English Proverbs

Page 1 of 31

English Proverbs

By | December 2006
Page 1 of 31
[edit] A
•
oPlay on 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'
•A child that does not let its mother sleep at night will not sleep also [Nigerian and Ghanaian Proverb] •A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
•A poor workman blames his tools.
oPossible Interpretation: Good workmanship depends no more on the quality of the tools than it does on the way in which they are used, so to blame the tools for bad workmanship is to attempt to excuse one's own lack of skill. oIn former times, a blacksmith would have made his own tools, so the act of blaming one's tools would rebound on oneself. oThis wording of this proverb also has the double meaning : A workman without much money blames the quality of his tools. oThere is a circular aspect, in that a workman will remain poor without improving his skills, regardless of the quality of his tools, and thus never be able to afford better tools. •A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

oPossible Interpretation: A small amount that you have is worth more than a large amount that is uncertain. oPossible Interpretation: Something tangible with clear rights of ownership can be sold at market as opposed to something than that which is speculative and not secured. oPossible Interpretation: This comes from the traditional falconers. It was better to keep the bird that you had in hand (ie trained) than to let that one go to catch two untrained birds. oVariant: A bird in the hand makes it hard to blow your nose. oVariant: A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand.

oPossible Interpretation:Sex is better with a partner.
oSpanish version: "Mas vale pajaro en mano que ciento volando" Worth more is a bird in the hand than a hundred flying. •A burnt child dreads fire
•A night with Venus and a month with mercury.
oAnti-promiscurity adage, alluding to a 18th-century mercury-based folk treatment for syphilis oCited in Bartz, Diane, "Har, me hearties! Excavating Blackbeard's ship", Reuters (via Yahoo!...