About Proverbs

My hope in creating a comprehensive list of proverbs in a easy-to-find format, is to provide a resource for writers, academics, readers and etymologists.
Inclusion on this site is dependent to whether the words have (1) permeated a culture (2) stood the test of time (3) impart a bit of wisdom or insight.


"A proverb is much matter distilled into few words."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller

“A proverb is not a proverb to you until life has illustrated it.”
~ John Keats


A wise man who knows proverbs can reconcile difficulties.
~ African Proverb


A proverb is the horse of conversation:
when the conversation lags, a proverb revives it.
~ African Proverb


"Proverbs are mental gems gathered in the diamond fields of the mind."
~ Boz Donovan


A proverb never lies, it is only its meaning which deceives.
~ German Proverb


One simple maxim is often worth more than two good friends.
~ Swiss Proverb [18061]


"Proverbs tap into something that is universal, that is
recognizable to everyone of a particular culture."
~ Boz Donovan


A proverb is the child of experience.
~ English Proverb


All old sayings have something in them.
~ Icelandic Proverb



Epigrams succeed where epics fail.
~ Persian Proverb


“If you want to know a people, know their proverbs.”
~ Suzanne Woods Fisher


A wise man who knows proverbs, reconciles difficulties.
~ Yoruban Proverb


A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs.
~ German Proverb



Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten.
~ Nigerian Proverb [18191]


Proverbs are the lamp of speech.
~ Arabian Proverb [18192]

The study of proverbs has led me around the world. I find they are archetypal in nature, yet personal in interpretation. I hope others derive as much value from them as much I have from collecting them.

~ Boz Donovan