Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [proverbs]

A simple truth that expresses an idea or fact.

0
votes
0answers
37 views

What's this idiom or proverb? Please help!

You want to give a criticism to someone, but you cannot because you’re not close to them, but you give that criticism to someone else and hope the other person understands.” I will explain more so ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Idiom or proverbs for the word “not pleasant” [closed]

Furthermore, the toilets should be more clean because some toilets are _________ to go into. What is the idiom or proverb that could be used for the word "not pleasant"?
0
votes
1answer
33 views

I'm looking for phrase/proverb about unimportant persons?

The phrase I'm looking for has similar meaning to "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". When someone is important but the place that person is in not big or important, or when someone ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Being honest with minor things but being dishonest about big issues

I was looking for a proverb or a saying that describes the hypocrisy of a local dictator at a non profit organization who held and managed fake elections in which he was running for the president ...
3
votes
3answers
135 views

English equivalent proverb/idiom for this saying

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Does “throw a leg over” means “riding a horse” or “sexual intercourse”?

Now anyone reading this article - http://mentalfloss.com/article/31841/why-new-york-city-called-big-apple and especially this line from that: "The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Devil take the hindmost!

I came across the following old proverb in which I noticed that a bare infinitive verb is used after a singular subject. Devil take ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

“Jelly in a vise” meaning [closed]

Jelly in a vise is a proverb mentioned in "Asian Figure" by W.S Merwin. What does "Jelly" mean in this proverb? Does it mean gelatinous? Or the jelly that we eat? What kind of clamp is a "Vise"?
7
votes
1answer
331 views

Origin of “the grass is always greener”

Earlier versions of this well-known proverb, according to “writingexplained.org”, include: A Latin proverb cited by Erasmus of Rotterdam was translated into English by Richard Taverner in 1545, as:...
3
votes
2answers
44 views

A proverb about a “sore loser”

Is there a proverb in the english language that describes a person with a "sore loser" type of attitude? For example to convey a context, say there are two children (let's refer to them as Alice ...
2
votes
5answers
114 views

Help me to find a proverb about average being better

I am looking for an American proverb which connotes that average is better than maximum or minimum. For instance, if you work regularly you are probably in some cases more successful than people who ...
1
vote
0answers
11 views

One word for being imaginary inspired by something [closed]

Looking for a word where one is inspired to be something by watching something but only in theory. Like I want to be a hacker because I watch too much hacking movies.
4
votes
0answers
141 views

English word or proverb for expressing a surplus of mental resources in a person? [closed]

In Danish we say that some people have a lot of "overskud" (surplus) or "mentalt overskud" (mental surplus) if they are able to help and look after others, even though they may be very busy themself. ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Idiom/phrase when one takes some share from the shared resources & offers it to others as if he is offering with his own money & appearing generous

When Jack takes some leftover beverages (shared-resource) from chip-in that is contributed for a party without other member's consent and are yet required for the coming guests. Jack then leaves the ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

What is equivalent of “pottakkannente Maaveleru” means blindman throwing stones in a waterless well, but he thinks he is throw stones at mango tree

What is equivalent of Indian saying "pottakkannente Maaveleru" means while actually the blind man is throwing stones in a waterless well (a job in vain), but he thinks he is throw stones at mango tree ...
3
votes
2answers
585 views

Looking for equivalent of Indian saying “ Apne gali mein kutta bhi sher hota hey” which means Every dog in his own territory is/becomes a lion

I am looking for equivalent of Indian saying " Apne gali mein kutte bhi sher hota hey" which is "In their own lane ( or street or area) dogs also are lions". the meaning is when the territory/terrain ...
3
votes
2answers
203 views

Is the proverb “it's not over until the fat lady sings” offensive? [closed]

The proverb "it's not/it ain't over until the fat lady sings" is generally understood to be referencing the stereotypically overweight sopranos of the opera (according to Wikipedia). I've got a ...
0
votes
3answers
39 views

What does “I like the direction of this” mean?

Context: After I suggested something, someone replied with: "I actually like the direction of this.".
1
vote
4answers
118 views

Alternative to “winner takes it all” or “first-past-the-post”

Consider the scenario of two scientists independently and concurrently working on a problem. The first one to achieve the breakthrough and have his or her results published will eventually be the one ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Idiom or phrase or proverb for When ever you need me you conveniently declare me the head of the department, other times i am no more than a nobody

Idiom or phrase or proverb for When ever you need me you conveniently declare me the head of the department (of course an acting head usually to throw me under the bus to deal/make difficult decisions ...
4
votes
2answers
928 views

Is there an English equal for hindi saying “Bandar ke Haath me ustra” or “Razor in hands of a monkey”

Is there a English equal for hindi saying Bandar ke Haath me ustra which literally means "Razor in Monkey's hand" as if Never give a risky job to a people who is like a monkey. If he has a razor ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

Is there a proverb, idiom for “those only who in line of fire only understand the agony”?

