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For questions that ask for an English-language proverb that would be appropriate to use in a particular context.

4
votes
3answers
88 views

A proverb for when one starts taking action after losing many times

Is there a proverb for "when one starts shaping up after losing many times". For example, I have failed in Maths Test many times, but now I am taking it serious and working hard to pass next time. The ...
27
votes
7answers
7k views

Proverb for when one person sees something, but someone else takes it [closed]

Is there a proverb that fits the following situation: John and Anderson (while walking): John: [sees a $100 bill lying in the road, and shouts] Yahoo! $100! Anderson: [takes the money and ...
1
vote
4answers
122 views

Is there an English proverb similar to the Hindi “Elephant goes to the bazar; Thousands of dogs bark”?

There is a proverb in Hindi language हाथी चले बाज़ार कुत्ते भौंकें हज़ार Literal English translation: Elephant goes to the bazar; Thousands of dogs bark It figuratively means when a person ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

If you lie down with dogs you will rise up with fleas

Though I have two questions, they are both related to this proverb, so I thought they could combined. Are there other proverbs or idioms with the same effect? Is there a proverb or an idiom that is ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Proverb about not interfering in a couple's fight?

Is there any English "folk wisdom" proverb about how one should not meddle in an ongoing argument between a married couple?
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Does English have a saying for “The person who orders something is the one has to pay for it”?

In German, we have the saying Wer bestellt, bezahlt, which translates literally into Who(ever) orders, pays in English. Is there a corresponding English idiomatic expression or proverbial refrain for ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

What's the proverb that runs something along the lines of “Even God doesn't help the fool”?

There is a proverb that goes something like "even God doesn't help the fool". I cannot remember the exact proverb. Can anyone help me get the exact one?
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Saying to cover a few good deeds but person still corrupt [closed]

Is there a saying that covers the scenario where a ruler does a few good deeds but by and large is corrupt and deceptive ?
0
votes
3answers
46 views

How to request critical information only?

I'm looking for a proverb which allows you to aptly portray that only the critical information is required and not everything. In my head I have a partial one which has something to do with a ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Idiom or proverb for "Productive members get punished for their hard work by getting dumped with more responsibilities

what is the idiom or proverb for When good people/smart hard working people/productive employees are punished by pushing/dumping more responsibility on to them by the authority/management, etc ...
1
vote
5answers
102 views

A secular version of fate/destiny? [closed]

The Wikipedia page for destiny states: Destiny, sometimes referred to as fate (from Latin fatum – destiny), is a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Expressing that you are prepared because you feared the worst

While others took it easy, you worked and saved like you might be fired at any moment. Now there is a corporate takeover and you're glad you took the pessimistic path. Unlike Cassandra or the ant and ...
5
votes
3answers
282 views

What English idiom or proverb is equivalent to this Hindi expression: “Having eaten 900 rats, cat moves to Hajj”

There's a Hindi proverb: नौ सौ चूहे खाकर बिल्ली हज को चली The literal translation is: Having eaten 900 rats, cat moves to Hajj (pilgrimage) This proverb means you adulate yourself pretending ...
0
votes
4answers
82 views

Proverb to use when regretting something

In Ukrainian there is a proverb which says, "She didn't have a problem until she bought a piglet". "She" must be a female farm worker. But the proverb can be used to talk not only about these ladies ...
1
vote
3answers
81 views

When one thing is over, the next is just around the corner [closed]

I'm looking for an appropriate phrase to finish a semi-formal letter to a colleague. I'm thanking him for his cooperation and looking forward to the next event we'll be preparing together. At the ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Is there a proverb of proverbs?

