What Is a Proverb, What Does the Word Mean, and How Did Proverbs Originate?

A proverb is an ancient expression of practical truth or wisdom.

Proverbs existed before books, were the unwritten language of morality, and are treasures of the oral tradition of all mankind.

They offer a deep insight into the everyday domestic life of the culture of their origin and resonate as truth through all time.

Japan: “Learning without wisdom is a load of books on the back of a jackass.”

Japan: “Unpolished pearls never shine.”

England: “The difference is wide that the sheets cannot decide.”

Italy: “Better alone than in bad company.”

China: “One picture is worth 10,000 words.”

Greece: “He who marries for money, earns it.”

Greece: “If you sleep with dogs, you will arise with fleas.”

France: “He who makes excuses, accuses himself.”

Germany: “He who remains on the floor cannot fall.”

Poland: “The voice is a second face.”

Ireland: “A smile is the whisper of a laugh.”

Native American: “Don’t judge someone till you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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