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145 votes
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Is there a proverb to express "You are too late and it's your own fault."?

More succintly, and less formally, there is also "You snooze, you lose!" (idiomatic) If you are not alert and attentive, you will not be successful. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...
Ddddan's user avatar
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128 votes

Is there a proverb to express "You are too late and it's your own fault."?

Time and tide wait for no man, is an English proverb with a similar meaning.
Dmann's user avatar
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115 votes
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Is there a common saying in English that means "It's just business, I don't feel any shame"

"Nothing personal, it's just business." Coined by Otto "Abbadabba" Berman an accountant for the Mafia in early 1900’s in New York. See Wikipedia In The Godfather movie, Michael ...
k1eran's user avatar
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101 votes
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Proverb for when one person sees something, but someone else takes it

you snooze, you lose informal ​if you do not pay attention and do something quickly, someone else will do it instead of you: Cambridge Dictionary If you wait too long to do something, that ...
Zebrafish's user avatar
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78 votes

Is there an English equivalent for the Persian proverb "to play with the tail of a lion"?

Playing with fire is similar. However, it implies only that the activity is highly dangerous (or foolish), but not necessary lethal. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/play_with_fire ...
ArchContrarian's user avatar
78 votes
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Proverb: If Something is Managed By Many, Things Are Missed

There is: Too many cooks spoil the broth The Free Dictionary says of the idiom “Too many cooks”: Too many people trying to control, influence, or work on something, with the quality of the ...
Jim's user avatar
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69 votes

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

Wild Goose Chase a search that is completely unsuccessful and a waste of time because the person or thing being searched for does not exist or is somewhere else: Further reading: The first recorded ...
Skooba's user avatar
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69 votes

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

The "formal" word in English is pretext: A reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/pretext You could ...
alephzero's user avatar
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66 votes

Is there an English equivalent for the Persian proverb "to play with the tail of a lion"?

Don't poke the bear / Poking the bear Urban Dictionary : A phrase of warning used to prevent oneself or others from asking or doing something that might provoke a negative response from someone or ...
Max's user avatar
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61 votes

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

business is business In The Free Dictionary: A phrase that emphasizes business decisions as completely separate from emotions or personal issues. In Merriam-Webster: used to say that in order ...
David K's user avatar
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60 votes

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

Don’t shit where you eat. Per the Wiktionary entry, (idiomatic, vulgar) One should not cause trouble in a place, group, or situation in which one regularly finds oneself. Usage notes: Often used as ...
KRyan's user avatar
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55 votes
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Idiom or proverb that discourages knowledge?

Not knowledge per se, but the classic warning against the pursuit of knowledge is curiosity killed the cat: Wikipedia: “Curiosity killed the cat” is a proverb used to warn of the dangers of ...
Scott - Слава Україні's user avatar
48 votes

Is there a proverb to express "You are too late and it's your own fault."?

I can think of two that might be appropriate. Though it doesn't necessarily deal directly with tardiness, there is, "You've made your bed. Now lie in it." According to the online Cambridge Dictionary,...
drewhart's user avatar
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47 votes

Is there an English equivalent for the Persian proverb "to play with the tail of a lion"?

I honestly think that playing with a lion's tail is perfectly acceptable. Colorful, descriptive English is rife with fun similes like that. Skating on thin ice is like what you are looking for, but ...
BlackThorn's user avatar
47 votes

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

"All is fair in love and war." Like the Gujarati phrase as described in the question, this makes the specific claim that ethics don't apply when certain vital interests are at stake for the speaker. ...
Ron's user avatar
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47 votes

Opposite of "Squeaky wheel gets the grease"

I've always countered with "the quacking duck gets shot".
joe's user avatar
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46 votes

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

separate the wheat from the chaff to judge which people or things in a group are bad and which ones are good The magazine describes many different products and then separates the wheat from the ...
fev's user avatar
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42 votes
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Equivalent of "teri lal," a Hindi phrase which means "you are right" said sarcastically (but not actually meant)

Though I agree with the others that the sarcasm is usually implied in the tone of the speaker, there is an idiomatic expression which implies a non-committal agreement without sounding overly ...
alwayslearning's user avatar
39 votes

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

Since you mention the "bystander effect", I guess you're looking for a psychological term. This would be "Diffusion of responsibility", even though its prime examples are mostly ...
orithena's user avatar
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38 votes
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Opposite of "Squeaky wheel gets the grease"

One proverb that came to mind is The nail that sticks up gets hammered down. Doing a web search, I found that apparently it has a Japanese origin, but I think it's common, or at the very least ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
37 votes
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Any equivalent to this Persian proverb "The yellow dog is the jackal's brother"?

I would say: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. This means that although the parties in charge have changed, the living and working conditions have not. It apparently comes from they lyrics ...
jejorda2's user avatar
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37 votes

Equivalent of "teri lal," a Hindi phrase which means "you are right" said sarcastically (but not actually meant)

The most direct parallel might be the English expression "Yeah, right." On the surface, it literally means, Yes, you are correct, but is universally accepted as meaning just the opposite, e.g., "No ...
Carly's user avatar
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36 votes

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

If you're looking for a similar saying in English, you could use: Actions speak louder than words. Which Cambridge Dictionary says means what you do is more important than what you say, because ...
Peter Shor 's user avatar
35 votes

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

There are several possible sayings: Actions speak louder than words. [Cambridge Dictionary] said to emphasize that what you do is more important and shows your intentions and feelings more clearly ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
34 votes

Is there an English equivalent for the Persian proverb "to play with the tail of a lion"?

tickling the dragon's tail; Wikipedia, Louis Slotin. Louis Slotin was a physicist on the Manhattan Project who died in 1946 nine days after his screwdriver slipped in the course of a criticality ...
ab2's user avatar
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34 votes

Opposite of "Squeaky wheel gets the grease"

Insofar as "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" is saying that people who complain get attention, I think this expression means roughly the opposite: Good things come to those who wait
wrymug's user avatar
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33 votes

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

As suggested by Dan Bron, "you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelette" may fit. We use it to imply that to achieve a purpose, something must be sacrificed. (in this case, principles, moral ...
Centaurus's user avatar
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32 votes
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A proverb that expresses the idea that an unaddressed problem will lead to consequences?

The idiom a stitch in time saves nine describes the situation well: Solving a difficulty while it is small may save a great deal of trouble in the end. or A prompt, decisive action taken now will ...
cigien's user avatar
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31 votes
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Is there any phrase, proverb or idiom that convey "the turtle quarreled with the lake"?

"Bite the hand that feeds you" is a good option, but I think the spirit is conveyed better with: Cut off your nose to spite your face Meaning to inflict damage on yourself in order to hurt someone ...
G. Ann - SonarSource Team's user avatar
31 votes

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

An English proverb with the same meaning is: don't bite the hand that feeds (you), according to The Free Dictionary: Do not scorn or treat ill those on whom one depends or derives benefit, for to ...
JJJ's user avatar
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