Pass English In WAEC/NECO And Other Exams With Proverbs


By definition, Proverbs are short witty or wise sayings. Proverbs are very important not only in passing WAEC/NECO and other relevant examinations but equip you generally in our daily spoken and written English.

Below are some common proverbs and their meanings:

  1. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Meaning possession is better than expectation.
  2. A tree does not make a forest. Meaning it takes all sorts to make a world or more heads are better than one.
  3. A stitch in time saves nine – To do the right thing at the right time.
  4. Jack of all trades and master of none. One who does may different bobs can never be expert at any.
  5. A rolling stone gathers no moss. One who shifts from place to place never succeeds.
  6. A hungry man is an angry man. Meaning empty stomach has no ears or is aggressive.
  7. A living dog is better than a dead lion. Meaning a living citizen is more useful than a dead hero.
  8. Penny wise, pound foolish. Meaning a penny spared is twice gained.
  9. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Meaning a true friend helps in time of need.
  • All roads lead to Rome. Meaning all people go to the scene of the action.
  • All that glitters is not gold. Meaning outward appearances are in most cases deceptive.
  • . Action speaks louder than words. Meaning a man is judged by his actions and not by his promises.
  • Any time. Means no time
  • Blood is thicker than water. Family relationships are the strongest ones.
  • To call a spade a spade. Means speak plainly.
  • Delays are dangerous. Meaning be quick.
  • Better late than never. Meaning lateness is better than complete absence or better than to be late for ever.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Meaning good diet keeps one healthy.
  • All is well that ends well. Meaning well is he that does well.
  • Birds of the same feather flock together. Meaning people of the same character move together.
  • Half bread is better than none. A small quantity is better than nothing.
  • Cut your coat according to your cloth. Means do not spend beyond your income.
  • Do not lay eggs in one basket. Do not risk al that you have in one venture.
  • As you make your bed, so you lie on it. Meaning one must accept the results of one’s own actions.
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Meaning work without exercises is useless.
  • Don’t count your chicken before they are hatched. Meaning don’t lay all your hope in a yet realizable venture.
  • Evil weeds grow apace. That bad news spread fast.
  • Faint heart never won fair lady. Meaning fortune favours only the brave.
  • First come, first served. Simply means promptness is rewarding.
  • Forbidden fruit tastes sweetest. Meaning forbidden pleasures attracts or entice.
  • Every Jack has his Jill. Meaning every man finds a mate.
  • Fortune knocks once at every man’s door. Meaning an opportunity once lost can never be regained.
  • Great minds think alike. Fools seldom differ.
  • Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Meaning do not do something bad against others, as it will surely come back to you.
  • Honesty is the best policy. An honest man is an ideal man.
  • If wishes were horses, beggars might ride. Meaning if things could be gotten merely by wishful thinking, poor people will soon be rich.
  • Ill-gotten goods never prosper. Meaning that anything gained by dishonesty never lasts.
  • Hunger is the best sauce. This means hunger enjoys even poor food.
  • Ill news travels fast. Meaning news has wings with which it flies fast.
  • He who laughs the piper calls the tune. Meaning have the control of what you pay for.
  • Good wine needs no bush. Meaning the merits of good things easily show themselves.
  • Fore-warned is fore-armed. Meaning he that is warned is half armed.
  • God’s will grinds slow but sure. Meaning God’s punishment will reach every sinner however long it may be.
  • Habbit is second nature. Meaning bad habit is difficult to break.
  • Kindness begets kindness. Meaning a good turn deserves another.
  • Knowledge is power. Knowledge makes a man wise and intelligent.
  • Look before you leap. Means think well before you do anything.
  • Make hay while the sun shines. Use every opportunity.
  • Man proposes, God disposes. Meaning man makes plans but God carries them out as He wishes.
  • Manners make a man. Meaning good morals make a good man.
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In summary, proverbs are wise sayings, meant to equip any individual to tackle any relevant examination or groom such person generally for good spoken and written English language.  We must know them.


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