Hundreds of Common Short, Pithy Proverbs

Common Proverbs & Sayings

A bad penny always turns up.
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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
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A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
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A change is as good as a rest.
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A fool and his money are soon parted.
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A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees. William Blake
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A friend in need is a friend indeed.
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A good beginning makes a good ending.
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A good man is hard to find.
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A hard beginning maketh a good ending. John Heywood
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A house divided itself cannot stand.
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A house is not a home.
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A hungry man is an angry man.
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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
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A leopard cannot change its spots.
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A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
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A little of what you fancy does you good.
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A man is known by his friends.
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A man is known by the company he keeps.
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A man’s home is his castle.
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A man may well bring a horse to the water, but he cannot make him drink. John Heywood
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A miss is as good as a mile.
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A new broom sweeps clean.
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A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse.
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A penny for your thoughts. John Heywood
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A penny saved is a penny earned.
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A person is known by the company he keeps.
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A picture paints a thousand words.
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A place for everything and everything in its place.
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A poor beauty finds more lovers than husbands.
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A problem shared is a problem halved.
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A prophet is not recognized in his own land.
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A rolling stone gathers no moss.
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A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
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A stitch in time saves nine.
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A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
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A volunteer is worth twenty pressed men.
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A watched pot never boils.
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A woman’s place is in the home.
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A woman’s work is never done.
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A worthy woman is far more precious than jewels, strength and dignity are her clothing.
Proverbs 3:1
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Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
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Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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Actions speak louder than words.
= Advice when most needed is least heeded.
After a storm comes a calm.
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All good things come to he who waits.
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All good things must come to an end.
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All roads lead to Rome.
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All that glitters is not gold.
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All the world loves a lover.
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All things must pass.
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All is well that ends well. John Heywood
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All’s fair in love and war.
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
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All you need is love.
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An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
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An Englishman’s home is his castle.
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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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Appearances are deceptive.
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April showers bring May flowers.
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As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. Proverbs 26:11
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As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
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As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25
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As soon as man is born he begins to die.
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As you make your bed, so must you lie in it.
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As you sow, so shall you reap.
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Ask no questions and hear no lies.
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Attack is best form of defense.
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Bad news travels fast.
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Barking dogs seldom bite.
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Beauty is only skin-deep.
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Beggars can’t be choosers. John Heywood
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Behind every great man there’s a great woman.
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Better late than never. John Heywood
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Better safe than sorry.
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Better die with honor than live with shame.
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Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
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Better to be alone than in bad company.
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Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
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Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
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Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
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Birds of a feather flock together.
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Blood is thicker than water.
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Boys will be boys.
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Business before pleasure.
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Business is business.
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Butter would not melt in her mouth. John Heywood
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Charity begins at home.
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Children are poor men’s riches.
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Children suck the mother when they are young and the father when they are old.
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Christmas comes but once a year.
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Cleanliness is next to godliness.
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Clogs to clogs in three generations.
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Cold hands, warm heart.
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Comparisons are odious.
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Count your blessings.
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Crime does not pay.
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Curiosity killed the cat.
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Cut your coat to suit your cloth.
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Dead men have no friends.
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Dead men tell no tales.
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Death always comes too early or too late.
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Death closes all doors.
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Death is the great leveler.
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Death pays all debts.
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Diligence is the mother of good fortune.
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Discretion is the better part of valor.
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Divide and rule.
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Do as you would be done by.
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Do not wear out your welcome.
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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
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Don’t burn your bridges behind you.
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Don’t change horses in midstream.
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Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.
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Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.
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Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.
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Don’t go near the water until you learn how to swim.
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Don’t keep a dog and bark yourself.
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Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
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Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
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Don’t put all yours eggs in one basket.
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Don’t put new win into old bottles.
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Don’t rock the boat.
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Don’t spoil the ship for a hap worth of tar.
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Don’t try to teach your Grandmother to suck eggs.
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Don’t try to walk before you can crawl.
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Don’t upset the apple-cart.
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Don’t wash your dirty linen in public.
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Doubt is the beginning not the end of wisdom.
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Early to bed and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
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Easier said than done.
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Easy come, easy go.
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Empty vessels make the most noise.
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Enough is as good as a feast.
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Enough is enough.
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Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17:28
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Every bird loves to hear himself sing.
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Every dark cloud has a silver lining.
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Every dog has his day.
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Every family has a skeleton in the closet.
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Every garden may have some weeds.
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Every man has his faults.
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Every man has his price.
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Every man is his own worst enemy.
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Every picture tells a story.
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Every stick has two ends.
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Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.
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Experience is the best teacher.
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Experience is the mother of wisdom.
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Failing to plan is planning to fail.
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Failure teaches success.
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Faint heart never won fair lady.
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Faith will move mountains.
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Fame is a magnifying glass.
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Familiarity breeds contempt.
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Fear is stronger than love.
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Fear of death is worse than death itself.
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Fight fire with fire.
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Fine feathers make fine birds.
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Finders keepers, losers weepers.
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First come, first served.
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First things first.
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First think, and then speak.
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Fish and guests smell after three days.
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Flattery will get you nowhere.
