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Proverbial Phrases, by Thomas Preston
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Title: Dictionary of English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
With a Copious Index of Principal Words
Author: Thomas Preston
Release Date: March 27, 2012 [EBook #39281]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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A COPIOUS INDEX OF PRINCIPAL WORDS
SELECTED AND ARRANGED
"The genius, wit, and spirit of a nation are discovered by
their proverbs."—Lord Bacon.
Long before writing and books were in common use, proverbs were the
principal means of imparting instruction. In modern times there is not
so much need to apply these old sayings as a means of educating the
people, but they are still constantly met with in the newspapers and in
general literature, and they are rightly considered as "The texts of
The late Earl Russell very aptly described a proverb as "The wisdom of
many and the wit of one." We value proverbs chiefly as moral maxims
teaching some practical lesson set forth in concise, pithy sentences,
which are fixed in the memory without effort, and retained without being
burdensome. They have been found useful for guidance in almost every
condition of life; but, on the other hand, it is quite true that many
dangerous precepts have been propounded in proverbs, and some of the
older ones [vi]gave such questionable advice, or were couched in such
objectionable language, that they have been very properly omitted from
every collection intended, as this is, for general use. Other old
proverbs have become obsolete, and as their meaning is now obscure, they
have not been included in the Dictionary.
This series of "Handy Books" would hardly be complete without a
collection of English Proverbs. Many books on the subject have been
written, but it is hoped that this collection will, in some respects, be
found to be an improvement on all its predecessors. Like The Dictionary
of Daily Blunders, this Dictionary of English Proverbs has been
framed so as to enable the reader to find what he wants without
difficulty. The Dictionary itself is arranged according to the principal
words, and there is also a Copious Index of additional principal words.
Other modern collections profess to give an "Alphabetical Index," but
such an index is of little use when we find that it is framed on the
rule that because a proverb begins with the article A, it should
therefore be indexed under that letter. As, "A bald head is soon
shaven." In another similar Index we find the proverb, "'Tis the second
blow makes the fray," inserted under the letter T. In one index of
this kind there are no less than twenty-two pages of A's [vii]and almost
as many of The's. Indeed the whole index is compiled without the
slightest regard to the subject of the proverbs. On this subject
Disraeli, in his essay on the "Philosophy of Proverbs," says "The
arrangement of proverbs has baffled the ingenuity of every one of their
collectors. Ray, after long premeditation, has chosen a system with the
appearance of an alphabetical order, but it turns out that his system is
no system, and his alphabet is no alphabet. After ten years' labour the
good man could only arrange his proverbs by commonplaces." In this
little Dictionary, as we have already stated, the proverbs are arranged
in alphabetical order, according to the leading words, and are
consecutively numbered. But, in order to avoid repetition (as most of
the proverbs contain, at least, two leading words), the subject words
are used for the Dictionary, and the other principal words will be found
in the Index, with a numerical reference to the proverb. The great
advantage of this arrangement is, that if only one important word of a
proverb be remembered, that word can be turned to in the Dictionary,
and, if not found there, will certainly be in the Index. Nearly two
thousand of the leading words are thus indexed—enough to make it almost
impossible to miss finding what is wanted. This plan has also the
effect [viii]of bringing together the proverbs on kindred subjects, which is
often a matter of importance to writers, and is, moreover, most amusing
to those who only read the book to while away a leisure hour. Ready
reference is further facilitated in the Index by the addition of
associated words. If one word only had been given, the reader might have
had to refer to eleven proverbs before he found the one he required; as,
for example, in the case of Dog.
It may be convenient to state that the Dictionary has been compiled
principally from Ray's collection, first published in 1670. The
remainder of the proverbs have been collected from ancient and modern
literature; but some few of them will not be found in any other
It only remains to remind the reader that this is a collection of
English Proverbs only; and we may appropriately conclude our Preface
with a further extract from Disraeli's essay, wherein he very justly
remarks that "The experience of life will throw a perpetual freshness
over these short and simple texts; every day may furnish a new
commentary; and we may grow old and still find novelty in proverbs by
their perpetual application."
A Dictionary of English Proverbs.
1. Absence. Absence cools moderate passions, and inflames violent ones.
2. Absent. The absent are always at fault.
3. Absent. Long absent, soon forgotten.
4. Aching teeth. Who hath aching teeth, hath ill tenants.
5. Adversity. Adversity makes a man wise, not rich.
6. Adversity. Adversity tries friends.
7. Adversity. Adversity flattereth no man.
8. Advice. Give neither advice nor salt until you are asked for it.
9. Advice. What every one asks, what every one gives, but what very few
10. Advice. In vain he craves advice who will not follow it.
11. Advice. Advice comes too late when a thing is done.
12. Afraid of wounds. He that's afraid of wounds must not come nigh a
13. Afraid. More afraid than hurt.
14. Age. Age before honesty.
15. Age (old). Old age is honourable.
16. Agree. Two of a trade seldom agree.
17. Agree. Agree, for law is costly.
An ague in the spring,
Is physic for a king.
19. Agues. Agues come on horseback, but go away on foot.
20. Air. A man cannot live by the air.
21. Alchemy. No alchemy like saving.
22. Ale. Good ale is meat, drink, and cloth.
He that buys land buys many stones,
He that buys flesh buys many bones,
He that buys eggs buys many shells,
He that buys ale buys nothing else.
24. Ale-house. Every one has a penny to spend at a new ale-house.
25. All's well. All's well that ends well.
26. All things.
No living man
All things can.
27. Almost. Almost was never hanged.
28. Alms. Steal the goose, and give the giblets in alms.
29. Anger. Anger is short-lived in a good man.
30. Anger. Keep from the anger of a great man.
31. Angry men. Angry men seldom want woe.
32. Angry. He that is angry without a cause must be pleased without
33. Another's burden. None knows the weight of another's burden.
Apples, eggs, and nuts,
One may eat after sluts.
35. April. April and May are the keys of the year.
When April blows his horn,
It's both good for hay and corn.
37. April. April borrows three days of March, and they are ill.
38. April showers.
March winds and April showers
Bring forth May flowers.
39. Argus. Argus at home, but a mole abroad.
40. Ashamed. Never be ashamed to eat your meat.
41. Ashes. Every man must eat a peck of ashes before he dies.
42. Ask. Ask but enough, and you may lower as you list.
43. Ask. Ask thy purse what thou shouldst buy.
44. Asking. Lose nothing for asking.
45. Ass. The ass that brays most, eats least.
46. Ass. Every ass thinks himself worthy to stand with the king's
August dry and warm,
Harvest doth no harm.
If the twenty-fourth of August be fair and clear,
Then hope for a prosperous autumn that year.
49. August. A wet August never brings dearth.
50. Author. Like author, like book.
51. Bachelors. Bachelors grin, but married men laugh till their hearts
52. Bachelors' wives. Bachelors' wives and maids' children are always
53. Bad. Where bad's the best, naught must be the choice.
54. Bad company. Better be alone than in bad company.
55. Bad day. A bad day never hath a good night.
56. Bad market. He that cannot abide a bad market deserves not a good
57. Bagpipe. Bring not a bagpipe to a man in trouble.
58. Bags. He is most loved that hath most bags.
59. Bail. Be bail and pay for it.
60. Balance. The balance distinguishes not between gold and lead.
61. Bald head. A bald head is soon shaven.
62. Banquet. There's no great banquet but some fare ill.
63. Barber's chair. Like a barber's chair, fit for every buttock.
64. Barber. One barber shaves not so close but another finds work.
65. Barefooted. Barefooted men should not tread on thorns.
66. Bare foot. Better a bare foot than no foot at all.
67. Bargain. Make the best of a bad bargain.
68. Bargain. A bargain is a bargain.
69. Bargain. At a great bargain make a great pause.
70. Bark. What! keep a dog and bark myself?
71. Barkers. The greatest barkers are not always the sorest biters.
When the sloe-tree is as white as a sheet,
Sow your barley, whether it be dry or wet.
73. Barleycorn. Sir John Barleycorn is the strongest knight.
74. Barley straw. Barley straw's good fodder when the cow gives water.
75. Barrel. You cannot know wine by the barrel.
76. Batchelor. Commend a wedded life, but keep thyself a batchelor.
77. Bean. Every bean has its black.
78. Beans. Sow beans in the mud, they'll grow like wood.
79. Beans. Beans should blow before May doth go.
80. Bear. A man may bear till his back breaks.
81. Bear. Bear and forbear.
82. Bear. Bear with evil and expect good.
83. Beat. 'Tis easy to find a staff to beat a dog.
84. Beaten. Better to be beaten than be in bad company.
A spaniel, a woman, and a walnut tree,
The more they're beaten the better they be.
86. Beauty. Beauty buys no beef.
87. Beauty. Beauty is no inheritance.
88. Beauty. Beauty is but skin deep.
89. Bed. As you make your bed so you must lie on it.
90. Bed. He who lies long in bed his estate feels it.
A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay,
But a swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly.
92. Bees. Where bees are there is honey.
93. Before. He that hires the horse must ride before.
94. Beggar. Better be a beggar than a fool.
95. Beggar. A beggar can never be bankrupt.
96. Beggar. The beggar is never out of his way.
97. Beggars. Beggars must not be choosers.
98. Beggars. Beggars on horseback will ride to the devil.
99. Beggary. Trash and trumpery is the highway to beggary.
100. Begging. Begging is an ill trade on a fast-day.
101. Beginning. A good beginning makes a good ending.
102. Beginning. Such a beginning, such an end.
103. Begin well. Good to begin well; better to end well.
104. Begun. Well begun is half done.
105. Behind. When two ride together one must ride behind.
106. Believe. You would make me believe the moon is made of green
107. Believe. Believe well and have well.
108. Bell. Fear not the loss of the bell more than the loss of the
109. Bend. Bend the twig while it is young.
110. Bent. As the twig is bent the tree's inclined.
111. Best. The best is cheapest.
112. Best. The best lie is the worst.
113. Best. Make the best of a bad bargain.
114. Best dog. Let the best dog leap the stile first.
115. Bet. Any fool can bet.
116. Better. The better the day, the better the deed.
117. Beware. Beware of "Had I wist."
118. Bidden. Do as you are bidden and you'll never be to blame.
119. Birchen Twigs. Birchen twigs break no ribs.
120. Bird. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
121. Bird. Every bird must hatch her own egg.
122. Bird. One beats the bush and another catcheth the bird.
123. Birds. Birds of a feather flock together.
124. Bird. The bird that can sing and will not sing, must be made to
125. Birds (small). Even small birds must have meat.
126. Bite. If you cannot bite, never show your teeth.
127. Bites. He that bites on every weed must needs light on poison.
128. Bit. A bit in the morning is better than nothing all day.
129. Bitter bird. Thou art a bitter bird, said the raven to the
130. Black plum. A black plum is as sweet as a white.
The sharper the blast,
The shorter 'twill last.
132. Blind. As blind as a bat.
133. Blind. Who so blind as he that will not see?
134. Blind man. A blind man would be glad to see it.
135. Blind man. Like a treatise on light and colours by a blind man.
136. Blood. You cannot get blood out of a stone.
137. Blot. 'Tis a blot on his escutcheon.
138. Blushing. Blushing is virtue's colour.
139. Blusters. He who blusters without reason has most reason to
140. Boast. Great boast, small roast.
141. Boil Snow. Whether you boil snow or pound it, you will have but
water from it.
142. Bone. Give a dog a bone in his mouth, and you may kick him and he
143. Bone. I have a bone in my arm.
144. Bone. The nearer the bone the sweeter the meat.
145. Born. He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned.
146. Borrowed garments. Borrowed garments never fit well.
147. Bought wit. Bought wit is best.
148. Bought wit. Bought wit makes folk wise.
149. Bound. They that are bound must obey.
150. Bow. A bow long bent at last waxeth weak.
151. Bowl. It is easy to bowl down hill.
152. Boys. Boys will be boys.
153. Brag. Brag's a good dog, but Holdfast is a better.
154. Brag. Brag's a good dog, but that he hath lost his tail.
155. Brag. Brag's a good dog if he be well set on; but he dare not bite.
156. Braggers. Great braggers, little doers.
157. Brain. The brain that sows not corn, plants thistles.
158. Bran. Much bran, little meal.
159. Bread and Butter.
They that have no other meat,
Bread and butter are glad to eat.
160. Breakfast. He who would have a hare for breakfast must hunt over
161. Breaking. The best horse needs breaking, and the best child needs
162. Bred. That which is bred in the bone will never be out of the
163. Brevity. Brevity is the soul of wit.
164. Brew. As you brew, so shall you bake.
165. Bribe. A bribe will enter without knocking.
166. Brimmer. There is no deceit in a brimmer.
167. Broken leg. A broken leg is not healed by a silk stocking.
168. Burden. A burden which one chooses is not felt.
169. Burden. The back is made for the burden.
170. Burden. No one knows the weight of another's burden.
171. Burdens. The greatest burdens are not the gainfullest.
172. Burnt child. A burnt child dreads the fire.
173. Business. Business is the salt of life.
174. Business. Every man as his business lies.
175. Bush. A bad bush is better than the open field.
176. Busy. Who more busy than they that have least to do.
177. Butcher. Better pay the butcher than the doctor.
178. Butter. Butter is gold in the morning, silver at noon, lead at
179. Butter. Why, butter would not melt in his mouth!
180. Butter. What is a pound of butter amongst a kennel of hounds?
181. Butter. Once a year butter is in the cow's horn.
182. Buttered. He knows on which side his bread is buttered.
183. Buy. Do not buy a pig in a poke.
184. Buyer. Let the buyer look out for himself.
Who buys hath need of a hundred eyes.
Who sells hath need of one.
186. Cake. You cannot eat your cake and have it.
187. Calm sea. In a calm sea every man is a pilot.
188. Calm weather. Calm weather in June sets corn in tune.
189. Can. A man can do more than he can.
190. Candle. Burn not your candle at both ends at once.
191. Candlemas. On Candlemas day you must have half your straw and half
If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight;
If on Candlemas day it be shower and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.
When Candlemas day is come and gone,
The snow lies on a hot stone.
194. Candlemas day.
The hind had as lief see his wife on the bier,
As Candlemas day should be pleasant and clear.
195. Candlemas day. On Candlemas day throw candle and candle-stick away.
196. Cap. If the cap fit, wear it.
197. Captain. Be captain of your own ship.
198. Carcase. Where the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered
199. Cards. Many can pack the cards that cannot play.
200. Care. Care's no cure.
201. Care. Care will kill a cat.
202. Care. Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of
203. Care not. "Care not," would have.
204. Carry. Don't run away with more than you can carry.
205. Carrying coals. Like carrying coals to Newcastle.
206. Castles. Tis easy to build castles in the air.
207. Cash. Rolling in cash he can't use, like a cat in a corn-bin.
208. Castle. An Englishman's house is his castle.
When the cat's away,
The mice will play.
