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PROVERBIAL PHRASES
  Displaying page 1 of 18    Next Page >> 
[ Also see Catchphrases Old Sayings Proverbs Proverbs (General) ]

The asses' bridge.
  [Lat., Pons Asinorum.]
      - Unattributed Author,
        applied to Proposition 5 of the first book of Euclid

To kiss the rod.
      - Unattributed Author,
        History of Reynard the Fox,
        (William Caxton's translation, printed by him) (1481)

Eureka! Eureka!
      - Archimedes

A flea in his ear.
      - Robert Armin, Nest of Ninnies

As proud as Lucifer.
      - Philip James Bailey, Festus
         (sc. A Country Town)

As cold as cucumbers.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Cupid's Revenge (act I, sc. 1)

As high as Heaven, as deep as Hell.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Honest Man's Fortune (act IV, sc. 1)

This is a pretty flimflam.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Little French Lawyer (III, 3)

No better than you should be.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        The Coxcomb (act IV, sc. 3)

From the crown of our head to the sole of our feet.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        The Honest Man's Fortune (act II, sc. 2)

Something given that way.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        The Lovers' Progress (act I, sc. 1)

A thorn in the flesh.
      - Bible, II Corinthians (ch. XII, v. 7)

As certain as the Correggiosity of Correggio.
      - Augustine Birrell, Obiter Dicta--Emerson

Neither fish, flesh nor good red herring.
      - Tom Brown, Aeneus Sylvius--Letter

Turn over a new leaf.
      - Edmund Burke, Letter to Miss Haviland

As clear and as manifest as the nose in a man's face.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
         (pt. III, sec. III, memb. 4, subsec. I)

Through thick and thin.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto II, p. 370)

To swallow gudgeons ere they're catch'd.
  And count their chickens ere they're hatch'd.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. II, canto III, l. 923)

As clear as a whistle.
      - John Byrom, Epistle to Lloyd (I)

Put himself upon his good behavior.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto V, st. 47)

By all that's good and glorious.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Sardanapalus (act I, sc. 2)

Smell a rat.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Leap out of the frying pan into the fire.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. I, bk. III, ch. IV)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Within a stone's throw of it.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. I, bk. III, ch. IX)   BUY VARYING HARE USED BOOK  

Make ducks and drakes with shillings.
      - George Chapman, Eastward Ho!
         (act I, sc. 1)

As good as a play.
      - attributed to Charles II,
        while listening to a debate on Lord Ross's Divorce Bill

As good be out of the World as out of the Fashion.
      - Colley Cibber, Love's Last Shift (act II)

A nail in the wound.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

To be praised by a man who has won his laurels.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

To have a smattering knowledge of anything.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

To seek a laurel wreath from a bride-cake. [To seek glory by some trifling performance. A carpet knight.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

To throw a blot on a man's reputation by praising him.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

The fat's all in the fire.
      - Cobbe, Prophecies,
        (Bullen's reprint) (1614)

Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.
      - William Cobbett,
        referring to a bank as an elderly lady in the city

Cut and come again.
      - George Crabbe, Tales VII (l. 26)

Turn over a new leaf.
      - Thomas Dekker (Decker)

Add to golden numbers golden numbers.
      - Thomas Dekker (Decker), Patient Grissell
         (act I, sc. 1)

The coast was clear.
      - Michael Drayton, Nymphidia

As sure as a gun.
      - John Dryden

With tooth and nail.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        Divine Weekes and Workes
         (first week, second day)

Through thick and thin, both over Hill and Plain.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        Divine Weekes and Workes
         (second week, fourth day, bk. IV)

Made no more bones.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        The Maiden Blush

As leopard feels at home with leopard.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

To make a mountain of a mole-hill.
      - Sir Henry Ellis,
        Original Letters--Second Series (p. 312)

Betwixt the devil and the deep sea.
      - Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus, Adagia
         (ch. III, cent. VI, 94),
        quoted from the Greek

Needle in a bottle of hay.
      - Nathan Field (later Nathaniel Field),
        A Woman's a Weathercock (p. 20),
        reprint 1612

Like his that lights a candle to the sun.
      - Andrew Fletcher, Lord Innerpeffer (1),
        in a letter to Sir Walter Aston

To cut a whetstone with a razor.
      - Lucius Annaeus Florus

Diamonds cut diamonds.
      - John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy
         (act I, sc. 3)

Moehe Crye and no Wull.
      - Sir John Fortescue


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