Proverbs from the Middle East and South Asia

The son of a duck is a swimmer.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; or Like father, like son.

Open one eye when you sell, and both eyes when you buy.
Buyer beware.

Do not open a door which you cannot close
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Whatever is brought by the winds is carried away by the storms.
Easy come, easy go.

If speech be of silver, then silence is gold.
Silence is golden.

He who has been burned fears fire.
One burned, twice shy.

There is no beauty save the beauty of action.
Actions speak louder than words.

The eye of love is blind.
Love is blind.

What is learned in childhood is like etching in stone.
Show me the child and I’ll show you the man.

Haste is the sister of regret.
Haste makes waste.

It is not possible to clap with one hand.
It takes two to tango.

Turkish proverb
The devil tempts all other men, but idle men tempt the devil.
Idle hands are the devil’s tools.

No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back.
It’s never too late to change your mind.

Patience is the key to paradise.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Two captains will sink the ship.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

He became an infidel hesitating between two mosques.
He who hesitates is lost.

None of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Epigrams succeed where epics fail.
A word to the wise is sufficient.

Luck is infatuated with the efficient.
A champion makes his own luck.

Every man goes to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away.
You can’t take it with you.

Buying cheap is buying rubbish.
You get what you pay for.

The water that has run downstream will not return.
Don’t cry over spilt milk.

Call on God but row away from the rocks.
The Lord helps those who help themselves.

To lend is to buy a quarrel.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Where there is forgiveness, there is God himself.
To err is human, to forgive divine.

Write kindnesses in marble. Write injuries in the sand.
Forgive and forget.

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