210. Cat. A cat may look at a king.
211. Cat. The cat is hungry when a crust contents her.
212. Cat. The cat sees not the mouse ever.
213. Cats. I'll keep no more cats than will catch mice.
214. Cat. A cat has nine lives, yet care will kill a cat.
215. Cat. When the cat winketh, little wots the mouse what the cat
216. Cat. Though the cat winks awhile, yet sure she is not blind.
217. Cat. A cat loves fish, but she's loth to wet her feet.
218. Catch. Catch that catch may.
219. Cause. It's a bad cause that none dare speak in.
220. Caution. Those are wise who learn caution from their own
experience; but those are wiser who learn it from the experience of
221. Certain. There is nothing certain in this life but death and taxes!
222. Certainty. Never quit certainty for hope.
223. Chaff. I'm too old a bird to be caught by chaff.
224. Chalk. As like as chalk and cheese.
225. Chamber. The chamber of sickness is the chapel of devotion.
226. Chance. Look to the main chance.
He that leaves certainty and sticks to chance,
When fools pipe he may dance.
228. Chanceth. It chanceth in an hour that comes not in seven years.
229. Change. Change of pasture makes fat calves.
230. Charitable. The charitable give out at the door, and God puts in at
231. Charity. Charity begins at home.
232. Chastiseth. He that chastiseth one, amendeth many.
Cheese it is a peevish elf,
It digests all things but itself.
234. Cheese. After cheese comes nothing.
If you would have a good cheese, and have'n old,
You must turn'n seven times before he is cold.
236. Cherry. A cherry year, a merry year.
237. Chickens. Count not your chickens before they are hatched.
238. Chiding. Woe to the house where there is no chiding.
239. Child. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old
he will not depart from it.
240. Child. A child may have too much of his mother's blessing.
241. Child's pig. Child's pig, but father's bacon.
242. Children. Children and fools speak the truth.
243. Children. Children and fools have merry lives.
244. Children. Children and chickens must be always picking.
245. Children. Children are poor men's riches.
246. Children. Children should hear, see, and say nothing.
247. Children. When children stand quiet they have done some harm.
248. Children. Children are certain cares, but very uncertain comforts.
249. Children. Children suck the mother when they are young, and the
father when they are old.
250. Chink. So we have the chink, we'll bear the stink.
251. Chip. A chip of the old block.
252. Christmas. Christmas comes but once a year.
253. Christmas. Green Christmas, white Easter.
254. Christmas. They talk of Christmas so long that it comes.
255. Christmas Day.
If Christmas Day on a Monday be,
A great winter that year you will see.
256. Church. Where God hath His church the devil will have his chapel.
257. Church. The nearer the church the farther from God.
258. Churches. Pater-noster built churches, and Our Father pulls them
259. Civil words. Civil words cost nothing, and go a long way.
260. Claw. Claw me, and I will claw you.
261. Clear. As clear as mud.
262. Clerk. 'Tis the clerk makes the justice.
263. Climb. Climb not too high, lest the fall be the greater.
264. Climbed. Who never climbed, never fell.
265. Climbers. Hasty climbers have sudden falls.
266. Cloak. Have not the cloak to make when it begins to rain.
267. Cloak. Though the sun shines, leave not your cloak at home.
268. Clock. The clock goes as it pleases the clerk.
269. Close mouth. A close mouth catcheth no flies.
270. Clothes. It is good keeping his clothes who is going to swim.
271. Cloud. Every cloud hath a silver lining.
272. Clouds. Clouds that the sun builds up darken him.
When the clouds are on the hills,
They'll come down by the mills.
274. Clouds. After clouds comes clear weather.
275. Cloudy. Cloudy mornings turn to clear evenings.
276. Clover. He is in clover.
277. Clown. Even a clown clings to his cloak when it rains.
278. Coat. Cut your coat according to your cloth.
279. Coat. It's not the gay coat that makes the gentleman.
They that can cobble and clout,
Shall have work when others go without.
281. Cobbler. Let not the cobbler go beyond his last.
282. Cobbler's wife. Who goes worse shod than the cobbler's wife?
If the cock moult before the hen,
We shall have weather thick and thin;
But if the hen moult before the cock,
We shall have weather hard as a block.
284. Cock. The cock crows and the hen goes.
285. Cock. Every cock is proud on his own dunghill.
286. Coin. Where coin's not common, commons must be scant.
287. Coin. Much coin much care.
288. Cold April. A cold April a barn will fill.
289. Cold May.
A cold May and a windy
Makes a full barn and a findy.
290. Coldest flint. In the coldest flint there is hot fire.
291. Colours. It's an ill battle where the devil carries the colours.
292. Colt. When you ride a young colt see your saddle be well girt.
293. Company. Two's company and three's none.
294. Company. Tell me what company you keep, and I will tell you who you
295. Company. It's good to have company in trouble.
Company in distress,
Makes trouble less.
297. Companion. A merry companion on the road is as good as a nag.
298. Companion. There's no companion like a penny.
299. Comparisons. Comparisons are odious.
300. Complain. They complain wrongfully of the sea, who twice suffer
301. Complexion. Cold of complexion, good of condition.
302. Conceals. A woman conceals what she knows not.
303. Confession. A generous confession disarms slander.
304. Confession. Confession of a fault makes half amends for it.
305. Confession. Open confession is good for the soul.
306. Conquest. It is no small conquest to overcome yourself.
307. Conscience. A clear conscience is a sure card.
308. Constant dropping. Constant dropping wears the stone.
309. Consumed. When all is consumed repentance comes too late.
310. Content. Content is the true philosopher's stone.
311. Contented. A contented mind is a continual feast.
312. Contented. He that hath nothing is not contented.
313. Contented. He may well be contented who needs neither borrow nor
314. Contented. People are sometimes better contented full than fasting.
315. Contentment. The greatest wealth is contentment with a little.
Look at your corn in May,
You'll come weeping away;
Look at the same in June
You'll come home in another tune.
317. Corn. Corn is cleansed with the wind, and the soul with chastening.
318. Cottage. I'll not change a cottage in possession for a kingdom in
319. Counsel. Counsel is never out of date.
320. Counsels. Counsels in wine seldom prosper.
321. Counsel. In wiving and thriving men should take counsel of all the
322. Counsel. Three may keep counsel, if two be away.
323. Counselled. He that will not be counselled cannot be helped.
324. Count. Count not your chickens before they be hatched.
325. Country. In every country the sun riseth in the morning.
326. Country. You must go into the country to hear what news at London.
327. Couple. Every couple is not a pair.
328. Court. A friend at court is better than a penny in the purse.
329. Court. Far from court, far from care.
330. Courts. Courts have no almanacks.
331. Courtesy. Less of your courtesy, and more of your purse.
332. Courtesy. Courtesy on one side never lasts long.
333. Courtship. Men dream in courtship but in wedlock wake.
334. Cousin. Call me cousin; but cozen me not.
335. Coverlet. Stretch your legs according to your coverlet.
336. Covers. He covers me with his wings, and bites me with his bill.
337. Covet. Covet nothing over much.
338. Covetousness. Covetousness brings nothing home.
339. Cow. Many a good cow hath had a bad calf.
340. Cow. Look to the cow, and the sow, and the wheat mow, and all will
be well enow.
341. Cowards. Cowards are always cruel.
342. Cowardice. Cowardice is afraid to be known or seen.
343. Crabs. The greatest crabs are not always the best meat.
344. Crack. He must crack the nut that would eat the kernel.
345. Craft. Craft bringeth nothing home.
346. Crafts. Of all crafts, to be an honest man is the master-craft.
347. Crafty. Crafty evasions save not the truth.
348. Crazy ship. To a crazy ship all winds are contrary.
349. Creaking gate. A creaking gate hangs longest on its hinges.
350. Creaks. The worst wheel of a cart creaks most.
351. Credit. Credit lost is a Venice glass broken.
352. Creditors. Creditors have better memories than debtors.
353. Creep. First creep and then go.
354. Critics. Critics are like brushers of other men's clothes.
355. Crooked. A crooked tree will have a crooked shadow.
356. Crooked. Crooked logs make straight fires.
357. Cross. No cross, no crown.
358. Cross. Every cross has its inscription.
359. Crosses. Crosses are ladders for getting to heaven.
360. Crosses. Crosses are ladders that lead to heaven.
361. Crow. The crow thinks her own bird fairest.
362. Crow. A crow is never the whiter for washing herself often.
363. Crows. It never goes well when the hen crows.
364. Cruelty. Cruelty is a tyrant always attended by fear.
365. Cruelty. Cruelty is a devil's delight.
366. Crumbs. Where are the crumbs there are the chickens.
367. Cry. Don't cry out before you're hurt.
368. Cry. Great cry and little wool.
When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn,
Sell your cow and buy your corn,
But when she comes to a full bit,
Sell your corn, and buy your sheep.
370. Cured. What cannot be cured must be endured.
371. Curses. Curses are like chickens, they come home to roost.
372. Custom. Custom is second nature.
373. Custom. Once a use and ever a custom.
374. Custom. Custom makes anything easy.
375. Custom (bad). A bad custom is like a good cake, better broken than
376. Cut. Cut and come again.
377. Cut. No cut like unkindness.
378. Cut. I had not cut my wise teeth.
379. Cuts. Desperate cuts must have desperate cures.
380. Dance. No longer pipe, no longer dance.
381. Dances. He dances well to whom fortune pipes.
382. Dancing. They love dancing well that dance among thorns.
383. Danger. The danger's past, and God's forgotten.
384. Dainty Dogs. Dainty dogs may have to eat dirty puddings.
385. Dark. It is as good to be in the dark as without light.
386. Dark man. A dark man's a jewel in a fair woman's eye.
387. Dark. He that gropes in the dark finds that he would not.
My son is my son till he marries a wife,
But my daughter's my daughter all the days of her life.
He that would the daughter win,
Must with the mother first begin.
390. Daylight. Daylight will peep through a small hole.
391. Dead. As dead as a door-nail.
392. Dead man's shoes. He that waits for a dead man's shoes may go long
393. Deaf. There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.
394. Deaf man. Tell that tale to a deaf man.
395. Dearth. It's a wicked thing to make a dearth one's garner.
396. Death. Death keeps no calendar.
397. Death. Death is deaf and hears no denial.
398. Death. Nothing is surer than death.
399. Death. After death the doctor.
400. Debt. Debt is the worst kind of poverty.
401. Debt. Out of debt, out of danger.
402. Deepest water. In the deepest water is the best fishing.
403. Deeds. Deeds are fruits, words are but leaves.
404. Deeds. A life spent worthily should be measured by deeds—not
405. Delays. Delays are dangerous.
406. Depth. Never venture out of your depth until you can swim.
407. Desert. Desert and reward seldom keep company.
408. Deserve. First deserve and then desire.
409. Desires. Desires are nourished by delays.
410. Despises. What one man despises, another craves.
411. Destiny. Hanging and wiving go by destiny.
412. Devil. Talk of the devil and he'll be sure to appear.
413. Devil. He that hath shipped the devil must make the best of him.
414. Devil. Give the devil his due.
415. Devil. Make not the devil blacker than he is.
416. Devil. He needs must go that the devil drives.
417. Devil. One must sometimes hold a candle to the devil.
418. Devil. The devil is not always at one door.
The Devil Was Sick, the Devil a Monk Would Be;
The Devil Grew Well, the Devil a Monk Was He.
420. Dew. St. Bartholomew brings the cold dew.
421. Die. Never say die.
422. Die. Young men may die, old men must.
423. Diligence. Diligence is a good patrimony.
424. Diligence. Diligence is the mother of good fortune.
425. Dinner. After dinner sit awhile, after supper walk a mile.
426. Dinner. He who would enjoy his friend's dinner should not look into
427. Distress. Two in distress make sorrows less.
428. Discourse. Sweet discourse makes short days and nights.
429. Discreet. Discreet women have neither eyes nor ears.
430. Discretion. An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.
431. Disease. Disease is oft the tax of pleasure.
432. Disease. To know the disease is half the cure.
433. Dish. The first dish pleaseth all.
434. Do. Do as you would be done by.
435. Do. We must do as we may, if we cannot do as we would.
436. Dock. In dock, out nettle.
437. Doctor. A doctor and a clown know more than a doctor alone.
438. Doctor. An old doctor, a young lawyer.
439. Dog. Every dog has his day.
440. Dog. A good dog deserves a good bone.
441. Dog. It's a bad dog that deserves not a crust.
442. Dogs bark. Dogs bark before they bite.
443. Done. If you wish a thing done, go; if not, send.
444. Doomsday. A thousand pounds and a pottle of hay is all one thing at
445. Door. When one door shuts another opens.
446. Do well. Do well, and have well.
447. Down. He that's down, down with him.
448. Draw. You may draw him which way you will, with a twine thread.
449. Drowning man. A drowning man will catch at a straw.
450. Drink. Drink water like an ox, wine like a king of Spain.
451. Drink. He who drinks when he is not dry, will be dry when he has no
452. Drive. Drive not a second nail till the first is clenched.
453. Drops. Many drops make a shower.
If the ash before the oak comes out,
There has been, or there will be drought.
455. Drowned. Pour not water on a drowned mouse.
456. Drunk. Ever drunk, ever dry.
457. Drunken. A drunken night makes a cloudy morning.
458. Drunken folk. Drunken folk often speak truth.
459. Drunkenness. What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals.
460. Dry bread. Dry bread at home is better than roast beef abroad.
461. Dry cough. A dry cough is the trumpeter of death.
462. Dry May.
A dry May and a dripping June,
Does surely bring all things in tune.
Early to bed, and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
464. Early. Early sow, early mow.
465. Early bird. 'Tis the early bird catches the worm.
466. Ears. Little pitchers have long ears.
467. Ears. Walls have ears.
468. Ears. Wider ears and a shorter tongue.
469. Ease. A pennyworth of ease is worth a penny.
470. Ease. Think of ease, but work on.
471. Easily done. That which is easily done is soon believed.
472. Eat. Live not to eat, but eat to live.
473. Eat. Eat a bit before you drink.
Eat at pleasure,
Drink by measure.
475. Eating. Eating and drinking takes away one's appetite.
476. Edged Tools. It is ill meddling with edged tools.
477. Eel. You cannot hide an eel in a sack.
478. Eggs. Don't put all your eggs into one basket.
479. Egg-shell. 'Tis hard to sail o'er the sea in an egg-shell.
480. Elbow. Rub your sore eye with your elbow.
481. Elbow grease. Give it plenty of elbow grease.
482. Empty house. Better an empty house than a bad tenant.
483. Empty purse. An empty purse fills the face with wrinkles.
484. Empty purse. That's but an empty purse that's full of other men's
485. Empty vessels. Empty vessels make the greatest sound.
486. End. Everything hath an end, and a pudding hath two.
487. Endureth. He that endureth is not overcome.
488. England. England is the Paradise of women.
489. Englishman. An Englishman's house is his castle.
490. Enough. Enough is as good as a feast.
491. Enough. Enough and to spare is too much.
492. Enough. There's never enough where nothing's left.
493. Envied. Better be envied than pitied.
494. Envy. Envy never enriched any man.
495. Epitaph. He lies like an epitaph.
496. Err. To err is human; to forgive divine.
497. Errand. Send a wise man on an errand and say nothing to him.
498. Escapes. 'Tis a hard battle where none escapes.
499. Estate. He that throws away his estate with his hands, goes
afterwards to pick it upon his feet.
