Dutch Proverbs

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old Dutch Proverbs, Dutch quotes, and Dutch sayings, collected over the years from a variety of sources. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

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Dutch people (Dutch: Nederlanders) or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group and nation native to the Netherlands. They share a common ancestry, culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Suriname, Guyana, Curaçao, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. The Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic.

Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs

“Bad company,” said the thief, as he went to the gallows between the hangman and a monk.

A beggar’s estate lies in all lands. – Dutch Proverb

A beggar’s hand is a bottomless basket. – Dutch Proverb

A bird in the cage is worth a hundred at large. – Dutch Proverb

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. – Dutch Proverb

A bird never flew so high but it had to come to the ground for food. – Dutch Proverb

A blind man is not judge of colours. – Dutch Proverb

A blind man may sometimes shoot a crow. – Dutch Proverb

A book whos sale’s forbidden all men rush to see, and prohibition turns one reader into three. – Dutch Proverb

A bow that is bent too far will break. – Dutch Proverb

A braying ass eats little hay. – Dutch Proverb

A brilliant daughter make a brittle wife. – Dutch Proverb

A brilliant daughter makes a brittle wife. – Dutch Proverb

A burden that one chooses is not felt. – Dutch Proverb

A burden which one chooses is not felt. – Dutch Proverb

A burnt child dreads the fire. – Dutch Proverb

A cage made of gold does not feed the bird inside of it. – Dutch Proverb

A cat may look at a king. – Dutch Proverb

A cat that meweth much catcheth but few mice. – Dutch Proverb

A cheeky person owns half the world. – Dutch Proverb

A cock is valiant on his own dunghill. – Dutch Proverb

A cow-year, a sad year; a bull-year, a glad year. – Dutch Proverb

A crown is no cure for the headache. – Dutch Proverb

A daily guest is a great thief in the kitchen. – Dutch Proverb

A dog with a bone knows no friends. – Dutch Proverb

A flag on a mud barge. – Dutch Proverb

A flying crow always catches something. – Dutch Proverb

A fool and his money are soon parted. – Dutch Proverb

A fool by chance may say a wise thing. – Dutch Proverb

A fool may chance to say a wise thing. – Dutch Proverb

A fool may give a wise man counsel. – Dutch Proverb

A fool may meet with good fortune, but the wise only profits by it. – Dutch Proverb

A friend at one’s back is a safe bridge. – Dutch Proverb

A friend is better than money in the purse. – Dutch Proverb

A friend’s dinner is soon dressed. – Dutch Proverb

A good deed is worth gold. – Dutch Proverb

A good fire makes a quick cook. – Dutch Proverb

A good friend is better than silver and gold. – Dutch Proverb

A good horse is worth his fodder. – Dutch Proverb

A good name is better than oil. – Dutch Proverb

A good start is half the job done. – Dutch Proverb

A great book is a great evil. – Dutch Proverb

A guest, like a fish, stinks the third day. – Dutch Proverb

A guilty conscience needs no accuser. – Dutch Proverb

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains. – Dutch Proverb

A handful of trade, a handful of gold. – Dutch Proverb

A handfull of patience is worth a bushel of brains. – Dutch Proverb

A hired horse and one’s own spurs make short miles. – Dutch Proverb

A hog in armor is still a hog. – Dutch Proverb

A honey tongue, a heart of gall. – Dutch Proverb

A horse may stumble, though he has four feet. – Dutch Proverb

A house full of daughters is a cellar full of sour beer. – Dutch Proverb

A hundred bakers, a hundred millers, and a hundred tailors are three hundred thieves. – Dutch Proverb

A hundred men can make an encampment, but it requires a woman to make a home. – Dutch Proverb

A hungry belly has no ears. – Dutch Proverb

A kiss without a beard is like an egg without salt. – Dutch Proverb

A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. – Dutch Proverb

A liar must have a good memory. – Dutch Proverb

A liar ought to have a good memory. – Dutch Proverb

A liar should have a good memory. – Dutch Proverb

A little pot boils easily. – Dutch Proverb

A little pot is soon hot. – Dutch Proverb

A little too late is much too late. – Dutch Proverb

A man in not known till he cometh to honour. – Dutch Proverb

A man must eat, though every tree were a gallows. – Dutch Proverb

A man overboard, a mouth less to feed. – Dutch Proverb

A man overboard, a mouth the less. – Dutch Proverb

A man without money is like a ship without sails. – Dutch Proverb

A merry host makes merry guests. – Dutch Proverb

A miser’s money takes the place of wisdom. – Dutch Proverb

A penny saved is better than a florin earned. – Dutch Proverb

A penny spared is better than a florin gained. – Dutch Proverb

A pennyworth of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow. – Dutch Proverb

A plaster house, a horse at grass, a friend in words, are all mere glass. – Dutch Proverb

A plough that worketh, shines; but still water stinks. – Dutch Proverb

A praying pirate is definitely a sign of danger. – Dutch Proverb

A runaway monk never speaks well of his convent. – Dutch Proverb

A sad bride makes a glad wife. – Dutch Proverb

A scabby head fears the comb. – Dutch Proverb

A ship on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea. – Dutch Proverb

A single day grants what a whole hear denies. – Dutch Proverb

A smart coat is a good letter of introduction. – Dutch Proverb

A soft answer turneth away wrath. – Dutch Proverb

A still sow eats up all the draff. – Dutch Proverb

A still tongue makes a wise head. – Dutch Proverb

A still tongue maketh a wise head. – Dutch Proverb

A stout heart tempers adversity. – Dutch Proverb

A thief makes opportunity. – Dutch Proverb

A thief passes for a gentleman when stealing has made him rich. – Dutch Proverb

A threatened man lives seven years. – Dutch Proverb

A usurer, a miller, a banker, and a publican, are the four evangelists of Lucifer. – Dutch Proverb

A wise husband and a patient wife equal a peaceful home and a happy life. – Dutch Proverb

A wolf hankers after sheep even at his last gasp. – Dutch Proverb

A wolf in sheep’s clothing. – Dutch Proverb

A word is enough to the wise. – Dutch Proverb

A wreck on shore is a beacon at sea. – Dutch Proverb

A young ewe and an old ram, every year bring forth a lamb. – Dutch Proverb

A young wife, new bread, and green wood devastate a house. – Dutch Proverb

Advisers are not givers. – Dutch Proverb

After ebb comes flood, and friends with good. – Dutch Proverb

After great droughts come great rains. – Dutch Proverb

After high floods come low ebbs. – Dutch Proverb

After honor and state follow envy and hate. – Dutch Proverb

After honour and state follow envy and hate. – Dutch Proverb

After meat comes mustard. – Dutch Proverb

After rain comes fair weather. – Dutch Proverb

After rain comes sunshine. – Dutch Proverb

After the sour comes the sweet. – Dutch Proverb

After the storm comes a calm. – Dutch Proverb

Agree, agree, for the law is costly. – Dutch Proverb

All are not cooks who wear long knives. – Dutch Proverb

All are not friends who smile on you. – Dutch Proverb

All are not princes who ride with the emperor. – Dutch Proverb

All are not saints that go to church. – Dutch Proverb

All beginnings are hard, said the thief, and began by stealing an anvil. – Dutch Proverb

All clouds do not rain. – Dutch Proverb

All cocks must have a comb. – Dutch Proverb

All do not bite that show their teeth. – Dutch Proverb

All feet tread not in one shoe. – Dutch Proverb

All flowers are not fit for nosegays. – Dutch Proverb

All is fish that comes to the net. – Dutch Proverb

All is not gold that glitters. – Dutch Proverb

All is well: for if the bride has not fair hair, she has a fair skin. – Dutch Proverb

All my goods are of silver and gold, even my copper kettle, says the boaster. – Dutch Proverb

All offices are greasy. – Dutch Proverb

All threateners don’t fight. – Dutch Proverb

All too good is every man’s fool. – Dutch Proverb

All too good is neighbours fool. – Dutch Proverb

All women are good Lutherans — they would rather preach than hear mass. – Dutch Proverb

All’s well that ends well. – Dutch Proverb

An ape, a priest, and a louse, are three devils in one house. – Dutch Proverb

An ape’s an ape, though he wear a gold ring. – Dutch Proverb

An egg is an egg, said the boor, and took the goose’s egg. – Dutch Proverb

An ennobled peasant does not know his own father. – Dutch Proverb

An envious man waxes lean with the fatness of his neighbour. – Dutch ProverbDutch Proverb

An honest man’s word is his bond. – Dutch Proverb

An hour in the morning is worth two at night. – Dutch Proverb

An idle man is the devil’s pillow. – Dutch Proverb

An inch too short is as bad as a yard. – Dutch Proverb

An inch too short is as bad as an ell. – Dutch Proverb

An indulgent mother makes a sluttish daughter. – Dutch Proverb

An old coachman loves the crack of the whip. – Dutch Proverb

An old ewe dressed lamb-fashion. – Dutch Proverb

An old fox doesn’t go twice into the trap. – Dutch Proverb

An old mule with a golden bridle. – Dutch Proverb

An old rat easily finds a hole. – Dutch Proverb

An old rat won’t go into the trap. – Dutch Proverb

An old wolf is used to be shouted at. – Dutch Proverb

An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains. – Dutch Proverb

An ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept. – Dutch Proverb

An ox and an ass don’t yoke well to the same plough. – Dutch Proverb

An understanding person needs only half a word. – Dutch Proverb

Anger is a short madness. – Dutch Proverb

Arms, women, and books should be looked at daily. – Dutch Proverb

As ass does not hit himself twice against the same stone. – Dutch Proverb

As long as there’s life, there is hope. – Dutch Proverb

As stupid as a pig’s behind. – Dutch Proverb

As the old cock crows, the young cock learns. – Dutch Proverb

As you began the dance you may pay the piper. – Dutch Proverb

As you brew so shall you bake. – Dutch Proverb

As you brew, so you shall bake. – Dutch Proverb

As you sow, you shall reap. – Dutch Proverb

Asses carry the oats and horses eat them. – Dutch Proverb

Away from the eye, out of the heart. – Dutch Proverb

Bad egg, bad chick. – Dutch Proverb

Barking dogs don’t bite. – Dutch Proverb

Barking dogs seldom bite. – Dutch Proverb

Barnaby bright, Barnaby bright, the longest day and the shortest night. – Dutch Proverb

Barren corn makes bitter bread. – Dutch Proverb

Bashfulness is of no use to the needy. – Dutch Proverb

Bear patiently that which thou sufferest by thine own fault. – Dutch Proverb

Bear patiently that which you suffer by your own fault. – Dutch Proverb

Beauty is but dross it honesty be lost. – Dutch Proverb

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. – Dutch Proverb

Beauty is only skin deep. – Dutch Proverb

Beauty is potent, but money is omnipotent. – Dutch Proverb

Before you make a friend, eat a pack of salt with him. – Dutch Proverb

Before you mount, look to the girth. – Dutch Proverb

Beggars breed and rich men feed. – Dutch Proverb

Beggars can never be bankrupts. – Dutch Proverb

Beggars can’t be choosers. – Dutch Proverb

Beggars fear no rebellion. – Dutch Proverb

Beggars mounted ride their horses to death. – Dutch Proverb

Behind every mountain lies a valley. – Dutch Proverb

Behind the cross stands the devil. – Dutch Proverb

Being able to feel it on wooden shoes. – Dutch Proverb

Being quiet is agreeing. – Dutch Proverb

Being someones right hand. – Dutch Proverb

Better a bird in the hand than ten in the air. – Dutch Proverb

Better a blind horse than an empty halter. – Dutch Proverb

Better a blush in the face than a spot in the heart. – Dutch Proverb

Better a dog fawn on you than bite you. – Dutch Proverb

Better a friend than money to spend. – Dutch Proverb

Better a good neighbour than a distant friend. – Dutch Proverb

Better a leg broken than the neck. – Dutch Proverb

Better a ruined than a lost land. – Dutch Proverb

Better a slap from your friend than a kiss from your enemy. – Dutch Proverb

Better afield with the birds than hanging on lords. – Dutch Proverb

Better alone than in bad company. – Dutch Proverb

Better be carried by an ass than thrown by a horse. – Dutch Proverb

Better be envied than pitied. – Dutch Proverb

Better beg than steal. – Dutch Proverb

Better belly burst than good victuals spoil. – Dutch Proverb

Better half an egg than empty shells. – Dutch Proverb

Better have a dog for your friend than your enemy. – Dutch Proverb

Better keep peace than make peace. – Dutch Proverb

Better late than never. – Dutch Proverb

Better lose the anchor than the whole ship. – Dutch Proverb

Better lose your labour than your time in idleness. – Dutch Proverb

Better on the heath with an old cart that at sea in a new ship. – Dutch Proverb

Better once in heaven than ten times at the gate. – Dutch Proverb

Better one bird in the hand than ten in the sky. – Dutch Proverb

Better one eye-witness than ten hearsay witnesses. – Dutch Proverb

Better poor on land than rich at sea. – Dutch Proverb

Better poor on land that rich at sea. – Dutch Proverb

Better poor with honor than rich with shame. – Dutch Proverb

Better poor with honour than rich with shame. – Dutch Proverb

Better reap two day too soon than one too late. – Dutch Proverb

Better reap two days early than one day late. – Dutch Proverb

Better reap two days too soon than one too late. – Dutch Proverb

Better return half way than lose yourself. – Dutch Proverb

Better ride a good horse for a year, than an ass all your life. – Dutch Proverb

Better squinting than blind. – Dutch Proverb

Better stretch your hand than your neck. – Dutch Proverb

Better to be squinting than blind. – Dutch Proverb

Better to lose the anchor than the whole ship. – Dutch Proverb

Better twice remembered than once forgotten. – Dutch Proverb

Better when birds sing than where irons ring. – Dutch Proverb

Between two stools the breech comes to the ground. – Dutch Proverb

Between two stools you come to the ground. – Dutch Proverb

Beware of a white Spaniard and a black Englishman. – Dutch Proverb

Beware of an oak, it draws the stroke; avoid an ash, it counts the flash; creep under the thorn, it can save you from harm. – Dutch Proverb

Beware of the man of two faces. – Dutch Proverb

Beware of the person with two faces. – Dutch Proverb

Biding makes thriving. – Dutch Proverb

Big fish devour the little ones. – Dutch Proverb

Big fish eat little fish. – Dutch Proverb

Big fish spring out of the kettle. – Dutch Proverb

Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite them, and little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum. – Dutch Proverb

Birds of a feather flock together. – Dutch Proverb

Bite me not, my name is little grizzle; had I a little tail I should be a little lion. – Dutch Proverb

Black hens lays white eggs. – Dutch Proverb

Black will take no other hue. – Dutch Proverb

Blossoms are not fruits. – Dutch Proverb

Blow first, and sip afterwards. – Dutch Proverb

Borrowing brings care. – Dutch Proverb

Break a pot, pay for a pot. – Dutch Proverb

Butter with the fish. – Dutch Proverb

Buying a cat in a bag. – Dutch Proverb

By falling we earn to go safely. – Dutch Proverb

By falling we learn to go safely. – Dutch Proverb

By labor fire is got out of stone. – Dutch Proverb

By labour fire is got out of a stone. – Dutch Proverb

By night all cats are grey. – Dutch Proverb

By slow degrees the bird builds his nest. – Dutch Proverb

By the living we bury the dead. – Dutch Proverb

Care is the mother of the porcelain cabinet. – Dutch Proverb

Caress your dog, and he’ll spoil your clothes. – Dutch Proverb

Carrying water to the sea. – Dutch Proverb

Cast no roses before swine. – Dutch Proverb

Casting the iron whilst it is hot. – Dutch Proverb

Cats don’t catch the old birds. – Dutch Proverb

Caution is the parent of delicate beer-glasses. – Dutch Proverb

Cent-wisdom and dollar-folly. – Dutch Proverb

Claw me and I’ll claw thee. – Dutch Proverb

Clothes make the man. – Dutch Proverb

Coffee has two virtues, it’s wet and it’s warm. – Dutch Proverb

Coin a phrase. – Dutch Proverb

Cold broth hot again, that loved I never; Old love renew’d again, that loved I ever. – Dutch Proverb

Common fame seldom lies. – Dutch Proverb

Common Goods, no goods. – Dutch Proverb

Comparing apples with pears. – Dutch Proverb

Correction bringeth fruit. – Dutch Proverb

Counsel before action. – Dutch Proverb

Counsel is as welcome to him as a shoulder of mutton to a sick horse. – Dutch Proverb

Counsel is irksome when the matter is past remedy. – Dutch Proverb

Coupled sheep drown one another. – Dutch Proverb

Cover up the pot, there’s an eel in it. – Dutch Proverb

Covetousness is always filling a bottomless vessel. – Dutch Proverb

Covetousness is never satisfied till its mouth is filled with earth. – Dutch Proverb

Creaking carts last the longest. – Dutch Proverb

Cream doesn’t rise to the top, it works its way up. – Dutch Proverb

Cut your coat according to your cloth. – Dutch Proverb

Cut your coat to suit your cloth. – Dutch Proverb

Darkness and night are mothers of thought. – Dutch Proverb

Daughters are brittle ware. – Dutch Proverb

Daughters may be seen but not heard. – Dutch Proverb

Dead dogs don’t bite. – Dutch Proverb

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour. – Dutch Proverb

Death is in the pot. – Dutch Proverb

Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down. – Dutch Proverb

Death keeps no almanack. – Dutch Proverb

Death pays all debts. – Dutch Proverb

Deep swimmers and high climbers usually don’t die in their beds. – Dutch Proverb

Do not wake sleeping dogs. – Dutch Proverb

Do you speak English? – Dutch Proverb

Dogs have teeth in all countries. – Dutch Proverb

Dogs that bark at a distance bite not at hand. – Dutch Proverb

Dominies come for your wine, and officers for your daughters. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t buy a cat in a sack. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t buy a pig in a poke. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t cry herrings till they are in the net. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t cry holloa! till you’re out of the bush. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t overstrain your bow — it may break. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t postpone until tomorrow, what you can do today. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t sell the bearskin before the bear is dead. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t sell the skin till you’ve caught the bear. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t throw away your old shoes until you have got new ones. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t throw away your own shoes till you have got new ones. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t throw the handle after the bill. – Dutch Proverb

