Are You Smart Enough to Finish All of These Proverbs?


By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you think you are the early bird who has what it takes to catch the worm? Then give this quiz a shot! Across the world, every culture has its wise sayings that offer advice about how to best handle many of life's tricky situations. These are called proverbs. While all general advice should be taken with a grain of salt, it is important to understand what these sayings mean. People use proverbs often in conversation and writing, and if you don't know what they mean you might miss out on some important context. 

While some of these sayings have obvious meanings, others are less apparent, which can make things tricky. There are many reasons that English is a difficult language to learn, and one of those reasons is that often whole words and sayings are not quite what they seem. English is not a literal language, much of the time. Depending on where in the world it's spoken, different words and sayings may mean totally different things!   

If you think you have what it takes to nail this proverb quiz, remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get going! See if you can ace this very proverbial quiz! 

Two ______ don't make a right.

This proverb means that you should not seek revenge. Doing another wrong on top of a wrong someone has done to you will not correct it.


The pen is ________ than the sword.

This proverb means that it is more effective to convince people with words than to force them with violence. It means to talk with people before taking action.


The squeaky wheel gets the _________.

This proverb means that those who complain the loudest will get what they want first. It means that being quiet won't get you what you want.


No _____ is an island.

This proverb refers to the fact that no person can exist wholly independently. We all need each other.


Fortune favors the _______.

This means that a part of success is being bold and taking risks. Those who go after what they want are more successful than those who never try.


People who live in _________ houses should not throw stones.

If you lived in a glass house and threw a stone, the house would literally shatter. This proverb means that it is hypocritical to criticize other people because no one is perfect.


Birds of a feather ______ together.

This is an old saying. It means that people like to spend most of their time with those who are similar to them.


Keep your _______ close and your enemies closer.

This old adage means that you should keep your enemies closer to you than your friends so you can keep an eye on them. After all, you can trust your friends, so you don't need to closely watch them.


Discretion is the greater part of ________.

While it is important to be brave and forge ahead, sometimes knowing when to quit or take a break is just as important. According to this adage, it is even more important.


Never look a ______ horse in the mouth.

This means that one should never question a gift they receive. Ironically, it is a reference to the Trojan horse gifted to Troy, which Troy might have benefited from looking into the mouth of.


God helps those who help ___________.

This old phrase means that action is important in life. Don't just pray or wish for what you want, but take action to achieve it.


If it ain't _______, don't fix it.

If something is already working well, don't try to fix it unnecessarily. You will most likely just create new problems.


Too many _______ spoil the broth.

This saying means that when too many people try to lead in a situation, it leads to confusion and poor results. One or two leaders work best in any situation.


Don't bite the hand that _______ you.

This saying means that if someone is helping you or taking care of you, you should not do anything against them. It would go against your own self-interest to do so.


One man's trash is another man's __________.

This saying means that different people have different ideas about what's valuable. In some cases, what is useless to some might be highly valuable or important to others.


Beauty is in the eye of the _________.

This means that beauty means different things to different people. We all find different things beautiful.


__________ is the mother of invention.

This axiom refers to what inspires problem-solving and the creation of solutions. If people need to solve a problem, they will.


A penny saved is a penny _______.

This old saying is all about saving money. It says that saving is just as important as making money.


Familiarity breeds _______.

Have you have ever been around someone too much and started to get annoyed by everything they do? Then you have experienced this old axiom first hand.


You can't judge a ______ by its cover.

This old saying warns people away from making all of their decisions based only on looks. Things are often very different from how they appear.


Good things come to those who ________.

Patience is key to this old adage. It means that good things happen to those who are patient.


Don't put all your _______ in one basket.

Always have a backup plan. Don't invest all of your time, money and effort in only one thing.


Two ________ are better than one.

Collaboration is key. Two people working together will often come up with better ideas than one alone.


Do unto ______ as you would have them do unto you.

You should treat people how you expect to be treated. Don't do things to others that you wouldn't want them to do to you.


_______ twice, cut once.

This saying means that it is important to think things through fully before making decisions which can't be undone. Don't be afraid to check your work.


A _______ is only as strong as its weakest link.

Everyone on a team needs to be strong for the team to succeed. A team is only as good as their weakest member.


______ makes the heart grow fonder.

If you love someone, it is good to be away from them occasionally. It will make you miss them and want to see them again.


You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him ______.

If you try to offer someone help or advice, but they don't accept it, don't force the issue. You can tell someone what to do, but cannot make them do it.


If you want something done right, you have to do it _____________.

This axiom means that you should not always lean on and rely on other people to take care of important things for you. You can only be sure you will get the results you want if you do something yourself.


Even a broken ______ is right twice a day.

When a clock breaks and gets stuck on a time, it will still be right twice in every 24 hours. This saying means that even someone dumb will get things right occasionally by accident. Of course, the clock in question must be analog, not digital.


A ________ in need is a friend indeed.

This adage is all about knowing who your real friends are. If someone sticks by you in your time of need, then they are a true friend.


All is fair in ______ and war.

In both love and war, sometimes people may have to do things which are not fair or right. This adage excuses all of it.


Better the _______ you know than the one you don't.

According to this proverb, when choosing between two bad options, it is safer to choose the one you are more familiar with. After all, the unfamiliar one might be worse.


Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he eats for a ______.

Teach people to do things for themselves, so that they can provide for themselves and solve their own problems. This is far more helpful than just giving a person things.


Jack of all trades, master of _______.

This adage refers to a person who knows a little bit about a lot of different skill sets, but not enough to have truly mastered any of them. Someone who has a lot of different skills is generally not truly great at any of them.


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