In my language (Vietnamese), there is a proverb (or at least a common saying) that proverbs are the treasure of our ancestors. Do we have such proverbs, proverbial phrases or sayings in English? ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

A jar won`t always bring the water

This idiomatic expression exists in my native language. The implication is that when you do something dangerous, risky or unlawful, you may be lucky on a few occasions, but this kind of risky behavior ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

A rooster said: I’ll crow – but whether dawn will break or not is not my business

This proverb comes from my native language (Georgian). It behaves like a warning, when it is used in reference to a person. It can be used, when you are giving a piece of advice to somebody, thus ...
44
votes
14answers
20k views

Is there a common saying in English that means “It's just business, I don't feel any shame”

In Gujarati language there is a saying which literally means "no shame in business". It is used in a context where one has to do something unpleasant (or immoral) for the sake of their business (...
3
votes
6answers
152 views

Idiom for paying a price without any gain

Can someone please provide an idiom for a situation when one gains nothing from a certain affair, but still has to pay the price for it. For example: a person goes to a resturant to have a meal with ...
-1
votes
3answers
79 views

Looking for a proverb/idiom that means dont get lot of people to decide on your personal trival matters

Looking for a proverb/idiom/saying that means Don't get lot of outside people/heads to decide on personal and/or trivial matter, all of them will give their free recommendation and finally you who ...
2
votes
1answer
420 views

An English idiom for the common Hindi phrase - 'Ulti Ganga Bahana'(as in Reverse The Flow Of the river Ganga)

Is there an English equivalent of the Hindi phrase Iss Desh mein (In this part of the world) ulti ganga bheti hey (Reverse flows the river ganga). It is often shortened as "ulti ganga bheti" ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Is there English equivalent of phrase “If two friends fight the third outsider will take away with the prize shield”

Is there English equivalent of marathi phrase Dhoghanchya bhandnya madhe (Fight between both) tisryacha fayda (will yield third's (outsider's) profit). If two friends fight the third outsider ...
4
votes
5answers
119 views

Is there a phrase for the following?

Is there an idiom, proverb or phrase which means "one living in abundance lying to one with little about the importance of the item of scarcity to, for eg., avoid resentment" For eg. Like the king is ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Word/idiom for not only to get restless, worried or scared (oneself) but also to make others worried /scared

Is there word/idiom hindi expression khud bhi (Self also) darna (to get worry or scared) dusre ko bhi darake chodna (infuse tension/scare in others too). Because of their timid nature not on ...
0
votes
1answer
311 views

Idiom/proverb applicable when a driver forces his car into roundabout without stopping just because he thinks he has signaled ahead of time [closed]

What is the idiom/proverb applicable to this situation? When a driver forces his car into roundabout without stopping (as the traffic rule would recommend) just because he thinks he has signaled ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the idiom/proverb for “the more you pressure someone they will run away from committing”?

What is the idiom/proverb for the following? the more you pressure someone they will run away from committing/engaging" This is attributed to a girlfriend and boyfriend, parent and child, teachers ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

What is the idiom/proverb for “You have to fend for yourself, no one is going to come for our rescue”?

What is the idiom/proverb for "You have to fend for yourself, no one is going to come for our rescue"?
5
votes
4answers
117 views

English equivalent phrase for “To set a fire and also to go and extinguish it”

Is there equivalent of this Hindi expression Aag (Fire) bhi (also) lagana (to set/ignite) , Bhujane (Extinguish) bhi (also), Khudhi (self) Jana (to go) which means To set a fire and also to ...
0
votes
5answers
120 views

A speaker of truth must have his/her horse saddled up

The implication is that, upon telling the truth, one must be ready to gallop his/her horse away, any moment because, people may find such justness unacceptable and resort to violence in response. ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

The quail did not perch in a tree, that wasn’t its way

This is a Georgian idiomatic expression. It conveys the idea that, as a quail will never perch in a tree because it can not, so a person will not be able to accomplish a task or perform, due to his/...
2
votes
4answers
96 views

English equivalent phrase for “If left free, it runs and if leashed, it bites”

Is there equivalent of this Marathi expression sodala (release) ki (then) palato (runs) pakala (kept caught) ki (then) chavto (bites) which means (if a dog is) set free (it) runs away (and if) ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

When you don't respect your parents, no outsider will not respect them either. Is there a actual proverb or idiom or expression for the above quote [closed]

When you don't respect your parents, no outsider, not even your spouse, will respect them either. OR When you don't respect your spouse, no one, even including your own children, will respect ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Reading scripture in front of a donkey [duplicate]