500. Esteems. He that knows himself best, esteems himself least.
An evening red and a morning grey,
Is a sign of a fair day.
502. Everybody. He had need rise betimes that would please everybody.
503. Everybody's business. Everybody's business is nobody's business.
504. Every man. Every man for himself, and God for us all.
505. Every tub. Let every tub stand on its own bottom.
506. Evil. Evil communications corrupt good manners.
507. Evil. If you must have an evil, choose a little one.
508. Evil. That which is evil is soon learnt.
Evil is wrought by want of thought,
As well as want of heart.
510. Evil name. The evil wound is cured, but not the evil name.
511. Evil gotten. Evil gotten, evil spent.
512. Evil grain. Of evil grain no good seed can come.
513. Evils. Of two evils choose the lesser.
514. Example. Example teaches more than precept.
515. Exchange. Exchange is no robbery.
516. Excuse. A bad excuse is better than none at all.
517. Expenses. Proportion your expenses to what you have, not to what
518. Experience. Experience is a dear school, but it is the only one we
are apt to learn in.
519. Experience. Experience is the mistress of fools.
520. Extremes. Extremes seldom last long.
521. Extremes. Extremes meet.
522. Eye. Better one eye than quite blind.
523. Eye. What the eye sees not, the heart rues not.
524. Eye. You should never touch your eye but with your elbow.
525. Eye. What the eye does not see the heart does not grieve for.
526. Eye-witness. One eye-witness is better than ten hearsays.
527. Face. Her face was her fortune.
528. Fact. A single fact is worth a ship-load of argument.
529. Faint heart. Faint heart never won a fair lady.
530. Faint praise. Faint praise is disparagement.
531. Fair and foolish.
Fair and foolish, black and proud,
Long and lazy, little and loud.
532. Fair and softly. Fair and softly go far in a day.
533. Fair faces. Fair faces need no paint.
534. Fair face. A fair face may hide a foul heart.
535. Fair feathers. Fair feathers make fair fowls.
536. Faith. Love asks faith, and faith asks firmness.
537. Fall. One may sooner fall than rise.
538. Fall. If a man once fall, all will tread on him.
539. Falls. When the tree falls every man runs with his hatchet.
540. Falling. Keeping from falling is better than helping up.
541. False report. A false report rides post.
542. Familiarity. Familiarity breeds contempt.
After a famine in the stall,
Comes a famine in the hall.
544. Famine. Under water famine, under snow bread.
545. Famine. A famine in England begins at the horse-manger.
546. Fancy. Fancy passes beauty.
547. Fancy. Fancy goes a long way.
548. Fancy. Fancy may bolt bran and think it flour.
549. Fare worse. You may go farther and fare worse.
550. Fashion. As good to be out of the world as out of the fashion.
551. Fast bind. Fast bind, fast find.
552. Fat hog. Every one basteth the fat hog, while the lean one burneth.
553. Fault. Every one puts his fault on the times.
554. Fault. A fault once denied is twice committed.
555. Fault-finders. Fault-finders should be fault-menders.
556. Faults. Every one's faults are not written on their foreheads.
557. Faults. Every man hath his faults.
558. Faults. God send me a friend that may tell me my faults; if not, an
enemy, he will be sure to.
559. Faulty. The faulty stands on his guard.
560. Feast. A feast is not made of mushrooms only.
561. Feast-making. Merry is the feast-making until we come to the
562. Feasts. Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.
563. Feathers. Fine feathers make fine birds.
564. Feather. Feather by feather the goose is plucked.
565. February. February makes a bridge, and March breaks it.
February fill dike, be it black or be it white;
But if it be white, it's the better to like.
567. Feed sparingly. Feed sparingly, and defy the physician.
Stretch not your feet
Beyond the sheet.
569. Fellowship. Love and lordship like no fellowship.
570. Fetters. No man loves his fetters, though of gold.
571. Few friends. Have but few friends, though many acquaintances.
572. Few words.
Where hearts are true
Few words will do.
573. Fiddler. The fifer don't pay a fiddler.
Let not the fiddler play the fife,
Nor fifer play the fiddle.
575. Fiddler's fare. Fiddler's fare; meat, drink, and money.
576. Fields. Fields have eyes, and woods have ears.
577. Finger. He wants to have a finger in every pie.
578. First blow. The first blow is half the battle.
579. First come. First come, first served.
580. Fire and water. Fire and water are good servants but bad masters.
581. Fire. Well may he smell of fire whose gown burneth.
582. Fish. He that would catch fish must not mind getting wet.
583. Fish. 'Tis good fish if it were but caught.
584. Fish. The best fish are near the bottom.
585. Fish. I have other fish to fry.
586. Fish. Make not fish of one, and flesh of another.
587. Fish. Fish are not to be caught by a birdcall.
588. Fish (good). There's as good fish in the sea as were ever caught.
589. Fishes' mouth.
When the wind's in the south,
It blows the bait into the fishes' mouth.
590. Fisheth on. He fisheth on that catcheth one.
591. Fishing. It's good fishing in troubled waters.
592. Fits. Every shoe fits not every foot.
He's up at five,
And he will thrive.
594. Flax. Get thy spindle and thy distaff ready, and God will send thee
595. Flay. No man can flay a stone.
596. Fleeceth. Where every hand fleeceth, the sheep go naked.
597. Flood. A May flood never did good.
598. Flowers. Flowers are the pledge of fruit.
599. Flourish. It is one thing to flourish and another to fight.
600. Flying. No flying without wings.
601. Follies. Happy is he who knows his follies in his youth.
602. Fool. No one is a fool always; every one sometimes.
603. Fool. A fool may ask more questions in half an hour than a wise man
can answer in seven years.
604. Fool. A fool may give a wise man counsel.
605. Fool. One fool makes many.
606. Fool. Every man is either a fool or a physician after thirty years
607. Fool (old). An old fool is the worst of fools.
608. Fool. Better it is to meet a bear bereaved of her whelps, than a
fool in his folly.
609. Fool. A fool is fulsome.
610. Fool thinks. As the fool thinks, so the bell chinks.
611. Fools. Fools set stools for wise folk to stumble at.
612. Fool's bolt. A fool's bolt is soon shot.
613. Fools build. Fools build houses, and wise men buy them.
614. Forbearance. Forbearance is no acquittance.
615. Forbidden fruit. Forbidden fruit is sweet.
616. Forced fruits. Forced fruits fail in flavour.
617. Forecast. Forecast is better than work hard.
Forego, forget, forgive,
Then happy you shall live.
619. Foremost dog. The foremost dog catches the hare.
620. Forewarned. Forewarned is forearmed.
621. Forget. To forget a wrong is the best revenge.
622. Forgive. Forgive and forget.
623. Forgotten. Eaten bread is soon forgotten.
624. Fortune. Fortune favours the brave.
625. Fortune. Every man is the architect of his fortune.
626. Fortune. Change of fortune is the lot of life.
627. Fortune. Better a fortune in her than on her.
628. Fortune. When fortune smiles take the advantage.
629. Fortune knocks. Fortune knocks once at least at every man's gate.
630. Foul hands. Foul hands befoul all they touch.
631. Four Farthings. Four farthings and a thimble make a tailor's pocket
632. Fox. The fox knows much, but more he that catcheth him.
633. Fox. A fox should not be of the jury at a goose trial.
634. Fox. When the fox preaches, beware of your geese.
635. Foxes. Foxes, when they cannot reach the grapes, say they are not
636. Fox runs. Though the fox runs the chicken hath wings.
Two things you won't fret o'er,
If you're a wise man—
The thing you can't help,
And the thing that you can.
638. Friday. He that sings on Friday shall weep on Sunday.
As the Friday, so the Sunday,
As the Sunday, so the week.
640. Friday's sail. Friday's sail, sure to fail.
641. Friend. A friend is not so soon gotten as lost.
642. Friend. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
643. Friend. He loseth nothing who keeps God for his friend.
644. Friend. Make not thy friend too cheap to thee, nor thyself to thy
In time of prosperity friends will be plenty,
In time of adversity, not one among twenty.
646. Friends. Save me from my friends.
647. Friends. All are not friends that speak us fair.
648. Friendship. Love and lordship never like friendship.
649. Frost. What God will, no frost can kill.
650. Frosts. So many frosts in March, so many in May.
If you would fruit have,
You must bring the leaf to the grave.
652. Fruit. Such as the tree is, such is the fruit.
653. Fruit. If you would enjoy the fruit, pluck not the flower.
654. Frugality. Frugality makes an easy chair for old age.
655. Frugality. Frugality is an estate.
656. Frying-pan. Out of the frying-pan into the fire.
657. Fuel. Take away fuel, take away flame.
658. Full purse. A full purse makes the mouth to speak.
659. Full purse. A full purse never lacketh friends.
Under the furze is hunger and cold.
Under the broom is silver and gold.
661. Gains. No gains without pains.
662. Galled horse. Touch a galled horse, and he will wince.
He that gapeth until he be fed
Well may he gape until he be dead.
664. Garden. Many things grow in the garden that were never planted
This rule in gardening never forget,
To sow dry and set wet.
666. Garland. One flower makes no garland.
667. Gems. Gems must not be valued by what they are set in.
668. Gentility. Gentility without ability is worse than plain beggary.
669. Gentle strokes. Gentle strokes make the sweetest harmony.
Get what you can, and what you get, hold,
'Tis the stone which will turn your lead into gold.
671. Gift horse. Look not a gift horse in the mouth.
672. Gift. A gift with a kind countenance is a double gift.
673. Give. To give and keep there is need of wit.
674. Giveth. He giveth twice who gives in a trice.
Giving to the poor
Increaseth your store.
676. Gladness. A man of gladness seldom falls into madness.
677. Glass. What your glass tells you will not be told by counsel.
Who loves his glass without a G,
Take away L and that is he.
679. Glass houses. Those who live in glass houses should not throw
680. Glasses. The more women look in their glasses, the less they look
to their houses.
681. Glitters. All that glitters is not gold.
682. Gnats. Men strain at gnats, and swallow camels!
683. Go. If you want a thing done, go; if not, send.
684. Go about. Better go about than fall into the ditch.
685. God. God sends meat, and the devil sends cooks.
686. God. One God, no more; but friends good store.
687. Godfathers. When the child is christened, you may have godfathers
688. God wills. When God wills, all winds bring rain.
689. Gold. A man may buy gold too dear.
690. Gold. Gold alone makes not prosperity.
691. Gold. As good as gold.
692. Gold. Gold goes in at any gate, except Heaven's.
No lock will hold
'Gainst the power of gold.
694. Golden. We must not look for a golden life in an iron age.
695. Gold dust. Gold dust blinds all eyes.
696. Good. Do all the good you talk of; but talk not of all the good you
697. Good. Good and quickly seldom meet.
698. Good. No man knows better what good is than he that has an endured
699. Good. Though good be good yet better carries it.
700. Good cheer. When good cheer is lacking our friends will be packing.
701. Good word. A good word is as soon said as an ill one.
702. Good counsel. Good counsel never comes too late.
703. Good friend. He's a good friend that speaks well of us behind our
704. Good harvests. Good harvests make men prodigal, bad ones provident.
705. Good maxim. A good maxim is never out of season.
706. Good money. It is no use throwing good money after bad.
707. Good name.
The wife that expects to have a good name
Is always at home as if she were lame,
And the maid that is honest her chiefest delight
Is still to be doing from morning to night.
708. Goods. A man may lose his goods for want of demanding them.
709. Good things. God reacheth us good things with our own hands.
710. Good thing. One can never have too much of a good thing.
711. Good turns. One never loseth by doing good turns.
712. Good Turn. One good turn deserves another.
713. Good words.
Good words without deeds
Are rushes and reeds.
714. Gown. The gown is hers who wears it, and the world is his who
715. Grasp. Grasp no more than thy hand will hold.
716. Grain. Never split timber against the grain.
717. Grasp. Grasp all, lose all.
718. Grass. March grass never did good.
If the grass grow in Janiveer,
It grows the worse for't all the year.
720. Grass. While the grass grows the steed starves.
721. Grass. Grass grows not upon the highway.
722. Graves. We shall lie all alike in our graves.
723. Great dowry. A great dowry is a bed full of troubles.
724. Great marks. Great marks are soonest hit.
725. Great ones. There would be no great ones if there were no little.
726. Great ship. A great ship needs deep waters.
727. Green wood. Green wood makes a hot fire.
728. Green wound. A green wound is soon healed.
729. Green winter. A green winter makes a fat churchyard.
730. Grey hairs. Gray hairs are death's blossoms.
731. Grief. Grief pent up will burst the heart.
732. Grind. The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.
733. Guest. An unbidden guest must bring his own stool with him.
734. Guest. 'Tis an ill guest that never drinks to his host.
735. Guilty conscience. A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
736. Hail. Hail brings frost in the tail.
737. Half a loaf. Half a loaf is better than no bread.
738. Half hanged. Better be half hanged than ill wed.
739. Hand-saw. A hand-saw is a good thing, but not to shave with.
740. Hand-saw. He knows not a hawk from a hand-saw.
741. Handsome. He who is not handsome at twenty, nor strong at thirty,
nor wise at forty, nor rich at fifty, will never be handsome, strong,
rich, or wise.
742. Hanged. He who is born to be hanged will never be drowned.
743. Hanged. One may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
744. Hanging. There are many ways of killing a dog beside hanging him.
Happy is the bride the sun shines on,
And the corpse the rain rains on.
746. Hare. Where we least think, there goeth the hare away.
747. Hardly ever. "Hardly ever" saves many a lie.
748. Hare. Little dogs start the hare, but great ones catch it.
749. Hare skin. Sell not the hare's skin before you have caught him.
750. Harm. Harm watch, harm catch.
751. Harms. Wise men learn by others' harms, fools by their own.
752. Harvest. He that hath a good harvest may be content with some
753. Haste. More haste worse speed.
754. Haste. Haste trips up its own heels.
755. Haste. Over haste makes certain waste.
756. Haste. Haste over nothing but catching fleas.
757. Hasty men. Hasty men never lack woe.
758. Hasty resolutions. Hasty resolutions seldom speed well.
759. Hat. Pull down your hat on the wind side.
760. Hatchet. When the tree is down, every one runs with his hatchet.
761. Haven. 'Tis safe riding in a good haven.
762. Hay. Make hay while the sun shines.
763. Head. Man is the head, but woman turns it.
764. Head. He that hath no head, needs no hat.
765. Head. Better be the head of an ass than the tail of a horse.
766. Headache. When the head aches, all the body is the worse.
767. Healed. A man is not so soon healed as hurt.
768. Healeth. God healeth, and the physician hath the thanks.
769. Health. Health is better than wealth.
770. Heart. What the heart thinketh, the tongue speaketh.
771. Hearts. Hearts may agree though heads differ.
772. Hedge. Where the hedge is lowest, men commonly leap over.
773. Hedge. A low hedge is easily leapt over.
A hedge between
Keeps friendship green.
