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More Than 500 Proverb(e)s

Here are some of the proverbs (English and French) which I could have gathered so far. If you've got some different ones, do please send them to enrich this page for researchers.

In Alphabetical Order:

A     B     C      D      E      F      G      H      I      J      K      L      M      N      O      P      Q      R      S      T      U      V      W       X      Y      Z

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All is well that ends well. All is fair in love and war. After a storm comes a calm. (16th C.) Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it. (Fuller, 1732) Accidents will happen in the best regulated families. (19th C.) Actions speak louder than words. (20th C.) Adversity makes a man wise, not rich. (Ray, 1678) Any port in a storm. (18th C.) Anything in a quiet life. (17th C.) Art has no enemy except ignorance. (Latin) Ask no questions and you'll be told no lies. (18th C.) All ways lead to Rome. The art of necessity is strange, it makes vile things precious. All that glitters is not gold. Appearances are deceiving. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. (19th C.) All good things come to an end. All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. As you make your bed, so you must lie in it. As you sow, you will reap. All is not gold that glitters. (Latin) Ask thy purse what shouldst buy. (Fuller, 1732) As bold as a coat. (15th C.) Abundance of money ruins youth. (1670) Advise none to marry or go to war. (1640) Adversity tries friends. Among the blind, the one-eyed man is a king. Ask the patient, not the doctor. *A beau mentir qui vient de loin. *Autres temps, autres moeurs. (other times, other manners) *Admettre son ignorance c'est le début de la sagesse. *L'amour n'est qu'un refrain qu'on chante Aujourd'hui et on l'oublie demain. *L'amour fait passer le temps, le temps fait passer l'amour. *Aimer c'est donner raison à l'être aimé qui a tort. *A chose faite point de remède. *L'amour est un crime qui exige un complice. (Baudelaire) *Les apparences sont trompeuses. *L'anarchie est partout quant la responsabilité n'est nulle par. *Après la pluie, le beau temps. *L'art n'a pas de pays. *L'argent ne fait pas le bonheur. *Avec des "si" on mettrait Paris dans une bouteille.
The best things in life are free. The best fish swims in the bottom of the sea. Boys will be boys. Bad excuse is better than none. (16th C.) Bald heads are soon shaven. (Ray, 1678) Be sure before you marry of house wherein to tarry. (Italian) Bear wrealth, poverty will bear itself. (Ferguson, 1641) Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. Better be half hanged than ill wed. Being shocked implies having an obscene interest in what shocks you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Better to ask the way than go astray. Better late than never. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Beggars cannot be choosers. Birds of a feather flock together. A bad workman always blames his tools. A bad workman quarrels with his tools. (1640) Barking dogs seldom bite. Beauty is only skin deep. Better an open enemy than a false friend. Back again like a bad penny. Be just before you are generous. (Old Proverb) Bad news travels fast. *Les bons comptes font les bons amis. *Le borgne est un roi dans le royaume des aveugles. *Une bonne renommée vaut mieux qu'une ceinture dorée. *La beauté ne fait pas manger du pain. *Bien faire et laisser braire. *Le bonheur est comme le gibier, quand on le vise de trop loin, on le manque.
Cloudy mornings turn to clear evenings. Choose neither women nor linen by candle light. The cobbler's wife is the worst shod. A contented mind is a continual feast. (Thomas Hardy) The child is father of the man. (Wordsworth) Children are never innocent though they are often ignorant. Charity begins at home. Clothes don't make the man. Cut your coat according to your cloth. Cowards die many times before their deaths. (W. Shakespeare) A creaking gate hangs long. Cross the stream where it is sallowest. Come sun, come cold. People are never happy. Curiosity killed the cat. Constant dropping wears away a stone. The cut worm forgives the plow. (W. Blake) Cleanliness is next to goodliness. *Celui qui demande est toujours perdant. *Ce que l'on appelle fermeté chez un roi se nomme entêtement chez un âne. *Ce n'est jamais le puit qui est profond mais c'est la corde qui est courte. *Chat échaudé craint l'eau froide. *Ce qui ne peut être guéri doit être supporté *Créer c'est tuer la mort. *Chacun dit du bien de son coeur et personne n'en ose le dire de son esprit. *Chaque enfant qu'on néglige est un monstre qui nous afflige. *Chacun son métier, les vaches seront bien gardées. *Ce n'est pas tous les jours Dimanche. *Un clou chasse l'autre. *A chaque jour suffit sa peine. *A coeur vaillant rien d'impossible. *Comme on fait son lit, on se couche.
