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13th Century English Proverbs

Dates given are generally for the first written appearance of the form of the proverb in English; the proverb may have been in spoken use, in England or orther countries, much earlier and in some cases referred to as "an old saying" prior to that time.

You can take a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink.
-late 12th

All that glitters is not gold.
-early 13th

Big fish eat little fish.
-early 13th

A burnt child dreads the fire.
-mid 13th

The cat would eat fish, but would not wet her feet.
-early 13th

Constant dropping wears away a stone.
-mid 13th; earlier in Greek

Every cock will crow upon his own dunghill.
-mid 13th; 1st century AD in Latin

Fields have eyes and woods have ears.
-early 13th

Good wine needs no bush.
-early 15th

If it were not for hope, the heart would break.
-mid 13th

It’s an ill bird that fouls its own nest.
-mid 13th

Many a little makes a mickle.
-mid 13th

One nail drives out another.
-mid 13th

Opportunity makes a thief.
-early 13th

Out of sight, out of mind.
-mid 13th

NOTE: Some of this information can be found in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

 

 



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