775. Hedges. Hedges have eyes, and walls have ears.
776. Heed. Good take heed doth surely speed.
777. Heels. One pair of heels is often worth two pair of hands.
778. Hen crows. It is a sad house where the hen crows louder than the
779. Hid. Love and a cough cannot be hid.
780. Hide. You cannot hide an eel in a sack.
781. Hide. Hide nothing from thy minister, physician, and lawyer.
782. High places. High places have their precipices.
783. High winds. High winds blow on high hills.
784. Himself. Every man is best known to himself.
785. Himself. He is not wise that is not wise for himself.
786. Hind. To fright a hind is not the way to catch her.
787. Hindermost dog. The hindermost dog may catch the hare.
788. Hobby. Happy is the man that has a hobby.
789. Hobby-horse. Every man has his hobby-horse.
790. Hog. A hog in armour is still but a hog.
791. Holloa. Do not holloa till you are out of the wood.
792. Home. Home is home, be it ever so homely.
793. Honesty. Honesty is the best policy; but he who acts on this
principle is not an honest man.
794. Honesty. A man never surfeits of too much honesty.
795. Honour. Better poor with honour than rich with shame.
796. Honour. Honour and ease are seldom bed-fellows.
797. Honour. Where honour ceaseth, there knowledge decreaseth.
798. Hoop. He giveth one knock on the hoop, and another on the barrel.
799. Hope. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.
800. Hope. Hope humbles more than despair.
801. Hope. Hope is a good breakfast, but a bad supper.
802. Hope. If it were not for hope, the heart would break.
Till St. James's day be come and gone,
You may have hops, or you may have none.
804. Horn. All are not hunters that blow the horn.
805. Horse. A good horse cannot be of a bad colour.
806. Horse. A good horse often wants a good spur.
807. Horse. 'Tis an ill horse will not carry his own provender.
808. Horse. One man may lead a horse to water, but fifty cannot make him
809. Hot love. Hot love is soon cold.
810. Hot May. A hot May makes a fat churchyard.
811. Hounds. Hold not with the hounds and run with the hare.
He that buys a house ready wrought,
Hath many a pin and nail for nought.
813. House. Better one's house too little one day, than too big all the
814. Householders. Wishers and woulders are never good householders.
815. Housekeeper. A noble housekeeper needs no doors.
816. Humour. Every man has his humour.
817. Humours. The stillest humours are always the worst.
818. Hundred years. It is all one a hundred years hence.
819. Hung. As well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.
820. Hunger. Hunger costs little; daintiness much.
821. Hunger. Hunger will break through stone walls.
822. Hunger. Hunger makes short devotion.
823. Hunger. Hunger makes hard bones sweet beans.
824. Hunger. Hunger is the finest sauce.
825. Hungry flies. Hungry flies bite sore.
826. Hungry horse. A hungry horse makes a clean manger.
827. Hungry man. A hungry man, an angry man.
828. Hungry men. Hungry men think the cook lazy.
829. Hungry men. Bitter is sweet to hungry men.
830. Husband. Be a good husband, and you will get a penny to spend, a
penny to lend, and a penny for a friend.
831. Husband. In the husband wisdom, in the wife gentleness.
832. Idle brain. An idle brain is the devil's workshop.
833. Idle folk. Idle folk have the least leisure.
834. Idle folk. Idle folk take the most pains.
835. Idle. A young man idle, an old man needy.
836. Idle. Better be idle than ill employed.
837. Idleness. Idleness is the key of beggary.
838. Idleness. Of idleness comes no goodness.
839. Idleness. Idleness is the root of all evil.
840. Idleness. Idleness must thank itself if it goes barefoot.
841. Ignorant. The ignorant think all things wrong which they cannot
842. Ill bird. It is an ill bird that defiles its own nest.
843. Ill dog. 'Tis an ill dog that deserves not a bone.
844. Ill fortune. He who hath no ill fortune, is dazed with good.
845. Ill got. Ill got, ill spent.
846. Ill gotten. Ill gotten gains seldom prosper.
847. Ill luck. When ill luck falls asleep, let nobody wake her.
848. Ill news. Ill news comes apace.
849. Ill weeds. Ill weeds grow apace.
850. Ill word. One ill word asketh another.
851. Impossible. Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.
852. Impudence. Impudence is not courage.
853. Inch. Give him an inch, and he'll take an ell.
854. Inches. God never measures men by inches.
855. Industry. Industry is fortune's right hand and frugality her left.
856. Infirmities. Jest not at another's infirmities.
857. Ingratitude. Ingratitude is the daughter of pride.
858. Injury. Pocket an injury.
859. Inn. He goes not out of his way that goes to a good inn.
860. Instinct. Woman's instinct is often truer than man's reasoning.
861. Intentions. Hell is paved with good intentions.
862. Irons. He that hath many irons in the fire, some of them will cool.
863. Itch. Itch and ease can no man please.
864. Jack. Jack-in-office is a great man.
865. Jack. Every Jack has his Jill.
If Janiveer calends be summerly gay
'Twill be winterly weather till calends of May.
867. Janiveer. Who in Janiveer sows oats, gets gold and groats.
868. Jest. Better lose a jest than a friend.
869. Jest. Many a true word is spoken in jest.
870. Jesting. Jesting lies bring serious sorrows.
871. Jests. Jests, like sweetmeats, are often sour sauce.
872. Journey. 'Tis a great journey to the world's end.
873. Joy. No joy without annoy.
874. Joy. There's no joy without alloy.
875. Joy. Joy surfeited turns to sorrow.
876. Judge. Judge not of men or things at first sight.
877. Judge. Judge not a ship as she lies on the stocks.
878. Judgment. He hath a good judgment who is apt to distrust his own.
Calm weather in June
Sets corn in tune.
If the first of July, it be rainy weather,
'Twill rain more or less for four weeks together.
881. Just. Just is honest, and honest is just.
882. Keep. Keep a thing seven years, and you will find a use for it.
883. Keep. Keep some till more come.
884. Kernel. He that will eat the kernel, must crack the nut.
885. Key. The wife is the key of the house.
886. Keys. All the keys hang not at one man's girdle.
Still stand by kin
Through thick and thin.
888. Kindled. Wood half burnt is easily kindled.
889. Kindness. Kindness will always conquer.
890. Kindnesses. Kindnesses, like grain, increase by sowing.
891. Kinsfolk. Many kinsfolk, few friends.
892. Kiss. As easy kiss my hand.
893. Kiss. Many kiss the child for the nurse's sake.
894. Kissing. Kissing goes by favour.
895. Kitchen. A fat kitchen, a lean will.
896. Kitchen. The taste of the kitchen is better than the smell.
897. Kitchen. Silks and satins put out the fire in the kitchen.
898. Knavery. Knavery may serve for a turn, but honesty is best in the
899. Knaves. Knaves and fools divide the world.
900. Knaves. When knaves fall out, true men come by their goods.
901. Knot. He tied a knot with his tongue he couldn't undo with his
902. Knots. Fools tie knots and wise men loose them.
903. Knotty timber. To split knotty timber use smooth wedges.
904. Knowledge. Knowledge is power.
905. Knowledge. Knowledge in youth is wisdom in age.
906. Knowledge. The knowledge of the disease is half the cure.
907. Knowledge. Knowledge, like physic, is more plague than profit, if
it arrives too late.
908. Knowledge. An ounce of knowledge may be worth a pound of comfort.
909. Labours. He that labours and thrives, spins gold.
910. Labour. Labour warms, sloth harms.
911. Ladle. The ladle cools the pot.
912. Ladder. Step after step the ladder is ascended.
913. Lamb's tail. A woman's tongue wags like a lamb's tail.
914. Lame. The lame goeth as far as the staggerer.
915. Lammas. After Lammas corn ripens as much by night as by day.
916. Land. Land was never lost for want of an heir.
Many a one for land,
Takes a fool by the hand.
918. Lantern. On a dark night an owl would be glad of a lantern.
919. Last straw. It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back.
920. Late. Better late than never.
921. Laugh. Let them laugh that win.
922. Laugh. That's where the laugh comes in.
923. Laugh. They laugh the loudest who have least to lose.
924. Law. In a thousand pounds of law there's not an ounce of love.
925. Law. The law is not the same at morning and night.
926. Law. He that loves law will get his fill.
927. Law makers. Law makers should not be law breakers.
928. Laws. Laws catch flies, but let hornets go free.
Laws, like spiders' webs, are wrought,
Large flies break through, the small are caught.
930. Laws. Laws were made for rogues.
931. Lawyer. A good lawyer, an evil neighbour.
932. Lawyers. Fair and softly as lawyers go to heaven.
933. Lazy folk. Lazy folk take the most pains.
934. Lead. A man may lead a horse to the water, but he cannot make him
drink unless he will.
935. Lead. 'Tis folly to dig for lead with a silver shovel.
936. Leak. A small leak will sink a great ship.
937. Learn. Never too old to learn.
938. Learning. Learning makes a man fit company for himself.
939. Least. Least said is soonest mended.
940. Least boy. The least boy always carries the greatest fiddle.
941. Leather. Nothing like leather.
942. Leech. The empty leech sucks sore.
943. Lend. He that doth not lend doth lose his friend.
944. Lend. He would not lend his knife to the devil to stab himself.
945. Liar. A liar should have a good memory.
946. Liars. Liars have short wings.
947. Libel. The greater truth, the greater libel.
948. Liberal. The liberal man deviseth liberal things.
949. Liberty. Too much liberty spoils all.
950. Lie. One lie makes many.
951. Lies. He lies as fast as a dog can trot.
952. Life. Life is full of hazards, which experience neither bought nor
taught will always enable us to foresee.
953. Life. Life is half spent before we know what it is.
954. Life. Life is sweet.
955. Life. Life lies not in living, but in liking.
956. Life. While there's life there's hope.
957. Light. He stands in his own light.
958. Light. Every light has its shadow.
959. Light. Every light is not the sun.
960. Light gains. Light gains make a heavy purse.
961. Like. As like as two peas.
962. Like. Every one as they like best, as the good man said when he
kissed his cow.
963. Like. Like father like son.
964. Like. Like will to like.
965. Lion. The lion's not half so fierce as he's painted.
966. Lips. Lips however rosy must be fed.
967. Listeners. Listeners never hear good of themselves.
968. Little. Little and often fills the purse.
969. Little. Little mother, little daughter.
970. Little birds. Little birds may peck a dead lion.
971. Little boats. Little boats must keep the shore.
972. Little bodies. Little bodies have large souls.
973. Little good. A little good is soon spent.
974. Little goods. Little goods, little care.
975. Little hole. One may see day at a little hole.
976. Little house.
A little house well fill'd,
A little land well till'd,
And a little wife well will'd.
977. Little minds. Little minds, like weak liquors, are soon soured.
978. Little things. Little things please little minds.
979. Live. Everything would live.
980. Live. It's not how long, but how well, we live.
981. Live. Live and learn.
982. Live. Live and let live.
983. Liver (longest). The longest liver dies at last.
984. Lives. He that lives not well one year sorrows for it seven.
985. Liveth. He liveth long that liveth well.
986. Living dog. A living dog is better than a dead lion.
987. Load. All lay load on the willing horse.
988. Lock. You needn't lock the stable door when the steed is stolen.
989. Look. Look before you leap.
990. Look. They look one way and row another.
991. Looked for. Long looked for comes at last.
992. Long lane. 'Tis a long lane that has no turning.
993. Longs. He that longs most lacks most.
994. Longest day. The longest day must have an end.
995. Loquacity. The loquacity of fools is a warning to the wise.
996. Lords. New lords new laws.
997. Losers. Losers are always in the wrong.
He that goeth out with often loss,
At last comes home by Weeping Cross.
999. Lost. 'Tis not lost that comes at last.
1000. Love. Love is no lack.
1001. Love. Love is blind.
1002. Love. Love is the touchstone of virtue.
1003. Love. Love lives in cottages as well as in courts.
1004. Love. Love me little, love me long.
1005. Love. Love me, love my dog.
1006. Love. They love too much who die for love.
1007. Love. Whom we love best to them we can say least.
1008. Love and a cough. Love and a cough cannot be hid.
1009. Love (hot). Hot love is soon cold.
1010. Lovers. Lovers live on love, as larks on leeks.
1011. Lowly sit. Lowly sit and be richly warm.
1012. Luck. Give a man luck, and throw him into the sea.
1013. Luck. The devil's children have the devil's luck.
1014. Luck (ill). What is worse than ill-luck?
1015. Lucky. It is better to be born lucky than rich.
1016. Lucky. It's better to be lucky than wise.
1017. Lucky. Happy go lucky.
1018. Lurch. Never leave a friend in the lurch.
1019. Maidens. Maidens must be seen and not heard.
1020. Malice. Malice is mindful.
1021. Malt. Slow fire makes sweet malt.
1022. Man. A man at five may be a fool at fifteen.
1023. Man. Man proposes, God disposes.
1024. Man. Man doth what he can, and God what He will.
1025. Manners. Manners often make fortunes.
1026. Many hands. Many hands make light work.
March wind and May sun,
Make clothes white and maids dun.
1028. March. March many weathers.
1029. March dust. A bushel of March dust is worth a king's ransom.
1030. Market. A man must sell his ware at the rate of the market.
1031. Market. Forsake not the market for the toll.
1032. Market. If fools went not to market, bad ware would not be sold.
1033. Market. Three women and a goose make a market.
1034. Marriage (ill). An ill marriage is a spring of ill fortune.
1035. Marriage. Marriage halves our griefs, and doubles our joys.
1036. Marriages. Marriages are made in heaven.
1037. Marries. He who marries for wealth sells his liberty.
1038. Marry. Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
Bachelors, before you marry,
Have a house wherein to tarry.
If you regard old saws, mind, thus they say,
'Tis bad to marry in the month of May.
1041. Master. Like master like man.
1042. Master. He that will too soon be his own master, will have a fool
for his scholar.
1043. Master. No man is his craft's master the first day.
1044. Master. Marry above your match and you get a master.
1045. Master. One eye of the master sees more than four of the
1046. Master-craft. Of all the crafts honesty is the master-craft.
1047. Masters. No man can serve two masters.
1048. Master's eye. The master's eye makes the horse fat.
1049. Master's eye. The master's eye does more work than his hands.
1050. Matrimony. Matrimony's a matter of money.
1051. May be. Every "may be" hath a "may not be."
1052. May. A windy March and a rainy April make a beautiful May.
1053. May (cold).
A cold May,
Plenty of corn and hay.