A drowning man will catch at a straw. Do to others as you would be done by. The darkest hour has only sixty minutes. Do not run with the hare & hunt with the hounds. Don't put the cart before the horse. Dead dogs don't bite. Do in Rome as the Romans do. Do your duty, come what may. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Do not count your chickens before they are hatched. Don't swap horses in mid-stream. Don't fight the man who does what he says. Deeds, not words. Drops can't irrigate a dry land unless they are united. Don't cross the bridge until you come to it. Don't have too many irons in the fire. Diamonds cut diamonds. Dead dogs don't bite. Dead body revenges no injuries. (W. Blake) Day after day love turns gray like the skin of a dying man. (Pink Floyd) *Dis moi qui tu fréquentes, je te dirais qui tu es. *Du désordre vient l'ordre.
Every man for himself, and God for us all. Even Homer sometimes nods. Empty vessels make much noise. The early bird catches the worm. An Englishman's house is his castle. Easy come, easy go. Easier said than done. Early to bed, early to rise; make a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Experience is the best teacher. Enough is as good as a feast. Each cloud has its silver lining. Every cobbler must stick to his last. Every ass likes to hear herself bray. The evil that men do lives after them. East or West, Home is best. The end justifies the means. (*) Every little helps. Everybody wants to go up to Heaven, but none wants to die. Every dog has sits day. Everyone to his taste. Every why has a wherefore. Everything comes to him who waits. Every man has his price.(*) Everything is clear, but nothing is obvious. *L'éducation est comme les fleures, elle a une odeur.
Fortune favours the brave. From our pain we know we are living. (E. Hemingway) For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. Fair and softly goes far in a day. A fault confessed is half redressed. Find the woman. Forewarned, forearmed. A friend in need is a friend indeed. A friend to all is a friend to none. A friend who shares is a friend who cares. A fool lives in his own paradise. A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. (W.Blake) Fine feathers make fine birds. Fine words butter no parsnips. First come, first served. The fairest rose is at last withered. Forbidden fruit is sweetest. Four eyes see better than two. Familiarity breeds contempt. Failure teaches success. *A force de forger on devient forgeron. *La fête passée; a dieu le saint. *Une fois n'est pas coutume.
God helps those who help themselves. God preserves me from my friends. God's mill grinds slow but sure. Good news travel very slowly; but bad news travel very quickly. Good and quickly seldom meet. Good fences make good neighbours. Give your dog a bad name and hang it. A good name is better than riches. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Grasp all, lose all. The greatest talkers are the least doers. Give us the tools, and we will finish the job. A golden key opens every door. A guilty conscience needs no accuser. Good archer is not known by his arrows, but his aim. (16yh C.) Give your dog a bad name and hang it. *Les gens qui disent que les lettres d'amour sont démodées,
sont ceux qui font des fautes d'orthographe. *Les gens ne connaissent pas leur bonheur mais celui des autres ne leur échappe jamais. *La guerre est la conséquence d'une stupidité.
He that will not have peace, God gives him war. He that sings on Friday will weep on Sunday. Home is home, be it so homely. He who doesn't rise early, never does a good day's work. Haste makes waste. He who follows two hares at a time is sure to catch neither. Honesty is the best policy. He that goes a-borrowing, goes a-sorrowing. He laughs best who laughs last. Hard work always pays off. He that wants money, means, and content is without three good friends. (W.Shakespeare) He's a fool that makes his doctor his heir. History repeats itself. Half a loaf is better than no bread. A hungry man is an angry man. He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence. (W. Blake) He, whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. (W. Blake) He that is down need fear no fall. He who lives longer sees most. Haste is of the devil. He who digs a hole falls in it. *Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps. *L'habit ne fait pas le moine. *Hâte toi lentement.
