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Proverbs starting with letter D

Don’t make a rod for your own back

Don't make a stick with which you yourself may be beaten. In other words, don't  do anything that may get you into trouble later on. 'When I... Read more →

Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

Don't make a fuss about nothing. Don't turn a trifling matter into a major disaster. 'You've absolutely ruined my new dress by spilling that... Read more →

Do not kick against the pricks

It is futile to fight a losing battle by resisting authority. A prick is an ox-goad, a spiked stick for urging cattle. Should an animal dislike... Read more →

Don’t have too many irons in the fire

If we attempt to do to much at once, we shall not do anything properly, because He who begins many things, finishes but few. In the old days... Read more →

Do not halloo till you are out of the wood

The old verb 'to halloo' meant 'to give a load exclamation'. Travellers lost in a forest were relieved and delighted when they found their way... Read more →

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

In achieving your aim (of pouring away the bath water), make sure you don't do something else (pouring away the baby) that more than cancels out... Read more →

Don’t cut the bough you are standing on

If you depend upon anything, make use you can do without it before you get rid of it. Don't endanger your own position by hasty or thoughtless... Read more →

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face

The verb 'to spite' means 'to be revenged upon'. The advice give here is: 'Don't do anything in a fit of temper that will injure only yourself.'

Don’t cry stinking fish

Here the verb 'to cry' means 'to offer for sale in the street'. Barrow-boys cry fruit: 'Fine ripe strawberries!' Flower-girls cry flowers:... Read more →

Don’t cry before you are hurt

You should not give way to misfortune till it actually happens, since it may not happen. This motherly advice is often given to quarrelling... Read more →