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 English Proverbs and Sayings 

Alphabetical lists of commonly-used proverbs and sayings in English.

 List A2 :   "a lender nor borrower be"   →   "absence makes..."    

Proverbs and sayings are short statements of wisdom or advice that are transmitted from generation to generation and have passed into general use.

  • A lender nor borrower be.
    • Do not lend or borrow money.

  • A leopard cannot change its spots.
    • It is impossible for a bad or unpleasant person to become good or pleasant.

  • A lie begets a lie.
    • Telling one lie will lead you to tell another one.

  • A little fire is quickly trodden out.
    • If you deal with a minor problem quickly, it will not become a major issue.

  • A little of what you fancy does you good.
    • It's ok to give into a little temptation occasionally.

  • A loaded wagon makes no noise.
    • Really wealthy people do not talk about money.

  • A loveless life is living death.
    • Without affection, life is difficult.

  • A man can die but once.
    • If death comes now, you will not have to experience it later.

  • A man is as old as he feels himself to be.
    • Your age doesn't matter as long as you are fit and healthy.

  • A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words.
    • A person is judged on what he/she actually does, not on what they say they will do.

  • A man is known by the company he keeps.
    • A person's character is judged by the type of people with whom they spend their time.

  • A monkey in silk is a monkey no less.
    • No matter how someone dresses, it's the same person underneath..

  • A new broom sweeps clean (but the old brush knows all the corners...)
    • A newly-appointed person often makes changes quickly (but experience is also valuable).

  • A nod is as good as a wink (to a blind horse/man).
    • A hint or a subtle signal is enough to convey meaning to someone who is ready to understand.

  • A picture paints a thousand words.
    • A picture is better than a long description.

  • A problem shared is a problem halved.
    (Also : A worry shared is a worry halved.)
    • It is easier to deal with a problem when you discuss it with someone.

  • A rising tide lifts all boats.
    • A growing economy will lead to beneficial conditions for all.

  • A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • If a person keeps moving from place to place, they gain neither friends nor possessions. Another interpretation is that, by moving often, one avoids being tied down!

  • A rotten apple spoils the barrel.
    • A dishonest or immoral person can have a bad influence on a group.

  • A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
    • Overcoming adversity leads to competence.

  • A soft answer turneth away wrath.
    • If your reply is polite and tactful you will avoid anger.

  • A stitch in time saves nine.
    • If you deal with a problem at an early stage you will save time and prevent it from getting worse.

  • A stumble may prevent a fall.
    • Correcting a small mistake may help you to avoid making a bigger one.

  • A swallow does not make the summer.
    • One good event does not mean that everything is all right.

  • A tidy house holds a bored woman.
    • If a house is always tidy, the owner (woman) has nothing but housework to occupy her time.

  • A watched pot never boils.
    • If you wait anxiously for something to happen, it seems to take a long time.

  • A wise head keeps a still tongue
    • An intelligent person knows when to stay silent.

  • A wonder lasts but nine days.
    • The effects of an amazing or stirring event last only nine days; after that, life goes on as before.

  • A young idler, an old beggar.
    • If you don't work, you won't have any money when you're old.

  • Absence is the mother of disillusion
    • A period of absence may eenable you to see people in a truer but less favourable light.

  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder
    • When you are away from someone you love, you love them even more.

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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