Save the Proverbs

The aim of this site is :-

To preserve the proverbs.

To make them easy to access.

To demonstrate the large range of traditional wisdom that is addressed within them.

To save the proverbs for future generations.


The objective of this site is to record the large volume of proverbs in existence. They do not seem to relate to the modern day but to the time before modern communications. It is interesting that many of the proverbs relate to farming and often the words used are 'Old English'.

Education was not available to everyone during the several hundred years prior to the 1940's and those that did receive some education only went to school for a few years. I know that there are many exceptions to this, but the poor education was particularly evident in rural areas.

Up until then education was taught by rote, but we discovered that when our children commenced their first year at school in the 1960's, they were being taught to think and express themselves clearly.

Thus a person of the era prior to the 1940's would in making a point in conversation use a proverb, with which they were familiar, to clearly express the point they were trying to make and it was understood by their listeners.

Visitors Comments

A visitor contacted me recently the meaning of particular proverb, which I was able to supply. From their question I rather imagine they had grown up in a city or else they would have known the meaning. I had only heard a small portion of the proverbs when I commenced the page, but I have no trouble in understanding the meaning of all of the proverbs now listed. This may be because I grew up in a farming community.

The education of children today is of the type that encourages thinking and self expression, so the need for proverbs is dying, but we should make the younger generation aware of proverbs and encourage their use.

A visitor to the page comments "Proverbs often come up during my sessions with students at Adult Migrant Education Service (West Coast College, Perth, Western Australia). Part of my responsibility, as English Conversation Tutor, is to ensure students are helped to understand and appreciate local idiom. So proverbs do have a place, and sometimes take up a complete session."

Another visitor states "The vast majority of this generation don't know how to relate to the meaning of proverb - even when you tell them what the meaning is!"

I can only think of three modern proverbs.
'Up and down like a Yo-yo.' - From the yo-yo craze of the 1960's.
'Garbage in, garbage out.' - From the early days of computers.
but to confuse me
from the 2001 Melbourne Cup Horse Racing Carnival comes
'Opinions die - statistics never lie'.

Please feel free to copy these proverbs and distribute them to the younger generation.