Search Results

Your Search For "proverb"

glasses

Ignorance is bliss: What’s it mean and when should you use it?

Ignorance Is Bliss Broken Down Into the Sum of Its Parts To uncover the meaning of ignorance is bliss, let’s first look at the individual words that comprise this saying. Ignorance (noun): Ignorance is the state of being ignorant, or

money

Money talks: What’s it mean and when should you use it?

The phrase is commonly used when writing or speaking about politics, as it’s believed by some in the political environment that money can buy votes or cooperation. Of course, the expression is also often used in the business world. Here

benches

Patience is a virtue: What’s it mean and how should you use it?

Patience (noun): Patience means the act of being patient. An adjective, patient means to withstand or tolerate a difficult time or challenging waiting period, and to do so in a calm manner without getting overly restless, anxious, or annoyed. Patience

empty barrel

Empty Barrel: Meaning & Origin

Empty Barrel: What Does It Actually Mean? You’ve probably heard a baby-boomer or an exasperated elderly person say the phrase, “Empty vessels make more noise.” The iconic phrase is ancient: It traces its origin back to Plato, the father of

account

The Abbreviation for Account: What Is It and When Is It Used?

What Does Account Mean? According to Dictionary.com, the meaning of the word varies, depending on how it's used. It’s defined as a noun, a verb (used without an object), and a verb again (used with an object). Let’s take a

Beck and call or beckon call?

What is the difference between beck and call and beckon call? If you’re well-versed in classic literature or surrounded by people who use idioms, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard the phrase ‘at someone’s beck and call.' This particular phrase

What Does Blood Is Thicker Than Water Mean?

What Does Blood Is Thicker Than Water Mean? This phrase is used to express the idea that family ties are more important than other social ties, i.e. friendships or romantic relationships; that family bonds, or those connections you have with

How Many Words Are in the Bible?

The Hebrew Bible The term "Tanakh" refers to the entire Hebrew Bible. In total, the Tanakh consists of three sections, which include the Torah (also called the Pentateuch), the Neviʾim, and the Ketuvim. The entire text contains twenty-four books, mostly

What Does Once Bitten, Twice Shy Mean?

What Does Once Bitten, Twice Shy Mean? You might expect this expression to be used when someone has been bitten, say by a dog or another animal. But that’s not the case. You see, as an idiomatic expression, this phrase

What Does Actions Speak Louder Than Words Mean?

What Does Actions Speak Louder Than Words Mean? The phrase actions speak louder than words means that what you do (your actions) is more significant and carries more weight than what you say (your words). Put simply, the expression conveys

What Does Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder Mean?

What Does Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder Mean? Although this phrase is considered an idiom, and typically idioms have figurative meanings that are difficult to figure out just by looking at the words that comprise them, we

What Does Brevity Is the Soul of Wit Mean?

What Does Brevity Is the Soul of Wit Mean? This expression can be used in two different ways. To uncover its meanings, let’s first look to the definitions of the words brevity, soul, and wit.  Brevity means short in duration.

What Does Alas Poor Yorick Mean?

What Does Alas Poor Yorick Mean? When used alone, the phrase Alas, poor Yorick has come to serve as a commentary on the fleeting nature of life. Perhaps you may hear it said at a funeral, when a person, thinking

What Does Mortal Coil Mean?

What Does Mortal Coil Mean? As you’ll discover in a moment, the expression mortal coil comes from perhaps the most famous soliloquy (a monologue spoken to oneself) in all of Shakespeare’s plays. Every word and phrase in this soliloquy has

How Many Words Did Shakespeare Invent?

Why Do We Credit Shakespeare? The Guardian quotes Shakespeare lecturer Dr. David McInnis: "The OED [Oxford English Dictionary], which saw its original volumes published between 1884 and 1928, includes more than 33,000 Shakespeare quotations...with around 1,500 of those 'the first

Blog Image

What Does the Road to Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions Mean?

What Does the Road to Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions Mean? In general, this common idiom and proverb expresses the idea that good intentions don’t necessarily guarantee good results, and that good intentions matter little—if at all—if they don’t

What Does Like Father Like Son Mean?

