This proverb is used when someone blames the quality of their equipment or other external factors when they perform a task poorly.
Example: X: The turkey isn’t cooked well because the oven is not functioning well. Y: Well, it’s the case of a bad workman blaming his tools.
Things we already have are more valuable than what we hope to get.
Example: The question now is will Carmichael live to regret turning down such a lucrative offer? A bird in the hand…
When people we love are not with us, we love them even more.
Example: When I was with her she always fought with me but now she cries for me on phone. I think that distance made her heart grow fonder.
Cat can survive seemingly fatal events.
Example: I haven’t seen him for several weeks, but I wouldn’t really worry about him. Everyone knows a cat has nine lives.
One weak part will render the whole weak.
Example: No matter how confident the team is, it is as strong as its weakest link – its defence.
Actions are a better reflection of one’s character because it’s easy to say things, but difficult to act on them and follow through.
Example: Julie always says she’ll donate to the school, and she never does, so I doubt she will this year. Actions speak louder than words, after all.
When someone is in a difficult situation, s/he will take any available opportunity to improve it.
Example: After trying all reliable medicines, he is now visiting quacks to get a cure for his baldness. A drowning man will clutch at a straw.
Foolish people do not know how to hold on to their money.
Example: She gave up her entire estate on the basis of a verbal promise. A fool and his money are indeed easily parted.
Howsoever big a task is, it starts with a small step.
Example: I’m feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of completing my 4,000-word paper by next week, but I guess I’ll start by writing 500 words every day. After all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Good experiences eventually come to an end.
Example: I was so sad to graduate from college and leave all of my friends, but I’ve to realize that all good things come to an end.
As long as the outcome is good, problems on the way don’t matter.
Example: I’m glad you finally got here, even though your car had a flat tire on the way. Oh well, all’s well that ends well.
There are many different routes to the same goal.
Example: Mary was criticizing the way Jane was planting the flowers. John said, “Never mind, Mary, all roads lead to Rome.” Some people learn by doing. Others have to be taught. In the long run, all roads lead to Rome.
Things that look good outwardly may not be as valuable or good.
Example: X: I want to be a movie star when I grow up. Y: Film industry looks good from the distance, but it has its own problems. Remember, all that glitters is not gold.
One can break the rules of fair play under extenuating circumstances.
Example: X: How can you pitch my idea to the boss to look good? Y: Come on, all is fair in love and war.
Try as hard as you can or give your best.
Example: You need to put your best foot forward in the interview if you want to land that job.
An incapable person can gain powerful position if others in the fray are even more incapable.
Example: Despite his obvious lack of exposure and skills, he became head of the department because he is one-eyed among the blind.
Eating an apple a day will keep you healthy.
Example: Switch from chips to apples for your snack. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Foolish or stupid people are the most talkative.
Example: The spokesperson of the ruling political party yesterday was shouting at the top of his voice on a TV debate, trying to defend the indefensible. Empty vessel makes much noise.
If someone does something wrong, then they should be punished by same degree of injury or punishment.
Example: I won’t be satisfied with such paltry punishment to the wrongdoers. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; this I demand from all who have wronged me.
If you’ve nothing to do, you’ll likely think of mischief.
Example: The kids should be kept busy during the summer break. Otherwise, you know an idle brain is devil’s workshop.
A little precaution before a crisis hits is better than lot of firefighting afterwards.
Example: Get the vaccination on priority. An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.
It is easier to show or explain something through a picture than through words.
Example: A picture is worth a thousand words. It is easier to learn biology through pictures than through reams of text.
A person who is always changing jobs and places has the advantage of less responsibilities, but also the disadvantage of no fixed place to live.
Example: He was a bit of rolling stone before he got the job and settled down.
To be very healthy and strong.
Example: The deputy Prime Minister is 87, but he’s as fit as a fiddle.
Get out of your comfort zone to grow and fulfill your potential.
Example: I think your fears are unfounded. You should travel to Italy for the Model UN. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot. Remember, a ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is for.
It’s better to deal with problems immediately rather than wait by when they worsen and become much bigger.
Example: Because we anticipated and responded to the possible change in Facebook algorithm, the referral traffic to our website dropped much less than what happened to some of our competitors. A stitch in time saves nine.