In a quiet sea everyman is a pilot. If you don't do anymore than you're paid for, you won't get paid for anymore than you do. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. It never rains but it pours. Ill weeds grow apace. If wishes were horses, beggars might ride. It's the last straw that breaks the camel's back. (Arab) Ill gotten goods seldom prosper. Ill gotten gains never prosper. It is never too late to mend. If things were to be done twice, all would be wise. If the shoe fits, wear it. If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work. It's no use crying over spilt milk. It's too late to shut the stable-door when the horse is stolen. It's better to be safe than sorry. If you want a thing well-done, do it yourself. It takes all sorts to make a world. (17th C.) If you lend your money to your friend, you'll lose your money and your friend. If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise. (W. Blake) It takes two to make a quarrel. *L'idéal de l'amitié c'est être deux et se sentir un. *Il dit cela de bouche, mais son coeur n'y touche. *Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l'ours avant se l'avoir tué. *Il faut réfléchir avant d'agir. *S'introduire dans l'esprit d'une jeune fille est un art, en sortir un chef d'oeuvre. *Il faut penser avant de lancer. *Il n'y a pas de sot métier mais il y a de sot gens. *Il ne faut pas mettre la charrue avant les boeufs. *Il fait l'âne pour avoir du foin. *Il vaut mieux avoir affaire a Dieu qu'à ses saints. *Il n'est pire eau que l'eau qui dort. *Il faut tourner sa langue sept fois dans sa bouche avant de parler.
Jack of all trades and master of none. Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth. (W. Blake) *Je ne fais que prendre mes responsabilités, comme je supporte au dessus de ma tête
 la part du ciel dont nous partageons le fardeau.
Knowledge is power. Keep a thing seven years and you will find a use for it. Keep something for a rainy day. Know your own faults before blaming others for theirs.
Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone. Laugh and grow fat. Laugher is the best medicine. Like father, like son. Look before you leap. Lend your money and lose your friend. Little by little the bird makes its nest. Little brooks make great rivers. Let the buyer beware. Live and let live. Live and learn. Love and learn. (Dolly Parton) Love is blind. Life is sweet. Life is revenge. Life is not all beer and skittles. Life is short and time is swift. Light not a candle to the sun. Let well alone. A liar is not believed when he tells the truth. A little learning is a dangerous thing. Learn from the skillful; he that teaches himself has a fool for a master. (Benjamin Franklin) A lover who reasons is no lover. (Norman Douglas) Let sleeping dogs lie. Learn to walk before you run. A lion may come to be beholden to a mouse. The Leopard cannot change its spots. The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason. (T.S. Eliot) A little help is worth a deal of pity. *Loin des yeux, loin du coeur. *Laisse tomber la neige, elle ne fait pas trop de bruit.
Modesty is part of religion. Make haste slowly. More haste, less speed. The more haste, the worst speed. Marry in haste, and repent at leisure. More than enough is too much. A man without a smiling face must not open a shop. Manners make the man. A man's home is his castle. A man can only die once. Might is right. Many hands make light work. Make hay while the sun shines. A miss is as good as a mile. Make yourself all honey and the flies will devour you. Money talks... Money begets money. Money is the root of all evil. Man proposes and God disposes. The mouse that has but one hole is quickly taken. The more we reflect, the more cowardly we become. (W. Shakespeare) *Mieux vaut tard que jamais. *La montagne n'a pas besoin de la montagne; mais l'homme a besoin de l'homme. *La mauvaise herbe croit très vite. *Le mil contient du beurre, mais le sot ne le sait pas.
