50 Popular Proverbs You Must Know in English Language Part II

A proverb is a short saying that expresses a traditionally held truth or piece of advice, based on common sense or experience.

Nothing defines a culture as distinctly as its language, and the element of language that best encapsulates a society’s values and beliefs is its proverbs.

Here’s a list of the top 50 common proverbs with their meanings 👇🏾

  1. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush
    Meaning: things we already have are more valuable than what we hope to get
  2. A cat has nine lives
    Meaning: a cat can survive seemingly fatal events
  3. A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step
    Meaning: howsoever big a task is, it starts with a small step.
  4. A leopard can’t/ doesn’t change its spots
    Meaning: a person can’t change his/her innate character
  5. Be slow in choosing, but slower in changing
    Meaning: choose things or people after proper diligence, but once you choose, stick for long
  6. Better late than never
    Meaning: getting something late is better than never getting it
  7. Birds of a feather flock together
    Meaning: people who are similar spend time together
  8. Cowards die many times before their deaths
    Meaning: cowards suffer the feared effects of death many times over in their lives
  9. Curses, like chickens, come home to roost
    Meaning: the consequences of doing wrong always catch up with the wrongdoer
  10. Discretion is the better part of valor
    Meaning: it is wise to be careful and not show unnecessary bravery
  11. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket
    Meaning: don’t put all of your hopes and resources into one goal or dream
  12. Don’t put the cart before the horse
    Meaning: do things in proper order. ‘Horse before the cart’ is the proper order, and not ‘cart before the horse’.
  13. Easy come, easy go
    Meaning: when you make money quickly, it’s very easy to lose it quickly as well
  14. Every man is the architect of his destiny
    Meaning: your own actions and decisions decide what you achieve (or don’t) in life
  15. Fall seven times. Stand up the eighth time.
    Meaning: be resilient and try despite failures. That’s how you succeed.
  16. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
    Meaning: fools or inexperienced persons get involved in situations or pursue goals without much thought. In contrast, wise are thoughtful about such situations or goals.
  17. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile
    Meaning: if you give someone a small amount of power or freedom to do something, they may try to get a lot more
  18. Grief divided is made lighter
    Meaning: if you share your grief, it’ll get easier to bear
  19. Half a loaf is better than none
    Meaning: getting less than what one wants is better than not getting anything
  20. Haste makes waste
    Meaning: doing something too quickly results in mistakes
  21. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
    Meaning: if something is already working well, don’t try to change it or improve it
  22. If you can’t beat them, join them
    Meaning: if you can’t change someone’s behavior or opinion, sometimes it’s better or easier to do what they want to do
  23. If you play with fire, you’ll get burned
    Meaning: if you get involved in something dangerous or beyond your abilities, you will probably experience negative consequences
  24. It’s no use crying over spilt milk
    Meaning: you shouldn’t be upset over something that has already happened
  25. It takes two to tango
    Meaning: where two parties are involved in a situation, fault usually lies with both if things go wrong
  26. Knowledge is power
    Meaning: the more you know, the more powerful you can be in different areas of your life
  27. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open
    Meaning: Speak only when necessary and remain alert and observant at all times
  28. Like father, like son
    Meaning: said when a son is similar to his father; also, “Like mother, like daughter”
  29. Learn to walk before you run
    Meaning: learn basic skills first before venturing into complex things
  30. Lightning never strikes twice in the same place
    Meaning: misfortune does not occur twice in the same way to the same person
  31. Look before you leap
    Meaning: act after considering the possible consequences
  32. Money doesn’t grow on trees
    Meaning: spend money carefully because it’s limited. You can’t grow it on trees and replenish
  33. Money talks
    Meaning: money gives one power and influence
  34. No man is an island
    Meaning: no one is truly capable of living alone. We need human connection to be healthy.
  35. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today
    Meaning: don’t delay doing something if you can do it immediately
  36. No gain without pain
    Meaning: it is necessary to suffer or work hard in order to succeed or make progress
  37. No news is good news
    Meaning: if you don’t receive any news about someone or something, it means that everything is fine and going normally
  38. Once bitten twice shy
    Meaning: when someone won’t do something a second time because they had bad experience the first time
  39. One shouldn’t miss forest for the trees
    Meaning: sometimes you get so focused on small details that you may miss the larger context
  40. Persuasion is better than force
    Meaning: you can achieve better results through persuasion than through coercion
  41. Practice what you preach
    Meaning: behave the way you encourage other people to behave
  42. Still waters run deep
    Meaning: if a person doesn’t speak much, it doesn’t mean they lack depth or are uninteresting
  43. The best-laid plans go astray
    Meaning: despite best preparations, things may not go your way
  44. The enemy of my enemy is my friend
    Meaning: if someone whom I don’t like doesn’t like someone else whom I don’t like, we can act like friends and unite against the other person
  45. The squeaky wheel gets the grease
    Meaning: the person who complains in a situation is more likely to get something
  46. There is no place like home
    Meaning: your home is the most comfortable place in the world
  47. Two wrongs don’t make a right
    Meaning: trying to get revenge on someone who has hurt you will only make things worse
  48. Where there’s a will, there’s a way
    Meaning: if you are determined enough, you can find a way to achieve what you want, even if it is difficult
  49. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
    Meaning: if something seems wrong, it probably is; also, there is usually some truth to a rumor
  50. You can’t fit a round peg in a square hole
    Meaning: you can’t force someone into a role for which she/he is not suited

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