54+ Most Famous and Powerful Proverbs

Every culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. These sayings are called “proverbs”.

Defining a “proverb” is a difficult task. Proverb scholars often quote Archer Taylor’s classic “The definition of a proverb is too difficult to repay the undertaking… An incommunicable quality tells us this sentence is proverbial and that one is not. Hence no definition will enable us to identify positively a sentence as proverbial”. Another common definition is from Lord John Russell (c. 1850) “A proverb is the wit of one, and the wisdom of many.”

Inspirational and Enlightening Proverbs

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb

Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow. – Swedish Proverb

Words should be weighed, not counted. – Yiddish Proverb

What the child sees, the child does. What the child does, the child is. — Irish Proverb

If you can’t live longer, live deeper. – Italian Proverb

Do good and throw it in the sea. – Arab Proverb

Where love reigns, the impossible may be attained. – Indian Proverb

It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. – Chinese Proverb

A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. – Kenyan Proverb

Still waters run deep. – Latin Proverb

He who does not travel, does not know the value of men. – Moorish Proverb

The night rinses what the day has soaped. – Swiss Proverb

Measure a thousand times and cut once. – Turkish Proverb

A good well-lived today makes every yesterday a dream of a good future, and every morning is a vision of hope. A good well-lived today makes every yesterday a dream of a good future, and every morning is a vision of hope. – Asian Proverb

A spoon does not know the taste of soup, nor a learned fool the taste of wisdom. – Welsh Proverb

The most beautiful fig may contain a worm. – Zulu Proverb

Change yourself and fortune will change. – Portuguese Proverb

In love, there is always one who kisses and one who offers the cheek. – French Proverb

Evil enters like a needle and spreads like an oak tree. – Ethiopian Proverb

When a deceiving man tells you to climb a tree, tell him to climb it first. If he finds a comfortable spot you can follow him. – Ghanaian Proverb

Who begins too much accomplishes little. – German Proverb

Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. – Spanish Proverb

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. – English Proverb

Don’t sail out farther than you can row back. – Danish Proverb

There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out. – Russian Proverb

Age is honorable and youth is noble. – Irish Proverb

In a battle between elephants, the ants get squashed. – Thai Proverb

If you take big paces, you leave big spaces. – Burmese Proverb

Before you score, you first must have a goal. – Greek Proverb

Good advice is often annoying, bad advice never is. – French Proverb

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. – Chinese Proverb

Do not rejoice at my grief, for when mine is old, yours will be new. – Spanish Proverb

What you see in yourself is what you see in the world. – Afghan Proverb

It takes a whole village to raise a child. – African Proverb

Examine what is said, not who speaks. – Arab Proverb

Two wrongs don’t make a right. – English Proverb

A large chair does not make a king. – Sudanese Proverb

Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone. – Moroccan Proverb

Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, small wisdom. – Chinese Proverb

A man does not seek his luck; luck seeks its man. – Turkish Proverb

A teacher is better than two books. – German Proverb

A beautiful thing is never perfect. – Egyptian Proverb

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. – Japanese Proverb

Character is always corrupted by prosperity. – Icelandic Proverb

A fault confessed is half redressed. – Zulu Proverb

To be willing is only half the task. – Armenian Proverb

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough, but not baked in the same oven. – Yiddish Proverb

The heart that loves is always young. – Greek Proverb

He who always thinks it is too soon is sure to come too late. – German Proverb

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you. – New Zealander Proverb

When the sun rises, it rises for everyone. – Cuban Proverb

No man can paddle two canoes at the same time. – Bantu Proverb

If you go to a donkey’s house, don’t talk about ears. – Jamaican Proverb

Speak the truth, but leave immediately after. – Slovenian Proverb

1 thought on “54+ Most Famous and Powerful Proverbs”

  1. Thanks for sharing these proverbs! “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is one of my favorites, one I try hard to be mindful of!

    Look forward to more posts from you!

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