Questions tagged [proverb-requests]

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

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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
322 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
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8answers
6k 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
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5answers
404 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 ...
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2answers
231 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 ...
3
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3answers
136 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
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3answers
303 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
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4answers
127 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
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5answers
129 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 ...
2
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3answers
6k 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 ...
7
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3answers
128 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
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1answer
108 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 ...
5
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2answers
176 views

What’s a semi-formal American equivalent for the British expression “value for money”?

I'm searching for an American phrase that would be equivalent to the British “X is great value for money”, one that’s not too colloquial and can be used in a serious product description. I am aware ...
3
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1answer
412 views

English equivalent of this Tamil saying [duplicate]

There is a famous saying in Tamil language: "Paarthaal pasu pol, paaindhaal puli pol" which translates to "Looks like a cow, leaps like a tiger". This is usually used to describe a person who on ...
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1answer
242 views

Is there a proverb/saying which means “good people are always treated terribly and unfairly"?

In English, is there a proverb/saying that means good people are always treated terribly and unfairly ?
4
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3answers
101 views

Is there a proverb/saying which means “someone in authority can break the rules”?

Is there a proverb or saying or expression that means "someone in authority will do anything they want"? Eg: My boss used to warn me about coming late to work, but he was late to work yesterday. I ...
1
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1answer
387 views

English proverb or idiom for bad bargaining

I am looking for a proverb or idiom that indicates bad bargaining skills of a person. For e.g., a person might bargain for a kilo/pound vegetables, succeed but end up buying only a quarter kilo/pound. ...
2
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0answers
2k views

English equivalent proverb for an absent minded person

There is a proverb in Hindi language बगल में छोरा, गाँव में ढिंढोरा It means that a person has lost something and is searching every corner of the city. But, the lost thing is right with him which he ...
0
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2answers
410 views

Is there an expression to describe a situation where someone could have helped you but they didn't?

I would like to know if there is an expression that describes a situation where someone, perhaps your friend, was capable of helping you but they didn't or they chose not to? Eg: He was was free. He ...
0
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1answer
424 views

Can you please let me know a proverb that describes difference between status of the king and commoner

I have been searching for an appropriate proverb which describes the status difference between a king and peasant/commoner, or in other words, a proverb that states that there is no comparison between ...
1
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1answer
206 views

English proverb for a person or a thing with limited capabilities

ఎలుక పరుగు ఎందాక? కలుగు వరకే This is a proverb in Telugu which translates to 'A rat runs only till its burrow.' It indicates the abilities or the limited capabilities of a person. i.e., a rat runs ...
2
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1answer
2k views

Ignorance is bliss but . . . .?

I am looking for a phrase which completes the sentence with following meaning. Ignorance is bliss but its consequence is disastrous. I came up with its consequence is disastrous. Is there any ...
0
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1answer
93 views

He has given the hen for the egg [closed]

He has given the hen for the egg. Is this a valid English proverb or idiom? If not, what is the relevant one?
2
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1answer
74 views

English proverb or idiom

I am looking for an English proverb or idiom for the following sentence. Talking in the day time spoils one's business ; talking in the night time spoils one's sleep Something like chatting/gossip ...
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2answers
282 views

What is the contemporary English proverb for 'Throw in a sprat to catch a salmon'

Throw in a sprat to catch a salmon This is used in a positive context that in order to gain something big, we need to spend a little. I am looking for a contemporary English proverb or idiom that ...
0
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3answers
665 views

What is idiom or proverb that is used to indicate 'the abuse of authority or money by foolish persons'

When a foolish person gains wealth suddenly, s/he might start to spend it ostentatiously and sometimes even talks rubbish. If such people get a powerful position, they might even abuse it foolishly. ...
0
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2answers
257 views

Idiom or proverb for 'wherever there are industrious people, wealth is produced'

Wherever there are industrious people, wealth is produced. where bees are, there is honey Does this count as a proverb for the above phrase? If not, what are the equivalent English proverbs or idioms ...
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3answers
115 views

English proverb or idiom for 'If you have means, you can do any thing you like.'

If you have means, you can do any thing you like. This phrase means that if we have money, we can implement our plans or start doing something productive. Also, it money is used in a generic sense ...
1
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2answers
759 views

Idiom meaning that trying to attract a certain audience may also attract the wrong audience?

