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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2
votes
4answers
335 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
241 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
216 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
104 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
115 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
87 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
152 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
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10answers
10k 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
46 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
555 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
8k 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
5answers
771 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
422 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
votes
3answers
143 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
412 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
163 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
5answers
138 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
votes
4answers
7k 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
votes
3answers
135 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
119 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
votes
2answers
208 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
votes
1answer
507 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
245 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
108 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
vote
1answer
435 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
votes
0answers
3k 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
votes
2answers
422 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
votes
1answer
470 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
vote
1answer
254 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
votes
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
102 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
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
404 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
votes
3answers
797 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
votes
2answers
290 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
120 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
vote
2answers
826 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 ...
1
vote
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
votes
3answers
798 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
votes
11answers
1k 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
votes
20answers
16k 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
votes
2answers
87 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
vote
1answer
113 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
votes
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
vote
2answers
1k 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
votes
5answers
251 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
votes
4answers
1k 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
votes
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
700 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
281 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 ...