1054. Meadow. A thin meadow is soon mowed.
1055. Measure. Good measure is a merry mean.
1056. Measure. With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you
1057. Measure. Measure twice before you cut once.
1058. Measures. He measures your corn by his bushel.
1059. Meat. Much meat, much maladies.
1060. Meat. Meat is much, but manners is more.
1061. Medium. There's a medium between painting the face and not washing
1062. Medlars. Medlars are never good till they be rotten.
1063. Medlars. Time and straw make medlars ripe.
1064. Mend. It is never too late to mend.
1065. Mend. If every one would mend one, all would be mended.
1066. Mend. In the end things will mend.
1067. Mercy. Cry you mercy, who killed my cat?
1068. Merry. He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
1069. Merry. It's good to be merry and wise.
1070. Merry. It is good to be merry at meat.
1071. Merry. Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again.
1072. Merry. As long lives a merry heart as a sad.
1073. Merry month. The merry month of May.
1074. Mettle. Mettle is dangerous in a blind horse.
1075. Milk. Milk which will not be made into butter must be made into
1076. Milk. Who would keep a cow when he may have a bottle of milk for a
1077. Mill. No mill, no meal.
1078. Millstone. I can see as far into a millstone as the picker.
1079. Millstone. The lower millstone grinds as well as the upper.
1080. Mind. Out of sight, out of mind.
In the forehead and the eye,
The picture of the mind doth lie.
1082. Mind. A woman's mind and winter wind often change.
1083. Mind. A wise man changes his mind; a fool never.
1084. Mirth. A pennyworth of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow.
1085. Mischief. A little mischief is too much.
1086. Mischiefs. Mischiefs come by the pound and go away by the ounce.
1087. Misfortunes. Misfortunes seldom come alone.
1088. Miss. A miss is as good as a mile.
So many mists in March you see,
So many frosts in May will be.
1090. Misunderstanding. Misunderstanding brings lies to town.
1091. Mob. The mob has many heads, but no brains.
1092. Mocking. Mocking is catching.
1093. Modesty. Modesty is the handmaid of virtue.
Monday for wealth,
Tuesday for health,
Wednesday the best day of all;
Thursday for crosses,
Friday for losses,
Saturday no luck at all.
1095. Money. Money is more easily made than made use of.
They who have money are troubled about it,
And they who have none are troubled without it.
1097. Money. Money makes money.
1098. Money. Money often makes the man.
1099. Money. The abundance of money ruins youth.
1100. Money. A fool and his money are soon parted.
1101. Money. A fool may make money, but a wise man should spend it.
1102. Money. 'Tis money makes the mare to go.
1103. Money. He that hath no money needeth no purse.
In the old of the moon,
A cloudy morning bodes a fair afternoon.
A Saturday's moon
Always comes too soon.
1106. Moon. The moon's not seen where the sun shines.
1107. More. The more the merrier; the fewer the better cheer.
1108. Morning. Lose an hour in the morning, and you'll be all day
hunting for it.
1109. Morning sun. The morning sun never lasts a day.
1110. Most. Do as most do, and fewest will speak ill of thee.
1111. Most. Most take all.
1112. Mother's breath. The mother's breath is always sweet.
1113. Mother's heart. A mother's heart never grows old.
1114. Mother-wit. An ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound of clergy.
1115. Mountain. Never make a mountain of a mole-hill.
1116. Mountain. If the mountain will not go to Mahomet, let Mahomet go
to the mountain.
1117. Mouth civility. Mouth civility costs little but is worth less.
1118. Mouths. He that sends mouths sends meat.
1119. Much. A fool demands much, but he's a greater that gives it.
1120. Much. Much is expected where much is given.
1121. Much. Much would have more, and lost all.
1122. Muddles. Muddles at home make husbands roam.
1123. Muffled cats. Muffled cats are bad mousers.
1124. Murder. Murder will out.
1125. Music. Music helps not the toothache.
1126. Music. Where music is no harm can be.
1127. Musician. When a musician hath forgot his note, he makes as though
a crumb stuck in his throat.
1128. Musk. It's no use looking for musk in a dog's kennel.
1129. Mute. They are as mute as fishes.
1130. Name. A good name is better than riches.
1131. Name. A good name keeps its lustre in the dark.
1132. Name. Take away my good name, and take away my life.
1133. Nature. 'Tis the nature of the beast.
1134. Necessity. Necessity knows no law.
1135. Necessity. Make a virtue of necessity.
1136. Necessity. Necessity is the mother of invention.
1137. Need. Need makes the old wife trot.
1138. Need. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
1139. Needle. To look for a needle in a pottle of hay.
He that's needy when he is married
Shall be rich when he is buried.
1141. Neighbour. Love thy neighbour, but pull not down thy hedge.
1142. Neighbour-quart. Neighbour-quart is good quart.
1143. Neighbour. You must ask your neighbour if you shall live in peace.
1144. Neighbour's house. When thy neighbour's house is on fire, be
careful of thine own.
1145. Net. All is fish that comes to his net.
Be not the first by whom the new is tried,
Be not the last to cast the old aside.
1147. New broom. A new broom sweeps clean.
1148. News. No news is good news.
1149. Nimble. A nimble ninepence is better than a slow shilling.
1150. Nip. Nip it in the bud.
1151. Noble. The more noble the more humble.
1152. Nods. The great Homer himself sometimes nods.
A little nonsense now and then
Is relished by the wisest men.
1154. Notice. It is the part of a wise man to take no notice of many
1155. Nothing. By doing nothing we learn to do ill.
1156. Nothing. Of nothing comes nothing.
1157. Nothing. Doing nothing is the hardest work.
1158. Nothing. Nothing came out of the sack but what was in it.
1159. Nothing. It is more painful to do nothing than something.
1160. Nothing. Doing nothing is doing ill.
November take flail,
Let ships no more sail.
1162. Now. Now or never.
1163. Nurse. The nurse's tongue is privileged to talk.
1164. Nutshell. You may as well bid me lade the sea with a nutshell.
1165. Oak. An oak is not felled by one blow.
1166. Occasion. An occasion lost cannot be redeemed.
Good October, a good blast,
To blow the hog acorn and mast.
1168. Offer. Never refuse a good offer.
1169. Offender. The offender never pardons.
1170. Often. Little and often fills the purse.
1171. Old age. When old age is evil, youth can learn no good.
1172. Old. Old young, old long.
1173. Old cat. An old cat laps as much as a young kitten.
1174. Old cock. As the old cock crows so crows the young.
1175. Old dog. An old dog barks not in vain.
1176. Old dog. An old dog will learn no tricks.
1177. Older. Older and wiser.
1178. Old fools. Old fools are the worst of fools.
1179. Old foxes. Old foxes need no tutors.
1180. Old friends. Old friends to meet, old wine to drink, and old wood
1181. Old friends. Old friends and old wine are best.
1182. Old men. Old men are twice children.
1183. Old sack. An old sack wanteth much patching.
1184. Old saws. Old saws speak the truth.
1185. Old sore. It's ill healing an old sore.
1186. Omelettes. You can't make omelettes without breaking eggs.
1187. Once. Once well done is twice done.
1188. One. Make much of one, good men are scarce.
1189. One hand. One hand will not clasp.
1190. One hole. The mouse that hath but one hole is easily taken.
1191. One thing. Too much of one thing is good for nothing.
1192. Opportunity. Opportunity makes the thief.
1193. Opportunity. Opportunity lingers sometimes.
1194. Oppression. Oppression causeth rebellion.
1195. Orderly. In an orderly house all is soon ready.
1196. Orts. Evening orts are good morning fodder.
1197. Otherwise. Some are wise, and some are otherwise.
1198. Ought. Do what thou ought, let come what may.
1199. Outbid. Be not too hasty to outbid another.
1200. Over. Over boots, over shoes.
1201. Overtakes. None is so wise but the fool overtakes him sometimes.
1202. Oysters. Oysters are not good in the month that hath not an R in
1203. Own dog. A man may cause his own dog to bite him.
1204. Pain. Pain is forgotten where gain follows.
1205. Pain. Great pain and little gain make a man soon weary.
1206. Pains. No pains, no profit.
1207. Pains. Pains are the wages of ill-pleasures.
1208. Painting. On painting and fighting look aloof off.
1209. Pardon. Pardon all men, but never thyself.
1210. Parents. Study to be worthy of your parents.
If the partridge had the woodcock's thigh,
It would be the best bird that ever did fly.
1212. Passion. A man in a passion rides a horse that runs away with him.
1213. Patch. Patch and sit long, build and soon flit.
1214. Patience. Patience is a flower that grows not in every one's
1215. Patience. Patience is a plaister for all sores.
1216. Patient. As patient as Job.
1217. Pay. Pay him in his own coin.
1218. Pay. Pay as you go.
1219. Pays last. He that pays last never pays twice.
They who don't intend to pay,
Will promise payment any day.
1221. Pearls. Cast not pearls before swine.
1222. Peas. He who hath most peas may put most in the pot.
1223. Pedlar. A small pack suits a small pedlar.
1224. Pedlar. Let every pedlar carry his own pack.
1225. Pen. Pen and ink are a wit's plough.
1226. Pence. Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of
1227. Penny. That penny is well spent that saves a groat.
1228. Penny. A penny in my purse will bid me drink when all my friends I
have will not.
1229. Penny. A penny in your pocket is a good companion.
1230. Penny. In for a penny, in for a pound.
1231. Penny. A penny saved is a penny got.
1232. Penny wise. Penny wise and pound foolish.
1233. Pepper. Pepper is black, yet it hath a good smack.
1234. Perch. The topmost branch is not the safest perch.
1235. Peril. Peril proves who dearly loves.
1236. Perseverance. Perseverance kills the game.
1237. Persuasion. The persuasion of the fortunate sways the doubtful.
1238. Peter. He robs Peter to pay Paul.
1239. Physician. Physician heal thyself.
The best physicians are Doctor Diet,
Doctor Cheeriman, and Doctor Quiet.
1241. Pictures. Painted pictures are dead speakers.
1242. Pig's tail. You can't make a horn of a pig's tail.
1243. Pillow. Sleep on it; the pillow is the best counsellor.
1244. Pilot. Every man is a pilot in a calm sea.
1245. Pin. He that will not stoop for a pin, shall never be worth a
See a pin and let it lie,
Want a pin before you die.
1247. Pin. A pin a day is a groat a year.
1248. Pinches. No one knows where the shoe pinches so well as him who
1249. Pipe. He can ill pipe that wants his upper lip.
1250. Pitcher. The pitcher does not go so often to the water, but it
comes home broken at last.
1251. Pity. Pity, promises, and blame, are always cheap and plentiful.
1252. Pity. Foolish pity spoils a city.
1253. Place. Sit in your place, and none can make you rise.
1254. Place. A place for everything, and everything in its place.
1255. Plain dealing. Plain dealing's a jewel.
All play and no work,
Gives Tom a ragged shirt.
1257. Play. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
1258. Play. If you play with a fool at home, he'll play with you in the
1259. Please all.
He that would please all, and himself too,
Undertakes what he cannot do.
1260. Pleasing. Pleasing ware is half sold.
1261. Pleasure. Make not a toil of your pleasure.
1262. Plenty. Plenty as blackberries.
1263. Plough. Don't stop the plough to catch a mouse.
1264. Plough. A man must plough with such oxen as he hath.
He that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.
1266. Poor. Do not live poor to die rich.
1267. Poor. As poor as Job.
1268. Poor folk. Poor folk have few kindred.
1269. Poor folk. Poor folk are glad of pottage.
1270. Pope. He that would be Pope must think of nothing else.
1271. Possession. Possession is nine points of the law, and they say
there are but ten.
1272. Pot. A little pot is soon hot.
1273. Pot. The pot calls the kettle black.
1274. Poverty. Poverty parts friends.
1275. Poverty. Poverty breeds strife.
1276. Poverty. Poverty is the mother of health.
1277. Poverty. When poverty comes in at the door, friendship leaps out
of the window.
1278. Poverty. Poverty parteth good fellowship.
1279. Poverty. Poverty makes a man acquainted with strange bed-fellows.
1280. Practice. Practice makes perfect.
1281. Praise. True praise takes root and spreads.
1282. Praise. Neither praise nor dispraise thyself, thine actions serve
1283. Praise. Never sound the trumpet of your own praise.
1284. Praise. Praise a fair day at night.
1285. Praise. Old praise dies, unless you feed it.
1286. Prate. Prate is but prate; 'tis money buys land.
1287. Pray. He that would learn to pray let him go to sea.
1288. Prettiness. Prettiness makes no pottage.
1289. Prettiness. Prettiness dies quickly.
1290. Prevention. Prevention is better than cure.
1291. Prey. Birds of prey do not sing.
1292. Pride. Pride feels no pain.
1293. Pride. Pride will have a fall.
1294. Pride. Pride goes before, and shame follows after.
1295. Procrastination. Procrastination is the thief of time.
1296. Promise. He is poor indeed that cannot promise nothing.
1297. Promise. Be slow to promise, but quick to perform.
1298. Promise. Apt to promise, apt to forget.
1299. Promises. Promises are too much like pie-crusts, made to be
1300. Proof. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
1301. Prosperity. Prosperity gains friends, adversity tries them.
1302. Proud mind. There's nothing agrees worse than a proud mind and a
1303. Proverb. According to the old proverb.
1304. Proverbs. Proverbs are the texts of common life.
1305. Pry. Pry not into other people's affairs.
1306. Pryeth. He that pryeth into every cloud, may be stricken with a
1307. Puddle. Every path hath a puddle.
1308. Puff. Puff not against the wind.
1309. Pull. Pull gently on a weak rope.
1310. Pull down. It is easier to pull down than to build.
1311. Punctuality. Punctuality begets confidence.
1312. Punishment. Many without punishment, none without sin.
1313. Purse. Be ruled by your purse.
1314. Purse. Let your purse be your master.
1315. Purse. You cannot make a purse of a sow's ear.
1316. Purse. A full purse maketh the mouth to speak.
1317. Purse. He that shows his purse longs to be rid of it.
Be it better or be it worse,
Be ruled by him who bears the purse.
1319. Purse. A heavy purse makes a light heart.
1320. Purse. He who gets four pounds and spends five has no need of a
1321. Purses (wrinkled). Wrinkled purses make wrinkled faces.
1322. Quarrel. Don't quarrel with the beggar for his bone.
1323. Quench. To cast oil in the fire is not the way to quench it.
1324. Quick. Quick at meat, quick at work.
1325. Quietness. Next to love, quietness.
1326. Quiet life. Anything for a quiet life.
1327. Quote. The devil can quote Scripture to suit his purpose.
1328. Ragged colt. A ragged colt may make a good horse.
Rain from east,
Two days at least.
