Proverbs explained | Sunday Observer

Proverbs explained

12 June, 2021

Proverbs are popular, short and wise sayings with words of advice or warning. Here is a list of proverbs still in current use.
United we stand, divided we fall
As long as we stick together, we will be safe.
Variety is the spice of life
Life becomes monotonous without some break in our daily routine.
Virtue is its own reward
You should not expect material rewards for behaving virtuously.
The voice of the people is the voice of God
This is the English translation of the Latin proverb Vox populi vox dei. However, this does not mean that the voice of the many is wise and good.
Wake not a sleeping lion
It’s safer to leave things as they are.
Walls have ears
Be careful of what you say and where you say it.
A watched pot never boils
If you are looking forward to something, time seems to pass very slowly.
Water is a boon in the desert, but the drowning man curses it
In life we either have too little of what we want or too much of what we do not want.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach
A wife should keep her husband well fed if she values his love.
We are all slaves of opinion
Our conduct is influenced by what other people say or think about us.
We soon believe what we desire
We believe what we want to believe.
The weakest goes to the wall
It is the weak people who suffer the most in a battle for survival.
Wedlock is a padlock
When you get married to someone, there is no escape.
Well begun is half done
If you make a good start, everything will follow naturally.
What can’t be cured must be endured
If nothing can be done to improve the situation, you must put up with it.
What costs little is little esteemed
We tend to value things by the amount we pay for them.
What is a workman without his tools?
If you undertake to do a task, you should have the means of doing it.
What is bred in the bone will never come out of the flesh
We inherit certain characteristics from our ancestors and they will be inherited by our descendants.
What’s done cannot be undone
It will be too late to regret an action after it has been done.
What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander
What is good for one is good for the other.
What is the good of a sundial in the shade?
Talents should not be hidden.
What man has done, man can do
Once a thing has been done, it can be done again.
What may be done at any time is done at no time
If you propose to do something later on, it will never be done at all.
What must be must be
We have to bow to the inevitable. There is no alternative.
What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals
When you are drunk, you reveal everything.
What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over
We are not worried about things that go on without our knowledge.
What will Mrs Grundy say?
What will the neighbours say?
When all men speak, no man hears
Unless we listen to each other, we will not learn anything.
When I lent I had a friend, when I asked he was unkind
Lend your money and lose your friend.
When in doubt do nowt
When in doubt do nothing. A similar proverb is “When in doubt leave out.”
When in Rome do as the Romans do Every sensible man imitates and conforms to the local good breeding of the place he happens to be.
When one door shuts another opens
Do not worry about failure because there are always other opportunities.