Don’t yoke the plough before the horses. – Dutch Proverb

Dropping a stitch. – Dutch Proverb

Eagles catch no flies. – Dutch Proverb

Eagles do not breed doves. – Dutch Proverb

Eagles don’t catch flies. – Dutch Proverb

East or west, home is best. – Dutch Proverb

East West, home best. – Dutch Proverb

East, west, home’s best. – Dutch Proverb

Eat bread that’s light, and cheese by weight. – Dutch Proverb

Economy is a great revenue. – Dutch Proverb

Empty vessels make the most sound. – Dutch Proverb

Enough is better than too much. – Dutch Proverb

Envy crieth of spite where honour rideth. – Dutch Proverb

Escaping from the smoke he falls into the fire. – Dutch Proverb

Even hares pull a lion by the beard when he is dead. – Dutch Proverb

Even if a monkey wears a golden ring, it is and remains an ugly thing. – Dutch Proverb

Every bird sings as it is beaked. – Dutch Proverb

Every day a thread makes a skein in the year. – Dutch Proverb

Every day is not a holiday. – Dutch Proverb

Every flail on the oats. – Dutch Proverb

Every flood has it ebb. – Dutch Proverb

Every flood has its ebb. – Dutch Proverb

Every house has its cross. – Dutch Proverb

Every little helps to lighten the freight, said the captain, as he threw his wife overboard. – Dutch Proverb

Every little pot has a fitting lid. – Dutch Proverb

Every man his own is not too much. – Dutch Proverb

Every man is master in his own house. – Dutch Proverb

Every man thinks his own owl a falcon. – Dutch Proverb

Every man’s friend is every man’s fool. – Dutch Proverb

Every one for himself, and God for us all. – Dutch Proverb

Every one is a preacher under the gallows. – Dutch Proverb

Every one is a thief in his own craft. – Dutch Proverb

Every one must row with the oars he has. – Dutch Proverb

Every shot does not bring down a bird. – Dutch Proverb

Every why has its wherefore. – Dutch Proverb

Everything has a wherefore. – Dutch Proverb

Everything has an end except God. – Dutch Proverb

Everything has an end with the exception of God. – Dutch Proverb

Everything has two handles. – Dutch Proverb

Evil words corrupt good manners. – Dutch Proverb

Fair money can cover much that’s foul. – Dutch Proverb

Fair money can cover mush that’s foul. – Dutch Proverb

Fair play’s a jewel. – Dutch Proverb

Fair words won’t fill the sack. – Dutch Proverb

Falling teaches us to walk safely. – Dutch Proverb

Falling with the door into the house. – Dutch Proverb

Far fetched and dear bought is meat for ladies. – Dutch Proverb

Feeling it from his water. – Dutch Proverb

Fine feathers make fine birds. – Dutch Proverb

Fine words don’t fill the belly. – Dutch Proverb

First a turnip, then a sheep; next a cow, and then the gallows. – Dutch Proverb

First catch your hare, then cook it. – Dutch Proverb

Folly hath eagle’s wings, but the eyes of an owl. – Dutch Proverb

Fools are free all the world over. – Dutch Proverb

Fools ask questions that wise men cannot answer. – Dutch Proverb

Fools ask what’s o’clock, but wise men know their time. – Dutch Proverb

Fools build house and wise men live in them. – Dutch Proverb

For a flying enemy make a silver bridge. – Dutch Proverb

For a good appetite there is no hard bread. – Dutch Proverb

For an apple and an egg. – Dutch Proverb

For great evils strong remedies. – Dutch Proverb

For the cat’s violin. – Dutch Proverb

For the concert of life, no one receives a program. – Dutch Proverb

Forbear a quarrel with a friend to move: anger breeds hatred; concord sweetens love. – Dutch Proverb

Forced love does not last. – Dutch Proverb

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. – Dutch Proverb

Fortune and glass break easily. – Dutch Proverb

Fortune and glass break soon, alas. – Dutch Proverb

Fortune does not stand waiting at any one’s door. – Dutch Proverb

Fortune is round; it makes one a king, another a dunghill. – Dutch Proverb

Fortune lost, nothing lost; courage lost, much lost; honour lost, more lost; soul lost, all lost. – Dutch Proverb

Friends are known in time of need. – Dutch Proverb

Friends are like fiddle-strings; they must not be screwed too tight. – Dutch Proverb

From a spark the house is burnt. – Dutch Proverb

From little things men go on to great. – Dutch Proverb

From small beginning come great things. – Dutch Proverb

From small beginnings come great things. – Dutch Proverb

From the boat we get to the ship. – Dutch Proverb

From the cradle to the tomb, Not all gladness, not all gloom. – Dutch Proverb

From the father comes honour, from the mother comfort. – Dutch Proverb

From trivial things great arguments often arise. – Dutch Proverb

Froth is no beer. – Dutch Proverb

Full bottles and glasses make swearers and asses. – Dutch Proverb

Full cup, steady hand. – Dutch Proverb

Geese are plucked as long as they have any feathers. – Dutch Proverb

Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains. – Dutch Proverb

Gentility, sent to market, will not buy a peck of meal. – Dutch Proverb

Gentle doctors cause smelly wounds. – Dutch Proverb

Give an ass oats and he runs after thistles. – Dutch Proverb

Give and take is fair play. – Dutch Proverb

Give at first asking what you safely can; ’tis certain gain to help an honest man. – Dutch Proverb

Give credit where credit is due. – Dutch Proverb

Give him an inch and he’ll take an ell. – Dutch Proverb

Give him an inch, he’ll take an ell. – Dutch Proverb

Give him your finger and he will seize your hand. – Dutch Proverb

Go softly and look afar. – Dutch Proverb

God cures, and the doctor gets the money. – Dutch Proverb

God deliver me from a man of one book. – Dutch Proverb

God deliver us from a gentleman by day and a friar by night. – Dutch Proverb

God does not pay weekly, but He pays at the end. – Dutch Proverb

God gives birds their food, but they must fly for it. – Dutch Proverb

God helps the strongest. – Dutch Proverb

God sells knowledge for labour, honour for risk. – Dutch Proverb

God sent him meat, but the devil cooked it. – Dutch Proverb

Going around with the hat. – Dutch Proverb

Good company makes short miles. – Dutch Proverb

Good company on a journey is worth a coach. – Dutch Proverb

Good day to you all! said the fox, when he got into the goose-pen. – Dutch Proverb

Good drink drives out bad thoughts. – Dutch Proverb

Good hunters track narrowly. – Dutch Proverb

Good leading makes good following. – Dutch Proverb

Good looking apples are sometimes sour. – Dutch Proverb

Good right needs good help. – Dutch Proverb

Good seed makes a good crop. – Dutch Proverb

Good things require time. – Dutch Proverb

Good tree, good fruit. – Dutch Proverb

Good wine needs no bush. – Dutch Proverb

Good wine praises itself. – Dutch Proverb

Grass grows not upon the highway. – Dutch Proverb

Grass is greener in other pastures. – Dutch Proverb

Great boast. little roast. – Dutch Proverb

Great cry and little wool, quoth the devil, when he sheared his hogs. – Dutch Proverb

Great fishes break the net. – Dutch Proverb

Great fools must have great bells. – Dutch Proverb

Great gaps may be filled with small stones. – Dutch Proverb

Great greediness to reap, helps not the money-heap. – Dutch Proverb

Great promisers, bad paymasters. – Dutch Proverb

Great talkers are little doers. – Dutch Proverb

Great thieves hang little thieves. – Dutch Proverb

Great wealth, great care. – Dutch Proverb

Great weights may hang on small wires. – Dutch Proverb

Guessing is missing. – Dutch Proverb

Half a word to the wise is enough. – Dutch Proverb

Half an egg is better than an empty shell. – Dutch Proverb

Handsome apples are sometimes sour. – Dutch Proverb

Handsome is as handsome does. – Dutch Proverb

Hannibal is at the gate. – Dutch Proverb

Hares are not caught with drums. – Dutch Proverb

Haste and speed are rarely good. – Dutch Proverb

Hastiness is the beginning of wrath, and its end repentance. – Dutch Proverb

Hasty questions require slow answers. – Dutch Proverb

Hasty speed don’t oft succeed. – Dutch Proverb

Hasty speed is rarely good. – Dutch Proverb

Having something on your liver. – Dutch Proverb

Having two left hands. – Dutch Proverb

He burns the candle at both ends. – Dutch Proverb

He buys honey dear who has to lick it off thorns. – Dutch Proverb

He cannot lay eggs, but he can cackle. – Dutch Proverb

He counts his chickens before they are hatched. – Dutch Proverb

He covers me with his wings, and bites me with his bill. – Dutch Proverb

He did hear the sound of the bell, but doesn’t know where the clapper hangs. – Dutch Proverb

He earns a farthing and has a penn’orth of thirst. – Dutch Proverb

He feels like a cat in an strange warehouse. – Dutch Proverb

He fell with his nose in the butter. – Dutch Proverb

He gapes like a clown at a fair. – Dutch Proverb

He has a ton of knowledge, but the bottom is out. – Dutch Proverb

He has a wolf-conscience. – Dutch Proverb

He has him under his thumb. – Dutch Proverb

He has lost the nest-egg. – Dutch Proverb

He has seen the wolf. – Dutch Proverb

He has the Bible on his lips, but not in his heart. – Dutch Proverb

He has the greatest blind side who thinks he has none. – Dutch Proverb

He heed have plenty of meal who would stop every man’s mouth. – Dutch Proverb

He howls with the wolves, and bleats with the sheep. – Dutch Proverb

He invites future injuries who rewards past ones. – Dutch Proverb

He is a man as a book. – Dutch Proverb

He is an aristocrat in folio. – Dutch Proverb

He is an essence of scoundrels. – Dutch Proverb

He is as easily caught as a hare with drums. – Dutch Proverb

He is as good a Catholic as Duke Alva’s dog; who ate flesh in Lent. – Dutch Proverb

He is as good a divine as Judas was an apostle. – Dutch Proverb

He is as poor as Job. – Dutch Proverb

He is as sharp as a leaden dagger. – Dutch Proverb

He is as welcome as the first day in Lent. – Dutch Proverb

He is no merchant who always gains. – Dutch Proverb

He is noble who performs noble deeds. – Dutch Proverb

He is nobody’s enemy but his own. – Dutch Proverb

He is of the race of Johnny Van Cleeve; who would always much rather have than give. – Dutch Proverb

He is so wise, that he goes upon the ice three days before it freezes. – Dutch Proverb

He is too idle to fetch his breath. – Dutch Proverb

He is too stupid to be trusted alone by the fire. – Dutch Proverb

He keeps his word, as the sun keeps butter. – Dutch Proverb

He lays his eggs beside his nest. – Dutch Proverb

He lives in the land of promise. – Dutch Proverb

He lives long who lives well. – Dutch Proverb

He lords it like an eel in a tub. – Dutch Proverb

He means well, but has a bad way of showing it. – Dutch Proverb

He measures others by his own standard. – Dutch Proverb

He must gape wide who would gape against an oven. – Dutch Proverb

He must have crept out of hell while the devil was asleep. – Dutch Proverb

He must indeed be a good master who never does wrong. – Dutch Proverb

He must rise betimes who would please everybody. – Dutch Proverb

He must shoot well who always hits the mark. – Dutch Proverb

He runs as fast as if he had eggs in his shoes. – Dutch Proverb

He said devil, but meant you. – Dutch Proverb

He studies the Bible of fifty-two leaves. – Dutch Proverb

He swims on his own bullrush. – Dutch Proverb

He talks like a sausage without the fat. – Dutch Proverb

He that abideth low cannot fall hard. – Dutch Proverb

He that buildeth upon the highway hath many advisers. – Dutch Proverb

He that can be patient finds his foe at his feet. – Dutch Proverb

He that can reply to an angry man is too hard for him. – Dutch Proverb

He that chases another does not sit still himself. – Dutch Proverb

He that comes unbidden goes unthanked. – Dutch Proverb

He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still. – Dutch Proverb

He that despises the little is not worthy of the great. – Dutch Proverb

He that despises the small is not worthy of the great. – Dutch Proverb

He that finds something before it is lost, will die before he is sick. – Dutch Proverb

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing. – Dutch Proverb

He that goes a-borrowing, goes a-sorrowing. – Dutch Proverb

He that has a choice has trouble. – Dutch Proverb

He that has the devil on his neck must find him work. – Dutch Proverb

He that has the luck leads the bride to church. – Dutch Proverb

He that hath a head of butter must not come near the oven. – Dutch Proverb

He that hath an ill name is half hanged. – Dutch Proverb

He that hath been bitten by a serpent is afraid of a rope. – Dutch Proverb

He that hath many irons in the fire, some of them will cool. – Dutch Proverb

He that hath no honey in his pot, let him have it in his mouth. – Dutch Proverb

He that hears much and speaks not at all Shall be welcome both in bower and hall.” – Dutch Proverb

He that hears much, hears many lies. – Dutch Proverb

He that is at sea has not the wind in his hands. – Dutch Proverb

He that is bitten by a dog must apply some of its hair. – Dutch Proverb

He that is embarked with the devil must sail with him. – Dutch Proverb

He that lives with cripples learns to limp. – Dutch Proverb

He that lives with wolves, must howl with wolves. – Dutch Proverb

He that looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already with her in his heart. – Dutch Proverb

He that loves his child chastises him. – Dutch Proverb

He that makes himself a sheep will be eaten by the wolf. – Dutch Proverb

He that plays at racket must watch the ball. – Dutch Proverb

He that pryeth into the clouds, may be struck with a thunderbolt. – Dutch Proverb

He that saves something today will have something tomorrow. – Dutch Proverb

He that spares something to-day will have something to-morrow. – Dutch Proverb

He that tickles himself, may laugh when he will. – Dutch Proverb

He that well considers the world, must own he has never seen a better. – Dutch Proverb

He that will cheat at play, will cheat you any way. – Dutch Proverb

He that will conquer must fight. – Dutch Proverb

He that will have eggs, must bear with cackling. – Dutch Proverb

He that will have fire must bear with smoke. – Dutch Proverb

He that will have no trouble in this world must not be born in it. – Dutch Proverb

He that will have the kernel, must crack the shell. – Dutch Proverb

He that will not be counselled cannot be helped. – Dutch Proverb

He that would have the kernel must crack the shell. – Dutch Proverb

He that would jest must take a jest, or else to let it alone were best. – Dutch Proverb

He that would make a golden gate, must bring a nail to it daily. – Dutch Proverb

He that would please all, and himself too, Undertakes what he cannot do. – Dutch Proverb

He that’s born to be hanged will never be drowned. – Dutch Proverb

He that’s long a giving, knows not how to give. – Dutch Proverb

He thinks to catch shell-fish in the trees. – Dutch Proverb

He waits long that waits for another main’s death. – Dutch Proverb

He wants for ever, who would more acquire. – Dutch Proverb

He wants to fly before he has wings. – Dutch Proverb

He wants to learn how to shave using my beard. – Dutch Proverb

He was born upon St. Galtpert’s night, three days before luck. – Dutch Proverb

He who attempts too much seldom succeeds. – Dutch Proverb

He who attempts too much seldom succeeds. – Dutch Proverb

He who burns his posteriors must sit on blisters. – Dutch Proverb

He who comes first, he who chews first. – Dutch Proverb

He who dies not in his twenty-third year, drowns not in his twenty-fourth, and is not slain in his twenty-fifth, may boast of good days. – Dutch Proverb

He who giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord. – Dutch Proverb

He who goes to bed with dogs will get up with fleas. – Dutch Proverb

He who has a choice has trouble. – Dutch Proverb

He who has no thirst has no business at the fountain. – Dutch Proverb

He who hunts two hares at once, catches neither. – Dutch Proverb

He who hurts his nose, hurts his face. – Dutch Proverb

He who is afraid of the leaves must not go into the wood. – Dutch Proverb

He who is outside his door already has the hard part of his journey behind him. – Dutch Proverb

He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him. – Dutch Proverb

He who is surety for another, pays for him. – Dutch Proverb

He who laughs last, laughs best. – Dutch Proverb

He who makes himself honey will be eaten by the bees. – Dutch Proverb

He who mixes himself with the draff will be eaten by the swine. – Dutch Proverb

He who pays well is master of another man’s purse. – Dutch Proverb

He who plants fruit-trees, must not count upon the fruit. – Dutch Proverb

He who slanders his neighbor makes a rod for his own back. – Dutch Proverb

He who tends to his own garden does not see the weeds of his neighbours. – Dutch Proverb

He who throws the ball, must expect it back. – Dutch Proverb

He who undertakes too many things at once seldom does any of them well. – Dutch Proverb

He who undertakes too much seldom succeeds. – Dutch Proverb

He who wants a new world must first buy the old. – Dutch Proverb

He who would catch a rogue must watch behind the door. – Dutch Proverb

He who would cheat a peasant, must take one with him. – Dutch Proverb

He who would gather honey must brave the sting of bees. – Dutch Proverb

He who would gather roses, must not fear thorns. – Dutch Proverb

He who would travel through the land, must go with open purse in hand. – Dutch Proverb