Never put yourself completely in the hands of your friends for one day
they may turn against you. Never do things by halves. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Never spend your money before you have it. None so deaf as those who won't hear. No news is good news. No news is BAD news. (The villain in Superman I) Never show your teeth if you cannot bite. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing new under the sun. Never say die! No rest but the grave for the pilgrim of love. Not all that glitters gold. Necessity is mother of invention. Necessity has no law. Never look a gift horse in the mouth. A new broom sweeps clean. No gain without pain. Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you. Nothing is so certain as the unexpected. Nothing is given so freely as advice. Nothing is well said or done in a passion. (passion=anger) *Ne sois ni emprunteur, ni prêteur, car le prêt fait perdre souvent argent et amis;
et l'emprunt émousse l'économie.(Hamlet/ Shakespeare) *Ne choisit pas qui emprunte.
The other side of the fence is always greener. One must draw back to leap better. One foot cannot stand on two boats. One swallow doesn't make spring. One foot is better than two crutches. One bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. One is not too old to learn. One man's meat is another man's poison. O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes. (Shakespeare) Opportunity seldom knocks twice. Opportunity makes the thief. The one-eyed man is king in the kingdom of the blind. Out of sight, out of mind. Once bitten twice shy. One good turn deserves another. One ploughs, another sows, Who will reap, no one knows. *On fait feu de tout bois. *On ne peut pas toujours avoir raison. *On ne doit pas juger les gens d'après leurs apparences. *On pardonne tant que l'on aime. *On a que le bonheur qu'on peut comprendre. *On est aisément dupé parce qu'on aime. (Molière)
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Punctuality is the politeness of princes. Practise what you preach. Practice makes perfect. Paddle your own canoe. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Put your trust in God, but keep your powder dry. Prevention is better than cure. Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. (W.Blake) Put by for a rainy day. Poets incarnate divine messages. (Shelley) *Les poissons mangent les fourmis à la montée des eaux;
les fourmis mangent les poissons à la décrue. *Prévenir avant de guérir. *Prête l'oreille à tous, mais tes paroles ou petit nombre. (Hamlet/Shakespeare) *La plus coûteuse des dépenses c'est la perte du temps. *Pierre qui roule n'amasse pas mousse. *Plaie d'argent n'est pas mortelle. *Prudence est mère de sûreté. *Le pauvre est celui qui n'a pas d'argent..Le plus pauvre est celui qui n'a que l'argent. *Une pensée est une petite phrase émanant d'une grande expérience. *Plus fait douceur que violence. *Prends l'opinion de chacun, mais réserve le jugement.
*Qui suit tout le monde fait mal, qui ne suit personne fait pire. *Qui remet son travail a demain, trouvera malheur en chemin. *Qui ne sait pas rendre service n'a pas le droit d'en demander. *Qui sème le vent récolte la tempête. *Qui cherche trouve. *Quand un homme tu un tigre, il appelle cela du sport. Quand un tigre tu un homme
on appelle cela férocité. *Quand on connaît la vie tant qu'elle est on remercie le bon Dieu d'avoir créer la mort. *Qui couche avec les chiens se lève avec des puces. *Qui vole un oeuf, vole un boeuf. *Qui cherche un ami sans défaut, il mourra sans connaître l'amitié. *Qui va doucement, va sûrement. *Quand ça vient du plus bas, ça ne choque pas. *Quand la table est vide, le lit est fécond. *Qui veut aller loin ménage sa monture. *Quand le vin est tiré, il faut le boire. *Quand la décision est prise, aie confiance en Dieu. *Qui se ressemble s'assemble. *Qui se sent morveux se mouche. *Quand le coeur pleure sure ce qu'il a perdu, l'esprit rie sur ce qu'il a trouvé. *Qui aime bien châtie bien *Qui donne aux pauvres, prête à Dieu. *Quiconque se sert de l'épée périra par l'épée. *Quand je me vois, je me désole.. Quand je me compare, je me console. *Qui ne risque rien, n'a rien.
