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Proverbs starting with letter W

When in doubt do nowt

This is an old Cheshire proverb, 'nowt' meaning 'nothing'. It is better to refrain from action than to do something you are not sure about.... Read more →

When I lent I had a friend; when I asked he was unkind

This means the same as 'Lend your money and lose your friend'. See also Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war

When two adversaries are of equal strength of character, the contest of wills is certain to be long and hard-fought. Dr Brewer tells us that... Read more →

When children stand quiet they have done some ill

The rhymed version of this is: When children stand still, They have done some ill. A mother once said her daughter: 'Tommy's very quiet. Go and... Read more →

When all men speak, no man hears

Unless we listen to each other, we shall learn nothing

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

You will be punished or rewarded according to whether you have lad a virtuous or a sinful life. This proverb means the same as As you sow, so... Read more →

What will Mrs. Grundy say?

What will the neighbours say? As is mentioned under We are all slaves of opinion, our actions are influenced by what other people may say or... Read more →

What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over

We are not worried by things that go on without our knowledge. For example, if the chef in a restaurant makes a practice of spitting in the... Read more →

What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals

A sober man keeps a guard on his tongue, holding back anything he wishes to hide. Strong drinks unseals his lips and he tells everything. A... Read more →

What must be must be

We have no alternative but to bow to the inevitable. It is a philosophical acceptance of things as they are.