Should it rain on Easter Day,
There'll be plenty of grass and little hay.
1331. Rain. Some rain, some rest.
1332. Rain. After rain comes fair weather.
1333. Rain. Small rain lays great dust.
1334. Rains. It never rains but it pours.
1335. Raise. Raise no more spirits than you can conjure down.
1336. Ready money. Ready money will away.
1337. Real friend. He is a real friend who assists one in a pinch.
1338. Reason. If we do not hear reason she will one day make herself be
1339. Reason. There's reason in roasting of eggs.
1340. Receiver. The receiver is as bad as the thief.
1341. Receivers. If there were no receivers there would be no thieves.
1342. Reckless youth. Reckless youth makes rueful age.
1343. Reckons. He that reckons without his host must reckon again.
1344. Reckoning. Fools always come short of their reckoning.
1345. Reckoning. Short reckonings make long friends.
1346. Reconcile. Reconcile yourself to present trials, the future may
1347. Recorder. A good recorder sets all in order.
1348. Reigns. Man reigns and woman rules.
1349. Reins. Men hold the reins, but the women tell them which way to
1350. Religion. Better wear a cloak for religion than religion for a
1351. Remove. Remove an old tree and it will wither.
1352. Removed. A plant often removed cannot thrive.
1353. Reproof. A smart reproof is better than smooth deceit.
1354. Reserve. Reserve the master-blow.
1355. Re-telling. A story never loses by re-telling.
1356. Revenge. To forget wrong is the greatest revenge.
1357. Revenge. Revenge is sweet.
1358. Rich. God help the rich, the poor can beg.
1359. Riches. Riches are like muck, which stink in a heap, but spread
abroad make the earth fruitful.
1360. Riches. Riches are but the baggage of fortune.
1361. Ride. Better ride on an ass that carries me than a horse that
1362. Right hand. Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth.
1363. Riseth. He that riseth betimes hath something in his head.
1364. River. Follow the river and you'll get to the sea.
1365. Road. Rich country, bad road.
1366. Roost. A bird can roost upon but one branch.
1367. Rolling stone. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
1368. Rome. When you are at Rome, do as Rome does.
1369. Rome. Rome was not built in a day.
1370. Rudder. He that will not be ruled by the rudder must be ruled by
1371. Rose. The fairest rose at last is withered.
1372. Rotten apple. A rotten apple injures its companions.
1373. Rugged stone. A rugged stone grows smooth from hand to hand.
1374. Rule. There is no rule without an exception.
1375. Rules. Love rules his kingdom without a sword.
1376. Runs. He that runs fastest gets the prize.
1377. Runs fast. He that runs fast will not run long.
1378. Sack. It's a bad sack will abide no clouting.
1379. Sack. Nothing comes out of the sack but what was in it.
1380. Saddle. Set the saddle on the right horse.
1381. Sadness. Sadness and gladness succeed each other.
1382. St. David's day.
Upon St. David's day,
Put oats and barley in the clay.
1383. St. Stephen.
Blessed be St. Stephen;
There's no fast upon his even.
1384. Sail. Make not your sail too large for your ship.
1385. Salmon. Salmon and sermon have their season in Lent.
1386. Salt. Catch a bird by putting salt on its tail.
1387. Sand. You can't make ropes of sand.
1388. Sauce. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
1389. Sauce. Sweet meat must have some sauce.
If youth knew what age will crave,
It sure would strive to get and save.
1391. Save. Who will not save a penny, shall never have many.
1392. Saving. Saving is getting.
1393. Saving. It's useless saving at the spigot and spending at the
1394. Saving. Of saving cometh having.
1395. Say. Learn to say before you sing.
1396. Saying. Saying and doing are two things.
1397. Says. If a man says little he thinks the more.
1398. Say well.
"Say well," and "do well," end with one letter;
To say well, it is well, but to do well is better.
1399. Scabbed sheep. One scabbed sheep infects the whole flock.
1400. Scald. Scald not your lips in another man's pottage.
1401. Scalded cat. A scalded cat fears cold water.
1402. Sceptre. A sceptre is one thing, a ladle another.
1403. Scholar. A mere scholar a mere ass.
1404. Scholars. The greatest scholars are not always the wisest men.
1405. Scorning. Scorning is catching.
1406. Scotch mist. A Scotch mist will wet an Englishman through to the
1407. Sea. On the sea sail; on the land settle.
1408. Season. Everything is good in its season.
1409. Season. To everything there is a season; and a time to every
purpose under heaven.
1410. Second blow. 'Tis the second blow that makes a fray.
1411. Secret. He that revealeth his secret maketh himself a slave.
1412. Seeing. Seeing is believing.
1413. Seek. Seek till you find, and you'll lose no labour.
1414. Seldom seen. Seldom seen, soon forgotten.
1415. Self. Self do, self have.
1416. Self Love. Self love's a mote in every man's eye.
1417. Self praise. Self praise is no recommendation.
September blow soft,
Till the fruit's in the loft.
1419. Servants. Good servants make good masters.
1420. Shadow. Catch not at the shadow and lose the substance.
1421. Share. Share and share alike.
1422. Shaving. It's ill shaving against the wool.
Shear your sheep in May,
And shear them all away.
1424. Sheep. One sheep follows another.
1425. Ships. Ships fear fire more than water.
1426. Shoe. The finest shoe often hurts the foot.
1427. Shoe. To know where the shoe pinches.
1428. Shoot. Every man will shoot at the enemy, but few will go to fetch
1429. Shop. Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee.
1430. Shorn sheep. God tempers the wind to the shorn sheep.
1431. Short cuts. Short cuts are sometimes longest.
1432. Short reckonings. Short reckonings are soon cleared.
1433. Short and sweet. Short and sweet like a donkey's gallop.
1434. Shrew. Every one can tame a shrew but he that hath her.
1435. Sigh. Never sigh but send.
1436. Sight. Out of sight out of mind.
1437. Silence. Silence seldom doth harm.
1438. Silence. Silence is consent.
1439. Silence. Silence is the best ornament of a woman.
1440. Silver. White silver draws black lines.
1441. Silver spoon. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
1442. Sing. A bird that can sing and won't sing, must be made to sing.
1443. Sing. None but fools and fiddlers sing at their meat.
1444. Sings. Who sings drives away care.
1445. Sit still. As good sit still as rise up and fall.
1446. Slander. Few people are out of the reach of slander.
1447. Slander. Slander leaves a score behind it.
Account not that work slavery
That brings in penny savoury.
1449. Sleep. One hour's sleep before midnight is worth two hours after.
1450. Sleeping. There is sleeping enough in the grave.
1451. Sleeping dog. Don't wake a sleeping dog.
1452. Slip. Better that the feet slip than the tongue.
1453. Sloth. Sloth turneth the edge of wit.
1454. Sloth. Sloth is the mother of poverty.
1455. Slow. Slow and sure.
1456. Sluggard's guise.
The sluggard's guise,
Loth to go to bed and loth to rise.
1457. Sluts. Sluts are good enough to make slovens' pottage.
1458. Small fish. Better are small fish than an empty dish.
1459. Small things. Small things affect light minds.
1460. Small things. He that despiseth small things shall fall by little
1461. Smoke. Where there is smoke there is fire.
1462. Snake. Put a snake in your bosom, and when it is warm it will
1463. Snow. A snow year, a rich year.
1464. Softly. He that goes softly goes surely.
1465. Soft words. Soft words butter no parsnips.
1466. Soldiers. Soldiers in peace are like chimneys in summer.
My son's my son till he hath got him a wife,
But my daughter's my daughter all the days of her life.
1468. Soon hot. Soon hot, soon cold.
1469. Sooner said. 'Tis sooner said than done.
1470. Sorrow. Sorrow and bad weather come unsent for.
1471. Sorrow. Sorrow will pay no debt.
1472. Sorrow. A fat sorrow is better than a lean one.
1473. Sorrow. Sorrow is good for nothing but sin.
1474. Sorrow. Sorrow will wear away in time.
1475. Sorrow. When sorrow is asleep, wake it not.
1476. Sorrow. Sorrow comes unsent for, and, like the unbidden guest,
brings his own stool.
1477. Sorrowing. He goes a-sorrowing, who goes a-borrowing.
1478. Sound. As sound as a nut.
1479. Sour grapes. "Sour grapes," as the fox said when he could not
1480. Sow. Every sow to her own trough.
1481. Sows. Who sows in May gets little that way.
1482. Sows. What a man sows, that shall he also reap.
1483. Spare. 'Tis too late, to spare when the bottom is bare.
1484. Spare. It is better to spare at the brim than the bottom.
1485. Spare. Spare when young and spend when old.
1486. Spare. Spare to speak and spare to spend.
1487. Speak. There is a time to speak as well as to be silent.
1488. Speak. Speak well of the dead.
1489. Speak. Many speak much that cannot speak well.
1490. Speak. Speak fair and think what you will.
He that speaks me fair and loves me not,
I'll speak him fair and trust him not.
1492. Speculation. Speculation completes what extravagance began.
1493. Speech. Speech is the picture of the mind.
1494. Spend. Spend not where you may save; spare not where you must
1495. Spend. Carefully spend, and God will send.
1496. Spend. Spend and be free, but make no waste.
1497. Spender. To a good spender God is the treasurer.
1498. Spenders. Great spenders are bad lenders.
He who more than his worth doth spend,
Makes a rope his life to end;
He who spends more than he should,
Shall not have to spend when he would.
1500. Spends. You may know by a penny how a shilling spends.
1501. Spendthrift. It is the thrift of a spendthrift which ruins him
1502. Spice. Who hath spice enough may season his meat as he pleaseth.
1503. Spite. Don't cut your nose off to spite your face.
1504. Spits. Who spits against the wind spits in his own face.
1505. Split. He would split a hair.
1506. Spoil. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
1507. Spoil. Spoil not the ship for a penn'orth of tar.
1508. Spoken of. Better be ill spoken of by one before all, than by all
1509. Sport. It's poor sport that is not worth the candle.
1510. Sport. No sport, no pie.
1511. Spots. Rich men's spots are covered with money.
1512. Sprat. Throw a sprat to catch a whale.
1513. Spur. Do not spur a free horse.
1514. Stable. Being born in a stable does not make a man a horse.
1515. Stake. An ill stake standeth longest.
1516. Standers by. Standers by see more than the gamesters.
1517. Standing. The higher the standing the lower the fall.
1518. Standing pools. Standing pools gather filth.
1519. Stars. Stars are not seen during sunshine.
1520. Starve. He would starve in a cook-shop.
1521. Steal. He that will steal an egg will steal an ox.
1522. Steal. He that will steal a pin will steal a better thing.
1523. Steal. One man may better steal a horse than another look over the
1524. Steed. When the steed is stolen the stable door shall be shut.
1525. Step by step. Step by step the ladder is climbed.
1526. Sticks. Little sticks kindle the fire, but great ones put it out.
1527. Stile. He that will not go over the stile must be thrust through
1528. Still water. Trust not still water nor a silent man.
1529. Still water. Keep me from still water; from that which is rough I
can keep myself.
1530. Still waters. Still waters run deep.
1531. Stinking fish. Never cry "Stinking fish."
1532. Stitch. A stitch in time saves nine.
1533. Stock. Whoso lacketh a stock, his gain's not worth a chip.
1534. Stolen kisses. Stolen kisses are sweet.
1535. Stomach. The full stomach loatheth the honeycomb, but to the
hungry every bitter thing is sweet.
1536. Stomach. With stomach, wife, and conscience keep on good terms.
1537. Stone wall.
Hard upon hard makes a bad stone wall;
But soft upon soft makes none at all.
1538. Stools. Between two stools he comes to the ground.
1539. Stoop. He must stoop that hath a low door.
1540. Storm. After a storm comes a calm.
1541. Store. Store is no sore.
1542. Story. One story is good until another's told.
1543. Straight trees. Straight trees have crooked roots.
1544. Stratagem. By stratagem, not valour.
1545. Stream. No striving against the stream.
1546. Strife. Weight and measure take away strife.
1547. Strife. Haste makes waste, and waste makes want, and want makes
strife between the good man and his wife.
1548. Strike. Strike while the iron is hot.
1549. Strokes. Little strokes fell great oaks.
1550. Study. Morning is the time for study.
1551. Stumbles. He that runs in the night stumbles.
1552. Stumbles. He that stumbles twice over the same stone, deserves to
break his shins.
1553. Stumbles. 'Tis a good horse that never stumbles, and a good wife
that never grumbles.
1554. Subjects' love. The subjects' love is the king's lifeguard.
1555. Success. Nothing succeeds like success.
'Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it.
1557. Suckers. The young suckers drain the old tree.
1558. Sufferance. Of sufferance comes ease.
1559. Sufficient. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.
1560. Suit. That suit is best that best fits me.
1561. Sunshine. No sunshine but hath some shadow.
1562. Supperless. Better go to bed supperless than to rise in debt.
1563. Suppers. Light suppers make long lives.
1564. Sure. Sure bind, sure find.
1565. Surgeon. A good surgeon must have an eagle's eye, a lion's heart,
and a lady's hand.
1566. Swallow. One swallow does not make a summer.
1567. Swallow. One swallow makes not a spring, nor one woodcock a
1568. Sweat. No sweat, no sweet.
1569. Sweep. Sweep before your own door.
1570. Sweep. They have need of a besom that sweep the house with a turf.
1571. Sweet. He deserves not the sweet that will not taste the sour.
1572. Swim. He must needs swim that's held up by the chin.
1573. Swim. Never trust yourself out of your depth till you can swim.
1574. Sword. He that strikes with the sword shall be beaten with the
1575. Sword. Who draws his sword against his prince must throw away the
1576. Table. A poor man's table is soon spread.
1577. Table. Who depends upon another man's table often dines late.
1578. Tale-bearer. Remove the tale-bearer and contention ceaseth.
1579. Tale-bearers. Put no faith in tale-bearers.
1580. Talk. Talk of the devil and his imp appears.
1581. Talkers. The greatest talkers are always the least doers.
1582. Talking. Talking pays no toll.
1583. Taste. To him that hath lost his taste, sweet is sour.
1584. Teacheth. He teacheth ill who teacheth all.
1585. Tears. Nothing dries up sooner than tears.
1586. Teeth. A man may dig his grave with his teeth.
1587. Temperance. Temperance is the best physic.
1588. Tempter. The tempter is the greater rogue.
1589. Thanks. He loseth his thanks who promiseth and delayeth.
1590. Thatched. When I have thatched his house he would throw me down.
1591. Thief. Give a thief rope enough and he'll hang himself.
1592. Thief. The thief's sorry because he is caught, not because he is
1593. Thief. Set a thief to take a thief.
1594. Thieves. All are not thieves that dogs bark at.
1595. Think. One may think that dares not speak.
1596. Think. Think twice before you speak once.
1597. Think. Think much, speak little, and write less.
Who thinks to live must live to think,
Else mind and body lose their link.
