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Proverbs

Proverbs have a long tradition and are an integral part of the German language. Many of them are centuries old and are based on the rich experience of human history.
That is exactly why we dedicate this page to them, on which we present one of the largest collections of its kind.

Table of Contents

Our table of contents helps to navigate through our site as accurately as possible.

  1. New proverbs
  2. Well-known proverbs
  3. Proverbs as a picture
  4. German proverbs
  5. Latin proverbs
  6. English proverbs
  7. Interesting facts about proverbs
  8. Video with proverbs
  9. Enter proverbs

1. New proverbs

On our site you will find a huge collection of proverbs with a total of 1.876 Entries. You can always find the latest here.

Note: The origin or origin and the meaning can be entered for each proverb. All you have to do is click on the corresponding button.
If you want to enter more proverbs, you can do so here.

Pax utilior est quam iustissimum bellum.

Author: Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

I constantly urge peace; this war, even an unjust one, is better than the most just war.

GermanCategory: Latin Proverbs and Quotes+ Origin / meaning

Vivere militare est.

Author: unknown

To live means to fight.

GermanCategory: Latin Proverbs and Quotes+ Origin / meaning

Vincere aut mori.

Author: unknown

Win or die.

GermanCategory: Latin Proverbs and Quotes+ Origin / meaning

2. Well-known proverbs

Even a blind chicken can find a grain.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The dog is buried there.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The early bird catches the worm.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The route is the goal.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Once bitten, twice shy.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

One hand washes the other.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

All that glitters is not gold.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Beggars can not be choosers.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Once the reputation has been ruined, it is quite uninhibited.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

When the cat is out of the house, the mice dance on the table.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

You make your own luck.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Clothes make the man.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Better to have a sparrow in hand than a pigeon on the roof.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Lies have short legs.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

One should not chickens before they hatch the day.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The early bird catches the worm.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Speech is silver, silence is gold.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Practice creates masters.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Why wander far away when the good is so close.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

What you can get today don't postpone it until tomorrow.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

What is worth waiting for.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

What loves teasing himself.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Anyone who digs a pit for others falls into it himself.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Whoever sits in a glass house shouldn't throw stones.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Who laughs last, laughs best.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

A perfect match.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Tit for tat.

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Old love doesn't rust

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Age does not protect against stupidity

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Age before beauty

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Work is half of life

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Rain is followed by sunshine

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Children become people

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Blood is thicker than water

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The last shirt has no pockets

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The last will be bitten by the dogs

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Hit the nail on the head

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Hunger comes with eating

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The jug goes to the well until it breaks

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Man does not live on bread alone

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Time heals all wounds

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Stupidity and pride grow on the same wood

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

A good conscience is a gentle pillow

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

You don't look a given horse in the mouth

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Money makes the world go round

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Opportunity makes love

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Shared happiness is double happiness

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Shared pain is half of the pain

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Luck in love, bad luck in the game

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Good things take time

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Dogs that bark do not bite

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The strenght is to be found in serenity

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The mouth of a child reveals the truth

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Small gifts maintain friendship

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Laughter is the best medicine

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Long story short

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The way to a man's heart goes through his stomach

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Better arm on than arm off

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Better an end with horror than horror without end!

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

You have to celebrate the festivals as they come

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

The iron should be forged while it is hot

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Eating cherries with someone is not good

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Good bait catches mice

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Idleness is the beginning of all vice

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

At night all cats are grey

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

A new broom sweeps clean

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Order is half of life

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Punctuality is the courtesy of kings

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Spider refreshing and refreshing in the evening, spider in the morning brings grief and worry

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

still waters run deep

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Dry bread makes cheeks red

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Nothing is so hard as man's ingratitude

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Many roads lead to Rome

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

You can not teach old dogs new tricks

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Neither fish nor meat

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Anyone who does not honor the penny is not worth the thaler

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

As one calls into the forest, it echoes out

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

Knowledge is power

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

3. Proverbs as a picture

Note: You can use the arrows to scroll forward or backward.

4. German proverbs

Our collection contains current 1.311 German proverbs. To see the full list, please click the button below.