For example, a nice watch might draw the eye of people you're trying to impress, but it also stands out to thieves. I feel like there's an idiom I had heard expressing this, but I can't remember it ...
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3answers
1k views

Telugu proverb equivalent in English

There is a proverb in Telugu language which is as below. అన్నం లేకపోయినా, పట్టుబట్ట కడతా అన్నాడట It translates to someone who doesn't have a morsel to eat but insists on wearing expensive clothes. ...
3
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3answers
609 views

Idiom to express someone is getting something they don't need/won't be able to use

Context: Someone is trying to purchase an expensive product they not only don't need but won't have much use for. The result they are expecting to get can be achieved in a much simpler way without the ...
10
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11answers
923 views

Is there an English equivalent for this Kurdish proverb: “every ripe and delicious cantaloupe is eaten by a donkey”

The Kurdish proverb every ripe and delicious cantaloupe (muskmelon) is eaten by a donkey is one of the most interesting proverbs that I have heard in four languages, including Kurdish, Persian, ...
33
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20answers
15k views

Is there an English equivalent for the Persian proverb “to play with tail of lion”

The Persian proverb to play with tail of lion is used informally. We use it to say that a certain situation is very dangerous. By saying it, we alert the the listener that the act which he or she is ...
0
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2answers
86 views

Is there any proverb for the expression to “do things in a passive way”?

What is the proverb for the expression "Do things in a passive way" or "playing safe"? For instance, suppose, someone Mr X wants that Mr Y, and Mr Z both quits the job as he doesn't like either of ...
1
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1answer
108 views

Is there a proverb in English of killing people as killing animals?

What I mean is killing people regardless of who they are. We kill animals for food and that we almost forget the sense of living. Can I say something like "killing people as the way we kill animals"?
2
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5answers
1k views

How to describe a person who cares only about beneficial things?

I am trying to describe the following kind of person/personality: He who cares only about doing beneficial (or useful) things. Before any decision is made, he asks a question like "Will it definitely ...
1
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2answers
697 views

What is the English Equivalent of Telugu proverb: ఊళ్ళో పెళ్ళి కి కుక్కల హడావిడి

It means "For somebody's marriage street dogs are busy" It means your sister/brother/children marriages, outsiders in marriage are too busy or behave like their own marriage which is unnecessary for ...
2
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5answers
245 views

The passage of time and the fear of lost dreams

It's the midlife crisis. You're fifty and a bit, and one day you wake up and realise you will never be the female equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci, and no one will remember who you were after you die....
7
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4answers
928 views

A phrase/idiom to describe indulgence in previously no-no stuffs after change of belief [closed]

After a radical change of belief (religion, political view etc.) people sometimes start to indulge in a thing which is a strict no-no by their previously held belief system. For example after leaving ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Is “old hen makes good broth” actually used in English?

While looking for the more appropriate English version of the Italian proverb "gallina vecchia fa buon brodo": Proverbio: "è sempre bene fidarsi di chi ha esperienza". - È usato spesso per ...
2
votes
1answer
640 views

Proverb for “Happiness comes only through hard work”

Is there a common English proverb, or maxim which means happiness won't come unless you work hard? Looking online for idioms about happiness, I found several resources but they only speak about the ...
3
votes
7answers
273 views

Not panicking and not overjoyous

Is there a proverb that advises not to panic in bad times and not be overjoyed in the good times? I mean to be patient in both the good and the bad times. Or, in other words ● Don't be overly ...
2
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5answers
168 views

Adage for Matching Treatment [duplicate]

What is a good adage for saying one thing matches another in quality? For example, I want to say someone rude deserves to be treated accordingly and just as rudely and without respect.
11
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4answers
2k views

In the darkest nights, the moon is dearly missed

This is the translation of an Arabic proverb which means that during these hard times you miss someone who made life easier, happier, and so on: In the darkest nights, the moon is dearly missed. ...
2
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4answers
170 views

A proverb to state someone who likes neither the thing nor its opposite

Is there any particular expression, proverb, colloquial slang or the like to state a case when someone likes neither one thing nor its opposite? Example 1: "I don't like cold weather because it's ...
21
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7answers
4k views

Is there any phrase, proverb or idiom that convey “the turtle quarreled with the lake”?

There is a proverb in Arabic that literally means: "the turtle quarreled with the lake" It is used when "A" rejects a favor from "B" to hide his dependence on it, as a turtle's life depends on the ...
6
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16answers
5k views

Is there a proverb or idiom describing incompetence?

I am looking for a fancy expression to describe people who have no idea what they are doing. I have a semi-proverb in my mind, but I cannot recall its origins (in particular, I don't think it is ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

English equivalent of Tamil proverb - “A tiger won't eat grass, no matter how hungry it is”

In Tamil, there is a proverb that translates to something like this: A tiger will not eat grass, no matter how hungry it is. It essentially is used to describe a situation in which no matter how ...
3
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5answers
9k views

Is there an expression describing some thing precious because it's rare?

This is a question similar to A word to describe something that is desired only because it is rare, but I am looking for an expression, a saying, or an idiom use in daily life, not a term or jargon. ...
54
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13answers
7k views

English equivalent for the Persian idiom “send someone out in pursuit of black chickpeas”

"To send somebody out in pursuit of some black chickpeas" is a Persian idiom that implies 'to make or ask someone to run an errand so that you be able to have/ buy some time in order to deal with your ...