Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Battling proverbs

kw: wordplay, proverbs, collections

Over time I have gathered a number of pairs of proverbs that have opposite meanings. A quick search of the web scared up a few more. In no particular order, here are 31 such sets. In a few cases, one proverb is contradicted by two or more others.

A silent man is a wise one.
A man without words is a man without thoughts.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Don't beat your head against a stone wall.

Don't cross that bridge until you come to it.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. / Forewarned is forearmed. / If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Out of sight, out of mind.

Two heads are better than one.
Paddle your own canoe.

Time waits for no man.
Haste makes waste.

He who hesitates is lost.
Look before you leap. / Act in haste, repent at leisure.

You're never too old to learn.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

It is better to be safe than sorry.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Nice guys finish last.

Hitch your wagon to a star.
Don't bite off more that you can chew.

The best things in life are free.
You get what you pay for. / There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Many hands make light work.

Clothes make the man.
Don't judge a book by its cover. / Appearances are deceiving.

Do it well, or not at all.
Half a loaf is better than none.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Silence is golden.

Familiarity breeds contempt.
Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

Great minds think alike.
Idiots seldom differ.

Birds of a feather flock together.
Opposites attract.

Winners never quit.
Quit while you're ahead.

Look before you leap.
You don't know what you can do until you try.

The bigger, the better.
Good things come in small packages.

The more, the merrier.
Two's company; three's a crowd.

Above all, to thine own self be true.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
One man's meat is another man's poison.

Actions speak louder than words.
The pen is mightier than the sword.

Never change horses in the middle of a stream.
Variety is the spice of life.

Practice makes perfect.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

A penny saved is a penny earned.
The love of money is the root of all evil.

Hold fast to the words of your ancestors.
Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them.

No comments: