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15th 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.

All good things must come to an end.
-mid 15th

As you sow, so you reap.
-late 15th

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
-mid 15th; 5th century in Latin

Children should be seen and not heard.
originally applied specifically to young women
-early 15th

Clothes make the man.
-early 15th

Comparisons are odious.
-mid 15th

Don't throw out your dirty water until you get in fresh.
-late 15th

Do right and fear no man.
-mid 15th

Do unto others as you would they should do unto you.
-late 15th

Dreams go by contraries.
-early 15th

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
-late 15th

Empty vessels make the most sound.
-early 15th

Evil communications corrupt good manners.
-early 15th; Bible

Example is better than precept.
-early 15th

Familiarity breeds contempt.
-late 14th; 5th century AD in Latin

Hasty climbers have sudden falls.
-mid 15th

He that goes a borrowing, goes a sorrowing.
-late 15th

He that has an ill name is half hanged.
-early 15th

Hear all, see all, say nowt, tak'all, keep all, gie not, and if tha ever does owt for nowt do it for thysen.
-early 15th

Hunger drives the wolf out of the wood.
-late 15th

Idleness is the root of all evil.
-early 15th

If the sky falls we shall catch larks.
-mid 15th

Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.
-early 15th

Ill weeds grow apace.
-late 15th

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
-late 15th

Least said, soonest mended.
-mid 15th

Lend your money and lose your friend.
-late 15th

Like will to like.
-early 15th

Little strokes fell great oaks.
-early 15th

Man proposes, God disposes.
-mid 15th

Money is the root of all evil.
-mid 15th

Much cry and little wool.
-late 15th

Near is my kirtle, but nearer is my smock.
-mid 15th

Needs must when the devil drives.
-mid 15th

No one should be judge in his own cause.
-mid 15th

One good turn deserves another.
-early 15th

Physician, heal thyself.
-early 15th

A postern door makes a thief.
-mid 15th

A prophet is not without honour save in his own country.
-late 15th

Save us from our friends.
-late 15th

Still waters run deep.
-early 15th

There is a remedy for everything except death.
-early 15th

Things past cannot be recalled.
-late 15th

Those who hide can find.
-early 15th

Truth will out.
-mid 15th

The voice of the people is the voice of God.
-early 15th

Well begun is half done.
-early 15th

What everybody says must be true.
-early 15th

What’s bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.
-late 15th

What’s done cannot be undone.
-mid 15th century

What you have, hold.
-mid 15th

You can have too much of a good thing.
-late 15th

You can only die once.
-mid 15th

You can’t please everyone.
-late 15th

You cannot catch old birds with chaff.
-late 15th

You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
-mid 15th

Young saint, old devil.
-early 15th

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

 

 



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