Reading scripture in front of a donkey. The country of origin of this proverb is Afghanistan (as far as I know) but we also have exactly the same idiom, identical in meaning, in our native language - ...
22
votes
10answers
7k views

In my native language, we have this obscene saying - don't take a dump in the barrel of honey

The implication is that one must not display a disrespectful behavior in regards to his/her friends or the people he/she knows very well, because as the honey in the barrel won't be edible anymore ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

a person who calls out for eliciting ideas from others and does what he wants

What expression would you use for a impressionable person (a decision maker like a boss or potential customer) who comes to your facility (office, shop, garage, showroom) makes you do all the leg work ...
4
votes
8answers
220 views

In my native language, we have a saying - a stone will get a wretched person, going uphill

Is there a similar saying or idiomatic expression in English, which would correlate with the above-mentioned one, implying that misfortune will befall even on those ones, already in trouble ?
23
votes
8answers
4k views

Proverb: If Something is Managed By Many, Things Are Missed

I'm wondering if there is a well-known, documented and succinct proverb that matches the idea of: Too many managers or departments overseeing a single task The task fails because there are too many ...
2
votes
2answers
198 views

Is there a proverb/idiom for “To be a lion among sheep rather than a sheep among lions”

My friend said the other day: It makes perfect sense to use the strategy of being a lion among sheep rather than a sheep among lions I have researched this phrase and have found nothing, so I ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Proverb/idiom thats getting together to fight common enemy but killing weakling to fight among each other

Proverb/idiom thats applicable to animal kingdom for when a group of monkeys/lions.. would join hands together to fight unitedly against the common external threat to save their resources, but when ...
4
votes
3answers
112 views

Proverb/ expression/word for getting pepped up about stranger's cause

We have a saying "Abdullah gets all super pepped up in a stranger's Wedding" which means a person gets absolutely excited about some one else's cause which he logically isn't concerned with. Do we ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Is there a proverb for “Don't ask a mother how her child is, due to her motherly bond she would be most inclined to remark he is the best”

Is there a idiom/proverb for "Don't ask a mother how her child is, due to her motherly bond she would be most prone/inclined to remark he is the best in the world" even when he is a brat in eyes of ...
-1
votes
4answers
90 views

What do you call a person who sees it below his dignity to ask question related to his profession?

A colleague of mine who sees it below his dignity to ask question to his superior (helpful one) in his profession which he does not have know-how of, what would you call such a person ? It ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

You don't have to be a ___ to be a _____

I am trying hard to recollect a proverb that means one does not need to be a ___ to be a _____. It comes in the context that it is not necessary that a person who improves something has to part of ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Idiom/proverb for When people start following a tradition/value then it is death,lose value of existing traditions/values

Is there a term, idiom, proverb for When someone or people start following a particular tradition or value particular values, then inevitably it is a death of the existing tradition of value or they ...
0
votes
5answers
95 views

idiom, saying, proverb for if things are oversensitized then the ideas lose value

Is there a idiom, saying, proverb for if anything and everything (ideology, news, gadget, media, game or sports, etc) is over-sensitized (continuously spotlighted/too familiarize in public eye) then ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

A saying for 'using the right tools to do the right job'

Any ideas for a saying that means the opposite of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut? Basically I need something that means if the problem is big, then don't underestimate it, and make sure you have ...
0
votes
0answers
110 views

Expression/proverb where someone with short term thinking wants a long term outcome

Olga from Russia is looking for her big love. She attracts many men and has many relationships with men who want short term relationships but without ever considering marriage. She has short term ...
7
votes
3answers
111 views

A change of mind

In my language we have an expression which literally translated is “He was born a fireman but died in a fire” as a nice methaphor for a big shift in your way of thinking (like from conservative to ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Is there a proverb/saying or idiom for insiders are always treated badly and outsiders and guest are treated unfairly well

Is there a proverb/saying or idiom for insiders are always undermined and treated badly and outsiders and guest are treated unfairly well. Like in trivial dispute you wouldn't believe or treat your ...