Proverbs Index: Teens
Proverbs for Teens -- Pearls of Wisdom from Syvum
What are Proverbs?
Simply put, Proverbs are "Pearls of Wisdom". Proverbs necessarily need to:
Most proverbs exhibit simple rhyme and elegant balance.
- Be popular and memorable;
- e.g., All's well that ends well.
- Be concise and to the point;
- e.g., Practice makes perfect.
- Provide sensible advice;
- e.g., First thrive and then wive.
- Contain unchanging truths based on experience over the years.
- e.g., Honesty is the best policy.
Where do Proverbs come from?
Proverbs come from two primary sources: the common and the wise. These
two sources are not really distinct. Something common and popular has often
been documented by the wise, and something written by the wise has
often been liked and freely used by the common man. The latter is the
case where quotations graduate to proverbs.
Proverbs have largely originated from the traditional and collective
wisdom of mankind.
By way of examples,
- Little strokes fell great oaks has
obviously come from the common experience of wood-cutters in olden times.
- A stitch in time saves nine has
evidently come from the experience of housewives in managing clothes.
Many English proverbs owe their origin to the Bible,
e.g., A soft answer turneth away wrath.
In addition to the Bible, several proverbs are believed to have their origin
in the works of William Shakespeare. It is difficult to be certain whether
these proverbs were truly invented by Shakespeare or were already in existence
before or around his time. Some examples follow.
- Brevity is the soul of wit
- Cowards die many times before their deaths
(from Julius Caesar)
- The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose
(from The Merchant of Venice)
- One touch of nature makes the whole world kin
(from Troilus and Cressida)
- A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
(from Romeo and Juliet)
- Sweet are the uses of adversity
(from As You Like It)
Famous literary works have contributed to a lot of proverbs as illustrated
- Kind hearts are more than coronets
(from the poem Lady Clara Vere de Vere by Alfred Tennyson)
- Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone
(from the poem Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox)
- A little learning is a dangerous thing
(from Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope)
- A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
(from the poem Endymion by John Keats)
- What will Mrs Grundy say?
(from the play Speed the Plough by Thomas Morton)
Other proverbs are attributed to particular individuals, presumably
wise and learned ones, e.g., They also serve who only stand and
wait appears as the last line in John Milton's sonnet on his
Some English proverbs have their origin in other languages like French,
Latin and Spanish. The English versions may have developed in parallel,
or been borrowed from other languages. For instance,
He gives twice who gives quickly is a translation of
Bis dat qui cito dat (Latin). When the proverbs have
not been translated and are even today more popular in their original
form, they can be readily recognized to have been borrowed from another
language. Here are some examples.
- Caveat emptor (Latin) is more popular than
Let the buyer beware.
- In vino veritas (Latin) is more popular than
In wine, there is truth.
- Per ardua ad astra (Latin) is more popular than
Through hardship to the stars.
How are Proverbs to be interpreted?
Proverbs are to be interpreted primarily in two ways: literally
Examples of Proverbs that contain a universal truth and
are to be interpreted literally are:
- Hope for the best and prepare for the worst
- One is never too old to learn
Examples of Proverbs that apply to a host of situations and
are to be interpreted in a broad metaphorical sense
(not just literally) are:
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
- Who repairs not his gutters repairs his whole house
How does one gain mastery over Proverbs?
You can gain mastery over Proverbs by attempting the associated
activity for Teens in the Syvum Family Fun Zone. You will be required to
fill in the missing word to complete the proverb. On clicking
the "Score" button, your answers will be evaluated. You can try
answering another time those questions you got incorrect. At
any time, clicking the "Score and Show Answer(s)" button will allow you
to evaluate your answers and view the correct answers.
There are over 750 proverbs in the Proverbs Activity for Teens in the Syvum
Family Fun Zone.
To allow you to learn them in a systematic manner,
the Proverbs are categorized based on their starting letter (ignoring
The, An and A) as given below.
||As you _______, so shall you reap.
||Barking _______ seldom bite.
||Children should be _______ and not heard.
||Desires are nourished by _______.
||Everybody's _______ is nobody's business.
||First _______, first served.
||Good company on the road is the _______ cut.
||Happy is the country that has no _______.
||It is easy to be _______ after the event.
||_______ is power.
||Lend your money and lose your _______.
||Many hands make _______ work.
||Never spend your _______ before you have it.
||Only the wearer knows where the _______ pinches.
||_______ without profit puts little in the pot.
||_______ has many friends.
||The _______ ever turns to the aching tooth.
||Uneasy lies the head that wears a _______.
||Want is the _______ of industry.
||You must lose a fly to catch a _______.
Get started on the Proverbs Activity
by clicking above on the letters in the Proverbs Category now!!