1599. Thinks. The horse thinks one thing, and he that rides him another.
1600. Thinkers. Thinkers govern toilers.
1601. Thistles. Gather thistles, expect prickles.
1602. Thistles. He that sows nothing plants thistles.
1603. Thorn. No rose without a thorn.
1604. Thorn. The thorn comes forth with his point forwards.
1605. Thorns. Roses, mind you, have thorns.
1606. Thorns. He that handles thorns shall prick his fingers.
1607. Thoughts. Second thoughts are best.
1608. Thoughts. Thoughts are free.
1609. Threatened. There are more threatened than struck.
1610. Threepence. If you make not much of threepence you'll ne'er be
worth a groat.
1611. Thrifty. Thrifty men are fond of thrifty sayings.
He that will thrive must rise at five.
He that hath thriven may lie till seven.
1613. Thunder. Thunder in December foretells fine weather.
1614. Thunders. When it thunders the thief becomes honest.
1615. Thyself. For what thou canst do thyself rely not on another.
1616. Tide. There is a tide in the affairs of man which, taken at the
flood, leads on to fortune.
1617. Tide. Every tide has its ebb.
1618. Tide. The tide will fetch away what the ebb brings.
1619. Time. Take time by the forelock.
1620. Time. A mouse, in time, may bite in two a cable.
1621. Time. Take time when time is, for time will away.
1622. Time. Time and tide tarry for no man.
1623. Time. Time assuages the greatest grief.
1624. Time. Time cures sorrow.
1625. Time. Time is the rider that breaks youth.
1626. Time. Time tries all.
1627. Timely. Timely blossom timely ripe.
1628. Title. Simon Noland, clown, is a better style and title than
Humphrey Hadland, gent.
1629. To-day. To-day me, to-morrow thee.
1630. Tom. He's Tom Tell-troth.
1631. To-morrow. To-morrow comes never.
1632. Tongue. A man may hold his tongue in an ill time.
1633. Tongue. Temper the tongue.
1634. Tongue. Confine your tongue, lest it confine you.
1635. Tongue. Keep your tongue within your teeth.
The tongue breaketh bone,
Though itself have none.
1637. Tongue. The tongue's not steel, yet it cuts.
1638. Tongue. The tongue talks at the head's cost.
1639. Tongue. One tongue is enough for a woman.
1640. Tongue. Who has not a good tongue, ought to have good hands.
1641. Too late. Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
1642. Tools. A bad workman quarrels with his tools.
1643. Tools. What is a workman without his tools?
1644. Too far. Too far east is west.
1645. Too much. He that grasps at too much, holds fast nothing.
1646. Top sawyers. We can't all be top sawyers.
1647. Trade. He that hath a trade hath an estate.
1648. Trade. Every man to his trade.
1649. Trade. Trade knows neither friends nor kindred.
1650. Trade. Trade is the mother of money.
1651. Trades. Jack of all trades, and master of none.
1652. Tradesman. A tradesman who gets not loseth.
1653. Travels. He that travels far knows much.
1654. Tree. A tree is known by its fruit, and not by its leaves.
1655. Tree. Remove an old tree and it will wither to death.
1656. Trees. Set trees poor, and they will grow rich; set them rich, and
they will grow poor.
1657. Trees. You cannot see wood for trees.
1658. Trifle. Fall not out with a friend for a trifle.
1659. Trouble. He who seeketh trouble never misseth it.
1660. Troubled waters. Never fish in troubled waters.
1661. Troubles. Never make troubles of trifles.
1662. Troubles. Hidden troubles disquiet most.
1663. True word. There's many a true word spoken in jest.
1664. True. That is true which all men say.
If you trust before you try,
You may repent it ere you die.
1666. Trust. Trust in God, and keep your powder dry.
1667. Trust not. Trust not a broken staff.
1668. Trust not. Trust not a horse's heel, nor a dog's tooth.
1669. Truth. Truth lies in a well.
1670. Truth. Truth is stranger than fiction.
1671. Truth. Fair fall truth and daylight.
1672. Truth. Speak the truth and shame the devil.
1673. Truth. Truth hath a good face, but bad clothes.
1674. Truth. Truth may be blamed, but it can't be shamed.
Whatever you do, whatever you say,
Tell your doctor and lawyer the truth alway.
1676. Try. Try your friend before you trust him.
1677. Tub. Every tub must stand on its own bottom.
1678. Turn. One good turn deserves another.
1679. Turned. Swine, women, and bees are not to be turned.
1680. Twelfth day. At twelfth-day the days are lengthened a cock's
1681. Twenty. As good twenty as nineteen.
1682. Twice. If things were to be done twice, all would be wise.
1683. Two faces. Never carry two faces under one hat.
1684. Two heads. Two heads are better than one.
1685. Two places. One cannot be in two places at once.
1686. Two Sundays. When two Sundays come in one week—that is, never.
1687. Unhappy. An unhappy lad may make a good man.
1688. Units. The greatest number is made up of units.
1689. Unknown. Unknown, unmissed.
1690. Unminded. Unminded, unmoaned.
1691. Untaught. Better untaught than ill-taught.
1692. Use. Use is second nature.
1693. Use. Use the means, and God will give the blessing.
1694. Utility. Utility is preferable to grandeur.
1695. Valentine's day.
On Valentine's day will a good goose lay,
If she be a good goose, her dame well to pay,
She will lay two eggs before Valentine's day.
1696. Valley. He who stays in the valley will never get over the hill.
1697. Valour. Valour can do little without discretion.
1698. Valour. Valour that parleys is near yielding.
1699. Venture. Nothing venture nothing win.
1700. Venture. Venture a small fish to catch a great one.
1701. Venture. Venture not all in one ship.
1702. Very last. Fools think themselves wise to the very last.
1703. Vicar of Bray. The vicar of Bray will be vicar of Bray still.
1704. Vice. Vice is nourished by being concealed.
1705. Vine. Make the vine poor, and it will make you rich.
1706. Vinegar. The sweetest wine makes the sharpest vinegar.
1707. Virtues. Search others for their virtues, thyself for their
1708. Vows. Vows made in storms are forgotten in calms.
1709. Wager. A wager is a fool's argument.
1710. Wages. He who serves well need not be afraid to ask his wages.
1711. Waits. He that waits on another man's trencher, makes many a late
1712. Want. The worth of a thing is best known by the want of it.
1713. Want of. For want of a nail the shoe is lost; for want of a shoe
the horse is lost; for want of a horse the rider is lost.
1714. War. War, hunting, and law, are as full of trouble as pleasure.
1715. War. War is death's feast.
1716. War. Who preacheth war is the devil's chaplain.
1717. War (good). He that makes a good war makes a good peace.
1718. Wares (good). Good wares make quick markets.
1719. Warm. He that is warm thinks all are so.
1720. Warm. He is wise enough that can keep himself warm in winter.
The head and feet kept warm,
The rest will take no harm.
1722. Washing. There's no washing the blackamore white.
1723. Waste. Waste not, want not.
1724. Waste. Wilful waste makes woeful want.
1725. Watch. Good watch prevents misfortune.
1726. Watch. You may be a wise man though you cannot make a watch.
1727. Watched pot. A watched pot never boils.
1728. Water. Water bewitched.
1729. Water. We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
1730. Wax. He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun.
1731. Way. Where there's a will there's a way.
1732. Ways (more). There are more ways to kill a dog than hanging.
1733. Ways. To him that wills ways are not wanting.
1734. Weakest. Let the weakest go to the wall.
1735. Weakest. Where it is weakest there the thread breaketh.
1736. Wealth. Their folly pleads the privilege of wealth.
1737. Wearer. The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.
1738. Wearing. Everything is the worse for wearing.
1739. Wears. Constant dropping wears the stone.
1740. Weather. 'Tis pity fair weather should do any harm.
1741. Weather (change). Any flat can talk of change of weather.
1742. Wedding. Wedding and ill-wintering tame both man and beast.
1743. Wedlock. Wedlock is a padlock.
1744. Weds. Who weds ere he be wise shall die ere he thrive.
1745. Weep. As great a pity to see a woman weep, as to see a goose go
1746. Welcome. As welcome as the flowers in May.
1747. Welcome. "Welcome death," quoth the rat, when the trap fell down.
1748. Welcome. Welcome is the best dish on the table.
1749. Well. Let well alone.
1750. Well. When the well is dug it is easy enough to pump.
1751. Well-doing. Be not weary of well-doing.
1752. Well-ordered. All things are soon prepared in a well-ordered
1753. Wells. Well-drawn wells give the sweetest water.
1754. Wept. I wept when I was born, and every day shows why.
1755. Whet. A whet is no let [hindrance].
1756. Whistle. You may pay too dear for your whistle.
1757. Why. There's ne'er a why, but there's a wherefore.
1758. Wide. Wide will wear but narrow will tear.
1759. Wife. Choose your wife on Saturday, and not on a Sunday.
1760. Wife. He that goes far from home for a wife, either intends to
cheat or will be cheated.
1761. Wife. A man's best fortune or his worst is his wife.
1762. Wife. There is one good wife in the country, and every man thinks
he hath her.
1763. Wife (good). A good wife makes a good husband.
1764. Wife (good).
A good wife and health
Are a man's best wealth.
1765. Wife (good).
Saith Solomon the wise
A good wife's a prize.
1766. Wife (news). He that tells his wife news is but newly married.
1767. Wild oats. Happy is he who hath sown his wild oats betimes.
1768. Wiles. Wise men are not caught by wiles.
1769. Wilful. If wilful will to water, wilful must be drowned.
1770. Wilful man. A wilful man never wants woe.
1771. Will. Take the will for the deed.
1772. Will. They that cannot do as they will, must do as they can.
1773. Will. Will without reason is blind.
1774. Will not. If one will not, another will.
1775. Will (ready). Where the will is ready, the feet are light.
1776. Will (way). Where there's a will there's a way.
1777. Willing horse. All lay load on the willing horse.
1778. Willing mind. Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.
1779. Willows. Willows are weak, yet they bend other wood.
1780. Win. Win first, lose last.
1781. Wind (north).
When the wind's in the north
You need not go forth [to fish].
1782. Wind (east).
When the wind's in the east
The fish will bite least.
1783. Wind (south).
When the wind's in the south
The bait goes in their mouth.
1784. Wind (west).
When the wind's in the west
The fish will bite best.
Where the wind is on Candlemas Day
There it will stick to the end of May.
1786. Wind (east).
When the wind is in the east,
'Tis neither good for man nor beast.
1787. Wind (ill). It's an ill wind that blows nobody good.
1788. Wind (south).
When the wind's in the south
It's in the rain's mouth.
1789. Wind (still).
No weather is ill
If the wind be still.
1790. Windfalls. None ever yet got fat on windfalls.
1791. Windmill. You cannot drive a windmill with a pair of bellows.
1792. Wine. More have been drowned in wine than water.
1793. Wine. When wine sinks, words swim.
1794. Wine. Wine is the master's, but the goodness is the drawer's.
1795. Wine (good). Good wine needs no bush.
1796. Wine (in). When wine is in, wit is out.
1797. Wine (turncoat). Wine is a turncoat, first a friend, then an
1798. Wink. Wink at small faults.
1799. Wink. A wink's as good as a nod to a blind horse.
1800. Winter (good). A good winter brings a good summer.
1801. Winter. Winter finds out what summer lays up.
1802. Wisdom. By wisdom peace, by peace plenty.
1803. Wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
1804. Wisdom. Wisdom rides upon the ruins of folly.
1805. Wise. Better wise than wealthy.
1806. Wise men. Wise men care not for what they cannot have.
1807. Wishes. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
1808. Wishes. If wishes were thrushes, beggars would eat birds.
1809. Wishes. If wishes would bide, beggars would ride.
1810. Wishes. If wishes were butter-cakes, beggars would bite.
1811. Wit. Wit is the lightning of the mind.
1812. Wit. Wit bought is twice taught.
1813. Wit. You may truss up all his wit in an egg-shell.
1814. Wit. Wit ill applied is a dangerous weapon.
1815. Wit. Wit is folly, unless a wise man hath the keeping of it.
1816. Wit. Wit may be bought too dear.
1817. Wits. He that lives upon his wits, breaks for want of stock.
1818. Wive. A man cannot both wive and thrive in a year.
1819. Woe. Woe follows wickedness.
1820. Wolf. He had enough to keep the wolf from the door.
1821. Wolves. Wolves lose their teeth, but not their memory.
1822. Woman's strength. A woman's strength is in her tongue.
1823. Woman's work. A woman's work is never at an end.
1824. Women. Discreet women have neither eyes nor ears.
1825. Women (wills). Women must have their wills while they live,
because they make none when they die.
1826. Wonder. A wonder lasts but nine days.
1827. Woo. To woo is a pleasure in young men, a fault in old.
1828. Woodcock. One woodcock does not make a winter.
Happy is the wooing,
That is not long a-doing.
1830. Wool. Many go for wool and come back shorn.
1831. Wool sellers. Wool sellers know wool buyers.
1832. Word. An honest man's word is as good as his bond.
A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeds.
Words are but sands,
'Tis money buys lands.
Wound more than swords.
1836. Words. Words are like weights, gravity gives them effect.
1837. Words. Words are for women, actions for men.
1838. Words and blows.
Words are but wind,
But blows unkind.
1839. Word (enough). A word is enough to the wise.
1840. Words (evening). Words spoken in an evening the wind carrieth
1841. Words (fair). Fair words butter no parsnips.
1842. Words (fair). Fair words will not keep a cat from starving.
1843. Words (few). Few words are best.
1844. Words (good). Good words cool more than cold water.
1845. Words (good). Good words fill not a sack.
1846. Words (many). Many words will not fill a bushel.
1847. Words (soft). Soft words hurt not the mouth.
1848. Work. They that will not work in heat, must hunger in frost.
1849. Workmen (bad). Bad workmen always complain of their tools.
1850. World. One half of the world knows not how the other half lives.
1851. World. The world is his who knows how to wait for it.
1852. World. The world was never so dull but if one won't another will.
1853. World. This world is nothing except it tend to the next.
1854. World's pulse. There needs a long time to know the world's pulse.
1855. Worm. Tread on a worm and it will turn.
1856. Worst. When things get to the worst, they'll mend.
1857. Worst spoke. The worst spoke in the cart-wheel breaks first.
"He that wolde not when he might,
He shall not when he wold-a."
1859. Wounds. Wounds may heal, but not those made by ill words.
1860. Wranglers. Wranglers never want words.
1861. Wrath. A soft answer turneth away wrath.
1862. Wrestle. He that is thrown would ever wrestle.
1863. Wretch. He who maketh others wretched is himself a wretch, whether
prince or peasant.