He whom the shoe fits should put it on. – Dutch Proverb

He would be wise who knew all things beforehand. – Dutch Proverb

He would bite a cent in two. – Dutch Proverb

He would rather have a bumper in hand than a Bible. – Dutch Proverb

He wriggles like an ell. – Dutch Proverb

Hearsay is half lies. – Dutch Proverb

Heaven preserve me from my friends. – Dutch Proverb

Heaven protects children, sailors, and drunken men. – Dutch Proverb

Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. – Dutch Proverb

Heavy purses and light hearts can sustain much. – Dutch Proverb

Help yourself, and God will help you. – Dutch Proverb

Hens like to lay when they see an egg. – Dutch Proverb

Hens like to lay where they see an egg. – Dutch Proverb

Herring in the land, the doctor at a stand. – Dutch Proverb

Hew not too high, lest a chip fall in thine eye. – Dutch Proverb

High trees catch lots of wind. – Dutch Proverb

High trees give more shadow than fruit. – Dutch Proverb

High winds blow on high hills. – Dutch Proverb

Hired horses make short miles. – Dutch Proverb

His money takes the place of wisdom. – Dutch Proverb

Honey is sweet, but the bee stings. – Dutch Proverb

Honour once lost never returns. – Dutch Proverb

Honours change manners. – Dutch Proverb

How we apples swim! said the horse-turd. – Dutch Proverb

Hunger drives the wolf out of the wood. – Dutch Proverb

Hunger eats through stone walls. – Dutch Proverb

Hunger finds no fault with the cookery. – Dutch Proverb

Hunger gives a relish even to raw beans. – Dutch Proverb

Hunger is the best sauce. – Dutch Proverb

Hungry flies bite sore. – Dutch Proverb

I am not here to catch flies. – Dutch Proverb

I have a mouth which I feed, it must speak what I please. – Dutch Proverb

I may go over my reckoning, but not over my time. – Dutch Proverb

I wish that he would sink as deep in the ground as a hare can run in ten years. – Dutch Proverb

I wot well how the world wags, He is most loved that hath most bags. – Dutch Proverb

Idleness is hunger’s mother, and of theft it is bull brother. – Dutch Proverb

If fools ate no bread, corn would be cheap. – Dutch Proverb

If fools went not to market, bad wares would not be sold. – Dutch Proverb

If he waits long enough the world will be his own. – Dutch Proverb

If he won’t carry the sack, give him a whack. – Dutch Proverb

If one won’t another will. – Dutch Proverb

If one, two and three say you are an ass, put on the ears. – Dutch Proverb

If the rope is weak, pull gently. – Dutch Proverb

If thou touchest pitch thou shalt be defiled. – Dutch Proverb

If you eat someone’s cake, you must also eat his lentils. – Dutch Proverb

If you hear a lot of things, you will hear a lot of lies. – Dutch Proverb

If you pull one pig by the tail all the rest squeak. – Dutch Proverb

Ill begun, ill done. – Dutch Proverb

I’ll sleep on it. – Dutch Proverb

Ill tidings come soon enough. – Dutch Proverb

Ill vessels seldom miscarry. – Dutch Proverb

Ill weed grows fast. – Dutch Proverb

Ill weeds grow apace. – Dutch Proverb

Ill-matched horses draw badly. – Dutch Proverb

In eating ’tis good to begin, one morsel helps the other in. – Dutch Proverb

In prosperity caution, in adversity patience. – Dutch Proverb

In prosperity think of adversity. – Dutch Proverb

In small boxes the best spice. – Dutch Proverb

In small woods may be caught large hares. – Dutch Proverb

In the company of the good we become good. – Dutch Proverb

In the courtroom of the conscience, a case is always in progress. – Dutch Proverb

In the division of inheritance, friendship standeth still. – Dutch Proverb

In the land of promise a man may die of hunger. – Dutch Proverb

In the land of the blind, one-eye is king. – Dutch Proverb

In time a mouse will gnaw through a cable. – Dutch Proverb

It flows like a fountain from a broomstick. – Dutch Proverb

It grieveth one dog that another goeth into the kitchen. – Dutch Proverb

It hangs upon a silken thread. – Dutch Proverb

It hits like a grip on a pig. – Dutch Proverb

It is a bad well into which one must put water. – Dutch Proverb

It is a bad well that you have to fill with water. – Dutch Proverb

It is a grief to one beggar that another stands at the door. – Dutch Proverb

It is a hard morsel that chokes. – Dutch Proverb

It is a poor mouse that has but one hole. – Dutch Proverb

It is bad marketing with empty pockets. – Dutch Proverb

It is better to blow than burn your mouth. – Dutch Proverb

It is better to ride for half a year on a good horse than to spend your entire life riding on a mule. – Dutch Proverb

It is easier to make a lady of a peasant-girl than a peasant-girl of a lady. – Dutch Proverb

It is easier to prevent ill habits than to break them. – Dutch Proverb

It is easy to be liberal out of another man’s purse. – Dutch Proverb

It is easy to cut thongs form other men’s leather. – Dutch Proverb

It is easy to find a stick to beat a dog. – Dutch Proverb

It is good fishing in troubled waters. – Dutch Proverb

It is good rowing with set sail. – Dutch Proverb

It is good rowing with the sail set. – Dutch Proverb

It is good sailing with wind and tide. – Dutch Proverb

It is good speaking that improves good silence. – Dutch Proverb

It is good spinning from another’s yarn. – Dutch Proverb

It is good to go afoot when one is tired of riding. – Dutch Proverb

It is good to sleep in a whole skin. – Dutch Proverb

It is good to warm oneself by another’s fire. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to blow with a full mouth. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to catch hares with unwilling hounds. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to find a pin in the dark. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to please every one. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to steal where the host is a thief. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to swim against the current. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to swim against the stream. – Dutch Proverb

It is hard to teach old dogs to bark. – Dutch Proverb

It is hasty speed that doesn’t succeed. – Dutch Proverb

It is ill catching hares with drums. – Dutch Proverb

It is ill sailing against wind and tide. – Dutch Proverb

It is ill sitting at Rome and striving with the Pope. – Dutch Proverb

It is ill takin’ the breeks off a highlandman. – Dutch Proverb

It is not the cowl that makes the friar. – Dutch Proverb

It is not the hen which cackles most that lays most eggs. – Dutch Proverb

It is pleasant to cut thongs on another man’s leather. – Dutch Proverb

It is prophet-drink. – Dutch Proverb

It is safest sailing within reach of the shore. – Dutch Proverb

It is safest to sail within reach of the shore. – Dutch Proverb

It is too late to cry “Hold hard!” when the arrow has left the bow. – Dutch Proverb

It is too late to lock the stable door when the horses have already been stolen. – Dutch Proverb

It needs a cunning hand to shave a fool’s head. – Dutch Proverb

It sticks to his fingers, like the charity-money to the matron. – Dutch Proverb

It’s a long lane that has no turning. – Dutch Proverb

It’s a poor heart that never rejoices. – Dutch Proverb

It’s bad combing where there is no hair. – Dutch Proverb

It’s better that the bakers are on horseback than the doctors. – Dutch Proverb

It’s good dancing on another man’s floor. – Dutch Proverb

It’s good feasting in another’s hall. – Dutch Proverb

It’s good steering with wind and tide. – Dutch Proverb

It’s good to be off wi’ the old love Before ye be on wi’ the new. – Dutch Proverb

It’s good to watch the rain from a dry standpoint. – Dutch Proverb

It’s hard to catch hawks with empty hands. – Dutch Proverb

It’s ill jesting with edged tools. – Dutch Proverb

It’s ill speaking between a full man and a fasting. – Dutch Proverb

It’s ill waiting for dead men’s shoes. – Dutch Proverb

It’s never too late. – Dutch Proverb

It’s no crime to steal from a thief. – Dutch Proverb

It’s pleasant to look on the rain, when one stands dry. – Dutch Proverb

It’s raining pipestems. – Dutch Proverb

It’s the empty can that makes the most noise. – Dutch Proverb

It’s the little things in life that count. – Dutch Proverb

It’s vain to learn wisdom yet live foolishly. – Dutch Proverb

Just toss it in my hat and I’ll sort it tomorrow. – Dutch Proverb

Keeping an eye on the sail. – Dutch Proverb

Keeping the finger on the wrist. – Dutch Proverb

Kicking in an open door. – Dutch Proverb

Know what you say, but don’t say all that you know. – Dutch Proverb

Knowing of the hat and the brim. – Dutch Proverb

Knowing where Abraham gets the mustard. – Dutch Proverb

Labour warms, sloth harms. – Dutch Proverb

Lead for old iron. – Dutch Proverb

Learn thou of learned men, th’ unlearned of thee; for thus must knowledge propagated be. – Dutch Proverb

Learn to creep before you run. – Dutch Proverb

Learn who are your friends when you are in need. – Dutch Proverb

Learned young is done old. – Dutch Proverb

Let every one look to himself, and no one will be lost. – Dutch Proverb

Let God’s waters run over God’s acres. – Dutch Proverb

Let it roll; it will right itself. – Dutch Proverb

Let lie what is too heavy to lift. – Dutch Proverb

Let me get over the lake, and I have no fear of the brook. – Dutch Proverb

Let me get over the lake, and I will have no fear of the brook. – Dutch Proverb

Life does not always go over roses. – Dutch Proverb

Light gains make a heavy purse. – Dutch Proverb

Lightly come, lightly go. – Dutch Proverb

Lightning never strikes the same place twice. – Dutch Proverb

Like a chicken without a head. – Dutch Proverb

Like a snail on a barrel of tar. – Dutch Proverb

Like master, like man. – Dutch Proverb

Like pot, like cover. – Dutch Proverb

Like to like, Jack to Gill, a penny a pair. – Dutch Proverb

Like will to like, be they poor or rich. – Dutch Proverb

Little fish are sweet. – Dutch Proverb

Little is done where many command. – Dutch Proverb

Little leaks sink the ship. – Dutch Proverb

Little pitchers have large ears. – Dutch Proverb

Little pots soon run over. – Dutch Proverb

Little pots soon run over. – Dutch Proverb

Little strokes fell great oaks. – Dutch Proverb

Little thieves are hanged by the neck, great ones by the purse. – Dutch Proverb

Little thieves have iron chains, and great thieves gold ones. – Dutch Proverb

Little things are pretty. – Dutch Proverb

Little things attract light minds. – Dutch Proverb

Little things please little minds. – Dutch Proverb

Little wood, much fruit. – Dutch Proverb

Live and let live. – Dutch Proverb

Long fasting doesn’t save bread. – Dutch Proverb

Long fasting is no bread sparing. – Dutch Proverb

Long looked for comes at last. – Dutch Proverb

Look not a gift horse in the mouth. – Dutch Proverb

Look not out for dead men’s shoes. – Dutch Proverb

Looking down at one’s nose. – Dutch Proverb

Looking for nails at low tide. – Dutch Proverb

Love makes labor light. – Dutch Proverb

Love makes labour light. – Dutch Proverb

Love makes the world go round. – Dutch Proverb

Love others well, but love thyself the most; give good for good, but not to thine own cost. – Dutch Proverb

Making a long nose. – Dutch Proverb

Man proposes, God disposes. – Dutch Proverb

Man punishes the action, but God the intention. – Dutch Proverb

Many hands make light work. – Dutch Proverb

Many heads, many minds. – Dutch Proverb

Many hounds are the death of the hare. – Dutch Proverb

Many hounds mean the death of the hare. – Dutch Proverb

Many open a door to shut a window. – Dutch Proverb

Many seek good nights and lose good days. – Dutch Proverb

Many seek good nights and waste good days. – Dutch Proverb

Many words don’t fill the sack. – Dutch Proverb

Many words go to a sackful. – Dutch Proverb

Many words will not fill a bushel. – Dutch Proverb

Marry in haste and repent at leisure. – Dutch Proverb

Marry in haste repent at leisure. – Dutch Proverb

Marry in May, rue for aye. – Dutch Proverb

Measure thrice before you cut once. – Dutch Proverb

Measure twice, cut once. – Dutch Proverb

Men can bear all things except good days. – Dutch Proverb

Men dig their graves with their teeth. – Dutch Proverb

Men don’t die of threats. – Dutch Proverb

Men go not laughing to heaven. – Dutch Proverb

Men must sail while the wind serveth. – Dutch Proverb

Men that crawl, never fall. – Dutch Proverb

Merchant’s goods are ebb and flood. – Dutch Proverb

Might is not right. – Dutch Proverb

Might is right. – Dutch Proverb

Milk the cow, but don’t pull off the udder. – Dutch Proverb

Misery loves company. – Dutch Proverb

Misfortunes never come single. – Dutch Proverb

Misfortunes that can’t be avoided must be sweetened. – Dutch Proverb

Misfortunes, when asleep, are not to be awakened. – Dutch Proverb

Money is power. – Dutch Proverb

Money is the sinew of war. – Dutch Proverb

Money is truthful. If a man speaks of his honor, make him pay cash. – Dutch Proverb

Money isn’t everything, but it’s way ahead of whatever is in second place. – Dutch Proverb

Money rules the world. – Dutch Proverb

More belongs to dancing than a pair of dancing-shoes. – Dutch Proverb

More flies are caught with a spoonful of syrup than with a barrel full of vinegar. – Dutch Proverb

More flies are taken with a drop of honey than a tun of vinegar. – Dutch Proverb

More luck than wit. – Dutch Proverb

Much talk, little work. – Dutch Proverb

Much wisdom is smothered in a poor man’s head. – Dutch Proverb

Mustard after the meal. – Dutch Proverb

My shirt is closer to me than my cloak. – Dutch Proverb

My shirt is nearer than my cloak. – Dutch Proverb

Necessity breaks iron. – Dutch Proverb

Necessity is the mother of invention. – Dutch Proverb

Necessity knows no law. – Dutch Proverb

Need makes the old wife trot. – Dutch Proverb

Neither reprove nor flatter thy wife, where any one heareth or seeth it. – Dutch Proverb

Never was hood so holy but the devil could get his head into it. – Dutch Proverb

Never wear a brown hat in Friesland. – Dutch Proverb

New brooms sweep clean. – Dutch Proverb

No better masters than poverty and want. – Dutch Proverb

No corn without chaff. – Dutch Proverb

No cross, no crown. – Dutch Proverb

No greater promisers than they who have nothing to give. – Dutch Proverb

No house without its cross. – Dutch Proverb

No mad dog runs seven years. – Dutch Proverb

No man knoweth fortune till he dies. – Dutch Proverb

No man learneth but by pain or shame. – Dutch Proverb

No money, no Swiss. – Dutch Proverb

No news is good news. – Dutch Proverb

No office so humble but it is better than nothing. – Dutch Proverb

No one can have peace longer than his neighbour pleases. – Dutch Proverb

No one is wise in his own affairs. – Dutch Proverb

No one knows where another’s shoe pinches. – Dutch Proverb

No one knows where the shoe pinches, but he who wears it. – Dutch Proverb

No one so sure but he may miss. – Dutch Proverb

No rose without a thorn. – Dutch Proverb

No sheep runs into the mouth of a sleeping wolf. – Dutch Proverb

No wheat without chaff. – Dutch Proverb

Nobility of soul is more honourable than nobility of birth. – Dutch Proverb

Nobody’s sweetheart is ugly. – Dutch Proverb

Not being able to reach it with your hat. – Dutch Proverb

Not having all of them in a row. – Dutch Proverb

Not shooting means always missing. – Dutch Proverb

Not turning his hand around for it. – Dutch Proverb

Not wearing a high cap of someone. – Dutch Proverb

Not wrapping it in cloth. – Dutch Proverb

Nothing in haste but catching fleas. – Dutch Proverb

Nothing is haste but catching flies. – Dutch Proverb

Nothing so bad but it finds its master. – Dutch Proverb

Nothing so bad but it might have been worse. – Dutch Proverb

Nothing so bold as a blind mare. – Dutch Proverb

Of hasty counsel take good heed, for haste is very rarely speed. – Dutch Proverb

Of listening children have your fears, for little pitchers have great ears. – Dutch Proverb

Offer a clown your finger, and he’ll take your fist. – Dutch Proverb

Oil is best at the beginning, honey at the end, and wine in the middle. – Dutch Proverb

Old birds are not caught with cats. – Dutch Proverb

Old foxes are hard to catch. – Dutch Proverb

On a small pretence the wolf devours the sheep. – Dutch Proverb

Once a thief, always a thief. – Dutch Proverb

Once a whore, always a whore. – Dutch Proverb

Once bit, twice shy. – Dutch Proverb

Once is no custom. – Dutch Proverb

One beats the bush, and another catches the bird. – Dutch Proverb

One bird in the hand is better than two flying. – Dutch Proverb

One cannot shoe a running horse. – Dutch Proverb

One can’t shoe a running horse. – Dutch Proverb

One crow does not make a winter. – Dutch Proverb

One crow does not peck out another’s eyes. – Dutch Proverb

One does it for love, another for honour, a third for money. – Dutch Proverb

One fool makes many. – Dutch Proverb

One God, one wife, but many friends. – Dutch Proverb

One good turn deserves another. – Dutch Proverb

One hand washes the other, and both the face. – Dutch Proverb

One lost, two found. – Dutch Proverb

One misfortune brings on another. – Dutch Proverb

One must sometimes hold a candle to the devil. – Dutch Proverb

One nail drives in another. – Dutch Proverb

One penny in the pot makes more noise than when it is full. – Dutch Proverb

One quill is better in the hand than seven geese upon the strand. – Dutch Proverb

One rotten apple in the basket infects the whole. – Dutch Proverb

One scabby sheep infects the whole flock. – Dutch Proverb

One should not think about it too much when marrying or taking pills. – Dutch Proverb

One sprinkles the most sugar where the tart is burned. – Dutch Proverb

One swallow does not make a summer. – Dutch Proverb

One swallow doesn’t make summer. – Dutch Proverb

One take-this, is better than two thou-shalt-haves. – Dutch Proverb

One tale is good till another is told. – Dutch Proverb

One’s own hearth is worth gold. – Dutch Proverb

Opportunity creates desire. – Dutch Proverb

Opportunity makes desire. – Dutch Proverb

Opportunity makes the thief. – Dutch Proverb

Opportunity never knocks twice at any man’s door. – Dutch Proverb

Opportunity only knocks once. – Dutch Proverb

Our time runs on like a stream; first fall the leaves and then the tree. – Dutch Proverb