What Does Like Father Like Son Mean? Unlike other common phrases explored at The Word Counter, it’s fairly easy to determine the meaning of the expression like father, like son just by looking at the words that comprise it. While

What Does Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Mean?

What Does Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Mean? Although the expression originally did have to do with furry canines (more below), that’s no longer the case. When you hear or see it used today, it means “to ignore a situation or

What Does Practice Makes Perfect Mean?

What Does Practice Makes Perfect Mean? This idiomatic and proverbial expression (more below) is used to convey the idea that the way to become skilled at something is to practice it often. In other words, doing something over and over

Port vs starboard?

What is the difference between port and starboard? There are several unambiguous references to ship areas and duties, whether it’s a wharf, rudder, or “paying the Devil.” But unless you're accustomed to life on the sea, incorporating nautical terminology into

What Does Have Your Cake and Eat It Too Mean?

What Does Have Your Cake and Eat It Too Mean? The saying have your cake and eat it, too is used to express that when there are two desirable but mutually exclusive or contradictory options, you can’t have both at

What Does a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words Mean?

What Does a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words Mean? As illustrated above, this phrase is used to express that it can be easier to show something in a picture than to describe it by speaking words or using the

What Does All That Glitters Is Not Gold Mean?

What Does All That Glitters Is Not Gold Mean? Gold has long been associated with and symbolized wealth and success. After all, it has been used throughout the world as currency and for art and ornamentation; Olympians and other competitors

What Does Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover Mean?

What Does Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover Mean? The phrase don’t judge a book by its cover means that you shouldn’t make a judgement about someone or something—be it a book or otherwise—based solely on their or its

What Does Familiarity Breeds Contempt Mean?

What Does Familiarity Breeds Contempt Mean? To understand this expression, all you need to do is look to the words it contains.  Familiarity: a state of close relationship; being in close acquaintance with someone or something Contempt: the act of

What Does Less Is More Mean?

What Does Less Is More Mean? The saying is used to convey that less of something—a smaller amount of it—can at times be better than a large amount of it. That simplicity is often the better approach versus one that

What Does God Helps Those Who Help Themselves Mean?

What Does God Helps Those Who Help Themselves Mean? The expression God helps those who help themselves is an ancient proverb. It stresses how important it is to be able to come to your own aid and take initiative in

What Does May You Live In Interesting Times Mean?

What Does May You Live In Interesting Times Mean? The expression may you live in interesting times is always used ironically to wish someone difficulty and trouble in their life. In other words, it’s far from a blessing and much

What Does Give a Man a Fish Mean?

What Does Give a Man a Fish Mean? Give a man a fish is actually a shortened form of a longer phrase: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and

What Does a Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush Mean?

What Does a Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush Mean? Like many other English proverbs, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush offers a warning, specifically a warning about risk-taking. The expression

What Does a Stitch in Time Saves Nine Mean?

What Does a Stitch in Time Saves Nine Mean? Put simply, the proverbial expression a stitch in time saves nine means that it’s better to fix a problem right away, when it’s small and manageable, than to wait until it

What Does Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder Mean?

What Does Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder Mean? This popular proverbial saying expresses the idea that when you’re far away from someone or something, you often realize how much you love them or it—and how much you miss them

What Does Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness Mean?

What Does Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness Mean? The expression cleanliness is next to godliness is used to encourage personal hygiene and neatness, likening cleanliness to spiritual devoutness and goodness. In other words, it’s used to say that it’s almost

What Does Good Things Come to Those Who Wait Mean?

What Does Good Things Come to Those Who Wait Mean? The expression good things come to those who wait is a synonym for the proverbial saying patience is a virtue. It means that patience is typically rewarded, and that people

What Does Hindsight Is 20/20 Mean?

What Does Hindsight Is 20/20 Mean? To get the meaning of this phrase, you first need to know the definition of the word hindsight: the perception or understanding of an event/situation after it has occurred. You also need to know

What Does Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery Mean?

What Does Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery Mean? Many of the common phrases we discuss here at The Word Counter are idioms with figurative meanings. In other words, they don’t mean what they appear to. That’s not the

What Does Laughter Is the Best Medicine Mean?

