Monday, May 15, 2017

Folklore: Proverb Phrases


The Folklore of Proverb Phrases

Proverbs are short pithy sayings that reflect a general truth or piece of folk wisdom. These phrases are often metaphorical; animals, foods and other objects the speaker and the audience are familiar are used to with to illustrate the point. They also describe a basic rule of conduct that is also known as a maxim.

Here are some easy to understand examples of proverb phrases (sensible standalone sentences) from a range of cultures:

American/ English:

  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
  • Every ass loves to hear himself bray.
  • Haste makes waste.


  • A man doesn’t go far from where his corn is roasting.
  • Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
  • A large chair does not make a king.


  • Talk does not cook rice.
  • A crooked branch has a crooked shadow.
  • Overturned water does not go back into the bowl.


  • You can't chew with somebody else's teeth.
  • Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  • Talking is silver, silence is golden.


  • An old patient is better than a new doctor.
  • Never strike your wife, even with a flower.
  • Pearls are worthless in the desert.


  • ‘Almost’ does not push a man off his horse.
  • Empty barrels rattle the loudest.
  • Mistakes should be expected of beginners.


  • If you chase two hares, you will not catch either.
  • It is better to turn back than to get lost.
  • A lie has short legs.

Folklore Fun:  

Try to create your own proverb phrases. Think of a lesson or moral you’d like to share with others and find words that best describe that idea.

Related Information:

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