Our wisdom is no less at Fortune’s mercy than our wealth. – Dutch Proverb

Out before day, in before night. – Dutch Proverb

Out of sight out of mind. – Dutch Proverb

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. – Dutch Proverb

Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. – Dutch Proverb

Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh. – Dutch Proverb

Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee. – Dutch Proverb

Painted flowers have no odour. – Dutch Proverb

Pastors come for your wine and officers for your daughters. – Dutch Proverb

Patience surpasses learning. – Dutch Proverb

Penny wise, and pound foolish. – Dutch Proverb

Perseverance brings success. – Dutch Proverb

Pleasures steal away the mind. – Dutch Proverb

Pleasures, while they flatter, sting. – Dutch Proverb

Poor folk’s wisdom goes for little. – Dutch Proverb

Postponement is cancellation. – Dutch Proverb

Poverty is the reward of idleness. – Dutch Proverb

Precaution said, Good friend, this counsel keep: strip not yourself until you’re laid to sleep. – Dutch Proverb

Precious things are mostly in small compass. – Dutch Proverb

Proffered service is little valued. – Dutch Proverb

Proffered service stinks. – Dutch Proverb

Profit by the folly of others. – Dutch Proverb

Promises make debt, and debt makes promises. – Dutch Proverb

Promises make debts, and debts make promises. – Dutch Proverb

Promising and performing are two things. – Dutch Proverb

Promising is one thing, performing another. – Dutch Proverb

Proverbs are the daughters of daily experience. – Dutch Proverb

Pull gently at a weak rope. – Dutch Proverb

Put not all your eggs into one basket. – Dutch Proverb

Put not your trust in princes. – Dutch Proverb

Put your hand in your conscience and see if it does not come out as black as pitch. – Dutch Proverb

Putting salt on every snail. – Dutch Proverb

Rejoice in little, shun what is extreme; the ship rides safest in a little stream. – Dutch Proverb

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. – Dutch Proverb

Rest makes rusty. – Dutch Proverb

Reward sweetens labor. – Dutch Proverb

Reward sweetens labour. – Dutch Proverb

Reynard is still Reynard, though he put on a cowl. – Dutch Proverb

Ride on, but look before you. – Dutch Proverb

Ridicule is the test of truth. – Dutch Proverb

Roast geese don’t come flying into your mouth. – Dutch Proverb

Roast pigeons don’t fly through the air. – Dutch Proverb

Roasted pigeons will not fly into one’s mouth. – Dutch Proverb

Roses fall, but the thorns remain. – Dutch Proverb

Rowing with the oars you posess. – Dutch Proverb

Self-love is blind. – Dutch Proverb

Self-love nobody else’s love. – Dutch Proverb

sell beets/apples as lemons. – Dutch Proverb

Set a beggar on horseback, and he don’t trot, but gallops. – Dutch Proverb

Set a thief to catch a thief. – Dutch Proverb

Set hard heart against hard hap. – Dutch Proverb

Set thy expense according to thy trade. – Dutch Proverb

Set your expense according to your trade. – Dutch Proverb

Shame lasts longer than poverty. – Dutch Proverb

Shared grief is half grief. – Dutch Proverb

She hangs out the broom. – Dutch Proverb

Shear the sheep but don’t flay them. – Dutch Proverb

Shoemaker stick to your last. – Dutch Proverb

Short reckonings make long friends. – Dutch Proverb

Show me a liar, and I’ll show you a thief. – Dutch Proverb

Showing off other people’s feathers. – Dutch Proverb

Sickness comes on horseback, but goes away on foot. – Dutch Proverb

Silence answers much. – Dutch Proverb

Silence is the answer to many things. – Dutch Proverb

Sitting down beside the boxes. – Dutch Proverb

Sitting securely in the saddle. – Dutch Proverb

Sitting with the hands in the hair. – Dutch Proverb

Skill and assurance form an invincible combination. – Dutch Proverb

Skill and assurance make an invincible combination. – Dutch Proverb

Sloth is the beginning of vice. – Dutch Proverb

Slowly but surely, the bird builds its nest. – Dutch Proverb

Small gains bring great wealth. – Dutch Proverb

Small pots have big ears/handles. – Dutch Proverb

Smoke, stench, and a troublesome wife are what drive men from home. – Dutch Proverb

So got, so gone. – Dutch Proverb

Soft and fair goeth far. – Dutch Proverb

Soon fire, soon ashes. – Dutch Proverb

Soon grass, soon hay. – Dutch Proverb

Soon ripe, soon rotten; soon wise, soon foolish. – Dutch Proverb

Sooner or later the truth comes to light. – Dutch Proverb

Sorrow will pay no debts. – Dutch Proverb

Sow not money on the sea, lest it sink. – Dutch Proverb

Spare at the spigot, and let out the bunghole. – Dutch Proverb

Spare the rod and spoil the child. – Dutch Proverb

Spare the rod, spoil the child. – Dutch Proverb

Speaking is silver, being silent is gold. – Dutch Proverb

Speaking is silver, silence is gold. – Dutch Proverb

Standing with the mouth full of teeth. – Dutch Proverb

Starved lice bite the hardest. – Dutch Proverb

Stay a while, and lose a mile. – Dutch Proverb

Step by step one goes far. – Dutch Proverb

Still waters are deep. – Dutch Proverb

Stock-fish are made tender by much beating. – Dutch Proverb

storm in a glass of water. – Dutch Proverb

Strain not your bow beyond its bent, lest it break. – Dutch Proverb

Stretch your legs no farther than your coverlet. – Dutch Proverb

Strew no roses before swine. – Dutch Proverb

Strike while the iron is hot. – Dutch Proverb

Stroke your dog, and he’ll spoil your clothes. – Dutch Proverb

Supple as a glove. – Dutch Proverb

Surfeits slay mae than swords. – Dutch Proverb

Sweep before your own door before you look after your neighbour’s. – Dutch Proverb

Sweep in front of your own door before you look after your neighbor’s. – Dutch Proverb

Take a horse by his bridle and a man by his word. – Dutch Proverb

Take counsel before it goes ill, lest it go worse. – Dutch Proverb

Take nothing in hand that may bring repentance. – Dutch Proverb

Take off your hat to your yesterdays; take off your coat for your tomorrows. – Dutch Proverb

Talk of the devil and you hear his bones rattle. – Dutch Proverb

Talk of the Devil, and he is bound to appear. – Dutch Proverb

Talk of the wolf and his tail appears. – Dutch Proverb

Tall trees catch much wind. – Dutch Proverb

Tastes differ. – Dutch Proverb

Teachers die, but books live on. – Dutch Proverb

Tell me the company you keep, and I will tell you who you are. – Dutch Proverb

Tell no one what you would have known only to yourself. – Dutch Proverb

Tender surgeons make foul wounds. – Dutch Proverb

That beer’s of your own brewing, and you must drink it. – Dutch Proverb

That is beggar’s fare, said the dame, when she fried eggs with the sausages. – Dutch Proverb

That is good wisdom which is wisdom in the end. – Dutch Proverb

That mouse will have a tail. – Dutch Proverb

That which burns thee not, cool not. – Dutch Proverb

That’s all well and good, but gold is better. – Dutch Proverb

That’s quickly done which is long repented. – Dutch Proverb

The absent always bear the blame. – Dutch Proverb

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. – Dutch Proverb

The arms of Bruges: an ass in an arm-chair. – Dutch Proverb

The art is not in making money, but in keeping it. – Dutch Proverb

The ass and the driver never think alike. – Dutch Proverb

The beadle’s cow may graze in the churchyard. – Dutch Proverb

The best cause requires a good champion. – Dutch Proverb

The best fodder is the mater’s eye. – Dutch Proverb

The best goods are the cheapest. – Dutch Proverb

The best helmsmen stand on shore. – Dutch Proverb

The best horse stumbles sometimes. – Dutch Proverb

The best pilots are ashore. – Dutch Proverb

The better lawyer, the worse Christian. – Dutch Proverb

The better the day, the better the deed. – Dutch Proverb

The blood creeps where it can’t go. – Dutch Proverb

The boor looks after a cent as the devil after a soul. – Dutch Proverb

The bow must not be always bent. – Dutch Proverb

The candle that goes before gives the best light. – Dutch Proverb

The clock ticks nowhere else the way it does at home. – Dutch Proverb

The cost is high of the honey that must be licked from thorns. – Dutch Proverb

The counterfeit image of a pot with two ears. – Dutch Proverb

The cow does not know the value of her tail till she has lost it. – Dutch Proverb

The cow gives good milk, but kicks over the pail. – Dutch Proverb

The death of one person means bread for another. – Dutch Proverb

The desire is the father of the thought. – Dutch Proverb

The devil has his martyrs among men. – Dutch Proverb

The devil is not so black as he is painted. – Dutch Proverb

The devil sits behind the cross. – Dutch Proverb

The devil take the hindmost. – Dutch Proverb

The devil’s in the cards, said Sam, four aces and not a single trump. – Dutch Proverb

The end crowns all. – Dutch Proverb

The end of mirth is the beginning of sorrow. – Dutch Proverb

The end of passion is the beginning of repentance. – Dutch Proverb

The eye of the master makes the horse fat, and that of the mistress the chambers neat. – Dutch Proverb

The eyes are bigger than the belly. – Dutch Proverb

The farther from Rome the nearer to God. – Dutch Proverb

The first in the boat has the choice of oars. – Dutch Proverb

The first occasion offered quickly take, lest thou repine at what thou didst forsake. – Dutch Proverb

The fly flutters about the candle till at last it gets burnt. – Dutch Proverb

The fly flutters around the candle till it gets burnt. – Dutch Proverb

The fox may lose his hair, but not his cunning. – Dutch Proverb

The fox never fares better than when he’s bann’d. – Dutch Proverb

The friar preached against stealing when he had a pudding in his sleeve. – Dutch Proverb

The frog will jump back into the pool, although it sits on a golden stool. – Dutch Proverb

The frost hurts not weeds. – Dutch Proverb

The fruit falls not far from the stem. – Dutch Proverb

The generous man enriches himself by giving; the miser hoards himself poor. – Dutch Proverb

The goose hisses, but does not bite. – Dutch Proverb

The grapes are sour, said the fox, when he could not get at them. – Dutch Proverb

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. – Dutch Proverb

The heart does not lie. – Dutch Proverb

The higher the mountain the lower the valley, the taller the tree the harder the fall. – Dutch Proverb

The innkeeper trusts his guests like he is himself. – Dutch Proverb

The less said the sooner mended. – Dutch Proverb

The less wit a man has, the less he knows that he wants it. – Dutch Proverb

The magpie cannot leave her hopping. – Dutch Proverb

The master’s eye and foot are the best manure for the field. – Dutch Proverb

The maw costs much. – Dutch Proverb

The monk preached against stealing, and had the good in his larder. – Dutch Proverb

The more haste, the less speed. – Dutch Proverb

The more servants the worse service. – Dutch Proverb

The more you stir a turd, the more it stinks. – Dutch Proverb

The morning hour has gold in its mouth. – Dutch Proverb

The most learned are not the wisest. – Dutch Proverb

The most noble dog can only bark. – Dutch Proverb

The mouse that hath but one hold is soon caught. – Dutch Proverb

The nearer the bone, the sweeter the flesh. – Dutch Proverb

The nearest boor is the nearest kinsman when the calf lies in the ditch. – Dutch Proverb

The nobler the tree, the more pliant the twig. – Dutch Proverb

The noblest vengeance is to forgive. – Dutch Proverb

The old ones sing, the young ones pipe. – Dutch Proverb

The older one grows the more one learns. – Dutch Proverb

The one who digs a hole for another will fall in it himself. – Dutch Proverb

The only free cheese is in the mousetrap. – Dutch Proverb

The open door invites the thief. – Dutch Proverb

The pen is mightier than the sword. – Dutch Proverb

The pitcher goes so long to the well that it breaks at last. – Dutch Proverb

The pot upbraids the kettle that it is black. – Dutch Proverb

The praise of fools is censure in disguise. – Dutch Proverb

The price of a laugh is too high, if it is raised at the expense of another. – Dutch Proverb

The purpose sanctifies the means. – Dutch Proverb

The rich devour the poor, and the devil devours the rich and so both are devoured. – Dutch Proverb

The rich have many friends. – Dutch Proverb

The rich man has his ice in the summer and the poor man gets his in the winter. – Dutch Proverb

The richest man, whate’er his lot, is the one content with what he’s got. – Dutch Proverb

The richest man, whatever his lot, is he who is content with what he has got.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. – Dutch Proverb

The ruling passion strong in death. – Dutch Proverb

The scabbier the sheep the harder it bleats. – Dutch Proverb

The seeds of the day are best planted in the first hour. – Dutch Proverb

The strength of a tree lies in its roots — not in its branches. – Dutch Proverb

The that creepeth falleth not. – Dutch Proverb

The third person makes good company. – Dutch Proverb

The third time pays for all. – Dutch Proverb

The thirteenth man brings death. – Dutch Proverb

The trade of thick-headed Michael: eating, drinking, and idling. – Dutch Proverb

The tree does not fall at the first stroke. – Dutch Proverb

The tree is known by its fruit. – Dutch Proverb

The truth is lost when there is too much debating. – Dutch Proverb

The wicked shun the light as the devil does the cross. – Dutch Proverb

The words are fair, said the wolf, but I will not come into the village. – Dutch Proverb

The workman is known by his work. – Dutch Proverb

The workman is worthy of his hire. – Dutch Proverb

The world likes to be cheated. – Dutch Proverb

The world’s a stage; each plays his part, and takes his share. – Dutch Proverb

The worse service, the better luck. – Dutch Proverb

The worse the carpenter, the more the chips. – Dutch Proverb

The worse the wheel, the more it creaks. – Dutch Proverb

The worst wheel makes most noise. – Dutch Proverb

The worth of a thing is best known by the want. – Dutch Proverb

The worth of a thing Is what it will bring. – Dutch Proverb

The young may die, the old must die. – Dutch Proverb

The young ravens are beaked like the old. – Dutch Proverb

There are more thieves than are hanged. – Dutch Proverb

There are no better masters than poverty and wants. – Dutch Proverb

There come as many calf-skins to market as ox-skins. – Dutch Proverb

There is a fool at every feast. – Dutch Proverb

There is a loose stitch with him. – Dutch Proverb

There is a remedy for all things save death. – Dutch Proverb

There is more to dancing than a pair of dancing shoes. – Dutch Proverb

There is no joy without alloy. – Dutch Proverb

There is no point in combing where there is no hair. – Dutch Proverb

There is nothing so secret but it transpires. – Dutch Proverb

There’s more to dancing than a pair of dancing shoes. – Dutch Proverb

There’s no making a donkey drink against his will. – Dutch Proverb

There’s no making a silk purse of a sow’s ear. – Dutch Proverb

They agree like cats and dogs. – Dutch Proverb

They are fools whose sheep run away twice. – Dutch Proverb

They are two hands on one belly. – Dutch Proverb

They understand one another like thieves in a fair. – Dutch Proverb

They who are often at the looking-glass seldom spin. – Dutch Proverb

They who come from afar have leave to lie. – Dutch Proverb

They who fight with golden weapons are pretty sure to prove they are right. – Dutch Proverb

Think before acting and whilst acting still think. – Dutch Proverb

Think before you begin. – Dutch Proverb

Thistles and thorns prick sore, but evil tongues prick even more. – Dutch Proverb

Those that dislike cats will be carried to the cemetery in the rain. – Dutch Proverb

Those that eat cherries with great persons shall have their eyes squirted out with the stones. – Dutch Proverb

Those who dislike cats will be carried to the cemetery in the rain. – Dutch Proverb

Threats don’t kill. – Dutch Proverb

Three women and a goose make a market. – Dutch Proverb

Throwing the hat at something. – Dutch Proverb

Thrust not thy finger in a fool’s mouth. – Dutch Proverb

Time and place make the thief. – Dutch Proverb

Time and straw make medlars ripe. – Dutch Proverb

Time brings roses. – Dutch Proverb

Time destroys all things. – Dutch Proverb

Time fleeth away without delay. – Dutch Proverb

Time gained, much gained. – Dutch Proverb

Time goes, death comes. – Dutch Proverb

Time is God’s and ours. – Dutch Proverb

Time is money. – Dutch Proverb

Time past never returns. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis a fat bird that bastes itself. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis a wise child that knows its own father. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis altogether vain to learn wisdom, and yet live foolishly. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis as necessary to him as gold weights are to a beggar. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis best woo where a man can see the smoke. – Dutch Proverb

Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis day still, while the sun shines. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis too late to spare when the cask is bare. – Dutch Proverb

‘Tis well that wicked cows have short horns. – Dutch Proverb

To do nothing teaches evil. – Dutch Proverb

To do nothing teacheth to do evil. – Dutch Proverb

To every fool his cap. – Dutch Proverb

To find the dog in the pot. – Dutch Proverb

To fish behind the net. – Dutch Proverb

To get eggs there must be some cackling. – Dutch Proverb

To get the lid on the nose. – Dutch Proverb

To hang your sickle on another man’s corn. – Dutch Proverb

To hit the nail on the head. – Dutch Proverb

To make an elephant out of a mosquito. – Dutch Proverb

To marry once is a duty, twice a folly, and three times — madness. – Dutch Proverb

