Click on any saying for more information and notes.
1. Speaking about the Devil may invite him to come. 2. We often say "Talk of the devil!" (or "Speak of the devil!") when somebody that we have just been speaking about suddenly appears.
This proverb suggests that like minds stick together. If I know who your friends are, I know what your character is.
If we have a problem, we may find the answer after a good night's sleep. People also often say: "I'll sleep on it."
We don't have to pay for the things that are really valuable, like love, friendship and good health.
This proverb says that just before the sun rises the sky is at its blackest, suggesting that when times are at their worst for us they will soon get better.
1) Bad people can appear to be good to achieve their objective. 2) Even good things can be twisted to achieve bad ends.
1) Sometimes what Satan says is true, to make us more ready to believe his lies. 2) Don't believe everything at face value. Be aware that liars can use the truth to trick us.
Birds that wake early in the morning will find worms to eat, but birds that wake late will find no worms. The saying suggests that the same is true for us in life. If we do something early, before other people, we will be successful.
If our objective is good, then it doesn't matter if the way we achieve it is bad or wrong or evil.
1) If a bad person can become good, a very bad person can become very good. Someone with great energy for doing bad, may, when he chooses, apply it equally to doing good. 2) Converts are the most zealous. In a day-to-day sense, for example, someone who has given up smoking may preach more about the virtues of not smoking than someone who never smoked.
1) The implication is that those who are most involved in any religious system, its organizers and high priests, are in danger of separating themselves from God. 2) If written as "The nearer the church, the farther from God", the implication might be a warning about placing too much importance on material buildings, and a reminder that God is everywhere.
This proverb suggests that written material like books or poetry has more influence than fighting or war. We may also understand from it that ideas (as often set down in writing) are more effective than violence.
When you have money, you don't know if people are friendly with you because they like you, or because they like your money. The structure of this saying is difficult. In normal English it would be something like: "Rich people do not know who their friends are."
1) People who believe they are doing good can end up doing bad (the law of unintended consequences). 2) There is no value in simply planning to do good if you don't actually do it.
Even though we may want to say "No" to temptation (doing something bad), our body may be unable to resist it.
The person who makes the most fuss gets all the attention.
We should use all opportunities when they come, before it's too late.
If we sin we die. ("Death" here refers not to physical death but to spiritual death or eternal damnation.)
Many women have won a man's love by cooking delicious meals for him. They fed his stomach and found love in his heart.
Our opinions or beliefs are often influenced by our desires and hopes. The phrase "father to" is used in the sense of parentage: the thought is born from the wish.
In any dispute or discussion, we should acknowledge that people have different points of view.
We should know when to say something and when to say nothing.
You are safer as part of a group of people than as an individual. Being in a group makes people more confident about taking action.
When people are drunk, what they say is often true. People often speak the truth when they lose their self-control.
We cannot get something for nothing. We must pay for everything. Nothing in life is free.
The legal system treats people with money better than people without money.
We all have a place in this world and we all perform a function, regardless of our ability or disability. The word order of this sentence may make it more difficult to understand. In normal English it would be something like: "They (those people) who only stand and wait, also serve."
A warning that we must expect to suffer serious consequences as the result of our own bad actions. We get back what we give out.
Things may look like one thing but be another thing. This saying is often applied to situations, not just things or people.
1) Nobody can stop the progression of time. 2) We should act on favourable opportunities immediately, without delay.
Sometimes it is better to have one or a few people do a job than to have many people do it. If too many people are involved, the task will not be done well.
It is difficult to argue against facts. We cannot refute what is true.
Real life can be more amazing and difficult to believe than made-up stories.
Facts are facts. What is true is true, and it does not need decoration.
In the end, what is true will come to be known. The truth always appears eventually, despite all efforts to hide it. It is impossible to keep something secret forever.
Two people can usually solve a problem more easily than one person.
If somebody does something bad to you, it will not make things ok if you do something bad to them in return.