A Dictionary of American Proverbs

By Wolfgang Mieder; Stewart A. Kingsbury et al. | Go to book overview
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face(n.)1. A beautiful face is a silent commendation. Vars.:(a) A beautiful face is a letter of recommendation. (b) A good face is a letter of commendation. (c) A pleasant face is the best recommendation you can write. Rec. dist.: Fla., N.C., Ohio. 1st cit.: 1620 Cervantes , Don Quixote, tr. Shelton. 20c. coll.: ODEP319.

2. A face without a smile is like a lantern without a light. Rec. dist.: Miss., N.C.

3. A fair face may hide a foul heart. Vars.:(a) A fair face may be a foul bargain. (b) A fair face often covers a crooked mind. (c) Fair face, foul heart. Rec. dist.: Fla., Ill.1st cit.: 1584 Lyly, Campaspe. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1208:5.

4. A good face needs no paint. Vars.:(a) A fair face needs no paint. (b) Fair faces need no paint. Rec. dist.: Colo., Miss., N.J.1st cit.: 1616 Heywood, Somers Tracts. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 738:4.

5. A kind face needs no bond. Rec. dist.: Ill. 1st cit.: 1639 Clarke, Paroemiologia; US 1666 Alsop, Character of Province of Maryland, ed. Mereness ( 1902). 20c. coll.: Stevenson 741:2, Whiting142.

6. A long face makes a long road seem twice as long. Rec. dist.: Ont.1st cit.: US 1775 McDougal in Naval Documents of American Revolution, ed. Clark ( 1964). 20c. coll.: Whiting 142.

7. A long face shortens your list of friends. Var.: A long face shortens your following. Rec. dist.: N.Y., Vt.

8. A man with a pockmarked face will laugh at another's freckles. Rec. dist.: Colo.

9. A man without a smiling face must not open a shop. Var.: Without a smiling face, do not become a merchant. Rec. dist.: Calif., N.J., N.Y., Ont.

10. A pretty face has been the downfall of many a man. Var.: A pretty face has ruined many a man. Rec. dist.: Mich., Minn.

11. A pretty face may hide an empty head. Rec. dist.: Wash.

12. Be it ever so homely, there's no face like your own. Rec. dist.: Kans., Ohio, Ont.

13. Do not make ugly faces at others until you can improve your own. Rec. dist.: Utah.

14. Faces are stubborn things. Rec. dist.: Colo.

15. Fair faces go places. Rec. dist.: Ill.

16. It matters more what's in a woman's face than what's on it. Rec. dist.: Miss.

17. Long faces make short lives. Rec. dist.: Kans.

18. May the man be damned and never gain fat who wears two faces under one hat. Rec. dist.: N.Y.1st cit.: 1855 Bohn, Handbook of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 741:8.

19. Men's faces are not to be trusted. Rec. dist.: N.Y.1st cit.: US 1948 Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 739:8.

20. Never carry two faces under one hood. Rec. dist.: Mich., Ont.1st cit.: ca 1440 Lydgate, Minor Poems; US 1669 New England Memorial, ed. Lord ( 1903). 20c. coll.: Stevenson 741:8, Whiting143.

21. New face, new fancy. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

22. Pretty face, poor fate. Rec. dist.: Miss.

23. The best way to save face is to keep it covered. Rec. dist.: Kans.

24. The face is a mask; look behind it. Rec. dist.: Ill.

25. The face is the index of the mind, but appearances are deceitful. Rec. dist.: Minn.1st cit.: ca 1575 Pilkington, Nehemiah; US 1702 Taylor, Christographia, ed. Grabo ( 1962). 20c. coll.: ODEP237, Stevenson 738:9, Whiting (MP)211.

26. Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you. Vars.:(a) Always turn your face toward the sunshine. (b) If you


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