To marry one is a duty; twice a folly; thrice is madness. – Dutch Proverb

To put the horse behind the cart. – Dutch Proverb

To resist with hand and tooth. – Dutch Proverb

To want the last from the pot. – Dutch Proverb

To-day for money, to-morrow for nothing. – Dutch Proverb

To-day red, to-morrow dead. – Dutch Proverb

To-day stately and brave, to-morrow in the grave. – Dutch Proverb

To-day’s sorrow brings nought to-morrow. – Dutch Proverb

Too err is human. – Dutch Proverb

Too many cooks oversalt the porridge. – Dutch Proverb

Too much of one thing is good for nothing. – Dutch Proverb

Touch a galled horse and he’ll wince. – Dutch Proverb

Travel east or travel west, a man’s own house is still the best. – Dutch Proverb

Trees often transplanted seldom prosper. – Dutch Proverb

Trees that are frequently transplanted rarely thrive. – Dutch Proverb

Trust arrives on foot and departs on horseback. – Dutch Proverb

Truth is lost with too much debating. – Dutch Proverb

Truth is stranger than fiction. – Dutch Proverb

Truth is the daughter of time. – Dutch Proverb

‘Twixt the spoon and the lip, the morsel may slip. – Dutch Proverb

Two cocks in one house, a cat and a mouse, an old man and young wife, are always in strife. – Dutch Proverb

Two dogs seldom agree over one bone. – Dutch Proverb

Union is strength. – Dutch Proverb

Unlaid eggs are uncertain chickens. – Dutch Proverb

Using a cannon to shoot a mosquito. – Dutch Proverb

Virtue consists in action. – Dutch Proverb

Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs

Virtue consists of action. – Dutch Proverb

Virtue is its own reward. – Dutch Proverb

Wake not a sleeping dog. – Dutch Proverb

Walking over corpses. – Dutch Proverb

Walls have ears. – Dutch Proverb

Was, flax, and tin; much in and little in. – Dutch Proverb

Wasting is a bad habit, saving is a sure income. – Dutch Proverb

We hang little thieves, and let great ones escape. – Dutch Proverb

Well begun is half done. – Dutch Proverb

Well started is half won. – Dutch Proverb

Were every one to sweep before his own house, every street would be clean. – Dutch Proverb

Were everyone to sweep in front of his own house, every street would be clean. – Dutch Proverb

Were fools silent, they would pass for wise. – Dutch Proverb

Were the sky to fall, not an earthen pot would be left whole. – Dutch Proverb

What costs nothing is worth nothing. – Dutch Proverb

What good serve candle and glasses, if the owl does not want to see. – Dutch Proverb

What has horns will gore. – Dutch Proverb

What is bred in the bone won’t out of the flesh. – Dutch Proverb

What is long spoken of happens at last. – Dutch Proverb

What is lost in the fire must be sought in the ashes. – Dutch Proverb

What is wrong today won’t be right tomorrow. – Dutch Proverb

What is wrong to-day won’t be right to-morrow. – Dutch Proverb

What lay hidden under the snow cometh to light at last. – Dutch Proverb

What the eye sees not, the heart craves not. – Dutch Proverb

What the farmer doesn’t recognize, he doesn’t eat. – Dutch Proverb

What the heart is full of, the mouth runs over with. – Dutch Proverb

What the old ones sing, the young ones whistle. – Dutch Proverb

What the sober man thinks, the drunkard tells. – Dutch Proverb

What the soldier said isn’t evidence. – Dutch Proverb

When a mouse has fallen into a meal sack, he thinks he is the miller himself. – Dutch Proverb

When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman? – Dutch Proverb

When an old dog barks, look out. – Dutch Proverb

When apes climb high, they show their naked rumps. – Dutch Proverb

When bale is hext, boot is next. – Dutch Proverb

When cats are mousing they don’t mew. – Dutch Proverb

When every one sees that you are a pig, why don’t you go into the sty? – Dutch Proverb

When flies swarm in March, sheep come to their death. – Dutch Proverb

When fools go to market, pedlars make money. – Dutch Proverb

When gnats swarm in January, the peasant becomes a beggar. – Dutch Proverb

When God means to punish a nation, He deprives its rulers of wisdom. – Dutch Proverb

When God pleases, it rains with every wind. – Dutch Proverb

When God will not, the saints cannot. – Dutch Proverb

When had comes, have is too late. – Dutch Proverb

When hard work goes out of the door, poverty comes in at the window. – Dutch Proverb

When industry goes out of the door, poverty comes in at the window. – Dutch Proverb

When it is God’s will to plague a man, a mouse can bite him to death. – Dutch Proverb

When many shepherds tend the sheep, they but so much the longer sleep. – Dutch Proverb

When misery is highest help is nighest. – Dutch Proverb

When nought comes to aught, it does not know itself. – Dutch Proverb

When one hand washes another, both become clean. – Dutch Proverb

When one sheep is over the dam, the rest follow. – Dutch Proverb

When prosperity smiles, beware of its guiles. – Dutch Proverb

When the ass is too happy he begins dancing on the ice. – Dutch Proverb

When the calf is drowned they cover the well. – Dutch Proverb

When the cat is not home, the mice dance on the table. – Dutch Proverb

When the cat sleeps, the mice play. – Dutch Proverb

When the cat’s away, it is jubilee with the mice. – Dutch Proverb

When the cook and the steward fall out, we hear who stole the butter. – Dutch Proverb

When the devil gets into the church he seats himself on the altar. – Dutch Proverb

When the dog is down, every one is ready to bite him. – Dutch Proverb

When the head is sick the whole body is sick. – Dutch Proverb

When the husband earns well, the wife spends well. – Dutch Proverb

When the mouse has had its fill, the meal turns bitter. – Dutch Proverb

When the old dog barks, he gives counsel. – Dutch Proverb

When the ox falls, there are many that will help to kill him. – Dutch Proverb

When the pig has had a bellyful it upsets the trough. – Dutch Proverb

When the pirate prays, there is great danger. – Dutch Proverb

When the pot boils over it cooleth itself. – Dutch Proverb

When the sack is full, it pricks up its ears. – Dutch Proverb

When the shepherd strays, the sheep stray. – Dutch Proverb

When the stomach is full the heart is glad. – Dutch Proverb

When the tree falls everyone runs to cut the branches. – Dutch Proverb

When the water level decreases, the ice will crack. – Dutch Proverb

When the wine goes in the wit goes out. – Dutch Proverb

When the wine is in the man, the wit is in the can. – Dutch Proverb

When the wolf grows old the crows ride him. – Dutch Proverb

When thieves fall out, honest men get their goods back. – Dutch Proverb

When thine enemy retreateth, make him a golden bridge. – Dutch Proverb

When things are at the worst they begin to mend. – Dutch Proverb

When things go well it is easy to advise. – Dutch Proverb

When thy neighbour’s house is on fire it’s time to look about thee. – Dutch Proverb

When two dogs fight for a bone, the third runs away with it. – Dutch Proverb

When two dogs fight over a bone, a third one carries it away. – Dutch Proverb

When two quarrel both are in the wrong. – Dutch Proverb

When two quarrel, both are to blame. – Dutch Proverb

When Want comes in at the door, Love flies out at the window. – Dutch Proverb

When we least expect it, the hare darts out of the ditch. – Dutch Proverb

Where a man feels pain he lays his hand. – Dutch Proverb

Where poverty comes in at the door, loves flies out at the window. – Dutch Proverb

Where the bee sucks honey the spider sucks poison. – Dutch Proverb

Where the bird was hatched it haunts. – Dutch Proverb

Where the dike is lowest the water first runs over. – Dutch Proverb

Where the hedge is lowest every one goes over. – Dutch Proverb

Where there is nothing, the Emperor loses his right. – Dutch Proverb

Where there’s a will, there is a way. – Dutch Proverb

Where there’s no good within, no good comes out. – Dutch Proverb

While the grass grows, the steed starves. – Dutch Proverb

Whilst doing one learns. – Dutch Proverb

Who buys wants a hundred eyes, who sells need have but one. – Dutch Proverb

Who can escape envy and blame, that speaks or writes for public fame? – Dutch Proverb

Who chastises his child will be honoured by him, who chastises him not will be shamed. – Dutch Proverb

Who comes first, grinds first. – Dutch Proverb

Who does well, meets goodwill. – Dutch Proverb

Who doesn’t keep faith with God won’t keep it with men. – Dutch Proverb

Who don’t keep faith with God won’t keep it with man. – Dutch Proverb

Who excuses, accuses. – Dutch Proverb

Who fears no shame comes to no honour. – Dutch Proverb

Who gives to me, teaches me to give. – Dutch Proverb

Who goes fasting to bed will sleep but lightly. – Dutch Proverb

Who has a bad wife, his hell begins on earth. – Dutch Proverb

Who has but one eye must take good care of it. – Dutch Proverb

Who has deceived thee so oft as thyself? – Dutch Proverb

Who has many servants has many thieves. – Dutch Proverb

Who has no thirst has no business at the foundation. – Dutch Proverb

Who has only one eye must take good care of it. – Dutch Proverb

Who has plenty of pepper may pepper his beans. – Dutch Proverb

Who is righteous overmuch is a morsel for the Old One. – Dutch Proverb

Who is tired of happy days, let him take a wife. – Dutch Proverb

Who knows the language is at home everywhere. – Dutch Proverb

Who knows the tongues is at home everywhere. – Dutch Proverb

Who reckons without his host must reckon again. – Dutch Proverb

Who runs is followed. – Dutch Proverb

Who seeds wind, shall harvest storm. – Dutch Proverb

Who serves the public serves a fickle master. – Dutch Proverb

Who spits against the wind, fouls his beard. – Dutch Proverb

Who to-day was a haughty knight, is to-morrow a pennyless wight. – Dutch Proverb

Who travels for love finds a thousand miles not longer than one. – Dutch Proverb

Who undertakes many things at once seldom does anything well. – Dutch Proverb

Who undertakes too much, succeeds but little. – Dutch Proverb

Who ventures to lend, loses money and friend. – Dutch Proverb

Who wants fire, let him look for it in the ashes. – Dutch Proverb

Who wants to beat a dog, soon finds a stick. – Dutch Proverb

Who watches not catches not. – Dutch Proverb

Who weds a sot to get his cot, will lose the cot and keep the sot. – Dutch Proverb

Who would regard all things complacently must wick at a great many. – Dutch Proverb

Who writes love letters grows thin; who carries them, fat. – Dutch Proverb

Whoever gossips about his relatives has no luck and no blessing. – Dutch Proverb

Whoso hunteth with cats will catch nothing but rats. – Dutch Proverb

Whoso is tired of happy days, let him take a wife. – Dutch Proverb

Wisdom in the man, patience in the wife, brings peace to the house, and a happy life. – Dutch Proverb

Wisdom is a good purchase, though we pay dear for it. – Dutch Proverb

Wise men sue for offices, and blockheads get them. – Dutch Proverb

Wise people can’t answer the most foolish questions. – Dutch Proverb

Wise rats run from a falling house. – Dutch Proverb

Wishes are the echo of a lazy will. – Dutch Proverb

With a French sweep. – Dutch Proverb

With a friend behind you, you have a safe bridge. – Dutch Proverb

With a good name one may easily sin. – Dutch Proverb

With a good name one may sin easily. – Dutch Proverb

With hard work, you can get fire out of a stone. – Dutch Proverb

With honour and store, what would you more. – Dutch Proverb

With the good we become good. – Dutch Proverb

With your hat in your hand you can travel the entire country. – Dutch Proverb

Women who are often at the looking-glass seldom spin. – Dutch Proverb

Woods have ears and fields have eyes. – Dutch Proverb

Worldly good is ebb and flood. – Dutch Proverb

You cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. – Dutch Proverb

You can’t hatch chickens from fried eggs. – Dutch Proverb

You can’t shoe a horse while it is running. – Dutch Proverb

You never know how a cow catches a rabbit. – Dutch Proverb

You never know what you can do till you try. – Dutch Proverb

Young cats will mouse, young apes will louse. – Dutch Proverb

Young folk, silly folk; old folk, cold folk. – Dutch Proverb

Young folks think old folks to be fools, but old folks know young folks to be fools. – Dutch Proverb

Young fools think that the old are dotards, but the old have forgotten more than the young fools know. – Dutch Proverb

