Half a loaf is better than none and half a loaf is better than no bread are two versions of a proverb. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that may be a famous quote, an inspirational quote, an epigram, or the topic of a parable. These common sayings are language tools or figures of speech that particularly give advice or share a universal truth, or impart wisdom. Synonyms for proverb include adage, aphorism, sayings, and byword, which can also be someone or something that is the best example of a group. Often, a proverb is so familiar that a speaker will only quote half of it, relying on the listener to supply the ending of the written or spoken proverb himself because these common phrases and popular sayings are so well known. Certain phrases may be a metaphor or a quotation; but if it is a proverb, it is often-used and has a figurative meaning. Speakers of English as a second language are sometimes confused by these pithy sayings as translations from English to other languages do not carry the impact that the English phrases carry. Some common proverbs are the wise sayings better late than never; early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise; an apple a day keeps the doctor away; don’t cry over spilt milk; actions speak louder than words; haste makes waste, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth; and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. One of the books of the Bible is the Book of Proverbs, which contains words and phrases that are still often quoted in the English language because they are wise. Many current proverbs are quotations taken from literature, particularly Shakespeare, as well as the Bible and other sacred writings. We will examine the meaning of the proverb half a loaf is better than none or half a loaf is better than no bread, where the expression came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.
Half a loaf is better than none means that it is better to receive less than what one wants or needs than to receive nothing at all. Half a loaf is better than none is primarily the American version of the proverb; half a loaf is better than no bread is primarily the British version of the proverb. The expression half a loaf is better than none or half a loaf is better than no bread can be traced to John Heywood’s 1546 work, A Dialogue containing the number in effect of all the Prouerbes in the English tongue: “Throwe no gyft agayne at the giuers head, For better is halfe a lofe then no bread.”
Unfortunately, while acting on the premise that half a loaf is better than none, he was instantly upbraided by members of the special entertainment and culture committee for not checking with them first. (Jerusalem Post)
We won’t lie to you; a lot of people hang onto a failing and sometimes toxic relationship because they wrongfully think half a loaf is better than none at all. (Jamaica Observer)
For those who can afford to live elsewhere, it is a case of ‘half a loaf is better than no bread’. (Borneo Post)
“But half a loaf is better than no bread and if the over-75s end up getting free TV licences, we can lobby Westminster subsequent to that.” (Belfast Telegraph)