1864. Wrongs. Two wrongs will not make a right.
1865. Wrong sow. To take the wrong sow by the ear.
1866. Year. Say no ill of the year till it is passed.
1867. Years. Years know more than books.
1868. Yes and no.
Between a woman's yes and no,
There is not room for a pin to go.
1869. Yorkshire. Yorkshire fashion—every man pay his share.
1870. Young. Old young, and old long.
1871. Yourself. Help yourself and your friends will like you.
1872. Yourself. If you want a thing done, do it yourself.
1873. Youth. A growing youth hath a wolf in his stomach.
If youth knew what age would crave.
It would both get and save.
1875. Youth. Youth and white paper take any impression.
1876. Youth. Youth will have its swing.
1877. Yule. Yule is good on Yule even.
1878. Zeal. Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.
1879. Zeal. Zeal without knowledge is frenzy.
1880. Zeal. Zeal without knowledge is the sister of folly.
OF PRINCIPAL WORDS.
The Subject Words of the Dictionary are not repeated here.
|Actions for men
|Affairs of men
|Birds of prey
|Broken at last
|Change of weather
|Chapel of devotion
|Cow gives water
||153, 154, 155
|Drink by measure
|Feather—birds of a
|Fish bite best
|Flowers in May
|God will send
|Groat a year
|Half of world
|Hand to hand
|Handmaid of virtue
|Hard upon hard
|Hay, corn and
|Heat, work in
|Hold fast nothing
|Honest man's word
|Ink and pen
|Jack of all trades
|Keys of the year
|Last, be not
|Lie, many a
|Little and little
|Live, eat to
|Lives on wit
|Mare to go
|May and April
|Minute too late
|Money buys land
|Morning, bit in the
|Mother of money
|Nine days' wonder
|Oil, in fire
|Poor man's table
|Rise at five
|Ruins of folly
|Salt of life
|Shoe, want of
|Sin, none without
|Sleep on it
|Sluts, eat after
|Soft upon soft
|Stoop for pin
|Thief of time
|Thrive—up at five
|Time for study
|Trade—two of a
|Tread on worm
|Truss up wit
|Walk a mile
|Wife, one good
|Wiles, caught by
|Wishers and woulders
|Wist, had I
|Wit, need of
|Wit is out
A DICTIONARY OF
Containing a Collection of Mistakes often made
in Speaking and Writing.
CORRECTED FROM THE BEST AUTHORITIES,
AND ARRANGED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Price 1s. cloth; 1s. 6d. half-bound in leather, red edges.
Extracts from Opinions of the Press.
Useful knowledge. . . . Invaluable alike as desk or pocket companion. . . .
Treats of the multitude of errors daily made in speaking and writing,
and offers corrections collected from the best authorities. Its
dictionary form enables any one in doubt to readily turn to the word
required. . . . Its value and necessity are unquestionable.—Morning
A dictionary has just been published, enumerating the common blunders of
speech and writing, which are constantly perpetrated. Such a work seems,
at first sight, a very formidable undertaking, and the complete mastery
of its text promises many a wretched quarter of an hour to those on whom
its valuable information is inflicted. . . . There are some mistakes which
appear to be ineradicable, and will not be corrected, even if the
Blunder Dictionary arrives at its [A2]thousandth edition. . . . Next to the
slave who attended a Roman Emperor in triumph to remind him that he was
mortal . . . surely the object most to be dreaded is the editor of a
Dictionary of Blunders, arranged on such a complete and systematic plan,
as to form a court of appeal to which every household can be
conveniently referred. . . . The volume is actually published, and contains
126 closely printed pages, containing examples of errors that are to be
found in the daily speech even of well-educated persons. . . . The Editor
is to be thanked for his useful book.—Daily Telegraph.
Pleasantly written. . . . In its dimensions it is handy, and the utility of
its contents is beyond question. The legion of "self-educated" men who
adorn our age should not be without this useful companion, for, by its
aid, the blunders of speech more particularly common to them would be
So far as we can discover from a brief perusal of the handy little
volume, the author's work has been very well done.—Athenæum.
A well-meant attempt to keep people clear of some common errors. . . .
There is certainly evidence enough, of one kind or another, in the
volume before us, of the existence of blunders which could hardly have
been suspected.—Saturday Review.
Beautifully printed. . . . may be confidently [A3]recommended to those for
whose use it is designed.—Manchester Guardian.
. . . Of value, and worth knowing. . . . Amusing, and to an extent, useful
also.—Dublin Freeman's Journal.
Will be found useful and amusing. . . . It is arranged alphabetically, and
contains a considerable vocabulary of words supposed to present a
difficulty either in spelling, meaning, or pronunciation. Some of the
comments on popular mistakes are very well done.—Record.
Those who are not quite sure as to their grammar, their pronunciation,
or their spelling, will doubtless find this pocket volume very
Will be of use to every one who has either to speak or to write. As this
embraces all mankind, the book may be said to be of value to everybody.
Very neatly got up.—Scotsman.
A glance through the pages of this book is very amusing, almost as
entertaining as a selection of wit and humour would be. There is no
doubt as to the general accuracy and usefulness of the corrections. . . . .
We heartily recommend the Dictionary.—Liverpool Albion.
Corrected from the best authorities and arranged in alphabetical
order. . . . The student can turn readily to the remarks made upon any
particular mistake.—Dublin Evening Mail.
[A4]A useful aid to correct speech.—Literary World.
The value of a book is not always to be reckoned by its size. This
little dictionary would go into the waistcoat pocket, yet every word in
it has its value, and the common mistakes in speaking and writing which
it undertakes to correct are nearly always put right in the best way. In
a few instances in which we are inclined to criticise, a conflict of
opinion among the authorities would probably be found to
A manual such as this will not be out of place at the right hand of all
who desire not to blunder.—Dundee Advertiser.
An excellent little book, which cannot be too well known or too widely
circulated. We know a large number of persons who would preserve
themselves from perpetrating the most unfortunate blunders if they would
carefully consult it.—Christian World.
The compiler of A Dictionary of Daily Blunders at least deserves
credit for an excellent idea. . . . Even the most practised speaker or
writer is liable to momentary uncertainty about simple points of
pronunciation or spelling—not to say construction of sentences. . . .
Contains some good material. . . . A useful feature of the book is the
publication in full of participles, in the spelling of which a writer is
often apt to get confused, and which are rarely included in
[A5]Evidently at great pains, the author of this useful handbook has brought
together a large number of blunders which are heard often in speaking
and seen in writing. We have gone rather minutely over the work, and can
say that the corrections are nearly all just. . . . The book will be useful
to many, and the reader will be surprised to find in what a great number
of instances he is wrong in the usage and pronunciation of words. We
recommend this handbook heartily.—Dundee Courier.
We can speak highly of this publication. . . . A credit to the publishers,
and we have little doubt will have a very large circulation.—Wigan
The selection has been very judiciously made. One must be a remarkably
faultless speaker and writer who does not get several useful hints from
this booklet.—Aberdeen Journal.
. . . There is in this small volume a good deal of really useful matter,
and many readers (especially among those who are also writers) might
derive more benefit from its study than would by themselves be
Excerpts from the Press Notices of Familiar Latin Quotations and
A translation of the Latin phrases which are of most common use in the
literature of the day, which is likely to be useful.—The Echo.
In a cheap and handy little volume we have here a large selection of
Latin phrases, proverbs, and quotations. It is ample in all respects,
and is likely to be of great and general utility.—Sunday Times.
To newspaper men, public speakers, and correspondents in every
direction, this little "Vade mecum" will prove most
The English translations are given as literally as possible, and they
frequently embrace all the most generally accepted renderings. So far as
we have been able to detect, the book has been carefully edited by a
competent and capable writer.—Railway Fly-Sheet.
A small work of reference such as has been greatly needed. We recommend
it especially to all readers who want to understand what they read, and
do not know Latin, and to all writers who want to seem more learned than
they are.—Civil Service Review.
A very handy selection of "Familiar Latin Quotations and Proverbs," of
which not only translations but also explanations are given. We
confidently recommend this little book.—Printers' Register.
A very handy little book. It contains, arranged in alphabetical order,
all the most common Latin quotations [A7]with their signification, and many
which are not so well known. The author has been careful in doing his
work, and has produced a really good little book of
To those whose classical education has been wholly neglected the work
will be found to be a suitable "Vade mecum," and even to those who
learnt a good deal of Latin at school it will be found to be highly
useful.—North British Advertiser.
It is a most admirable compilation. We can heartily recommend it as a
book of reference, and from which most genuine instruction can be
In this handy little book the compiler has collected the Latin
quotations which occur most frequently in the serial literature of the
day, arranging them alphabetically along with translations. This is
truly a "handy referential volume," and deserving of a large
A very useful little work which will be invaluable to the reader whose
studies have not included the classic languages. In the space of 120
pages are compressed no fewer than fifteen hundred Latin words, phrases,
and proverbs, frequently met with in newspapers, political or
philosophical works, law books, etc. We have looked over the book
carefully, and tested it by searching for less usual quotations; but in
every case we have found what we sought. Each phrase is rendered as
literally as the construction of the English and Latin languages will
admit; and where necessary a paraphrase or explanation is appended in
FAMILIAR ENGLISH QUOTATIONS.
The object of this little volume is to trace the Familiar Quotations so
constantly in use to their proper authorship, and to correct the errors
so frequently made by public speakers and writers. The origin of such
everyday sayings as
"He that fights and runs away,
May turn and fight another day,"
(erroneously supposed to be in Butler's "Hudibras,") and a number of
other phrases of a like character, is given, and the exact place of
them in the different authors' works is recorded.
The errors constantly made in quoting are remarkable. The author of an
interesting volume, comprising many well-known passages, names
"Hudibras" as containing the lines
"They that in quarrels interpose,
Will often wipe a bloody nose."
In an essay on "Misquotations," which recently appeared in a very ably
conducted newspaper, the object of the writer being to correct the
blunders constantly made, he falls into the usual mistake of quoting
Nat. Lee as writing
"When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war,"
and a learned and eminent divine, a certain Dr. B., some years ago, in
the presence of a large party, obstinately insisted that
"A man convinced against his will"
was a correct passage from "Hudibras," and was only satisfied as to his
blunder by the production of Butler's immortal work. Even so
accomplished a scholar as Mr. Gladstone—quandoque bonus dormitat
Homerus—errs; in a recently published number of the Nineteenth
Century, quoting Byron's words,
"The bubbling cry
Of some strong swimmer in his agony,"
he names them as occurring in "Childe Harold," instead of in "Don Juan."
London: Whittaker & Co.
The following corrections have been made to the text:
Page ii: 2. Familiar French Quotations & Proverbs.[period
missing in original]
Page 9: Bread and butter are glad to eat.[period missing in
Page 26: 445.[period missing in original] Door. When one door
shuts another opens.
Page 45: Honour. Better[original has Bettter] poor with honour
Page 62: 1099. Money. The abundance of money ruins
youth.[period missing in original]
Page 64: 1135. Necessity. Make a virtue of necessity.[period
missing in original]
Page 74: so crows the young.[period missing in original]
Index entries were changed to match the spelling and hyphenation in the
main text. Proverb numbers were corrected when necessary. The changes
are as follows:
Page 107: Age-rueful 1342[original has 1343]
Page 107: Appetite 475[original has 495]
Page 108: Birdcall[original has Bird—call]
Page 108: Birds—little 970[original has 940]
Page 108: Bone—tongue 1636[original has 1616]
Page 109: Branch—roost[original has root]
Page 109: Butter-cakes[original has Buttercakes]
Page 109: Candle-stick[original has Candlestick]
Page 110: Churchyard—May 810[original has 809]
Page 110: Cloth—coat[original has cost]
Page 110: Cold—soon 1468[original has 1469]
Page 112: Easy chair[original has Easy-chair]—frugality
Page 112: Elbow grease[original has Elbow-grease]
Page 112: Estate—trade 1647[original has 501]
Page 112: Evening—red 501[original has 1647]
Page 112: Fast-day[original has Fast day]
Page 112: Fault—woo[original has woe]
Page 112: Feathers—fine 563[original has 535]
Page 113: Fish—cat[original has eat]
Page 113: Fish—small—venture 1700[original has 1458]
Page 113: Fish—small 1458[original has 1700]
Page 113: Folk—poor, pottage 1369[original has 1269]
Page 113: Forehead—mind[original has wind]
Page 114: Friday—sing[original has sup]
Page 114: Garner—dearth[original has death]
Page 114: Gate—stile[original has still]
Page 114: Gentleman—coat[original has cost]
Page 115: Groat a year[original has a-year]
Page 115: Hawk—hand-saw[original has handsaw]
Page 115: Heart sick[original has Heart-sick]
Page 115: Horse-manger[original has Horse—manger]
Page 116: House—well-ordered[original has well ordered]
Page 116: the section header I" has been added
Page 116: Ill—doing[original has Ill-doing]
Page 116: Ill fortune[original has Ill-fortune]
Page 116: Ill wed[original has Ill-wed]
Page 117: Ladder—crosses 359[original has 912]
Page 117: Laugh—hearts ache[original has heartache]
Page 117: Law breakers[original has Law-breakers]
Page 117: Life—end[original has Life's end]
Page 117: Lion, dead—dog 986[original has 987]
Page 118: Love, subjects'[original has subject's]
Page 119: Master's—wine[original has Master's wine]
Page 119: May—hot 810[original has 809]
Page 119: Mice—cat's[original has cat] away
Page 119: Morning—grey[original has gray]
Page 119: Mote—self love[original has self-love]
Page 119: Muck[original has Much]—riches
Page 119: Night—stumble[original has slumber]
Page 119: No—woman's 1868[original has 1861]
Page 119: Noland[original has No-land]—title
Page 120: Old block[original has clock]
Page 120: Ounce—mischief 1086[original has 1686]
Page 120: Ox—drink 450[original has 456]
Page 120: Pater-noster[original has Paternoster]—churches
Page 122: Ribs—birchen twigs[original has birchen-twigs]
Page 122: Seven—[original has comma]rise at
Page 122: Shave—hand-saw[original has handsaw]
Page 123: Silver lining—cloud[original has clouds]
Page 123: Soberness—conceals[original has concealed]
Page 123: Spain—wine 450[original has 456]
Page 123: Spending—bung-hole[original has bunghole]
Page 124: Story—re-telling[original has retelling]
Page 124: Sun shines[original has Sunshine]—moon
Page 124: Tar—ship[original has ships]
Page 124: Tenants—ill[original has bad]
Page 124: Thistles—harvest 752[original has 732]
Page 124: Thief—receiver 1340[original has 1341]
Page 124: Thief—receivers 1341[original has 1340]
Page 125: Trough—own 1480[original has 1478]
Page 125: Use—nature 1692[original has 373]
Page 126: Will—women[original has Will, woman's]
Page 126: Wisdom—husband[original has harbour]
Page 126: Wind—words 1838[original has 1000]
End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Dictionary of English Proverbs and
Proverbial Phrases, by Thomas Preston
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