Information about proverbs

This website contains common and not so common English proverbs. Proverbs are sayings that express some truth about the world or convey a lesson to be learned. You may not agree with all of them. Indeed some contradict each other: Too many cooks spoil the broth is almost the opposite of Many hands make light work.

Some parts of some of the proverbs have made their way into everyday conversation as idioms. For example: You're just clutching at straws or Don't tell me how to suck eggs. Quite often an English native speaker will say only part of a proverb, in the knowledge that the listener will know what is meant. For example: When the cat's away... or All that glitters... or Least said... .

Despite the presence on this site of different proverb quizzes, it is not suggested that these proverbs should be learned - far from it. But there may be one or two proverbs that you like or find amusing enough to try to remember.

What's more you could use the listings as a reference when you want to find a suitable proverb for your own writing. You can regard the quizzes more as tests of intelligence and reading skill.