Your actions – good or bad – determine what you get.
Example: You’ve got entangled in few cases of fraud. That’s a result of your illegal get-rich-quick methods. You should have known as you sow, so you shall reap.
A good beginning makes it easier to accomplish the rest of the project.
Example: He has already won first set in the match. I think he is on course to take this match. Well begun is half done, after all.
People who appear threatening rarely can do harm.
Example: X: I’m really scared to report the delay in the project to the boss. His temper is so over the top. Y: I don’t think you should worry too much about it. Barking dogs seldom bite.
What may seem beautiful to one person may not seem to another.
Example: You may not like the curves of my new car, but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
A person’s character, intellect, and other inner qualities are more important than his/ her physical beauty.
Example: That gorgeous actress behaved so rudely with the driver – beauty is skin deep, after all.
People who depend on the generosity of others can’t pick & choose things as per their liking. They’ve to accept what is given to them.
Example: X: I borrowed this jacket from my friend, but it’s not one of his nice ones. Y: Well, but, beggars can’t be choosers.
It is better to get something (you desire) late than get it never.
Example: I’m sorry I’m late to the party, but better late than never, right?
Good health is more important than money.
Example: The pharma tycoon has been in and out of hospital for the last two months because of kidney ailments. It’s better to be poor and healthy than rich and sick.
Relationships with family (or blood relatives) is stronger than other relationships.
Example: My friends invited me for the picnic on Sunday, but I have to go to my cousin’s birthday instead. Blood is thicker than water, isn’t it?
To say the truth about something, even if it is not polite or pleasant.
Example: To call a spade a spade, he wouldn’t hesitate from backstabbing you if it serves his interests.
A person’s character can’t be judged by his/ her clothing and outward appearance.
Example: X: I can’t believe he has been charged for insider trading. He always seemed so professional and impeccable. Y: Well, clothes don’t make the man.
Cowards suffer the feared effects of death many times over in their lives.
Example: X: He is constantly worried about the security of his job, and I don’t think he’ll pursue his true interests. Y: He exemplifies the saying ‘cowards die many times before their deaths’.
To do things in the easiest possible way.
Example: Let’s just cross the stream where it is shallowest and find a spot that you can pull right in to—don’t worry about parallel parking.
Enquiring into others’ work can be dangerous. One should mind own business.
Example: I know curiosity killed the cat, but I can’t stop the investigation until I know where the donations are really going.
The consequences of doing wrong always catch up with the wrongdoer.
Example: Politicians can fool some people some of the time, but in the end, the chickens come home to roost.
It is wise to be careful and not show unnecessary bravery.
Example: Son: Can I go hand gliding with my friends? Father: No. Son: But they’ll say I’m chicken if I don’t go! Father: Discretion is the better part of valor, and I’d rather have them call you chicken than risk your life.
Don’t take more responsibility than you can handle.
Example: I bit off more than I can chew when I said ‘yes’ to my boss for another project.
Don’t act badly toward the person who has helped you or from whom you derive some benefits, for you may lose those benefits in future.
Example: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you by talking ill of your mentor for such a small thing. If he distances himself from you or talk bad about you, it can hurt you bad.
Don’t offer something valuable to someone who doesn’t value it.
Example: To serve them French cuisine is like casting pearls before swine.
Don’t make plans based on future events that may not happen at all.
Example: X: I’ve to prepare for my campaign. Y: But you haven’t been nominated yet. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Deal with a situation when it happens and not unnecessarily worry about it in advance.
Example: I know you’re worried about the mortgage payment in January, but don’t cross the bridge till you come to it.
Just like you can’t form an opinion of a book just by looking at its cover, you can’t form an opinion about someone (or something) from their outward appearance.
Example: He seems a bit jerk to me, but, hey, you never know. He may be good. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
If you kill a goose that lays golden eggs, you destroy something that makes lot of money for you.
Example: Tourists come to this city mainly to see this monument. By opening it to commercial use, the city council may kill the goose that lays golden eggs.
To exaggerate a small problem to make it seem like a major one.
Example: One incorrect answer in the exam is not going to tank your grades. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.