What Does Laughter Is the Best Medicine Mean? Put simply, as mentioned above, this saying means that laughter is good for your health and well-being. It is often used to remind someone who’s feeling stressed, worried, angry, or depressed, as

What Does Many Hands Make Light Work Mean?

What Does Many Hands Make Light Work Mean? This expression is used to say that when many people help with a project, the undertaking gets accomplished much faster and easier than it would with less people involved. In other words,

What Does Necessity Is the Mother of Invention Mean?

What Does Necessity Is the Mother of Invention Mean? Before we look at the definition of the phrase as a whole, let’s first explore the meaning of the individual words it contains. The definition of necessity: something that is necessary,

What Does Out of Sight Out of Mind Mean?

What Does Out of Sight Out of Mind Mean? This common phrase is used to say that we tend to forget about or dismiss what’s outside of our immediate view—be it a person or a thing. In other words, if

What Does Still Waters Run Deep Mean?

What Does Still Waters Run Deep Mean? As you likely guessed from the introduction, the phrase still waters run deep is used to say that people with shy, reserved dispositions are often very profound, passionate, and intelligent underneath their calm,

What Does the Devil Is in the Details Mean?

What Does the Devil Is in the Details Mean? No doubt, from a young age your parents and teachers taught you to pay close attention to detail when completing your school assignments. Maybe before every exam they reminded you to

What Does There But for the Grace of God Go I Mean?

What Does There But for the Grace of God Go I Mean? This expression is used to acknowledge that one’s fate is not entirely in their hands, and that another person’s bad luck or misfortune could easily be their own.

What Does Discretion Is the Better Part of Valor Mean?

What Does Discretion Is the Better Part of Valor Mean? To understand the meaning of this saying, it’s vital to know the definitions of the words discretion and valor. In this case, these terms mean: Discretion (noun): showing good or

What Does Let the Dead Bury the Dead Mean?

What Does Let the Dead Bury the Dead Mean? The phrase let the dead bury the dead has at least two commonly accepted definitions. So, when you hear someone use the expression or see it written, it’s important to pay

The Meaning of Old Habits Die Hard: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the idiom old habits die hard mean? The figure of speech old habits die hard means that it is difficult for one to stop doing the things that they have been doing for a long time or have

The Meaning of Under the Weather: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the phrase under the weather mean? According to Collins Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary, and other dictionary apps, the phrase under the weather means not feeling well, or feeling slightly ill. This English idiom may be used to describe someone

The Meaning of Conundrum: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word conundrum mean? According to Cambridge English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word conundrum (pronounced kəˈnʌndrəm) is a noun that refers to some problem that is difficult to deal with, as in a dilemma, or

The Meaning of Perverted: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word perverted mean? According to Cambridge English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word perverted (adj, pronounced ​ˈpəːvəːt ed) is an adjective that means corrupt, considered strange and unpleasant, or changed from its

The Meaning of Adage: What It Is and How To Use It

What does adage mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other sources like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word adage is a noun that refers to a saying, often in metaphorical form, that

The Meaning of Canard: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word canard mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary as well as the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and Collins English Dictionary, the word canard is a noun that refers to some groundless rumor or

The Meaning of Anonymous: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word anonymous mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other sources like American Heritage, the word anonymous is an adjective that can describe something that is of unknown origin or authorship, something

The Meaning of Cold Feet: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the term cold feet mean? According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and Collins English Dictionary, the term cold feet is a plural noun that refers to an apprehension or doubt that

The Meaning of Humble: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word humble mean? According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, American Heritage, and Collins English Dictionary, the word humble can be used as an adjective or verb. As an adjective, the word humble describes

The Meaning of Quip: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the word quip mean? According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word quip is a noun and a verb that means to make an amusing or clever remark, or to

The Meaning of Ignorance is Bliss: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the phrase ignorance is bliss mean? According to Your Dictionary and other sources like the American Heritage Dictionary of the English language, the idiom ignorance is bliss means that sometimes it is better to not know the truth

The Meaning of Tree of Life: What It Is and How To Use It

What does the tree of life mean? According to Uniguide, the tree of life is a symbol that appears in mythology and the folklore of cultures around the world. This is also sometimes referred to as the world tree. While