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British Proverbs January 17, 2016

Posted by anagasto in history, language.
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gary olsen bike-sale

Don’t piss against the wind.

Don’t try to go ahead without first considering the lay of the land.

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No man is an island.

Everybody depends on others for information and in his work.

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All that glitters is not gold.

You should not trust your first impression of things and people.

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gary olsen man teaching his dog

A miss by an inch is a miss by a mile.

This sounds good, but does not seem to be true. —  If I miss by an inch, I’ll have to try again; if I miss by a mile, I had better reconsider my chances.

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gary olsen two kids teaching their dog

Once bitten, twice shy.

You learn from experience, but not necessarily what is best for you.

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A bellyful is one of meat, drink, or sorrow.

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Don’t spoil the ship for a ha’p’orth of tar.

A ha’p’orth — pronounced haypeth — is a halfpenny, a small amount of money. In the past tar was used to make the ship waterproof.

The idea is that by saving a little money on the wrong item you might lose your main asset.

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gary-olsen-fragment23

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

If the clock stopped at three o’clock, it will show the exact time every day at 3 p.m. and at 3 a.m. — For similar reasons even notoriously incompetent people will sometimes be right.

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All cats are gray in the dark.

Meaning that in a messy situation you can’t trust anybody because you can’t see clearly.

The drawings are by Gary Olsen and one, below, is by ghD

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Comments»

1. Carl D'Agostinoc - June 28, 2012

The sun never sets on the British Empire. They can’t say that one anymore.

2. cantueso - June 29, 2012

Are you sure? Australia and Canada belong to the Commonwealth. It is no longer called an empire, but it is always sunny somewhere within its confines.

3. housecat - June 30, 2012

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players


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