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).
- Play cat and mouse. (Repeatedly tricking someone, so they make a mistake.)
- Playing one's card close to the one's chest. (Being secretive, not letting your opponents see what you got.)
- Politicians are like wet saddles. Both of them chap my ass. (Using a wet saddle on a horse will chafe your posterior. - Thank you: Paul N)
- Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (When given a little power some people will abuse it... When given a lot of power most people will abuse it. - Thank you: karen12)
- Practice makes perfect.
- Precious things come in small packages.
- Pretty is as pretty does. (Thank you: Barb )
- Pulchritude Possesses Solely Cutaneous Profundity, or put simply: Beauty is only skin deep (Thank you: Staralfur)
- Put Up or Shut Up. (Thank you: Carolyn)
- Put your ducks in a row. (Make sure you have all you need before you make your presentation. - Thank you: Nicole)
- Put your money where your mouth is. (Thank you: Jerry)
- Quitters never prosper. (Once you quit something, you'll keep failing at it. - Thank you: h7opolo)
- Quitters never win and winners never quit! (Thank you: Buzz, from Hudson, WI)
- Real eyes realize real lies. (Thank you: Meissam Sharifi)
- Red sky in the morning sailor take warning, red sky at night sailor's delight. (Thank you: EMMAJEAN King)
- Remind yourself that it's OK not to be perfect.
- Revenge is a dish best served cold. (Emotional detachment and planning (cold-blooded) are best for taking revenge. - Thank you: Andrea)
- Rolling stone gathers no moss. (Stay moving and stay active.)
- Root hog, or die. (Thank you: Nellie B)
- Scarce as a Model T fuel pump. (Thank you: G.E. Castillo)
- Seek and ye shall find (Thank you: Nikita)
- Settle for crumbs and you'll always will be hungry. (Don't settle for less then you deserve. - Thank you: Walt )
- She is the cat's meow. (She's hot. - Thank you: Joan)
- Sheep flock together, eagles fly alone. (Thank you: lmohatt)
- Shooting fish in a barrel. (Really easy)
- Show your oak day. (Thank you: Shirley Whittington)
- Silence is golden. (Thank you: Nellie B)
- Sin has many tools, but lie is the handle which fits them all. (Thank you: Sneha)
- Since Adam was a pup. (Thank you: Staralfur)
- Six of one, half dozen of the other. (Doesn't matter which alternative we choose, the result will be the same. - Thank you: Troy)
- So thirsty I could spit cotton. (Extremely thirsty. - Thank you: Lorraine)
- Some need to wear their pants back to front, rather than their collar. (Thank you: Kendrick Batesom)
- Some stones skip further than others and all stones take dives. (Some people are better in life than others, but we all end up in the same place. - Thank you: Jordan L)
- Some times the right path is not always the easiest one. (Thank you: P Lakshmi Chowdaiah)
- Someone we know in the daytime, we don't switch on the light to see him in the night. (Thank you: Adebowale Agunbiade, Akeem poet)
- Sometimes you have to pick your poison. (Thank you: Steve)
- Sometimes you've just got to take the good with the bad. (Thank you: Jerry)
- Son of a gun. (Thank you: Martyn)
- Spare the rod, spoil the child. (Thank you: Staralfur)
- Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.
- Squeaking wheels get the first grease! (The loudest complainer is usually taken care of first - Thank you: Gary D.)
- Stick to your knitting. (Thank you: Dr. Bob)
- Stick your hand into a bucket of water up to your wrist; Pull it out and the size of the hole that remains is a measure of how much you will be missed. (Thank you: budzo)
- Still waters run deep.
- Strike when the iron is hot. (Do it now, before it is too late. Thank you: Alisa Lin)
- Stupid is as stupid does.
- Sweet in the mouth but sour in the ass. (Thank you: Chrissy)
- Take cover or die. (Don't rush into things - Thank you: Penguinstein)
- Take everything you hear with a grain of salt. (Thank you: Tammy Holowicki)
- Take no prisoners.
- Take the time to smell the flowers. (Slow down and enjoy life. - Thank you: Pauline)
- Talk is cheap. (Thank you: Bryon)
- Tell the truth, shame the devil.
- That's water over the dam. (Thank you: Dr. Bob)
- The best way to get to a mans heart is through his stomach. (Thank you: Dove)
- The bigger they are, the harder they fall. (Thank you: Nellie B)
- The black sheep of the family (Thank you: Eric Sim)
- The blind man is the one who sees the most. (Thank you: Melvin Corners, Jr.)
- The cream always rises to the top. (You can always tell who the best people are. - Thank you: Edmond)
- The creators gifts are not for sale (How many have sold their soul. Everything by mankind's evil now has a price. - Thank you: Brian)
- The cure is worse than the disease. (Thank you: Bryon)
- The day eventually comes for childish things to be put away.
- The devil makes work for idle hands. (Thank you: Kendrick Bateson)
- The devilís in the details. (So is God, they say)
- The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. (Thank you: Dr. Bob)
- The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. (Thank you: Alex R.)
- The end dosn't always justify the means. (Thank you: Jerry)
- The enemy of my enemy is my friend. (Thank you: Clyde at Clifton Park)
- The family that prays together stays together. (Thank you: Carolyn)
- The female of the species is more deadly than the male. (Thank you: James 1941)
- The first cut is the deepest.
- The first thing in a suit case is the last thing out. (Thank you: Barbara B)
- The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. (Thank you: Nikki K)
- The fruit (apple) doesn't fall far from the tree. (The son is very similar to his father.)
- The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. (The things of others are more pleasant for us, and ours more pleasant to them.)
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