignificant) individuals/actors decide to join their forces to defeat a much stronger opponent, and they ...
user431463's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
388 views

"If two people say you are drunk, go to bed!"

In my mother tongue there is this funny saying that always made me laugh. It normally refers to situations that have nothing to do with getting drunk. Imagine two friends trying to convince a third ...
fev's user avatar
  • 34.5k
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

English Idiom equivalent of the Tamil proverb "every house has doorsteps", meaning that everyone has problems

Is there an idiom/proverb in English which is equivalent to the Tamil proverb "every house has doorsteps" (veetuku veedu vasapadi)? The meaning of it is that everyone faces problems in life ...
Ravi's user avatar
  • 79
5 votes
9 answers
941 views

What is an idiom for "a supervening act that renders a course of action unnecessary"?

What is an idiom (or a proverb) used in situations where a person calls upon another person to carry out an order (mostly of a non-official or non-enforcing type), which the second person tries to ...
user405662's user avatar
  • 10.2k
0 votes
1 answer
75 views

what is its proverb in English [duplicate]

there is a famous proverb in Nepal, i.e. कागले कान समात्यो भन्दैमा म कागको पछि लग्नु. The meaning of this proverb to believe other blindly. For example: "The man said someone that the crow ...
madan's user avatar
  • 3
18 votes
8 answers
5k views

Spoken word equivalent for "paper does not refuse ink"

This phrase advises a healthy skepticism of the written word. Is there a similar idiom that advises skepticism of the spoken word?
gatorback's user avatar
  • 301
0 votes
3 answers
972 views

Idiom/proverb: if you keep calling someone a mouse, they might start thinking they're a mouse

I know there is a similar idiom in English and in other languages like Chinese languages, but I can't remember the exact idiom. It's something like "if you keep calling an elephant a mouse, it might ...
Nergüi's user avatar
  • 97
0 votes
3 answers
84 views

Is there an expression in English for "being asked to act on your own suggestion"? [duplicate]

Is there an expression in English for "being asked to act on your own suggestion"? Here's an example of the scenario that I'm thinking about: Wife: Husband, the living room light is broken. We ...
Prakhar's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

English idiomatic proverb that expresses "work makes the doer"?

Latvian language (one of the Baltic languages, others being Lithuanian and extinct Prussian language) has proverb (with alliterations) Darbs dara darītāju, which can be translated literally into ...
TomR's user avatar
  • 279
2 votes
0 answers
298 views

Is there an idiom, proverb or a saying about someone who receives all benefits and good things while complaining about it?

For example: Someone who has a tree that gives him fruits, he doesn't take care of it or have to take care of that tree. He eats all the fruits of that tree, and yet he dares to find or come up with ...
AreaGit's user avatar
  • 39
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Proverb saying that one attack a problem from different angles

I want to say that one can attack or slice a problem from different angles. Vaguely I recall that there is some German or English saying for this and I am not sure how exactly it goes. I'd prefer one ...
Martin Ueding's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
165 views

Idiom/proverb or phrase about never forgetting wrong doings

I could have sworn there was a catchy idiom/proverb in english about how you can be kind to something always, but the moment you do one mean thing, it will never forget that (or hate you forever for ...
guest's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
3 answers
777 views

Idiom or proverb to point out half-measures

What is an idiom or proverb to point out half-measures? Something like, "You locked the door, but left the window open." Or, "You wrote the check, but forgot to mail it." Those expressions seem easy ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 159
3 votes
2 answers
6k views

What's a word that describes a person who reminds you of the good things they did for you?

I don't know if such a word exists in the English language. In the Bisaya language of the Visayas region in the Philippines where I belong, there is a verb that describes exactly that. I can't find ...
Carl's user avatar
  • 475
2 votes
1 answer
203 views

Is there a proverb for "a problem looks so simple when you know the solution"?

I think I have seen one or two proverbs before that are used in situations where someone thinks a problem/puzzle is very easy but only because he/she has heard the answer to the problem/puzzle. Is ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 123
1 vote
1 answer
686 views

What's another idiom/proverb for there is more to something than meets the eye?