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Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
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Forewarned is forearmed.
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Fortune favors the brave.
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Friends are like fiddle strings, they must not be screwed too tight.
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Garbage in, garbage out.
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Give credit where credit is due.
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Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.
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Give the devil his due.
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God help the rich, the poor can look after themselves.
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God helps them that help themselves.
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Good fences make good neighbors.
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Good talks save the food.
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Good things come to those who wait.
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Goodness is better than beauty.
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Gray hairs are death’s blossoms.
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Great minds think alike.
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Half a loaf is better than no bread.
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Handsome is as handsome does.
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Half a loaf is better than none. John Heywood
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Hard work never did anyone any harm.
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Haste makes waste. John Heywood
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He is not wise that is not wise for himself.
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He is the best general who makes the fewest mistakes.
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He that is master of himself, will soon be master of others.
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He that knows nothing, doubts nothing.
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He that lives on hope will die fasting.
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He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. Proverbs 28:20
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He that marries for money will earn it.
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He that plants a tree plants for posterity.
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He that plants thorns must never expect to gather roses.
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He that seeks trouble never misses.
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He that spareth his rod hateth his son. Proverbs 2:4
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He who hesitates is lost.
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He who laughs last laughs longest.
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He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.
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He who pays the piper calls the tune.
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He who sups with the devil has need of a long spoon.
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He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom.
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He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star. William Blake
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Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.
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History repeats itself.
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Home is where the heart is.
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Honesty is the best policy.
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If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
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If God had meant us to fly, he’d have given us wings.
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If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again.
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If ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no work for tinkers.
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If life deals you lemons made lemonade
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If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
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If wishes were horses beggars would ride.
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If you can’t be good, be careful.
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If you can’t beat them, join them.
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If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
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Ignorance is bliss.
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Ignorance of the law excuses no man.
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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
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In for a penny, in for a pound.
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In the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is king.
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In the midst of life we are in death.
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Into every life a little rain must fall.
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It goes without saying.
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It never rains but it pours.
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It is a bold mouse that nestles in the cat’s ear.
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It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.
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It’s all grist to the mill.
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It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.
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It’s best to be on the safe side.
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It’s better to give than to receive.
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It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
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It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
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It’s better to travel hopefully than to arrive.
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It’s never too late.
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It’s no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
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It’s not worth crying over spilt milk.
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It’s the early bird that gets the worm.
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It’s the empty can that makes the most noise.
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It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
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It never rains, but it pours.
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It takes a thief to catch a thief.
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It takes one to know one.
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It takes two to tango.
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Jack of all trades, master of none.
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Keep your chin up.
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Keep your powder cry.
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Keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
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Kill not the goose that lays the golden eggs.
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Last ship, best ship.
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Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.
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Laughter is the best medicine.
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Lend your money and lose your friend.
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Let bygones be bygones.
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Let not the sun go down on your wrath.
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Let sleeping dogs lie.
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Let the buyer beware.
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Let the dead bury their dead.
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Let the punishment fit the crime.
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Life begins at forty.
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Life is a bowl of cherries.
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Life is what you make it.
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Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
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Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Proverbs 26:7
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Like father, like son.
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Like mother, like daughter.
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Little pitchers have big ears.
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Live and learn.
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Live and let live.
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Live for today for tomorrow may never come.
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Look before you leap. John Heywood
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Look on the bright side.
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Love conquers all.
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Love is blind.
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Love makes the world go round.
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Love me, love my dog. John Heywood
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Love sees no faults.
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Love will find a way.
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Luck has a slender anchorage.
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Mad as a march hare. John Heywood
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Make hay while the sun shines.
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Make love, not war.
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Man cannot live by bread alone.
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Many hands make light work. John Heywood
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Marriages are made in heaven.
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Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
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May as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
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Mind your own business.
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Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.
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Misery loves company.
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Money doesn’t grow on trees.
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Money isn’t everything.
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Money makes the world go round.
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Money talks.
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More haste, less speed.
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More things belong to marriage than four bare legs in a bed. John Heywood
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Music has charms to soothe the savage beast.
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Nature abhors a vacuum.
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Necessity is the mother of invention.
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Necessity never made a good bargain.
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Never judge a book by its cover.
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Never judge from appearances.
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Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
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Never love with all your heart, it only ends in breaking.
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Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
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Never say die.
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Never speak ill of the dead.
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Never too late to learn.
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Never too late to repent.
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No man can serve two masters.
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No man is an island.
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No man is indispensable.
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No man ought to look a given horse in the mouth. John Heywood
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No news is good news.
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No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
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No pain, no gain.
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No rest for the wicked.
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No time like the present.
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Nothing is certain but death and taxes.
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Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. John Heywood
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Nothing succeeds like success.
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Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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Oil and water don’t mix.
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Old habits die hard.
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Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away.
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One good turn deserves another. John Heywood
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One man’s loss is another man’s gain.
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One of these day is none of these days.
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One swallow maketh not a summer. John Heywood
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Only fools and horses work.
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Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.
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Opportunity seldom knocks twice.
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Out of sight, out of mind.
