Paremiology :

Proverbs are words of wisdom or simple home truths expressed in a sentence…often metaphoric in nature. They basically deal with dictates on the disciplined and proper conduct of one’s life.

The study of Proverbs is called Paremiology and the origin of proverbs can be traced as far as the times of the great Philosopher Aristotle. But the authors of most of the proverbs are unknown.

Brevity is typically the soul of proverbs - a factor that makes it punchy and effective in driving across an intense truth. They are also easily remembered because of this. Although advisory in nature they do not tend to preach. Being simple and precise, sans flowery language, they are easily accepted by all people, immaterial of their religion, sex, race or nationality.

Every language has its own sets of proverbs, owing their origin to literary works or religious books. Proverbs in English are more in common use today. However some proverbs from other languages are still popular and used many a times by all people. Many authors and the story-tellers use the provers quite often to emphasis their points and perceptions. The political orators as well as the religious preachers use the proverbs from their respective religions to make their points strong and convincing.

For example…

CAVEAT EMPTOR (Latin) is more popular than LET THE BUYER BEWARE.

IN VINO VERITAS (Latin) is more popular than IN WINE THERE IS TRUTH.


Many of the English proverbs can be traced back to the Bible from where they seem to have originated. Some examples of proverbs that have been taken from literary works are as follows.

Cowards die many times before their death. - Julius Caesar

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. - Troilus and Cressida

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. - Romeo and Juliet

Sweet are the uses of adversity. - As You Like It

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone. - The Poem SOLITUDE by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A little learning is a dangerous thing. - Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope

Proverbs can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically too. They are particularly useful in teaching young children and help to inculcate proper manners and good habits in them very early in life.

Proverbs are also oft used by orators to make their speeches more interesting and are often the crux of elaborate discussions.

Paremiology :

Proverb Stories :

  1. A bad workman always blames his tools.
  2. A burnt child dreads the fire
  3. Actions speak louder than Words.
  4. A Fault confessed is half redressed.
  5. All is well that ends well.
  6. All that Glitters is not Gold.
  7. All work and no play makes Jack A Dull Boy.
  8. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  9. As you sow so shall you reap.
  10. Better be alone than in bad company
  11. Better Safe than Sorry.
  12. Better to get an egg a day than a hen tomorrow.
  13. Bird in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush.
  14. Cheaters Never Prosper.
  15. Despair gives Courage to a Coward.
  16. Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.
  17. Do not cross your bridges before you come to them.
  18. Do not Dig Your grave with Your Own Knife and Fork.
  19. Every Cloud has a Silver Lining.
  20. Every Dog has His Day
  21. Experience is The Best Teacher.
  22. Failures are the stepping stones to success.
  23. Fools rush Where Angels fear to Tread.
  24. Forewarned is Forearmed.
  25. Half a Loaf is Better than None.
  26. Health is better than wealth.
  27. He who Who Plays with fire Gets Burnt.
  28. Honesty is The Best Policy.
  29. Honey catches more flies than vinegar does
  30. If You want a friend be a friend.
  31. It takes a thief to catch a thief.
  32. Look Before you Leap.
  33. Make hay while the sun shines.
  34. Many hands many work light.
  35. Necessity is the mother of invention.
  36. Opportunity knocks only once.
  37. Pride goes Before a Fall.
  38. Self-help is the Best Help
  39. Spare The Rod and Spoil The Child.
  40. Stitch in Time Saves Nine.
  41. The Early Bird Catches the Worm.
  42. The end justifies the means.
  43. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
  44. The leopard can not change his spots.
  45. The Pen is Mightier than the Sword.
  46. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  47. Unity is Strength.
  48. Where there is a will there is a way.
  49. You Can Lead a Horse to Water But You Can not Make it Drink.
  50. You can not judge a book by its cover.


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