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Proverbs and Sayings

Good proverbs for the young and the old

Good proverbs for the young and the old

Early Greek astronomers, derived their first knowledge from the Egyptians, and these from the Chaldeans, among whom the science was studied, at a very early period. Their knowledge of astronomy, which gave their learned men the name of Magi, wise men, afterwards degenerated into astrology, or the art of consulting the position of the stars to foretel events – and hence sprung the silly occupation of sooth saying, for which the Chaldeans were noted to a proverb, in later ages.
Noah Webster

A proverb is a great blend of sense, shortness, wit and wisdom. They are the flowers of popular wit and the treasures of popular wisdom. Often short and simple and popularly known and repeated, these nuggets of wisdom express a truth based on the practical experience of humankind, and the idiosyncrasies of a people and their culture in time and history.
Carl William Brown

The study of proverbs may be more instructive and comprehensive than the most elaborate scheme of philosophy.
William Motherwell

A proverb is one man’s wit and all men’s wisdom.
John Russell in Notes to Roger’s “Italy”

A proverb is no proverb to you until life has illustrated it.
John Keats

The proverbial wisdom of the populace in the streets, on the roads, and in the markets, instructs the ear of him who studies man more fully than a thousand rules ostentatiously arranged.
Unattributed Author

A proverb is a horse which can carry one swiftly to the discovery of the ideas.
Yoruba proverb

Proverbs are mental gems gathered in the diamond fields of the mind.
William R. Alger (1822-1905, American writer)

When an occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it.
William R. Alger (1822-1905, American writer)

The proverbial wisdom of the populace at gates, on roads, and in markets instructs the attentive ear of him who studies man more fully than a thousand rules ostentatiously arranged.
Johann Kaspar Lavater

When an occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it.
William R. Alger (1822-1905, American writer)

Proverbs are for the most part rules of moral, or, still more properly, of prudential conduct.
Dorothea Brande

The genius, wit, and the spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)

Proverbs were anterior to boots, and formed the wisdom of the vulgar, and in the earliest ages were the unwritten laws of morality.
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Proverbs were bright shafts in the Greek and Latin quivers.
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

He who says there is no such thing as an honest man, you may be sure is himself a knave.
George Berkeley (1685-1753, Irish-born British bishop, philosopher)

How many of us have been attracted to reason; first learned to think, to draw conclusions, to extract a moral from the follies of life, by some dazzling aphorism.
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)

What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes? Take fifty of our current proverbial sayings — they are so trite, so threadbare, that we can hardly bring our lips to utter them. None the less they embody the concentrated experience of the race and the man who orders his life according to their teaching cannot go far wrong.
Norman Douglas (1868-1952, British author)

I do not say a proverb is amiss when aptly and reasonably applied, but to be forever discharging them, right or wrong, hit or miss, renders conversation insipid and vulgar.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)

Proverbs like the sacred books of each nation, are the sanctuary of the intuitions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Compensation

There is often more spiritual force in a proverb than in whole philosophical systems.
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)

A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)

I believe there’s no proverb but what is true; they are all so many sentences and maxims drawn from experience, the universal mother of sciences.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)

Proverbs can express both the wisdom and the stupidity of the different cultures and peoples that characterize our small earthly and spiritual planet.
Carl William Brown

Proverbs are somewhat analogous to those medical formulas which, being in frequent use, are kept ready made up in the chemists’ shops, and which often save the framing of a distinct prescription.
Archbishop Richard Whately

For I am proverbed with a grandsire phrase.
William Shakespeare

Have at you with a proverb.
William Shakespeare

I can tell thee where that saying was born, of ‘I fear no colors.’
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, or, What You Will

If you hear a wise sentence or an apt phrase, commit it to your memory.
Sir Henry Sidney

I believe there’s no proverb but what is true; they are all so many sentences and maxims drawn from experience, the universal mother of sciences.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)

Good proverbs for the young and the old

Good proverbs for the young and the old

Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experience.
Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)

No people require maxims so much as the American. The reason is obvious: the country is so vast, the people always going somewhere, from Oregon, Apple Valley to Boreal, New England, that we do not know whether to be temperate orchards or sterile climate.
Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977, American author, critic)

For proverbs are the pith, the proprieties, the proofs, the purities, the elegancies, as the commonest so the commendablest phrases of a language. To use them is a grace, to understand them a good.
John Florio (c.1553-1625, British author, translator)

Ho can I tell what I think till I see what I say?
Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)

This formal fool, your man, speaks naught but proverbs, And speak men what they can to him he’ll answer With some rhyme, rotten sentence, or old saying, Such spokes as ye ancient of ye parish use.
Henry Porter, The Proverb, from “Two Angry Women of Abindon”

The proverb answers where the sermon fails, as a well-charged pistol will do more execution than a whole barrel of gunpowder idly exploded.
William Gilmore Simms

The Scripture vouches Solomon for the wisest of men; and they are his proverbs that prove him so. The seven wise men of Greece, so famous for their wisdom all the world over, acquired all that fame each of them by a single sentence consisting of two or three words.
Bishop Robert South

A proverb is much matter distilled into few words.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)

A proverb is much matter distilled into few words.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)

Constant popping off of proverbs will make thee a byword thyself.
Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)

He who cannot love must learn to flatter.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)

Don’t you go believing in sayings, Picotee: they are all made by men, for their own advantages. Women who use public proverbs as a guide through events are those who have not ingenuity enough to make private ones as each event occurs.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928, British novelist, poet)

They are like the clue in the labyrinth, or the compass in the night.
Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French moralist)

A proverb is not a proverb to you until life has illustrated it.
John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)

Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)

Proverbs are words that are skillfully crafted to stick in our minds and to engage us in thought.
Carl William Brown

A proverb is good sense brought to a point.
John Morley (1838-1923, British journalist, biographer, statesman)

Proverbs can be applied to get what you want.
Zimbabwean Proverb

For most diagnoses all that is needed is an ounce of knowledge, an ounce of intelligence, and a pound of thoroughness.
Anonymous

Proverbs embody the current and practical philosophy of an age or nation.
William Fleming

The proverbs of a nation, furnish the index to its spirit, and the results of its civilization.
Josiah Gilbert Holland

We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because for a time they are not remembered; he may, therefore, justly be numbered among the benefactors of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences that may early be impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to occur habitually to the mind.
Samuel Dr. Johnson, The Great Cham of Literature

Maxims are the condensed good sense of nations.
Sir James Mackintosh

The origin of proverbs by C.W. Brown;

Italian proverbs and sayings;

English and world proverbs;

Famous English Sayings;

Dictionary of English World proverbs;

English quotes and Aphorisms;


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