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A "bad" may have a "worse". [Mod. But try to make the best of the current situation to prevent something worse from happening.]

A bachelor's life is a lot of foolishness.

A bad neighbour forces you to have your own pots and pans. [A reminder not to depend much on others, to become more self-reliant]

A bee knows which flower to take honey from. [A smart person knows where his profit lies.]

A big fish swallows up a small fish.

A bird flies in its own flock.*

A bird will not fly with one wing.

A boiling cauldron can't keep a lid on. [When the pot's full, it will boil over.]

A boxwood comb for a bald head. [Used to make a point when someone indulges beyond his financial means. (Boxwood is the hard, fine-grained yellow wood of the box tree, Buxus].

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

A cheerful wife is the joy of life.

A child is the fruit of a home.

A covetous man serves his riches, not they him.

A day has an evening. [Every day ends with an evening.]

A desperate man will face many a risk.*

A dog fought with another dog and thus the traveler's journey went smoothly.

A dog knows his master.

A donkey does not appreciate fruit compote.

A farmer's granary lies at the tip of his plow. [If you want a good harvest, till your fields as fits.]

A fish gets smart after it has gotten into the net.

A fool always rushes to the fore.

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

A fool may sometimes speak to the purpose.

A friend is easier lost than found.

A friend is known on black [bad] days.

A friend is never known till a man have need.

A full purse never lacks friends.

A good example is better than precept.

A good maxim is never out of season.

A good wife is a good prize.

A good wife makes a good husband. [Perhaps]

A guest does not get the food he expects but what he's served.

A guilty conscience feels continual tear.

A half-learned doctor can take your life; a half-learned priest can take your creed.

A heavy cauldron takes long to boil.

A house is essential.

A house without a wife is like a safe without money.

A hungry bear won't dance. [To work, one needs incentives that matter.)]

A hungry hen sees herself in a wheat silo. (Visualise and improve your performance . . .)

A jealous head is soon broken.

A joke may easily become a serious matter.

A lamb [sheep] away from the herd will be devoured by wolves.

A little bird is content with a little nest.

A little fire can light a lot of wood. [It only takes a few troublemakers to upset the general peace.]

A little help is worth a deal of pity.

A little is better than none

A low donkey is easy to ride on.

A man had better have a good character rather than a handsome face.

A man is born of his mother in order to die. • The first breath is the beginning of death.

A man is judged by his work.

A man is known by his company. [Every cat to her kind.]

A man is known by his friends.

A man is known by the company he keeps.

A meal prepared by others won't be good, and besides it will be late. [Don't rely so much on others.]

A mouse in time may shear a cable asunder.

A nail saves a horseshoe; a horseshoe saves a horse, a horse saves a rider and a rider saves a country. [A small task may be part of the preparation for an important outcome.]

A near neighbour is better than a far-dwelling kinsman.

A pear will fall to the root of the tree (Children may turn out like their parents in more ways than one.)

A pear will fall to the tree's root.

A person who associates with scoundrels will acquire their habits.

A poor man has no friend. • One that is unhappy has seldom friends.

A promise comes from the mouth. [An honourable person keeps his word.]

A proverb is an ornament to language.

A proverb is the wisdom of age and antiquity.

A quilt is not burnt to get rid of fleas.

A red shirt cannot be hidden. [Truth will out.]

A rope breaks at a worn place. [Trouble begins at a weak spot.]

A small key opens big doors.

A small leak will sink a great ship.

A stitch in time saves nine.

A straw will show which way the wind blows.

A thief is worthy of a scaffold and a criminal a dungeon. [Crime does not pay after time.]

A thief passes for a gentleman when stealing has made him rich.

A thousand regrets do not cancel one debt.

A tree is bent while it is young [Add why and how too].

A true word should never need any oath [Mod].

A village that you can see in a distance do not require a guide. [It is used to denote that events are heading to an obvious conclusion, so that further discussion may not be needed.]

A whole herd can take shelter in the shade of a great tree.

A wingless bird cannot fly.

A wise man is strong.

A word is more valid than a signature.

A word to the wise is enough.

A wrestler who is beaten can never get his fill of wrestling.

Act wisely and care not if you are called a fool.

Addictions are a curse.

After the conflagration ruins remain.

After the horse is stolen what remedy is it to lock the stable door? [Negligence causes loss.]

Age breeds aches.

Age is no barrier to learning.

Ale in, wit out.

All clouds bring not rain.

All hoods make not monks.

All is not lost that is delayed.

All lay loads on a willing horse.

All that glitters is not gold.

All work and no play will make such a dull boy.

An acorn one day proves an oak.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

An arrow once shot never comes back.

An ass is but an ass though laden with gold.

An ember burns where it falls. [Used when expressing some sympathy for the pained people who are close to the injured or hurt person.]

An ember burns where it falls.

An empty sack will not stand up. [Skills might help a person get along.]

An eye that sees something has some right.

An ignorant person is his own enemy, how can he be a friend to another?

An old chicken produces a good soup.

An old fox understands the trap.

An ounce of luck is better than a pound of misery.*

An unexpected stone can split the head.

An uninvited guest might not get a warm welcome.*

Animals are governed by their reins; people by their, promises. • Words bind men.

Appearance often deceives.

Appearances can be deceptive.

As soon as man is born he begins to die.

As you make your bed, so you must lie on it.

As you sow, so (shall) you reap.

At length the fox is brought to the furrier.

At the near end of the Long Market a man tells a lie, at the further end, he believes in it himself. [To deceive oneself is easy, but not classy.]


Bad news is soon heard. [- travels quickly, - has wings.]

Barren ground should not be sown. [Don't throw your seeds into the place where nothing grows.]

Be just before you are generous

Beat the iron while it is hot.

Beautiful women give men a lot of trouble; they rob them and finally turn them into paupers.

Beauty alone is not enough.

Beauty and folly are often companions.

Beauty fades like a flower.

Beauty may have fair leaves, yet bitter fruit.

Beauty passes, wisdom remains. [Used to make a point: Heed wisdom above physical beauty.]

Beauty won't make the pot boil.

Before buying the cloth look at the sample; before marrying a girl look at her mother.

Beggar's bags won't be filled. [Some people don't get enough fish.]

Believe no tales from an enemy's tongue.

Better a dinner of herbs with love than a stalled ox where hate is.

Better a lean jade than an empty halter.

Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.

Better are some small fish than an empty dish.

Better be a fool than a knave.

Better be half hanged than ill wed.

Better born lucky than wise.

Better go to heaven in rags than to hell in embroidery.

Better ride on an ass that carries me than a horse that throws me.

Better the crow I have than the nightingale others have.

Better to ask the way than go astray.

Better wit than wealth.

Between the cup and the lip a morsel may slip.

Between two stools you fall to the ground.

Beware of a returning arrow.

Beware of a silent man and still water.

Beware of no man more than yourself.

Burn not your house to scare the mouse away.

By the side of the dry the green [or wet] also burns. [Sometimes the innocent suffer along with the guilty.]


Carrion crows bewail the dead sheep, and eat them. [He looks one way and rows another.]

Catch the bear before you sell its skin.

Charity begins at home, but does not have to end there

Charity begins at home.

Children have wide ears and long tongues.

Common fame is seldom to blame.

Consult one who knows, but do what you know.

Counsel is irksome when the matter is past remedy.

Cut off a dog's tail and he will be a dog still.

Cut your coat according to your cloth.


Turkish proverbs in English and equivalents, Literature  

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