Proverbs starting with letter W

Where is smoke there is fire

This refers to rumours, the argument being that all rumours are based on fact; that although some may doubt the accuracy of a report that is ... Read more →

Where there’s muck there’s brass

You can earn good money if you don't mind dirtying your hands. Another version of this proverb is Muck and money go together; 'bras ' is a... Read more →

Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise

If knowledge brings unhappiness it is better to be ignorant. The proverb comes from Thomas Gray's Ode an a Distant Prospect of Eton College. The... Read more →

When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own

If thieves are squabbling among themselves, they are too busy to rob honest men. The phrase 'come by their own' means 'keep what belongs to... Read more →

When the word is out it belongs to another

Once we have said it, we cannot get it back. This proverb has the same meaning as A word spoken is past recalling.

When the wolf comes in at the door, love creeps out of the window

The 'wolf' is poverty. When a young couple marry without enough money to keep them in a manner to which they have become accustomed, this is... Read more →

When the cat is away, the mice will play

This is a very old proverb, dating back to the sixteenth century. It means that when the person in authority is away, those under him will take... Read more →

When one door shuts another opens

Failure should not deter us, for there are always other opportunities.

When in Rome do as the Romans do

If you are away from home, adapt yourself to your surroundings and to the local customs. Don't expect the people there to alter their way of... Read more →

When in doubt leave out

This advice applies particularly to writers who are either not sure of their facts, or cannot make up their minds whether or not to include a... Read more →