Ride softly that you may get home the sooner. The river passed and God forgotten. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Rome was not built in a day. A rich man's joke is always fynny. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom. (W. Blake) Revenge is sweet. (*) Redeem yourself from captivity as cheaply as you can. (Latin) The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. (W. Blake) *Rome ne s'est pas faite en un jour. *Rira bien, qui rira le dernier! *Le roi dort sur le dos, le sage sur le côté, le riche sur le ventre. (vieux proverbe)
Speech is silver, silence is gold. Show me a liar and I'll show you a thief. Small rain lays great dust. Saying is one thing and doing is another. The sky's the limit. Skill and patience succeed where force fails. Seeing is believing. Slow and steady wins the race. Slow but sure wins the race. Set a thief to catch a thief. A stitch in time saves nine. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Share and share alike. Strike while the iron is hot. The sound mind is in the sound body. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Still water runs deep. Silent gives consent. She'd be my uncle if my aunt had been a man. (Ray. 1813) Sow the wind and you'll reap the whirlwind. Stolen pleasures are sweetest. Success has many friends. *Si un âne te donne un coup de pied, ne le lui rend pas. *Le soleil ne se démode jamais. *Si on veut, on peut. *Sois attentif et prend garde à bouche du miel et coeur de fiel. *Science sans conscience n'est que ruine de l'âme.
The tailor doesn't make the man. To be as snug as a bug in a rug. Think of ease but work on. Tastes differ. There's no smoke without fire. Two wrongs don't make a right. There is none so deaf as those who will not hear. Take time by the forelock. Take the bull by the horns. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. To the shorn lamb God tempers the wind. Two of a trade never agree. Talk of the devil and he will appear. Time is money. Times change. A thing in need is never found. There's as good fish in the sea as ever came of it. To err is human. There's no disputing about tastes. Two's company, three's a crowd. Tomorrow is another day. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. There's safety in numbers. There's no royal road to learning. Time and tide wait for no man. Two heads are better than one. There's no place like home. *Tant qu'il y a de vie, il y a d'espoir. *Tel père, tel fils. *Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras. *Tel est pris qui croyait prendre. *Tout vient à point à qui sait attendre. *Tel maître, tel valet. *Tout est bien qui finit bien. *Tout chemin mène à Rome. *Toute vérité n'est pas bonne à dire. *Toute peine mérite salaire.
United we stand, divided we fall. Union is strength.
Variety is the spice of life. *Le vrai sens de l'amitié c'est être deux et se sentir un. *Les vertus se perdent dans l'intérêt comme les fleures se perdent dans la mer. *La vie n'est pas marans. *Ventre affamé n'a point d'oreilles.
A woman's work is never done. Bent from morn to the set of sun. Where there's peace, God is. What is new is not true. What is true is not new. A work ill-done must be done twice. When war begins, Hell opens. A watched pot never boils. Where the goat is tethered, there it must feed. Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. Where there is a will there is a way. We must like what we do and not do what we like. What we have never known, we never miss. When pain is over, its remembrance becomes a pleasure. The well of true wit is truth itself. (George. Meredith) Write with the learned, pronounce with the vulgar. (B.Franklin) When we haven't got what we like, we must like what we have. When in Rome do as the Romans do. Winds don't blow as the ships like. (Arab) Women's wealth is beauty, but learning is that of men. While there's life, there's hope. When one door shuts another opens. When the cat's away the mice will play. The wish is father to the thought. Words cut more than swords. A word is enough to the wise. A word spoken is past recalling. Waste not; want not. Walls have ears. What can't be cured must be endured. A wink is as good as a nod to a blind donkey. What may be done at any time is done at no time. What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over.

You must go into the country to hear what news in London. You cannot catch old birds with chaff. You cannot be in two places at the same time. You cannot have it both way. You cannot have your cake and eat it. You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs. You mustn't rouse the sleeping lion. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. You reap what you sow. You can ride a horse to the river, but you cannot make him drink. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. The years, like great black oxen, tread the world. *Les yeux sont le miroir de l'âme.


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