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. ...
Simar Malhotra's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
1k views

What's the other common expression for "You get what you pay for" in reference to high quality?

I’m looking for a familiar saying that I can use for If you pay more money, you get more quality. Because Google has been giving me the same result — that the meaning of the saying You get what you ...
Glenn's user avatar
  • 167
14 votes
8 answers
10k views

Translate the French quote "Il n’y a pas d'amour, il n’y a que des preuves d’amour" to English?

I’d like to translate a quote from Pierre Reverdy (or Jean Cocteau, this is an open question apparently). The quote is: Il n’y a pas d’amour, il n’y a que des preuves d’amour. For some context in ...
Théophile Pace's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
375 views

An idiom or proverb to describe the ability to identify the best one when given a plethora of choices

I'm looking for an idiom or proverb that emphasise the availability of choices and the ability to identify the best/correct one. The ability is the result of experience, skills and knowledge. For ...
Organic Heart's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
131 views

Equivalent Proverb in English

There is a proverb in Urdu, "Bacha bola nahi bola nahi muh khola to Amma maro Bawa maro bola". This could be translated as, the kid never spoke, but when he did, (to his concerned parents shock) he ...
user357374's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
744 views

What proverb describes getting out from trouble but ending up in another one? [duplicate]

I remember reading something like "out from something's mouth/jaws (like a dragon) and into another..."
widibow's user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
2 answers
85 views

When a limited but working version of something is better

There is a Persian proverb ("One habitable village is better than one hundred desolated towns") which emphasizes that a limited and small-scale but working thing (e.g. a solution or an achievement) is ...
Eilia's user avatar
  • 5,489
1 vote
3 answers
96 views

Looking for a well-known refrain or proverb indicating that some big trouble has just started

I am translating into English a famous refrain from Spanish, Ahí fue Troya. That means something like Then a big trouble started. I am looking for some correspondingly recognizable refrain I can ...
MrAn3's user avatar
  • 129
19 votes
15 answers
6k views

Someone whose aspirations exceed abilities or means

What would be a clear and concise way to describe someone whose ambitions or aspirations far exceed his means or abilities?
Vectorizer's user avatar
21 votes
16 answers
17k views

Opposite of "Squeaky wheel gets the grease"

I want a fun and playful retort to use against someone who says "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", which, according to the so-named Wikipedia1 article means: The squeaky wheel gets the grease is ...
Vectorizer's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
282 views

Equivalent for "Make the jacket to the button"

We have a proverb in my language: "Make the jacket to the button". I'm looking for the equivalent in English. The meaning of the proverb is: A tiny part of job is already done. It turns out that the ...
Manngo's user avatar
  • 143
0 votes
1 answer
300 views

Is there a word for when you/someone seeks help with a problem from someone else, but then the problem is resolved/gone when the helper arrives? [duplicate]

This is a situation I see my self first hand very often as someone who works in an IT related role. I also see it in other areas and experienced by seemingly everyone, but I don't know if there is a ...
ChrisPBacon's user avatar
2 votes
7 answers
4k views

What is the saying for when "early adaptors (first timers) always takes the hit" which is opposite of "early bird catches the worm"

While we say "early bird catches the worm" which means whoever arrives first has the best chance of success; some opportunities are only available to the first competitors. On the opposite end, what ...
AMN's user avatar
  • 3,102
-2 votes
3 answers
899 views

Looking for a proverb related to people who don't take a stand

I have come across this very famous proverb many times that blames people who don't take a stand for bad things that happen in the world. As far as I remember, it had something to do with the world ...
Siddharth Garg's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
5k views

English equivalent proverb/idiom for the Tamil saying "Pinching a child and then oscillating the child's hammock" [duplicate]

In Tamil language, there is a proverb for a particular sequence of actions performed. The proverb is, "Pillaiya killi vittu, thottila aatradhu", meaning, "Pinching a child and then oscillating the ...
Nagarajan Shanmuganathan's user avatar