Young twigs may be bent, but not old trees. – Dutch Proverb

Your friend lends and your enemy asks for payment. – Dutch Proverb

You’ve got to stare the cat down out of the tree. – Dutch Proverb

Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs and Meanings

  • “Wie a zegt moet ook b zeggen.”
    • English equivalent: In for a penny, in for a pound.
  • Aan de vruchten kent men den boom.
    • English equivalent: A tree is known by its fruit.
    • “‘Children should educate their parents’, he [Karl Marx] used to say.” Paul Lafargue, Marx’s son-in-law, in Reminiscences of Marx (September 1890)
  • Aanval is de beste verdediging.
    • English equivalent: The best defence is a good offence.
    • “You are more likely to win if you take the initiative and make an attack rather than preparing to defend yourself.”
  • Acht is meer dan duizend.
    • English equivalent: Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.
    • “Eight [homonym ‘careful attention’ and ‘eight’] is more than a thousand.”
  • Al draagt een aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding.
    • English equivalent: A golden bit does not make the horse any better.
  • Als de kat van huis is, dansen de muizen op tafel.
    • English equivalent: When the cat’s away, the mice will play
      • When the ‘boss’ isn’t there, the people make a mess of it.
  • Afwisseling van spijs doet eten.
    • English equivalent: Variety pleases.
  • Alle beetjes helpen.
    • English equivalent: Every little helps.
    • “All contributions, however small, are of use.”
  • Alle waar is naar zijn geld.
    • English equivalent: Everything is worth its price.
  • Alles heeft zijn reden.’
    • English equivalent: Every why has a wherefore.
    • “Everything has an underlying reason.”
  • Als de berg niet tot Mohammed wil komen dan moet Mohammed naar de berg gaan.
    • English equivalent: If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
    • “If you cannot get what you want, you must adapt yourself to the circumstances or adopt a different approach.”
  • Als je hem een vinger geeft, neemt hij de hele hand.
    • English equivalent: Give him an inch he will take a yard.
  • Als elk voor zijn huis veegt, zo worden alle straten schoon.
    • English equivalent: Everyone should sweep before his own door.
    • Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky,Notes From the Underground (1864)
  • De ratten verlaten het zinkende schip.
    • English equivalent: Rats desert a sinking ship.
    • A leader or organization in trouble will quickly be abandoned.
  • Alles komt op zijn tijd.
    • English equivalent. He that can have patience can have what he will; Patience is a remedy for every sorrow.
  • Belofte maakt schuld.
    • “They give promise to our ear, and break it to our hope.”
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1603)
  • Beter alleen, dan in kwaad gezelschap.
    • It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  • Beter een half ei, dan een lege dop.
    • English equivalent: Half a loaf is better than no bread.
    • “‘We must be grateful for what we get, even if it is less than we desire.” Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). 
  • Beter één vogel in de hand dan tien in de lucht.
    • Better is one bird in the hand than ten in the air.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • “Something you have for certain now is of more value than something better you may get, especially if you risk losing what you have in order to get it.” Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007)..
  • Beter hard geblazen, dan de mond gebrand.
    • Better to have blown hard, than to have a burned mouth.
    • English equivalent: Better safe than sorry.
  • ‘’Beter laat dan nooit.’’
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
    • “It is better that somebody arrives or something happens later than expected or desired, than not at all.”
  • Beter voorkomen dan genezen.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Bezint eer gij begint.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap.
    • “That low man seeks a little thing to do,
      Sees it and does it:
      This high man with a great thing to pursue,
      Dies ere he knows it.
      That low man goes on adding one to one,
      His hundred’s soon hit:
      This high man, aiming at a million,
      Misses an unit.”Robert Browning, Men and Women (1855)
  • Bij nacht zijn alle katten grauw.
    • English equivalent: At night all cats are grey.
  • Blaffende honden bijten niet.
    • Barking dogs don’t bite.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
    • People who make the most or the loudest threats are the least likely to take action.
  • De appel valt niet ver van de boom.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • “Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents.”
  • De baard maakt geen wijsgeer; anders was er de bok goed aan.
    • English equivalent: If the beard were all, the goat might preach.
  • De baas wordt altijdt het slechtst bediend.
    • English equivalent: The boss is always served the worst.
  • De draad breekt daar hij zwakst is.
    • English equivalent: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
    • “A weak part or member will affect the success or effectiveness of the whole.” Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007).
  • De duivel heeft het vragen uitgevonden.
    • The devil invented questioning.
    • English equivalent: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
    • “A little Learning is a dang’rous Thing;
      Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
      There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
      And drinking largely sobers us again.” Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism”, (1709)
  • “De eene nagel drift den anderen uit.”
    • English equivalent: One nail drives out another.
    • “As one nail drives out another
      , So the remembrance of my former love
      Is by a newer object quite forgotten.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1592)
  • De eersten zullen de laatsten zijn.
    • English equivalent: The last will be first, and the first last.
  • De geschiedenis herhaalt zich.
    • English equivalent: Something that has happened once can happen again.
  • De gestadige drup holt de steen.
    • English equivalent: A constant drip wears the stone.
    • “A drop hollows out the stone by falling not twice, but many times; so too is a person made wise by reading not two, but many books.” (Giordano Bruno, Il Candelaio)
  • De grote vissen eten de kleine.
    • English equivalent: People are like fish; the big ones devour the small.
    • “Small organizations or insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater and more powerful.”
  • De mens wikt, maar God beschikt.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes but God disposes.
  • Wie eerst komt, wie eerst maalt.
    • English equivalent: First come, first served.
  • Die mij bemint, bemint ook mijn hond.
    • English equivalent: Love me, love my dog.
  • De muren hebben oren.
    • English equivalent: walls have ears.
    • “What you say may be overheard; used as a warning.”
  • De rook van het vaderland is aangenamer dan een vreemd vuur.
    • English equivalent: Dry bread at home is better than roast meat abroad.
  • De toekomst is een boek met zeven sloten.
    • English equivalent: Whatever will be, will be.
  • De uitkomst zal het leren.
    • English equivalent: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
    • “The taste, not the looks, must constitute the criterion. It may be like, many other things, beautiful externally but within devoid of every excellence.”
  • De uitzondering bevestigt de regel.
    • The exception confirms the rule.
    • Source: Verklarend Handwoordenboek Der Nederlandse Taal. Taylor & Francis. 1971. p. 118.
  • Des volks stem is Gods stem.
    • English equivalent: The voice of the people is the voice of God.
  • De waarheid wil niet altijd gezegd zijn.
    • English equivalent: All truths are not to be told.
  • De weg naar de hel is geplaveid met goede voornemens.
    • The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
  • Die den honing wil uithalen, moet het stijken der bijen ondergaan.
    • English equivalent: Honey is sweet, but the bees sting.
  • Die eens steelt is altijd een dief.
    • English equivalent: Before you make a friend eat a bushel of salt with him.
    • “People keep telling us who they are, but we ignore it – because we want them to be who we want them to be.”
    • Lisa Albert, Janet Leahy, Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (2010)
  • Die goed doet, goed ontmoet.
    • English equivalent: If you do good, good will be done to you.
  • Doet naar mijn woorden en niet naar mijn werken.
    • English equivalent: Preachers say: do as I say, not as i do.
    • Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.”
    • Christian Nestell Bovee, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862)
  • Door de bomen het bos niet meer zien.
    • English equivalent: Missing the forest because of the trees.
    • Theissen, S. and P. Hiligsmann (1999). Uitdrukkingen en spreekwoorden van A tot Z: Dictionnaire n√©erlandais-fran√ßais d’expressions et de proverbes Explication, traduction et exercices, De Boeck Universit√©.
  • Een bloode hond word zelden velt.
    • English equivalent: Discretion is the better part of valor.
  • Een dichter wordt geboren, een redenaar word gemaakt.
    • English equivalent: Poets are born, but orators are trained.
  • Een drenkeling klemt zich aan een strohalm vast.
    • English equivalent: A drowning man plucks at a straw.
  • Een gek zegt wel eens een wijs woord..
    • English equivalent: A fool may give a wise man counsel.
  • Een gewaarschuwd mens telt voor twee.
    • A warned man counts as two.
    • English equivalent: Warned is forearmed.
  • Een gierigaard is nooit rijk.
    • Covetousness is its own stepmother.
    • English equivalent: The covetous man is good to none and worst to himself.
  • Een goede naam is beter dan olie.
    • English equivalent: A good name is the best of all treasures.
  • Een kat in de zak kopen.
    • English equivalent: Let the buyer have thousand eyes for the seller wants only one.
  • Een kroum hout brandt zowel als een recht.
    • English equivalent: Crooked logs make straight fires.
    • “One learns taciturnity best among people who have none, and loquacity among the taciturn.” Jean Paul Richter, Hesperus, XII.
  • Een mens zijn zin is een mens zijn leven.
    • English equivalent: His own desire leads every man.
  • Een slecht werksman beschuldigt altijd zijn tuig.
    • A bad craftsman blames his tools.
  • Een spiering uitwerpen, om een kabeljaauw te vangen.
    • To throw a smelt, to catch a codfish.
    • English equivalent: Set a herring to catch a whale.
  • Er is niets nieuw onder de zon.
    • English equivalent: There is nothing new under the sun.
  • Er schuilt een adder in ‘t gras.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.
  • Er zijn geen ergere blinden dan die niet zien willen.
    • English equivalent: There are none so blind as they who will not see.
  • Er zijn geen ergere doven dan die niet horen willen.
    • English equivalent: None so deaf as those who will not hear.
  • Ga niet op het uiterlijk af.
    • English equivalent: Never judge by appearances; Judge not a man and things at first sight.
    • “No good Book, or good thing of any sort, shows its best face at first.” Thomas Carlyle, Essays, “Novalis”
  • Geeft men hem den duim, dan wil hij er de vingers nog bij hebben.
    • English equivalent: Give him an inch and he will take a yard.
  • Geen geld, geen Zwitsers.
    • No money, no Swiss.
    • English equivalent: If you pay peanuta you get monkeys.
    • “If something is expensive to develop, and somebody’s not going to get paid, it won’t get developed. So you decide: Do you want software to be written, or not?”
  • Geduld gaat boven geleerdheid.
    • Patience goes beyond knowledge.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains.
    • Patience can often do more than your wits.
  • Geld moet rollen.
    • Money must roll.
    • English equivalent: Money is there to be spent.
    • Ted Eckles [about time travel tourism] It is awfully expensive.
    • Christian Middleton What’s the point of being rich if you don’t buy things other people can’t afford?”
    • From the film A Sound of Thunder (2005), directed by Peter Hyams
  • Gen haar zoo klein of het heeft ook zijn schaduw.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Every hair casts its shadow.
  • Geen regel zonder uitzondering.
    • There exists no rule without exceptions.
    • English equivalent: There is no rule without an exception.
  • Geen rook zonder vuur.
    • No smoke without fire.
    • Rumors are always, partially, based on facts.
    • Other meaning: There is a reason behind everything that happens.
  • Gemeen gerucht is zelden gelogen.
    • Common rumor seldom lies.
    • English equivalent: Common fame is often to blame.
    • A general disrepute is often true.
  • Gemeene plaag rust wel.
    • English equivalent: A problem shared is a problem halved.
  • Geneesheer, genees u zelven!
    • English equivalent: Physician, heal yourself!
    • Don’t correct other people’s faults; correct your own faults instead.
  • Gezondheid is een grote schat.
    • English equivalent: Good health is above wealth.
    • “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world – and loses his health?” Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948)
  • Geweld is geen recht.
    • English equivalent: Might is not always right.
  • God behoede mij voor mijn vrienden, mijn vijenden neem ik zelf voor mijn rekening.
    • God save me from my friends; my enemies I can handle myself.
    • English equivalent: A mans worst enemies are often those of his own house.
  • God schept geen mond, of hij schept er ook brood.
    • English equivalent: Each day brings it own bread.
    • Try not to worry so much about the future.
  • Goed begin, goed einde.
    • Translation and English equivalent: A good beginning makes a good ending.
    • “Starting properly ensures the speedy completion of a process. A – beginning is often blocked by one or more obstacles (potential barriers) the removal of which may ensure the smooth course of the process.”
  • Goed verloren, niet verloren; moed verloren, veel verloren; eer verloren, meer verloren; ziel verloren, al verloren.
    • English equivalent: Courage lost, all lost.
  • Goede wijn behoeft geen krans.
    • Good wine needs no wreath.
    • Note: It was customary since early times to hang a grapevine, ivy or other greenery over the door of a tavern or way stop to advertise the availability of drink within.
    • English equivalent: Good wine needs no bush.
    • “A good product does not need advertising.”
  • Goedkoop is duurkoop.
    • Cheaply bought is expensively bought.
    • English equivalent: If you buy cheaply you pay dearly. / Penny-wise, pound foolish.
  • Goed is goed, maar beter is beter.
    • English equivalent: Better is the enemy of good.
    • “The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak.” Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Politique tirée de l’Écriture sainte (1709)
  • Goed voorgaan doet goed volgen.
    • A good example will gain much following.
    • English equivalent: Lead by example.
    • “Socrates
      Whom, well inspir’d, the oracle pronounc’d
      Wisest of men.” John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671), Book IV, line 274
  • Haast je langzaam.
    • English equivalent: More haste, less speed.
  • Herrenhulde is geen erve.
    • English equivalent: A king’s favour is no inheritance.
  • Heden ik, morgen gij.
    • English equivalent: Today me, tomorrow thee.
    • “When you see a man in distress, recognize him as a fellow man.” Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens, 463.
  • Eind goed, al goed.
    • English equivalent: All is well that ends well.
    • “Problems and misfortunes along the way can be forgotten as long as the end is satisfactory.”
  • Het geluk helpt de dapperen.
    • English equivalent: Fortune favours the bold.
  • Het komt veel aan op de manier waarop men iets zegt.
    • English equivalent: It is not what you say, it is the way you say it.
    • “Logic only gives man what he needs. Magic gives him what he wants.” Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction (1971)
    • Bilbo Baggins: Good morning.
      Gandalf: What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning or do you mean that it is a good morning wheter I want it or not? Or perhaps you mean to say that you feel good on this particular morning? Or are you simply stating that this is a morning to be a good on? Hm?
      Bilbo Baggins: All of them at once, I suppose.” J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
  • Het middel is vaak erger dan de kwaal.
    • English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease.
    • “Action taken to put something right is often more unpleasant or damaging than the original problem.”
  • Het gelijke word door het gelijke genezen.
    • English equivalent: You must meet roughness with roughness.
    • “The best way to deal with an opponent is to fight back with similar weapons or tactics.”
  • Het getij wacht op niemand.
    • English equivalent: Time and tide waits for no man.
    • “Take, for illustration, the case of the negligent and unreflecting man. He resolves to accomplish a certain important object at some future period; but in the intervening time, some preparatory, though in itself comparatively trifling business, is indispensable.” Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order ….
  • Het is goed, twee pijlen op zijn boog te hebben.
    • English equivalent: Good riding at two anchors, men have told, for if the one fails, the other may hold.
  • Het is niet alles goud wat er blinkt.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
  • Het verstand komt met de jaren.
    • English equivalent: Reason does not come before age.
    • “Misfortune had conquered her, how true it is, that sooner or later the most rebellious must bow beneath the same yoke.” Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Corinne (1807)
  • Het zijn allemaal geen dieven daar de honden tegen blaffen.
    • English equivalent: All are not thieves that dogs bark at.
  • Het zijn slechte honden die hun eigen volk bijten.
    • English equivalent: It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 45.
  • Het zijn sterke benen die de weelde kunnen dragen.
    • English equivalent: Put a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride it to death.
  • Hij is in Rome geweest en hij heeft de paus niet gezien.
    • English equivalent: He was in Rome and did not see the pope.
  • Hoe meer zielen, hoe meer vreugd.
    • English equivalent: The more the merrier.
  • Hoe ouder, hoe zotter.
    • English equivalent: Wisdom goes not always by years.
    • “The older, the more foolish.”
  • Hoogmoed komt voor de val
    • English equivalent: Pride comes before fall.
  • In twijfel, onthoud u.
    • English equivalent: When in doubt, leave it out.
    • “If you are unsure what to do, it is best to do nothing at all.”
  • In de wijn is de waarheid.
    • English equivalent: In wine there is truth.
    • Alcohol consumed removes the inhibition against telling the truth that occasionally one would like to keep secret.
  • In het land der blinden is eenoog koning.
    • English equivalent: Among the blind, the one-eyed is king.
    • “People of only limited capability can succeed when surrounded by those who are even less able than themselves.”
  • Indien gij iets doet, doe het dan goed.
    • English equivalent: If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
    • “Too low they build who build beneath the stars.” Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 225.
  • Je moet een gegeven paard niet in de mond kijken.
    • English equivalent: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Kennis is macht.
    • English equivalent: Knowledge is power.
  • Niet te veel hooi op de vork nemen.
    • English equivalent: Don’t have too many irons in the fire.
    • “A good plan is a simple plan.” Jim Rohn, Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle (1991)
  • Kleine potjes hebben grote oren.
    • English equivalent: Little pitchers have great ears.
  • Let op het ende.
    • English equivalent: Whatever you do, act wisely, and consider the end.
  • Leugens hebben korte benen.
    • English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
  • Men vangt meer vliegen met stroop dan met azijn.
    • English equivalent: You can catch more flies with a drop of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.
    • “People who can put themselves in the place of other people who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them.” Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People (1936)
  • Men melkt de koe door den hals.
    • English equivalent: It is by the head that the cow gives the milk.
    • It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about? Henry David Thoreau, letter to Harrison Blake (16 November 1857).
  • Men krijgt niets voor niets.
    • Men get nothing for nothing.
    • English equivalent: You don’t get nothing for nothing; The only free cheese is in the mouse trap.
    • “Everything has to be paid for, directly or indirectly, in money or in kind.”
  • Men moet de dag niet prijzen voor het avond is.
    • Don’t praise the day until it is evening.
    • Don’t celebrate until you are 100 % sure there is a reason to do so.
    • English equivalent: Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
  • Men moet niet de eiren onder een hen (kip) leggen.
    • English equivalent: Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
  • Men moet de huid niet verkopen voordat de beer geschoten is.
    • Don’t sell the fur until the bear has been shot.
  • Men moet het ijzer smeden als het heet is.
    • You have to forge while the iron is hot.
  • Men moet niet het huis door de glazen gooien.
    • English equivalent: Don’t burn the candles at both ends.
    • Don’t wake up early in the morning and stay up late into the evening as well.
  • Met de maat, waarmee gij meet, zal u weder gemeten worden.
    • English equivalent: Whatever measure you deal out to others will be dealt back to you.
  • Met dieven vangt men dieven.
    • English equivalent: Set a thief to catch a thief.
  • Met veel slagen valt de boom.
    • English equivalent: Little strokes fell great oaks.
    • A difficult task, e. g. removing a person/group from a strong position, or changing established ideas cannot be done quickly. It can be achieved gradually, by small steps, a little at a time.
  • Met vuur spelen.
    • Playing with fire.
    • English equivalent: Do not play with edged tools.
  • Meet driemaal eer gij eens snijdt.
    • English equivalent: Measure thrice, cut once.
    • One should always act only after due consideration. A hasty action may involve an improper consideration of important aspects.
  • Na regen komt zonneschijn.
    • English equivalent: After rain comes sunshine.
  • Niemand kan regter zijn in zijne eigen zaken.
    • English equivalent: No one can be the judge in his own case.
  • Niemand is onmisbaar.
    • English equivalent: No man is indispensable.
  • Niemand weet waar een ander de Schoen wringt.
    • English equivalent: No one knows where the shoe pinches, but he who wears it.
    • “Nobody can fully understand another person’s hardship or suffering.”
  • Nieuwe bezems vegen schoon.
    • English equivalent: A new broom sweeps clean.
    • “We should never use an old tool when the extra labor in consequence costs more than a new one. Thousands wear out their lives and waste their time merely by the use of dull and unsuitable instruments.”
    • “We often apply it to exchanges among servants, clerks, or any persons employed, whose service, at first, in any new place, is very good, both efficient and faithful; but very soon, when all the new circumstances have lost their novelty, and all their curiosity has ceased, they naturally fall into their former and habitual slackness.”
  • Niet geschoten is altijd mis.
    • To never have shot is always a miss.
    • Middelkamp, Dekker (2000). Niet geschoten is altijd mis!: praktische handleiding voor promotie en verkoop in fitnesscentra. ProFITS.
  • Nood breekt wet.
    • English equivalent: Necessity has no law.
  • Ondank is ‘s werelds loon.
    • Ingratitude is the reward of the world.
    • Istendael, Geert; Istendael, J. (2007). Vlaamse sprookjes. Atlas. p. 32.
  • Ongeluk komt te paard, en keert te voet.
    • English equivalent: Misfortune comes on horseback and goes away on foot.
  • Ongeluk komt zelden alleen.
    • English equivalent: Misery loves company.
  • Over honderd jaar zijn wij toch dood.
    • English equivalent: It will all be the same a hundred years hence.
    • “Trivial problems or mistakes of the present moment have no lasting significance or effect, so there is no point in worrying about them.”
  • Paarlen voor de varkens strooijen.
    • English equivalent: Do not throw pearls before swine.
  • Schande over hem, die er kwaad van denkt.
    • English equivalent: Shame take him that shame thinketh.
    • Don’t think evil of others since they most likely act the way they do because of situational factors: Never attribute a thing to malice which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • Schijn bedriegt.
    • Appearances deceive.
    • Things are not as they seem to be.
  • Schoenmaker, blijf bij je leest.
    • English equivalent: A shoemaker must not go beyond his laft.
    • “The moral Instruction of this Proverb, is, That Perfons, though skilful in their own Art, ought not meddle or make with Things out of their own Sphere, and not prefume to correct or amend what they do not underftand. The Proverb is only the Latin Ne futor ultra crepidam, in an Englifh Drefs; and firft took its Authority from a Story of the celebrated Painter Apelles, who having drawn a famous Piece, and expof’d it to publick View, a Cobler came by and found Fault with it, becaufe he made too few Latcbets to the GolofhoesApelles mends it accordingly, and fets it out again, and the next Day the Cobler coming again, finds Fault with the whole Leg; upon which Apelles comes out, faying, Coblergo Home and keep to your Laft.
  • Stilstand is achteruitgang.
    • English equivalent: He who does not advance goes backwards.
  • Twee vliegen in één klap.
    • Two flies in one hit.
    • English equivalent: Kill two birds with one stone.
    • To achieve two goals with a single action. Pieter Jacob Harrebomée (1861). 
  • Van een vlieg een olifant maken.
    • English equivalent: Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 58.
  • Van niets komt niets.
    • From nothing nothing can come.
    • If you do absolutely nothing, nothing will come to you.
  • Van twee kwalen moet men de ergste mijden.
    • From two diseases one should avoid the worst.
    • English equivalent: Of two evils choose the least.
    • “If you are forced to choose between two options, both of which are undesirable, all you can do is choose the one that is less undesirable than the other.”
  • Verdeel en heers.
    • Divide and rule.
    • English equivalent: Divide and conquer.
    • “The best way to conquer or control a group of people is by encouraging them to fight among themselves rather than allowing them to unite in opposition to the ruling authority.”
  • Vertrouwen komt te voet en vertrekt te paard.
    • Trust arrives on foot and departs on horseback.
    • Approximate English equivalent: Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to fix.
    • Jessica Preston: Well you don’t show him respect. I assume it is because you don’t respect him.
      Dr. Aaron Glassman: You show someone respect because you respect them, or because you’re afraid of them. I don’t fit into either category.”
  • Vier dingen laten zich niet verbergen: Vuur, schurft, hoest en liefde.
    • Four things do not let themselves be hidden: fire, smoke, coughing and love.
    • English equivalent: Love, smoke and cough are hard to hide.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 50.
  • Vroeg rijp, vroeg rot.
    • Premature mature, premature putrefied.
    • English equivalent: Early ripe, early rotten.
    • “For God’s sake give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself!” Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque and Other Papers (1881)
  • Wanneer de sleutel is van goud, waar is er dan een slot dat houdt.
    • English equivalent: A golden key opens any gate but that of heaven.
  • Wat alleman zegt is waar.
    • English equivalent: What everybody says must be true.
  • Wat baten kaars en bril, als den uil niet zienen wil..
    • English equivalent: It takes two to tango.
    • ‘”The reason that there are so few good conversationalists is that most people are thinking about what they are going to say and not about what the others are saying.” François de La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions diverses, IV: De la conversation. (1731)
  • Wat in’t gebeente gegroeid is, wil uit het vlees niet.
    • English equivalent: What is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh.
    • “What is innate is not to be eradicated by force of education or self discipline: these may modify the outward manifestations of a man’s nature, but not transmute the nature itself.” Strauss, Emanuel (1994). 
  • Wat men schrijft, dat blijft.
    • English equivalent: Paper is forbearing.
    • “The job of the writer is to kiss no ass, no matter how big and holy and white and tempting and powerful.”
    • Ken Kesey, in “Ken Kesey, The Art of Fiction No. 136” by Robert Faggen, in The Paris Review No. 130 (Spring 1994).
  • Wie boter op zijn hoofd heeft, moet uit de zon blijven.
    • He who has butter on his head, should stay out of the sun.
    • English equivalent: He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun.
    • Know your limitations and weaknesses; Don’t do something that is sure to damage you.
    • New York Folklore Quarterly. New York Folklore Society. 1950. p. 225. Retrieved on 29 September 2013.
  • Wie dan leeft, wie dan zorgt.
    • Who lives then, worries then.
    • English equivalent: Don’t cross your bridges until you reach them.
    • Focus on a problem the moment you are facing it, and not earlier.
  • Wie een hond wil slaan, kan gemakkelijk een stok vinden.
    • The one who wants to hit a dog can easily find a stick.
    • Someone who wants to be mean will find things to be mean about no matter what.
  • Wie draagt er ergens slimmer schoenen dan een schoenmakersvrouw.
    • Who carries ever worst shoes than a shoemaker’s wife?
    • English equivalent: The cobbler’s wife is the worst shod.
    • “Working hard for others one may neglect one’s own needs or the needs of those closest to him.”
  • Wie een kuil graaft voor een ander, valt er zelf in.
    • The one who digs a hole for another, will fall in it himself.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 181. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Wie niet met mij is, die is tegen mij.
    • English equivalent: He who is not with me is against me.
    • Friends are those who believe in us and who want to help us whatever it is that we are trying to achieve.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought Acceptance Speech by Aung San Suu Kyi, Strasbourg, 22 October 2013
    • Originally from the Bible, Luke 11:23 and Matthew 12:30. Specificed as a proverb in (Strauss, 1994 p. 974)
  • Wie op twee hazen te gelijk jaagt, vangt geen van beide.
    • Who goes after two hares at the same time, will catch neither.
    • English equivalent: You must not run after two hares at the same time.
    • “Concentrate on one thing at a time or you will achieve nothing. – Trying to do two or more things at a time, when even one on its own needs full effort, means that none of them will be accomplished properly.”
  • Wie rijk wil worden, komt in verzoeking.
    • English equivalent: No one gets rich quickly if he is honest.
  • Wie zijn hersens niet gebruikt moet zijn benen gebruiken.
    • English equivalent: Who falls short in the head must be long in the heels.
  • Wie wind zaait, zal storm oogsten.
    • English equivalent: sow the wind, reap the whirlwind Book of Hosea 8:7
  • Wie zijn eigen tuintje wiedt, ziet het onkruid van een ander niet.
    • He who tends to his own garden, does not see the weeds of his neighbors.
    • “Prostitutes are the inevitable product of a society that places ultimate importance on money, possessions, and competition.” Jane Fonda, in Thomas Kiernan, Jane: An Intimate Biography of Jane Fonda (1970).
  • Wie zijn neus schendt, schendt zijn aangezicht.
    • English equivalent: He cut off his nose to spite his face.
  • Zachte heelmeesters maken stinkende wonden.
    • English equivalent: Mild physician, putrid wound.
  • Zeker is zeker.
    • English equivalent: He that leaves a certanity and sticks to chance, when fools pipe he may dance.
  • Zelfs lief, niemands lief.
    • English equivalent: Don’t blow your own horn.
  • Zigt ons met wie dat gij verkeert, en heb ik uwen raad geleerd.
    • English equivalent: A man is known by the company he keeps.
  • Zolang er leven is, is er hoop.
    • As long as there is life, there is hope.
  • Zoals de ouden zongen, piepen de jongen.
    • As the old ones sing, so do the young ones chirp..
  • Zo vader, zo zoon.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • “Sons may look and behave like their fathers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily.”
  • Zulke moeder, zulke dochter.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • “Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily.”
Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs Translations and Meanings