Just wait and see

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

noblesse oblige

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning

All rivers flow into the sea

Author: unknown+ Origin / meaning
more German proverbs

5. Latin proverbs

Our collection contains current 262 Latin proverbs. To see the full list, please click the button below.

From imo pectore.

Author: unknown

From deep chest.

German

All my heart.

importance+ Origin / meaning

Abducet praedam, qui occurit prior.

Author: Plautus (254 BC - 184 BC)

Whoever comes earlier takes the booty.

German

The early bird catches the worm.

importance+ Origin / meaning

Abyssus abyssum invocat.

Author: unknown

One depth calls out another depth.

German

One mistake leads to another.

importance+ Origin / meaning
more Latin proverbs

6. English proverbs

Our collection contains current 296 English proverbs. To see the full list, please click the button below.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Author: unknown

A sparrow in hand is better than a pigeon on the roof

German+ Origin / meaning

A cobbler should stick to his last.

Author: unknown

Cobbler stick to your last.

German+ Origin / meaning

A danger foreseen is a danger avoided.

Author: unknown

Danger recognized, danger averted.

German+ Origin / meaning
more english proverbs

7. Things to know about proverbs

This section answers some basic and recurring questions about proverbs.

7.1 What are proverbs?

Proverbs are popular statements that describe a state or behavior in a simple, concise and apt way. They reveal a lot of life experience, but they also generalize and are not to be taken literally in every case. Proverbs are first circulated as direct quotations. Someone has found a fitting phrase that is often repeated. At some point, no one knows where the quote comes from: A proverb emerges from it, such as "Jung gefreit has never regretted". But this old saying doesn't necessarily fit into the 21st century.

The Spanish poet Cervantes (16th century) called the proverb "a short sentence that comes from long experience." The lexicon calls it an aptly and concisely formulated wisdom. This generalizes a broad social experience and is often characterized by popular imagery. The German linguist Wolfgang Mieder puts it similarly.

Proverbs often characterize norms, so they are also morally significant. However, they do not use a direct imperative, which is expressed in calls for action or inaction, such as in the biblical word "You shall not kill!" finds. Rather, the norm is reflected in an empirical statement: "Honesty lasts the longest". They have the style of old, wise people who only report on their experiences without raising their index finger, and therefore the style of mild wisdom. However, this belies their truthfulness: proverbs are in truth not real, but at best commonplace wisdom.

7.2 What is the difference between a proverb and a phrase?

In order to identify a proverb grammatically as such, it is best to contrast it with the idiom. The proverb is a closed sentence with a full meaning. The idiom, on the other hand, is a combination of words that can be inserted into different sentences and needs to be supplemented in terms of content in order to be effective in context. Examples:

  • Saying: "Jung gefreit has never regretted." The statement stands on its own and means clearly and simply that it is good to get married at a young age.
  • Phrase: "... come onto a green branch ..." is a phrase that is initially incomplete. One word is sufficient as a supplement, namely the conjunction "with it", among other things, in order to make a complete statement out of the idiom: "You won't get on a green branch with that!" The meaning can only be understood from the overall context of the conversation, because how does the person addressed fail to find a green branch? A complete addition of the phrase to a context would be the following sentence: "In order to get on a green branch, we should start the project now." In any case, however, the objection of "coming on a green branch", which incidentally only German native speakers understand immediately, remains an incomplete part of the statement and thus a phrase in contrast to the proverb which is complete in itself.

7.3 What is the significance of proverbs?

"Honesty lasts the longest" is a saying by which the supposed wisdom of this class of statements can be easily verified. In fact, when we look at our lives and society, it is not true. There are people who have probably been lying all their lives and have come a long way. From our private environment we certainly know people who cheat on their partners, colleagues or the tax office and yet (almost) always get away with it. But proverbs live up to their moral standards by packing the wish for "honestly lasts the longest" into a short sentence based on seemingly endless experience. Some people believe in it and try to be honest at least at times. With that, the saying has served an important purpose.

8. Video with proverbs

9. Enter proverbs

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