English ProverbsRating Mail
Barking up the wrong tree.
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Be careful before every step.
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Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
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A bean in liberty is better than a comfit in prison.
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Before criticizing a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Meaning - One should not criticize a person without understanding their situation.
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Beggars can't be choosers.
Meaning - Those who are in need of help can't afford to be too demanding.
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Beginning is half done.
Note : Quoted by Dr. Robert Schuller, West Coast clergyman.
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The belly has no ears.
Note : This Proverb intimates, that there is no arguing the Matter with Hunger,the Mother of Impatience and Anger.-Nathan Bailey, 1721 (or)
I don't argue with the body Jerry. It's an argument you can't win. - Kramer.
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A bellyful is one of meat, drink, or sorrow.
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A bellyful of food is a good one.
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The best is yet to come.
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The best of friends need not speak face to face.
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The best things come in small packages.
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The best things in life are free.
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Better is the enemy of good.
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Better late than never.
Meaning - It's better to make an effort to keep an appointment than to give up altogether when you discover you will be late.
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Better safe than sorry.
Meaning - It is better to take precautions when it's possible that something can go amiss than to regret doing nothing later if something should indeed go wrong.
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Better the devil you know (than the one you don't).
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Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Note : Variant: Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. (often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but taken from Solomon's Proverbs)
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Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
Meaning - I fear the Grecians even when they offer gifts.
Note : A reference to the Trojan Horse,From Virgil's Aeneid Book II.
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Beware of the Bear when he tucks in his shirt.
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Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves.
Note : Matthew; bible quote.
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A big tree attracts the woodsman's axe.
Meaning - Great people will attract great criticism.
Note : The rich make good targets for thieves and burglars.
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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Meaning - This proverb,is of more authority with them than are all the divine testimonies of the good of the world to come.
Note : John Bunyan cites this traditional proverb in The Pilgrim's Progress,1678.
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Birds of a feather flock together.
Meaning - People who are similar to one another tend to stay together.
Note : Variant: Birds of the same feather flock together.
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Birds of a feather flock together.
Meaning - People who are similar to one another tend to stay together.
Note : Variant: Birds of the same feather flock together.
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Bitter pills may have blessed effects.
Meaning - Things that seem hard to take or handle at first may have positive and beneficial outcomes.
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Blood is thicker than water.
Meaning - Bonds between family members are stronger than other relationships.
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Blood will out.
Meaning - A person's ancestry or upbringing will eventually show.
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Bloom where you are planted.
Meaning - Excel and flourish where you grow up, or where you fit in; be good at what you do.
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A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword.
Meaning - Many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrilous and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-play or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever.- Robert Burton cites this traditional proverb in The Anatomy of Melancholy,1621.
Note : Compare: "The pen is mightier than the sword."
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Born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth.
Meaning - Born in a rich family.
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Boys will be boys.
Meaning - Boys are traditionally expected to misbehave, while girls are not.
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Brag is a good Dog, but Holdfast is a better
Note : This Proverb is a Taunt upon Braggadoccio's, who talk big, boast, and rattle:It is also a Memento for such who make plentiful promises to do well for the future but are suspected to want Constancy and Resolution to make them good. - Nathan Bailey, 1721.
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Brain is better than brawn.
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Bread is the staff of life.
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Break the Law as the Law should be beaten.
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A burnt child dreads the fire.
Meaning - Chinese Version: One bitten by a snake for a snap dreads a rope for a decade.
Indian Version: The one burnt by hot milk drinks even cold buttermilk with precaution.

Note : Cf. "Once bitten, twice shy".,This Proverb intimates, That it is natural for all living Creatures, whether rational or irrational, to consult their own Security, and Self-Preservation; and whether they act by Instinct or Reason, it still tends to some care of avoiding those things that have already done them an Injury. - Nathan Bailey, 1721.
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Buy the best and you only cry once.
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Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
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Beauty lies in Simplicity.
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The calm (comes) before the storm.
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A camel is a horse designed by committee.
Meaning - A vision is more perfect from the individual rather than a group of people where it becomes anodyne.
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A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
Note : Attributed to Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi.
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A candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.
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A cat may look at a king.
Meaning - If a cat may look at the king - then I have a right to look where I please.
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A chain is as strong as its weakest link.
Meaning - The strength of any group depends on the individual strength of each of its members.
Note : Variant.: A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
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The child is father to the man.
Meaning - What is true of a child will still be true when it grows up; or, early experiences shape future character.
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A closed mouth catches no flies.
Meaning - You cannot say a bad thing if you don't speak at all.
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