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Out of the frying pan into the fire. John Heywood
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Patience is a virtue.
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Pearls of wisdom.
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People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
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Penny wise, pound foolish.
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Poor men seek meat for their stomach, rich men stomach for their meat.
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Possession is nine tenths of the law.
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Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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Practice makes perfect.
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Practice what you preach.
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Prevention is better than cure.
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Pride comes before a fall.
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Procrastination is the thief of time.
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Put your best foot forward.
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Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.
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Rats desert a sinking ship.
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Red sky at night, Shepard’s delight; red sky in the morning, Shepard’s warning.
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Revenge is a dish best served cold.
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Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
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Rome wasn’t built in a day. John Heywood
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Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
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Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
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Seeing is believing.
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Set a thief to catch a thief.
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Silence is golden.
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Six hours’ sleep for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool.
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Something is better than nothing.
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Sorrow for a husband is like a pain in the elbow, sharp and short.
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Spare the rod and spoil the child.
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Speak not of my debts unless you mean to pay them.
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Speak when you are spoken to.
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Still waters run deep.
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Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. Proverbs 9:17
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Strike while the iron is hot.
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Stupid is as stupid does.
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Sweet things are bad for the teeth.
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Take heed of enemies reconciled, and of meat twice boiled.
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Talk is cheap.
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Talk of the devil and he is sure to appear.
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That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
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The Devil finds work for idle hands to do.
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The best defense is a good offense.
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The best go first.
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The best of friends must part.
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The best things in life are free.
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The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
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The boy is father to the man.
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The burnt child dreads the fire.
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The cobbler always wears the worst shoes.
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The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
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The early bird catches the worm.
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The ends justify the means.
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The exception which proves the rule.
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The fat is in the fire. John Heywood
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The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
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The first step is the hardest.
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The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
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The green new broom sweepeth clean. John Heywood
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The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
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The hours of folly are measured by the clock, but of wisdom no clock can measure. William Blake
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The last straw breaks the camel’s back.
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The longest journey starts with a single step.
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The love of money is the root of all evil.
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The moon is made of a green cheese. John Heywood
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The more one knows, the less one believes.
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The more the merrier. John Heywood
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The more things change, the more they stay the same.
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The more you get, the more you want.
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The pen is mightier than the sword.
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The pot calls the kettle black.
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The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
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The Spaniard is a bad servant but a worse master.
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The tide tarrieth for no man. John Heywood
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The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
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There are none so blind as those who will not see.
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There are only twenty-four hours in a day.
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There are two sides to every question.
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There but for the grace of God go I.
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There is a time and a place for everything.
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There is but one good mother-in-law and she is dead.
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There is no honor among thieves.
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There is more than one way to skin a cat.
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There is safety in numbers.
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There’s a black sheep in every flock.
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There’s always more fish in the sea.
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There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
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There’s no fool like an old fool.
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There’s no place like home.
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There’s no smoke without fire.
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There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
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There’s no such as bad publicity.
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There’s no time like the present.
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There’s none so deaf as they who will not hear.
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There’s one born every minute.
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There’s one law for the rich, and another for the poor.
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They that dance must pay the fiddler.
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They who love most are least valued.
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Things are not always what they seem.
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Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. William Blake
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Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
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Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
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Those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas.
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Time and tide wait for no man.
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Time cures all things.
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Time flies.
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Time trieth truth.
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Time is a great healer.
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Time is money.
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Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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Tomorrow is a new day.
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To err is human, to forgive divine.
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To the victor go the spoils.
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To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming.
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To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.
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Tomorrow is another day.
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Tomorrow never comes.
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Too many cooks spoil the broth.
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True love never grows old.
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Trust is the mother of deceit.
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Truth is stranger than fiction.
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Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed. Proverbs 12:19
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Turn the other cheek.
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Two heads are better than one. John Heywood
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Two is company, three is a crowd.
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Two wrongs do not make a right.
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United we stand, divided we fall.
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Variety is the spice of life.
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Virtue is its own reward.
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Walk softly but carry a big stick.
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Walls have ears.
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War is death’s feast. George Herbert
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Waste not, want not.
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Went in one ear and out the other. John Heywood
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What you don’t know can’t hurt you.
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When in doubt, do nothing.
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When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
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When the cat’s away, the mice will play.
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When the iron is hot, strike. John Heywood
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When the sun shineth, make hay. John Heywood
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When the sword of rebellion is drawn, the sheath should be thrown away.
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Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
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Where there is no trust there is no love.
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Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18
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Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
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Witches and harlots come out at night.
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Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14
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Without justice, courage is weak.
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Worrying never did anyone any good.
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You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
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You can’t get blood out of a stone.
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You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.
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You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.
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You can’t make bricks without straw.
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You can’t please everyone.
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You can’t take it with you when you die.
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You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
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You can’t tell a book by its cover.
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You can’t win them all.
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You cannot have it both ways.
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You cannot have your cake and eat it.
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You cannot unscramble eggs.
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You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
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You don’t get something for nothing.
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You have to kiss a lot of toads before you find a handsome prince.
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Young men may die, old men must.
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You win some, you lose some.
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Youth is wasted on the young.

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