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English Proverbs: Words of Wisdom

English Proverbs to Live By

Proverbs are well-known sayings that either refer to common knowledge or give advice. They are phrases that are based on the lessons mankind has learned and are so well-known because they contain truth and can be applied to activities and events in our daily lives. Here is a list of 15 common English proverbs, which can also be referred to as words of wisdom:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
This proverb means that it is better to keep what you have instead of risking it by trying to get something better. For more information on this idiom, click here.

A fool and his money are soon parted.
The meaning of this English proverb is that if someone is foolish or silly, he will lose his money very soon.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
The message behind this proverb is that if you eat healthy food, you will stay healthy. This proverb is a good one to remember when you are reaching for another piece of chocolate!

All that glitters is not gold.
Not everything that shines or looks beautiful is truly good or golden. Therefore, be careful not to be fooled by appearances!

Better safe than sorry.
This one has to be every mother’s favorite. It means that one shouldn’t take unnecessary risks - it is better to be cautious and safe...than to regret something bad that has happened.

Do unto others as you would have them do to you
This is an old proverb that seems to be a basic principle in all cultures and religions. It means that you should treat other people in the same respectful way that you would like to
be treated

Haste makes waste.
When you want to warn someone not to do a job or task too quickly because it will result in sloppy work, you can use this English proverb.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
This English proverb tells you to be thankful for the gifts that you receive. Don’t complain or show that you are unhappy when someone gives you a present that you don’t like. That’s called
looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Don’t risk everything at once by betting on only one option. The opposite of putting all of your eggs in one basket is to diversify or spread your risk. Many an investor has wished that he hadn’t put all of his eggs in one basket!

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
This proverb is one of the easier ones to understand - if you fail, you should try again and, eventually, you will succeed. It’s a good phrase to remember when you need some motivation!

Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.
The expression conveys the idea that, if you are careful about how you spend your pence or pennies, you won’t have money problems.

There’s no point crying over spilt milk.

In essence, this proverb means that
when something has happened, it has happened or what is done is done. Crying about it won’t change it...unfortunately!

What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
When you want to say that what is appropriate for others is also appropriate for you, you can use this English proverb.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
This expression means that you should behave in the same way as those around you.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
This is saying that means that anything is possible when you really want it.