Adages, the oral transfer of knowledge between generations
Here you will find a list of over seven hundred adages people use everyday to improve their lives. An adage is a short saying that transmits wisdom. Before people knew how to read and write, they passed knowledge by word of mouth. The word adage comes from Latin adagium (saying), formed by the prefix ad- (to, toward, about) and agium (from the verb agio, I say).
- 10/90 Rule - Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. (Thank you: Osmay)
- 20/80 Rule - Pareto principle - 80%, of what happens to you, can be attributed to 20% of your behaviour... or to solve the last 20% of your problem, it will take 80% of your effort.
- A big hat, no cattle. (All show but not much result - Thank you: Kendrick Bateson)
- A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. (Thank you: Wendell Boggs)
- A boy's a boy, two boys is half a boy, an' three boys ain't no boy a-tall! (Thank you: Larry)
- A chain is as strong as its weakest link. (A team is as strong as its weakest player. It only takes one person to screw up the game. (Thank you: Seketektek)
- A change is as good as a rest (Thank you: Kendrick Bateson)
- A closed mouth gathers no feet. (Thank you: Chris)
- A coward dies a thousand times, a hero dies but once (Thank you: Dr. Bob)
- A fine appearance is a poor substitute for inward worth.
- A fool and his money are soon parted. (Better save some while you can. (Thank you: Nellie B)
- A friend in need is a friend in deed. (Thank you: Koon Wijekoon)
- A goat that keeps company of dogs will one day eat excreta. (Thank you: Brian.E)
- A good book never looks good; a bad book never looks bad. (Thank you: Shanker Suman)
- A humble life with peace and quiet is better than a splendid one with danger and risk.
- A language is a dialect with an army and navy.
- A leopard can't change its spots. (Thank you: Dr. Bob)
- A lie stands on on leg a truth stands on two.
- A loaded jargon makes no noise. (When one has a lot of qualities, he doesn't feel the need to brag. - Thank you: Riki)
- A locked door only hides what you truly want. (Thank you: Penguinstein)
- A man chases a woman until SHE catches him. (Thank you: Staralfur)
- A man does not charge along an unknown place. (Thank you: Cyril)
- A man is known by the company he keeps.
- A man who represents himself has a fool for a client. (Always get a lawyer to represent you on court of law.)
- A man's eyes are always bigger than his stomach. (Thank you: Jerry JonesJones)
- A man's work is from sun to sun, a woman's work is never done. (Thank you: Joy)
- A mind changed against its will is of the same opinion still. (You can't force others to believe in what you want them to believe. - Thank you: Jim Ference)
- A mind too open may fall out.
- A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat. (Thank you: penguinstein)
- A one eyed man is a king among the blind. (Thank you: G.E. Castillo)
- A pair of shoes fits well, if you forget about your feet.
- A pencil used is an opportunity not wasted.
- A penny saved is a penny earned. (Thank you: Debbie and Sharon H)
- A picture is worth a thousand words (A picture can describe something better than words.)
- A politician is a mathematican who multiplies (Thank you: Shanker Suman)
- A rising tide raises all boats. (Thank you: Dr. Bob)
- A secret's only worth keeping, if it's worth telling.
- A ship in port is safe, but that is now what ships are built for.
- A smart man knows a band aid only hides his wounds. (Thank you: Penguinstein)
- A soft tongue can break hard bones. (Thank you: Benjamin Ojukwu)
- A son is a son until he takes a wife, A daughter is a daughter the rest of her life.
- A sound mind lives in a sound body.
- A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down. (Thank you: Jerry)
- A stitch in time saves nine. (Fix something as soon as it needs repair or it will only be in need of many more repair with time. - Thank you: Mary)
- A string of facts does not add up to the truth.
- A superior can make or break your career.
- A three-legged stool cannot wobble. (Thank you: Dan Smith)
- A tree is only as old as the wood in it.
- A verbal agreement is only as good as the paper it is written on. (Thank you: Paul)
- A watched pot never boils. (Thank you: Debbie)
- A well defined problem is half solved. (Until you define a problem it is almost impossible to solve. - Thank you: John Myers)
- A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse. (Thank you: Kenneth Ian)
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (Thank you: Merk)
- A woman can never be too thin or too rich.
- A woman's hair is her crowning glory (This explains why hair is so important to women, in particular, and why the beauty industry is so lucrative - Thank you: Pattye Anderson, FNP)
- A woman's work is never done (Thank you: Staralfur)
- A word to the wise is sufficient. (Just listen to what someone else has to say. - Thank you: Nellie B)
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder. (Thank you: Sharon)
- Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder (Parody of absence, for the wormwood crowd - Thank you: Christopher Benson)
- Actions speak louder than words. (Thank you: Nellie B)
- After every storm there is a rainbow. (No matter how bad things get, they will always become better - Thank you: Dove)
- After sunshine comes a storm.
- Age is a state of mind, not a measure of time.
- All good things must come to an end. (Thank you: staralfur)
- All of the flowers that bloom tomorrow, are in the seeds of today. (Thank you: DLB )
- All play and not work makes Jack a playboy. (Thank you: Bryon)
- All that glitters is not gold.
- All things are more complex than they seem to most people. (I think this is known as "Allen's Law." - Thank you: William Ernest Blake Jr)
- All things must pass.
- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. (Thank you: Adetola)
- All's fair in love and war. (Thank you: Troy)
- All's well that ends well.
- Almost only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes. (Almost doesn't count - Thank you: Virginia)
- Always be selling what others are buying. (Don't be in business for what you want - Thank you: Kendrick Bateson)
- Amateurs discuss strategy, but professionals talk about logistics.
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