  • Heb je geen paard, gebruik dan een ezel
    • Translation: If you don’t have a horse, use a donkey
      Meaning: There is always another way!
  • Bitter in de mond maakt het hart gezond
    • Translation: Bitter in the mouth makes the heart healthy
      Meaning: Three words: Cavonio cough mixture – its vile, but it works!
  • Een grappige manier om de dag mee te starten.
    • Translation: A funny way to start your day.
  • De regen die vandaag valt, valt morgen niet
    • Translation: The rain that falls today, doesn’t fall tomorrow
      Meaning: Just an aphorism. A nice way to view the world too I think. Its along the lines of ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’
  • De molen gaat niet om met wind die voorbij is.
    • Translation: The windmill doesn’t care for the wind that’s gone past.
      Meaning: You don’t need precautions for something that has happened in the past. What’s gone is gone. You cant change the past. Etc.
  • Voor niets gaat de zon op
    • Translation: The sun rises for free
      Meaning: In English we would say something like ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ meaning somebody always wants something, nothing comes for free.
  • Het regent pijpenstelen
    • Translation: It’s raining pipe-stems
      Meaning: The Dutch equivalent to it’s pouring with rain or ‘raining cats and dogs’ you cant really say ‘Het regent katten en hondjes’ althought, personally, I don’t think that sounds all that bad!
  • Hoge bomen vangen veel wind
    • Translation: High trees catch a lot of wind
      Meaning: I’ve never heard this one in English but I have been reliably informed that it simply means – Important people attract a lot of attention.
  • Wie boter op zijn hoofd heeft, moet uit de zon blijven
    • Translation: He who has butter on his head, should stay out of the sun
      Meaning: This one I thought was hilarious. Who has butter on their head? Its true tho, if you get in the sun you’d be in a right mess!
    • Door de bomen het bos niet meer zien
      Translation: Unable to see the wood for the trees
      It’s the ‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’ comment. I admit I have used this. I find it most easy to use in real life situations.
  • Wat baten een kaars en bril als de uil niet ziet en wil
    • Translation: What good serve candle and glasses, if the owl does not want to see.
      Meaning: A visitor to Edinburgh’s National Gallery will see the 17th century painting by Jan Steen: ‘A School for Boys and Girls’. The depiction of a chaotic and unruly classroom has, on the one hand, a lighter intent of amusement; alongside which, however, also exists a more pointedly symbolic warning about ill-discipline in education. Most tellingly, a distracted youngster offers a pair of spectacles to an owl on a perch, in moralistic reference to the Dutch proverb: “What use are glasses or light if the owl does not want to see?”
  • Nu komt de aap uit de mouw
    • Translation: Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve
      Meaning: Whereas Anglophones will chastise others for ‘letting the cat out of the bag’ after they let a secret slip, the Dutch believe that a monkey is a better stand-in for classified information, and that this mischievous animal escapes from a sleeve during revelatory moments.
  • Het komt allemaal in één maag
    • Translation: It all goes into one stomach
      Meaning: Although The Culture Trip has consistently championed Dutch cuisine and challenged its undue international reputation, it is sometimes difficult to deny that people in the Netherlands aren’t all that fussy when its comes to food. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear Dutch people state ‘het komt allemaal in één maag’ which translates to ‘it all goes into one stomach’ when presented with a selection of apparently, interchangeable dishes.
  • Doe maar Normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg
    • Translation: Act normal, as that’s crazy enough
      Meaning: For many Dutch people, normalcy is the glue that holds the world together and acting within respectable limits is not just advisable, but necessary. While the extent of this uniformity is certainly debatable, it is usually agreed that normal behavior is already strange enough and should be adhered to, in order to avoid plummeting into chaos.
  • Tyfus, kanker, kolere
    • Translation: Typhus, cancer, cholera
      Meaning: Instead of relying on a stock of words related to bodily waste or sexual organs, the Dutch prefer to employ profanities that reference serious illnesses, such as typhus, cancer or cholera. In Amsterdam, or other major cities, this bizarre litany of curses is often directed towards absentminded pedestrians who have strayed onto cycle paths.
  • Je lult uit je nek
    • Translation: You are dicking out of your neck
      Meaning: When someone starts spouting dubious remarks or information in the Netherlands, it is said that they are ‘dicking out of their neck.’ This phrase is more or less synonymous with bullshitting and is usually applied to obviously fabricated claims or stories.
  • Het zit wel snor
    • Translation: It sits like a mustache
      Meaning: In order to express patience or calmness, the Dutch have constructed a phrase that roughly translated into English as ‘it sits like a mustache.’ Although seemingly bizarre, this idiom is actually equatable to the more straightforward English expression ‘don’t worry.’
  • Alsof er een engeltje op je tong piest
    • Translation: As though an angel is pissing on your tongue
      Meaning: Despite the obvious connotations surrounding this idiom, it is actually a good thing to have an angel piss in your mouth. After eating a delicious meal or drinking a particularly tasty beverage, Dutch people commonly utter this phrase to express their satisfaction.

Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs

Funny Dutch Idioms and Expressions

  • To fall with the door into the house
    • Translation: Met de deur in huis vallen
      Meaning: To get straight to the point
  • As if an angel is peeing on your tongue
    • Translation: Alsof er een engeltje over je tong piest
      Meaning: Someone who is really enjoying their meal
  • Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve
    • Translation: Nu komt de aap uit de mouw
      Meaning: Similar to the English expression “to let the cat out of the bag”; the moment that a hidden motive or the truth behind something is revealed.
      Origin: In the past, street artists would often perform tricks by hiding a monkey in their coats. At the end of the performance the monkey would “come out of the sleeve” and reveal the trick!
  • It’s raining pipe-stems
    • Translation: Het regent pijpenstelen
      Meaning: Similar to the English expression “to rain cats and dogs”; to rain a lot. Since it rains a lot in the Netherlands, there are equally A LOT of expressions about rain.
    • Het regent koeiestaarten
      It’s raining cow tails!Het regent bakstenen
      It’s raining bricks!

      Het regent scheermessen
      It’s raining razors!

      Het regent telegraafdraden
      It’s raining telegraph wires!

      Het regent kopjes en schoteltjes
      It’s raining cups and saucers!

  • He who has butter on this head should stay out of the sun
    • Translation: Wie boter op zijn hoofd heeft, moet uit de zon blijven
      Meaning: Similar to the English expression “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. You should not criticise other unless yourself are without fault.
      Origin: The phrase is said to have been around since the 17th century, as it was found in a text by the famous Dutch poet Jacob Cats (1577-1660). The reference is unknown, but it may refer to a time when people would carry their groceries in baskets on their heads.
  • To fall with your nose in butter
    • Translation: Met zijn neus in de boter vallen
      Meaning: To be at the right place at the right time
  • To buy a cat in the bag
    • Translation: Een kat in de zak kopen
      Meaning: To have been duped into buying something without inspecting it properly
  • Did you fall down the stairs?
    • Translation: Ben je van de trap gevallen?
      Meaning: A Dutch person might ask you this odd question if you have had a rather drastic haircut
      Origin: The original version of the expression ‘Hijs is van de trap gevallen en heeft zijn haar gebroken’ (He feel down the stairs and broke this hair) was already in use in the 18th century.
  • Hand shoes
    • Translation: Handschoenen
      Meaning: Gloves
  • Clean mother
    • Translation: Schoonmoeder
      Meaning: Mother-in-law
      Origin: The actual origin likely has little to do with the subject of cleanliness and more to do with the lesser know meaning of the word ‘schoon’ meaning beautiful/fair. Similar to the French term belle-mere, schoonmoeder thus refers to your ‘beloved’ mother-in-law.
  • Toilet glasses
    • Translation: Toiletbril
      Meaning: Toilet seat
      Origin: Some would say that the ‘bril’ part comes from the shape of the toilet seat which resembles a spectacle of sorts hovering over the ‘eye’ of the toilet bowl. Another explanation could be it’s referencing the ‘shelf’ inside dutch toilets (instead of a water-filled bowl) which serves as a platter to display the contents of your bowels for closer examination. Yep, I’m grossed out too!
  • Peanut cheese
    • Translation: Pindakaas
      Meaning: Peanut butter
      Origin: The oldest use of the Dutch word ‘pindakaas’ dates from 1855. The word ‘piendakass’ appeared in the Surinamese dictionary at this time and referred to a large block of crushed peanuts that locals slices in a similar way to that of a block of cheese and ate on bread. Peanut butter, as we know it, was introduced to the Dutch market by the brand Calvé in 1948. However, it was not possible to market it under the name of ‘pindaboter’ due to the ‘Butterlaw’. This ‘Butterlaw’ stipulated that only butter could call itself butter. Dutch peanut butter was thus marketed as ‘pindakaas’.
  • Nail pants
    • Translation: Spijkerbroek
      Meaning: Jeans
      Origin: To understand the origins of this linguistic riddle we need to go back to the mid-1800 gold rush days when Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss developed a pair of sturdy denim overalls for miners in San Francisco. Levi partnered with the tailor, Jacob David who suggested the final critical ingredient in making the pants even sturdier: nails! By bolting the material together at the seams with rivets the two entrepreneurs designed the perfect pants that we still wear today!
  • Butter ham
    • Translation: Boterham
      Meaning: Sandwich
      Origin: While the origin of ‘boterham’ is unclear, let me share this story with you.
      Once upon a time there was a man named John Montagu (1718-1792) who was a ferocious gambler. During marathon gambling sessions he was said to eat slices of cold meat between bread in order to avoid taking breaks to eat a proper meal. Mt Montagu happened to also be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, thus the name of this odd snack took hold.
  • Donkey’s bridge
    • Translation: Ezelsbruggetje
      Meaning: Mnemonic. A system of rhymes, rules, phrases, diagrams, acronyms and other devices which help you to learn and remember information. For example, most English-speakers know of the man named: Roy G Biv. The letters of his names spelling out the order of colours of the rainbow.
      Origin: Donkeys are particularly fearful of water, so to get a donkey to cross the countryside it was often necessary to build temporary planks bridges over gaps and ditches, creating handy shortcuts. This is how Ezelsbruggetje came to mean memory tricks using shortcuts. Once a donkey finds his way over water the first time, it never forgets its route again.
  • Shield toad
    • Translation: Schildpad
      Meaning: Turtle
  • Lazy horse
    • Translation: Luipaard
      Meaning: Leopard
  • Sea wolf
    • Translation: Zeewolf
      Meaning: Catfish
  • Belt animal
    • Translation: Gordeldier
      Meaning: Armadillo
  • Garden snake
    • Translation: Tuinslang
      Meaning: Hose
  • Fire snake
    • Translation: Brandslang
      Meaning: Fire hose
  • Horse flower
    • Translation: Paardenbloem
      Meaning: Dandelion
  • To sit with your mouth full of teeth
    • Translation: Met de mond vol tanden staan
      Meaning: To be speechless.
  • To walk on one’s gums
    • Translation: Op zijn tandvlees lopen
      Meaning: To be exhausted
  • To sit like herrings in a barrel
    • Translation: Als haringen in een ton zitten
      Meaning: To be crowded
      Fish are part of numerous Dutch idioms. For example, it is also not unusual to say someone is ‘as healthy as a fish’ (zo gezond als een vis). The herring, in particular is a traditional food and herring season is an annual event.
  • To have something under the knee
    • Translation: Iets onder de knie hebben
      Meaning: To possess in-depth knowledge of something, to master it.
      Origin: The expression first suggested dominating an opponent in a fight and, over time, its meaning extended to things one can learn.
  • Cucumber time
    • Translation: Komkommertijd
      Meaning: This term refers to the quiet summer period when little happens.
      Origin: Traditionally, farmers were busy during the summer months, but other businesses had nothing to do. More and more this term is used to refer to the lack of news or activity.
  • Talking about little cows and little calves
    • Translation: Praten over koetjes en kalfjes
      Meaning: Meaning that you are chatting about nothing of importance or nothing in particular.
  • I can’t make any chocolate from that
    • Translation: Daar kan ik geen chocola van maken
      Meaning: Similar to the English expression ‘It’s all Greek to me’; indicating that you can’t understand something.
  • What have I got hanging on my bike now?
    • Translation: Wat heb ik nou aan mijn fiets hangen?
      Meaning: This is a way of saying “What’s going on now?” or “What do I have to deal with now?”
      Origin: Cycling is the most common means of transportation in Holland. Many people go their entire life without owning a car.
  • We will certainly get that piglet washed
    • Translation: We zullen dat varkentje wel even wassen
      Meaning: That you will take care of something, fix something or get the job done.
  • Get a fresh nose
    • Translation: En frisse neus halen
      Meaning: To go outside and get some fresh air.
  • Now my wooden shoe is breaking!
    • Translation: Nu breekt mijn klomp!
      Meaning: To be totally amazed or not expect something

