Dutch ProverbsRating Mail
"Better one bird in the hand than ten in the sky"
Note : English equivalent: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".
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"Hanging on someone's lips", Hanging from, dangling from, someone's lips
Meaning - Being very attentive to someone's storytelling
Note : English equivalent: hanging on someone's every word
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"Come to be located on [the] lower shore", To arrive on the downwind side of the lake
Meaning - To fall into poverty
Note : English equivalent: "To go downhill, to be thrown on one's beam-ends."
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"To fish behind the net"
Meaning - "To be too late for having success, doing things without result"
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"Even if a monkey wears a gold ring, it is and remains an ugly creature"
Meaning - "One can not fix up something internally bad by a simple outer change"
Note : English equivalent (non vulgar): 'You cannot make a silk purse from a sow's ear
English equivalent: 'Putting lipstick on a pig'
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"Whilst doing one learns".
Meaning - You learn by practice.
Note : English equivalent: "Practice makes perfect."
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"All too good is neighbor's fool."
Meaning - "If you are always helping everyone, someone will abuse it."
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"When the cat is away from home, the mice dance (on [the] table)"
Meaning - "Grabbing the opportunity when nobody watches".
Note : English equivalent: "While the cat's away, the mice will play".
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"Like a chicken without [a] head"
Meaning - "To act like a fool"
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"When the water level decreases, the ice will crack."
Meaning - "A Logical Cause-and-Effect"
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"If you must, you can [do] a lot."
Meaning - When forced to, you can do more than you think.
Note : English equivalent: "Necessity is the mother of invention."
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"When two dogs fight over a bone, the third one carries it away."
Meaning - "Quibbling (or worse) between two parties, leads to opportunities for a third party."
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"Like a little angel cycling on your tongue."
Meaning - "It tastes extremely good"
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"Like a snail on a barrel of tar."
Meaning - Very slow indeed.
Note : English equivalent: "Slower than molasses in January."
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"Better a good neighbour than a distant friend"
Meaning - It is better to be friendly with people you know, than having a friend who is too far away to be there for you.
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"Better late than never"
Meaning - It's better to arrive late than never.
Note : English equivalent: "Better late than never"
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"It's better to turn around halfway, then to get lost completely"
Meaning - It's better to correct one's mistakes than to persevere stubbornly.
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"Think before you begin"
Meaning - Think before you act.
Note : Alliterative English equivalent: "Look before you leap".
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"Barking dogs don't bite".
Meaning - If people have a big mouth doesn't mean they're a threat.
Note : English equivalent: "His bark is worse than his bite."
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"Butter with the fish"
Meaning - "Reacting without delay in an appropriate way", more specifically:"Payment at time of purchase"
Note : English equivalent: "Cash down"
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"Sitting down beside the boxes" / "Throwing the towel in the ring."
Meaning - "Giving up, being discouraged"
Note : English equivalent: "Throwing in the towel"
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"That cannot bear the daylight."
Meaning - This is unethical/illegal.
Note : English Equivalent: "This couldn't stand the light of day."
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"That would be a sausage to me."
Meaning - I couldn't care less.
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"The devil always shits on the biggest pile."
Meaning - Rich people always get the most.
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"That strikes like a pair of tongs on a pig"
Meaning - "It makes no sense at all."
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"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
Meaning - Offspring behaves like (one of) the parents.
Note : English equivalent: "A chip off the old block"
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"The best helmsmen stand on shore"
Meaning - "The watchers always know better than the doers"
Note : English equivalent: "Bachelors' wives and maidens' children are well taught."
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"Putting the flowers outside."
Meaning - "Going out (to party)." or "Behaving in a celebrating, hedonistic manner."
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"(That is) requesting (from) the gods."
Meaning - "Causing predictable problems."
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"Tying the cat to the bacon."
Meaning - "Causing predictable problems by (unknowingly) creating a tempting situation for someone."
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"The shore will stop the ship."
Meaning - The course of things will take a different turn automatically.
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"The drop that floods the bucket"
Meaning - "The last (tiny) thing that makes you snap"
Note : English equivalent: "The straw that broke the camel's back"
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"One person's death is another's bread".
Meaning - "The disadvantage of someone is the advantage of another".
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"The first strike is worth a thaler."
Meaning - "A good start makes the work easier."
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"To hold your jacket in front of the dog."
Meaning - "Giving someone false hope to something unreachable."
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"To find the dog in the pot"
Meaning - "Being too late for your treat"
Note : English: "Go without one's dinner." or "Dining with Duke Humphrey."
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To hang the sail-covers to the wind
Meaning - To adapt one's behavior to circumstances
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Cost goes before the profit
Meaning - You have to invest time, effort or money before you can expect anything
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The last pieces of lead are heaviest
Meaning - The last few things are the most difficult ones
Note : English equivalent: "It is the last straw that breaks the camel's back."
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"Leave thinking to a horse, it has a bigger head."
Meaning - Don't think about things too much act instead.
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Man thinks out, but God determines
Meaning - Man proposes, God disposes
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The morning hour has gold in its mouth
Meaning - When getting out of bed early, you have more time to do things
Note : English equivalent: "The early bird catches the worm."
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"The pen is mightier than the sword".
Meaning - Words are more powerful than violent acts.
Note : English equivalent: "The pen is mightier than the sword"
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"Giviing the Pipe to Maarten".
Meaning - Giving up. Also: dying.
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"The pot accuses the kettle of looking black/blackened."
Meaning - Someone accusing someone else of a thing that he himself is guilty of in the first place.
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"Putting the dots on the i's"
Meaning - "Finishing off the last details"
Note : English equivalent: "Dot your i's and cross your t's"
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"To hit the nail on the head"
Meaning - "To get something exactly right"
Note : English equivalent: "To hit the nail on the head"
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"Keeping the finger on the pulse." or "Keeping (track of) the pulse." Note: pols also means wrist.
Meaning - "Staying in control of a project or thing."
Note : English equivalent: "Keep your finger on the pulse."
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"The road to hell is paved with good intentions".
Meaning - Good intentions could turn out to be evil in the end, or good intentions could be impossible to implement and could only lead to suffering.
Note : English equivalent: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
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"Desire is the father of thought."
Meaning - "What you think is inspired by desire."
Note : English equivalent: "That's wishful thinking."
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