Is there a proverb, idiom for Those who are in line of fire only understand the agony. For the freewheeling back-seaters it is far too easy to sit back and say "Why do you worry so much?" Example: ...
0
votes
2answers
259 views

Someone who “despite the disgrace, still refuses to admit mistake and instead portrays the event as a victory”

What is the English idiom, expression, or proverb to express that even if I am proved wrong by all the members in the room, still I flaunt a false pride as if nothing happened? In Hindi, there is a ...
3
votes
3answers
85 views

A Word for a Person who believes only things which are globally believed/accepted?

Eg. In religious belief, I only believe that marriage is only a physical bond. There is nothing to do with rituals. Because Globally, that is the ONLY common thing in a wedding. Rituals are totally ...
6
votes
1answer
343 views

Is “ no news is good news” of Italian origin?

According to Phrase Finder, the origin of the famous proverb “no news is good news”: The earliest version of this familiar saying was attributed to the English King James I, who wrote in 1616, 'No ...
1
vote
2answers
61 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 ?
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Origin of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”

According to the following source the adage The apple doesn't fall far from the tree originated in AmE in the first half of the 19th century: The first recorded use in the USA was by Ralph Waldo ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the origin of the proverb “Third time's a charm”?

We all know about the proverb "Third time's a charm", or " Third time lucky". We use it everyday in our day to day lives. I just realized that my own language has a similar proverb: "দানে দানে তিন দান"...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

What is the meaning of the proverb “If you must eat dung, eat elephant’s dung”?

I came across this proverb in Ruskin Bond's "Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra". I searched a lot but I am not able to find its meaning. What does this proverb mean? (There is no context about this ...
2
votes
3answers
190 views

Is there an english proverb/idiom/phrase for this translation?

English is my second language and I was wondering if there is a proverb/idiom/phrase for this proverb/idiom in my language which directly translates to: "Only who suffers can understand that ...
0
votes
4answers
96 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
votes
2answers
1k views

Proverb: “A new broom sweeps clean”

When this quote is used in a past tense passage, do we need to use past tense like "A new broom swept clean" ? Or can it stay as "A new broom sweeps clean"? In this case, do we want to use open ...
2
votes
2answers
270 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? ...
3
votes
6answers
307 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
276 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
5k 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
856 views

Is there an English version of the saying “sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata”?

This very common Italian proverb which literally means “wet bride, lucky bride” is used during weddings which take place in rainy days. The proverb represents a wish for future prosperity, as a ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

what is the meaning of Colette Baron Reid quotes? [closed]

There is this quote : Quote : There is a surrendering to your story and then a knowing that you don't have to stay in your story. by : Colette Baron Reid Question : I am not a native ...
3
votes
1answer
325 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
224 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 ?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Origin of the expression 'glass half full or half empty'

I am not native English speaker but in my native language (French) and local language (German) the expression about seeing the glass 'half full' or 'half empty' also exists. I then also noticed that ...
0
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
389 views

When and where did the ancient proverb “He that will not when he may, when he will he shall have nay” originate?

The proverb He that will not when he may, when he will he shall have nay basically states that one should not be too demanding when it comes to choosing. According to Wikipedia: as the ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

Understanding Complicated Proverbs? [closed]

My teacher gave us a list of 'scrambled' proverbs that we have to 'decipher' into their original meaning. Here's an example of one that our class already figured out: "It is fruitless to become ...
0
votes
1answer
384 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

English equivalents of Slovak saying [closed]

Is there an English equivalent of the Slovak saying: Someone else's wounds don't bleed ? This is literal translation of a saying, meaning "someone else's loss doesn't bother me".
25
votes
15answers
5k views

Words are not sparrows; once they have flown they cannot be recaptured

The title of my question is a Russian proverb, for which I cannot think of an analog. All the examples I have seen on this website refer to actions rather than specifically speech. Can anyone give me ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Equivalent proverb in English for falsely blaming other things for your lack of ability [duplicate]

There's a proverb in Hindi which literally translates to: (He/she/You/they) doesn't know how to dance and falsely blames the floor for being crooked/broken/skewed What is an equivalent English ...
3
votes
1answer
741 views

Is this proverb really just a part of a longer proverb?

This post on 9GAG claims that the actual proverbs read: Curiosity killed the cat. > Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. [FAKE, the second part was actually added later] ...