By , It is borrowed from https://www.theintrepidguide.com/dutch-phrases-idioms-infographic/

Funny Dutch Expressions

  • Nu komt de aap uit de mouw
    • Explanation: Similar to the English expression “to let the cat out of the bag”; the moment that a hidden motive or the truth behind something is revealed. In the past, street artists would often perform tricks by hiding a monkey in their coats. At the end of the performance the monkey would “come out of the sleeve” and reveal the trick!
  • Het regent pijpenstelen
    • Explanation: I’ve been known to casually throw this expression into a conversation with a complete stranger at a tram stop just because I really like the visual imagery it evokes. Can you see it now? A sky filled with the long stems of colourful little pipes, perfectly illustrating the intense Dutch rain falling down in sheets.
  • Een kat in de zak kopen
    • Explanation: To have been duped into buying something without inspecting it properly
  • Al draagt een aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding
    • Explanation: Similar to the English expression “a pig in lipstick”; used to convey the message that superficial or cosmetic changes are futile at disguising the true nature of a person or thing.
  • Je weet nooit hoe een koe en haas vangt
    • Explanation: You never know how things will turn out; you can’t predict the future; strange things can happen
    • A dutchie might ask you this odd question if you have had a rather drastic hair cut. The original version of the expression “Hij is van de trap gevallen en heeft zijn haar gebroken” (He fell down the stairs and broke his hair) was already in use in the 18th century.
  • Van een mug een olifant maken
    • Explanation: Don’t make something out of nothing, similar to the English expression ‘to make a mountain out of a molehill’.
  • Wie boter op zijn hoofd heeft, moet uit de zon blijven
    • Explanation: Similar to the English expression “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. You should not criticize others unless you yourself are without fault. The phrase is said to have been around since the 17th century, as it was found in a text by the famous Dutch poet Jacob Cats (1577-1660).
  • Weten waar Abraham den mosterd haalt
    • Explanation: To have great insight into something. This expression has its likely source in the Old testament (Genisys 22:6), where Abraham is ordered to sacrifice his first born. He collects “mutsaard”, an old term for firewood. Mutsaard over time likely bastardized to mosterd, et voila: another crazy Dutch expression!
  • Het regent pijpenstelen
    • Translation: It is raining pipesteels. (or steel pipes but I prefer pipesteels because it’s wrong and therefore funnier)
      Meaning: Basically it means “it is raining really hard”. When it rains really hard the rain looks like steel pipes. That is how people started saying it.
  • Helaas pindaskaas
    • Translation: Unfortunately peanut butter
      Meaning: This one is my favorites because you can use it all the time. It is not really a saying but we just say it because it rhymes.
  • Ik heb er schoon genoeg van
    • Translation: I have there clean enough from.
      Meaning: This one I got from one of my buddies on my Fraser Island trip (thanks Mart). It means that you had enough of something. Someone or something is annoying you and you are done with it, you had enough of it.
  • Op een oude fiets moet je het leren
    • Translation: You have to learn it on an old bicycle.
      Meaning: This is a really old saying and the meaning nowadays is way different than years ago. Nowadays it is related to sex. It means that if you want to learn how to have great sex, do it with someone old(er) than you. Me and my friends used to joke about it when one of my friends was flirting with an old(er) person.
  • Nu komt de aap uit de mouw
    • Translation: There comes the monkey out of the sleeve.
      Meaning: People use this when something suddenly becomes clear. They say that this saying originates from the time when magicians actually really had a monkey up their sleeve which suddenly had to pop out. Just like the rabbit in the hat.
Dutch Proverbs

Dutch Proverbs

More Dutch Proverbs…

Dutch proverb Literal translation Actual meaning
Van een mug een olifant maken. To make an elephant out of a mosquito. Exaggerating.
Als de kat van huis is, dansen de muizen op tafel. When the cat leaves the house, the mice dance on the table. Without supervision, people do whatever they like.
Als er een schaap over de dam is volgen er meer. If one sheep crosses the dam, more will follow. If one person tries something new, others will have the courage to do so as well.
De aap komt uit de mouw. The monkey comes out of the sleeve. The truth is revealed.
Over koetjes en kalfjes praten To talk about little cows and little calves. Chit-chatting.
Een kat in de zak kopen. Buying a cat in the bag. Making a bad bargain.
Het regent pijpenstelen It is raining pipes. It is raining very hard.
Lachen als een boer met kiespijn. To laugh like a farmer with toothache. An obvious fake laugh.
De kogel is door de kerk. The bullet is through the church. A decision has been made.
Beter een goede buur dan een verre vriend. Better a good neighbour than a far-away friend. A good neighbour is worth more than a distant friend.
Hij staat met zijn mond vol tanden. He’s standing there with his mouth full of teeth. He’s speechless.
Al draagt een aap een gouden ring, het is en blijft een lelijk ding. A monkey may wear a golden ring, but it will always be an ugly thing. One’s appearance doesn’t make up for their negative personality.
De appel valt niet ver van de boom. The apple does not fall far from the tree. A child’s character reflects their parents’.
Hoge bomen vangen veel wind. High trees catch a lot of wind. People in a high position have many responsibilities.
Een ezel stoot zich niet twee keer aan dezelfde steen. A donkey doesn’t stub itself against the same boulder twice. One who makes the same mistake twice is a fool.

Some of these proverbs may be easier to remember, since there is an English proverb that has the same meaning:

Dutch Proverbs

Pieter Brueghel the Elder – The Dutch Proverbs – Google Art Project

Netherlandish Proverbs

Netherlandish Proverbs (Dutch: Nederlandse Spreekwoorden; also called Flemish Proverbs, The Blue Cloakor The Topsy Turvy World) is a 1559 oil-on-oak-panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder that depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch-language proverbs and idioms.

Running themes in Bruegel’s paintings are the absurdity, wickedness and foolishness of humans, and this is no exception. The painting’s original title, The Blue Cloak or The Folly of the World, indicates that Bruegel’s intent was not just to illustrate proverbs, but rather to catalog human folly. Many of the people depicted show the characteristic blank features that Bruegel used to portray fools.

His son, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, specialised in making copies of his father’s work and painted at least 16 copies of Netherlandish Proverbs. Not all versions of the painting, by father or son, show exactly the same proverbs and they also differ in other minor details.


Proverbs were very popular in Bruegel’s time and before; a hundred years before Bruegel’s painting, illustrations of proverbs had been popular in the Flemish books of hours. A number of collections were published, including Adagia, by the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus. The French writer François Rabelais employed significant numbers in his novel Gargantua and Pantagruel, completed in 1564.

The Flemish artist Frans Hogenberg made an engraving illustrating 43 proverbs in around 1558, roughly the same time as Bruegel’s painting. The work is very similar in composition to Bruegel’s and includes certain proverbs (like the blue cloak) which also feature prominently in Netherlandish Proverbs. By depicting literal renditions of proverbs in a peasant setting, both artists have shown a “world turned upside down”.

Bruegel himself had painted several minor paintings on the subject of proverbs including Big Fish Eat Little Fish (1556) and Twelve Proverbs (1558), but Netherlandish Proverbs is thought to have been his first large-scale painting on the theme.

Proverbs and idioms

Critics have praised the composition for its ordered portrayal and integrated scene. There are approximately 112 identifiable proverbs and idioms in the scene, although Bruegel may have included others which cannot be determined because of the language change. Some of those incorporated in the painting are still in popular use, for instance “Swimming against the tide“, “Banging one’s head against a brick wall” and “Armed to the teeth“. Many more have faded from use, which makes analysis of the painting harder. “Having one’s roof tiled with tarts“, for example, which meant to have an abundance of everything and was an image Bruegel would later feature in his painting of the idyllic Land of Cockaigne (1567).

The Blue Cloak, the piece’s original title, features in the centre of the piece and is being placed on a man by his wife, indicating that she is cuckolding him. Other proverbs indicate human foolishness. A man fills in a pond after his calf has died. Just above the central figure of the blue-cloaked man, another man carries daylight in a basket. Some of the figures seem to represent more than one figure of speech (whether this was Bruegel’s intention or not is unknown), such as the man shearing a sheep in the centre bottom left of the picture. He is sitting next to a man shearing a pig, so represents the expression “One shears sheep and one shears pigs“, meaning that one has the advantage over the other, but may also represent the advice “Shear them but don’t skin them“, meaning make the most of available assets.

List of proverbs and idioms featured in the painting

Expressions featured in the painting
Proverb/idiom Meaning Area
001 To be able to tie even the devil to a pillow  Obstinacy overcomes everything Lower left
002 To be a pillar-biter  To be a religious hypocrite Lower left
003 Never believe someone who carries fire in one hand and water in the other  To be two-faced and to stir up trouble Lower left
004 To bang one’s head against a brick wall  To try to achieve the impossible Lower left
005 One foot shod, the other bare Balance is paramount Lower left
006 The sow pulls the bung  Negligence will be rewarded with disaster Lower left
007 To bell the cat  To carry out a dangerous or impractical plan Lower left
008 To be armed to the teeth  To be heavily armed Lower left
009 To put your armor on  To be angry Lower left
010 One shears sheep, the other shears pigs  One has all the advantages, the other none Lower left
011 Shear them but do not skin them  Do not press your advantage too far Lower left
012 The herring does not fry here  It’s not going according to plan Lower left
013 To fry the whole herring for the sake of the roe  To do too much to achieve a little Lower left
014 To get the lid on the head  To end up taking responsibility Lower left
015 The herring hangs by its own gills  You must accept responsibility for your own actions Lower left
016 There is more in it than an empty herring  There is more to it than meets the eye Lower left
017 What can smoke do to iron?  There is no point in trying to change the unchangeable Lower left
018 To find the dog in the pot  To arrive too late for dinner and find all the food has been eaten Lower left
019 To sit between two stools in the ashes  To be indecisive Lower left
020 To be a hen feeler  To be very miserly (feeling whether the hen is about to lay an egg before slaughtering it) Middle left
021 The scissors hang out there  They are liable to cheat you there Upper left
022 To always gnaw on a single bone  To continually talk about the same subject Upper left
023 It depends on the fall of the cards  It is up to chance Upper left
024 The world is turned upside down  Everything is the opposite of what it should be Upper left
025 Leave at least one egg in the nest  Always have something in reserve Upper left
026 To crap on the world  To despise everything Upper left
027 To lead each other by the nose  To fool each other Upper left
028 The die is cast  The decision is made Upper left
029 Fools get the best cards  Luck can overcome intelligence Upper left
030 To look through one’s fingers  To turn a blind eye Upper left
031 There hangs the knife  To issue a challenge Upper left
032 There stand the wooden shoes  To wait in vain Upper left
033 To stick out the broom  To have fun while the master is away Upper left
034 To marry under the broomstick  To live together without marrying Upper left
035 To have the roof tiled with tarts  To be very wealthy Upper left
036 To have a hole in one’s roof  To be unintelligent Upper left
037 An old roof needs a lot of patching up  Old things need more maintenance Upper left
038 The roof has laths There could be eavesdroppers (The walls have ears) Middle left
039 To have toothache behind the ears To be a malingerer Middle left
040 To be pissing against the moon To waste one’s time on a futile endeavour Middle left
041 Here hangs the pot It is the opposite of what it should be Middle left
042 To shoot a second bolt to find the first To repeat a foolish action Upper left
043 To shave the fool without lather To trick somebody Middle
044 Two fools under one hood Stupidity loves company Middle
045 It grows out of the window It cannot be concealed Middle
046 To play on the pillory To attract attention to one’s shameful acts Upper middle
047 When the gate is open the pigs will run into the corn Disaster ensues from carelessness Upper middle
048 When the corn decreases the pig increases If one person gains then another must lose Upper middle
049 To run like one’s backside is on fire To be in great distress Upper middle
050 He who eats fire, craps sparks Do not be surprised at the outcome if you attempt a dangerous venture Upper middle
051 To hang one’s cloak according to the wind To adapt one’s viewpoint to the current opinion Upper middle
052 To toss feathers in the wind  To work fruitlessly Upper middle
053 To gaze at the stork To waste one’s time Upper middle
054 To try to kill two flies with one stroke To be efficient (equivalent to today’s To kill two birds with one stone) Upper middle
055 To fall from the ox onto the rear end of an ass To fall on hard times Upper middle
056 To kiss the ring of the door  To be obsequious Upper middle
057 To wipe one’s backside on the door  To treat something lightly Upper middle
058 To go around shouldering a burden   To imagine that things are worse than they are Upper middle
059 One beggar pities the other standing in front of the door Being afraid for competition Upper middle
060 To fish behind the net  To miss an opportunity Middle
061 Sharks eat smaller fish  Anything people say will be put in perspective according to their level of importance Middle
062 To be unable to see the sun shine on the water To be jealous of another’s success Middle
063 It hangs like a privy over a ditch  It is obvious Middle
064 Anybody can see through an oak plank if there is a hole in it  There is no point in stating the obvious Middle
065 They both crap through the same hole  They are inseparable comrades Middle
066 To throw one’s money into the water To waste one’s money Middle
067 A wall with cracks will soon collapse Anything poorly managed will soon fail Middle right
068 To not care whose house is on fire as long as one can warm oneself at the blaze To take every opportunity regardless of the consequences to others Middle right
069 To drag the block To be deceived by a lover or to work at a pointless task Upper right
070 Fear makes the old woman trot An unexpected event can reveal unknown qualities Upper right
071 Horse droppings are not figs  Do not be fooled by appearances Upper right
072 If the blind lead the blind both will fall in the ditch There is no point in being guided by others who are equally ignorant Upper right
073 The journey is not yet over when one can discern the church and steeple  Do not give up until the task is fully complete Upper right
074 Everything, however finely spun, finally comes to the sun Nothing can be hidden forever Upper right
075 To keep one’s eye on the sail To stay alert, be wary Upper right
076 To crap on the gallows To be undeterred by any penalty Upper right
077 Where the carcass is, there fly the crows If there’s something to be gained, everyone hurries in front Upper right
078 It is easy to sail before the wind If conditions are favourable it is not difficult to achieve one’s goal Upper right
079 Who knows why geese go barefoot? There is a reason for everything, though it may not be obvious Upper right
080 If I am not meant to be their keeper, I will let geese be geese Do not interfere in matters that are not your concern Upper right
081 To see bears dancing To be starving Right
082 Wild bears prefer each other’s company Peers get along better with each other than with outsiders Right
083 To throw one’s cowl over the fence To discard something without knowing whether it will be required later Right
084 It is ill to swim against the current It is difficult to oppose the general opinion Right
085 The pitcher goes to the water until it finally breaks Everything has its limitations Right
086 The broadest straps are cut from someone else’s leather  One is quick to another’s money. Right
087 To hold an eel by the tail To undertake a difficult task (Compare: “Catch a tiger by the tail”) Right
088 To fall through the basket To have your deception uncovered Right
089 To be suspended between heaven and earth To be in an awkward situation Right
090 To keep the hen’s egg and let the goose’s egg go To make a bad decision Right
091 To yawn against the oven To attempt more than one can manage Lower right
092 To be barely able to reach from one loaf to another To have difficulty living within budget Lower right
093 A hoe without a handle Probably something useless Lower right
094 To look for the hatchet To try to find an excuse Lower right
095 Here he is with his lantern To finally have an opportunity to show a talent Lower right
096 A hatchet with a handle Probably signifies “the whole thing” Lower right
097 He who has spilt his porridge cannot scrape it all up again Once something is done it cannot be undone (Compare: “Don’t cry over spilt milk”) Lower right
098 To put a spoke through someone’s wheel To put up an obstacle, to destroy someone’s plans Lower right
099 Love is on the side where the money bag hangs Love can be bought Lower right
100 To pull to get the longest end To attempt to get the advantage Lower right
101 To stand in one’s own light To behave contrarily to one’s own happiness or advantage Lower right
102 No one looks for others in the oven who has not been in there himself To imagine wickedness in others is a sign of wickedness in oneself Lower right
103 To have the world spinning on one’s thumb To have every advantage (Compare: “To have the world in the palm of your hand”) Lower right
104 To tie a flaxen beard to the face of Christ To hide deceit under a veneer of Christian piety Lower right
105 To have to stoop to get on in the world To succeed one must be willing to make sacrifices Lower right
106 To cast roses before swine To waste effort on the unworthy Lower middle
107 To fill the well after the calf has already drowned To take action only after a disaster (Compare: “Shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted”) Lower middle
108 To be as gentle as a lamb Someone who is exceptionally calm or gentle Lower middle
109 She puts the blue cloak on her husband She deceives him Lower middle
110 Watch out that a black dog does not come in between Mind that things don’t go wrong Lower middle
111 One winds on the distaff what the other spins Both spread gossip Lower middle
112 To carry the day out in baskets To waste one’s time (Compare: “to carry coals to Newcastle” and “to sell sand in the desert”) Middle
113 To hold a candle to the Devil To flatter and make friends indiscriminately Middle
114 To confess to the Devil To reveal secrets to one’s enemy Middle
115 The pig is stabbed through the belly A foregone conclusion or what is done can not be undone Middle
116 Two dogs over one bone seldom agree To argue over a single point Middle
117 When two dogs fight out who gets the bone,the third one steals it Self-explanatory Middle
118 To be a skimming ladle To be a parasite or sponger Middle
119 What is the good of a beautiful plate when there is nothing on it? Beauty does not make up for substance Middle
120 The Fox and the Stork or The Fox and the Crane dine together If you trick someone they might get back at you Middle
121 To blow in the ear To spread gossip Middle
122 Chalk up a debt To owe someone a favour Middle
123 The meat on the spit must be basted Certain things need constant attention Middle
124 There is no turning the spit with him He is uncooperative Middle
125 To sit on hot coals To be impatient Middle
126 To catch fish without a net To profit from the work of others Middle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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