Proverbs A - Z

 

 

 

 

What do these proverbs mean?

Talk is cheap.

(Anyone can talk; action is worth more than talk.)

 

Talk of the devil, and he is sure to appear.

(If you are talking about a person, the chances seem to be increased that he or she will suddenly make an appearance. Similar to "Speak of the devil." )

 

That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

(Challenges and problems that are overcome increase a person's physical and mental powers.)

 

The apple never falls far from the tree.

(A child's behavior or physical characteristics are similar to that of the parent.)

 

The best defense is a good offense.

(The best way to protect yourself is to attack or confront someone first.)

 

The best things in life are free.

(The things that are really important and valuable in life are free: love, family, honesty, friends, the enjoyment of nature, etc.)

 

The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

(It's difficult to take down someone or something that is very large. This proverb is used for individuals, groups, or even corporations.)

 

The boy is father to the man.

(A man is shaped by his experiences as a boy.)

 

The course of true love never did run smooth.

(Love and romantic relationships are full of ups and downs. This proverb is found in WIlliam Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.)

 

The customer is always right.

(A business person must do everything possible to keep a customer happy--even when the customer is wrong.)

 

The darkest hour is just before the dawn.

(The worst period during a tragedy occurs towards the end of it.)

 

The early bird catches the worm.

(If you get to something early, you will benefit by being among the first to arrive.)

 

The end justifies the means.

(A person should do whatever is necessary to achieve an objective, even if the method is objectionable.)

 

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

(Whatever your neighbor has looks nicer than the things that you have.)

 

They hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

(Women, particularly mothers, are the driving force behind all of humanity and its leaders.)

 

The longest journey starts with a single step.

(You must take the first step to do something new or start something.)

 

The more the merrier.

(The more people there are, the more fun everyone will have.)

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

The pen is mightier than the sword.

(People with the ability to express themselves with words, particulary in writing, have more strength than those who exercise military power.)

 

The proof is in the pudding.

(To believe that something is correct, you must observe or witness it firsthand.)

 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

(People who try to do something good can actually make a situation worse.)

 

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

(The quality of a woman that is most appealing to a man is her ability to cook.)

 

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

(There's more than one solution to a problem.)

 

There are two sides to every question.

(There's more than one way of looking at a problem, a situation, or a conflict.)

 

There but for the grace of God, go I.

(It's only through the will of God that a person does not experience a wretched, miserable life as some people do. )

 

There's a time and place for everything.

(Some behavior is appropriate during certain times and in certain places while not appropriate in others.)

 

There is an exception to every rule.

(There's a reason for breaking rules. Not all rules are intended to be followed to the letter.)

 

There's always more fish in the sea.

(There are always more women or men to be found when a romantic relationship ends.)

 

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

(Nothing is free; there's a price to be paid for just about everything.)

 

There is no such thing as bad publicity.

(Any kind of publicity in a newspaper, on TV, or on the internet is good for a person or a group because it attracts interest.)

 

There's no time like the present.

(Now is the best time to do something. Don't wait to do something later.)

 

There is safety in numbers.

(People or animals in large groups feel safer because they are together.)

 

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

(You must study history in order to avoid the mistakes that were made by people in the past.)

 

Time is a great healer.

(Any kind of grief or sadness can be relieved through the passage of time.)

 

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

(Everyone makes mistakes; to be able to forgive a person for making a mistake demonstrates that person's spiritual strength.)

 

To the victor go the spoils.

(Whoever wins in competition may have whatever he wants to take from the loser or enjoy whatever the prize was.)

 

Tomorrow is another day.

(Things will be different tomorrow.)

 

Tomorrow never comes.

(Tomorrow is always a day in the future. If you say you are going to do something tomorrow, you might not ever do it.)

 

Too many chefs spoil the soup.

(A situation gets confusing or messy when too many people are involved.)

 

Two heads are better than one.

(It's good to have another person's help when trying to find a solution to a problem.)

 

Two is company; three's a crowd.

(Two people who want to be alone together do not want to be disturbed by a third person.)

 

Two wrongs don't make a right.

(To do something harmful to another person as a response for a personal injury or some type of injustice is wrong. It's not a good idea to seek revenge or retaliate.)

 

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