Proverb

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An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is a proverb that dates to ancient times. We will examine the meaning of the proverb an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth means to mete out retribution in kind, to make someone suffer as he has made someone else suffer. The expression an …

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When the going gets tough, the tough get going

When the going gets tough, the tough get going is a proverb that is a little over 50 years old. We will examine the meaning of the proverb when the going gets tough, the tough get going, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. When the going gets tough, the tough get going means when faced with adversity, strong people rise to the occasion. In other words, people who have a strong resolve will tackle difficult problems. …

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People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones is a proverb. We will examine the meaning of the proverb people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones means that people who have faults should not criticize others. In other words, if one is vulnerable to attack, one should not provoke another by attacking him or her first. The expression …

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Out of the frying pan and into the fire

Out of the frying pan and into the fire is a proverb. We will examine the meaning of the proverb out of the frying pan and into the fire, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. Out of the frying pan and into the fire describes a situation in which one escapes a bad situation, only to become enmeshed in an even worse situation. For instance, if one quits a stressful job to take another one …

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Sticks and stones

Sticks and stones is an idiom that is an allusion to a proverb. We will examine the meaning of the idiom sticks and stones and the proverb it alludes to, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. Sticks and stones is a retort one uses when taunted or insulted; the expression means that one is unaffected by the taunt or insult. The idiom sticks and stones is an abbreviation of the proverb, sticks and stones …

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Pride comes before a fall and pride goeth before a fall

Pride comes before a fall and pride goeth before a fall are two renditions of a proverb. We will examine the meaning of the proverb pride comes before a fall or pride goeth before a fall, where the expressions came from, and some examples of their use in sentences. Pride comes before a fall and pride goeth before a fall mean hubris or overconfidence can lead to mistakes that in turn, lead to failure or disaster. The idea is that someone who …

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Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies

Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies is a proverb that is hundreds of years old. We will examine the meaning of the proverb ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies means I cannot give you a true or accurate answer; therefore, do not ask me that question. The phrase ask me not …

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The Game is Afoot – Meaning, Origin and Usage

The English language contains phrases and sayings derived from figurative language use. This can become confusing for English language learners since they don’t often translate to a literal meaning in a way that makes sense. The game is afoot is one such saying that offers a figurative indication of a beginning challenge. It first appeared over 500 years ago when Shakespeare made it up and has continued to be popular in writing and entertainment ever since. The Game is Afoot: …

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Crime doesn’t pay

Crime doesn’t pay is a proverb that is over 100 years old. We will examine the meaning of the proverb crime doesn’t pay, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. Crime doesn’t pay is a proverb that means the benefits reaped by breaking the law are far outweighed by the liabilities incurred by breaking the law. The idea is that though the immediate aftermath when one commits a crime may seem to be positive, eventually one’s …

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is a proverb with roots in medieval times. We will examine the meaning of the proverb an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure means it is easier to take small steps to prevent something from happening than dealing with a problem once it is established. Another way …

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