A Dictionary of American Proverbs

By Wolfgang Mieder; Stewart A. Kingsbury et al. | Go to book overview
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vacantSEE A loud LAUGH bespeaks the vacant mind. / Absence of OCCUPATION is not rest; a mind quite vacant is a mind in distress.

vacuum A vacuum is always filled. Rec. dist.: Ont.

SEE ALSO NATURE abhors a vacuum.

vagabond The vagabond, when rich, is called a tourist. Rec. dist.: Ont.

vagrant1. A vagrant is everywhere at home. Rec. dist.: Ill.

2. The true vagrant is the only king above all comparison. Rec. dist.: Ill.

vagueSEE Don't be VOGUE on the outside and vague on the inside.

vain1. If we are vain and love to be flattered, we shall become foolish. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

2. Vain is the help of man. Rec. dist.: Minn. 1st cit.:US1948 Stevenson, Home Book of Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 1130:6.

SEE ALSO After the ACTING, wishing is in vain. / An old DOG does not bark in vain. FAVOR is deceitful and beauty is vain. / A word of KINDNESS is seldom spoken in vain. / In vain the NET is spread in the sight of any bird. / He labors in vain who tries to PLEASE everybody. valet SEE No man is a HERO to his valet.

valiantSEE COWARDS die many a death, but the valiant die but one.

valley1. Always a valley before a h Ill.Rec. dist.: Ont.1st cit.: 1614 Webster, Duchess of Malfi. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 395:3.

2. He that stays in the valley shall never get over the h Ill.Var.: He that stays in the valley will never get over the h Ill.Rec. dist.: U.S., Can.1st cit.: 1616 Draxe, Bibliotheca Scholastica in Anglia ( 1918); US1702 Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana ( 1853-55). 20c. coll.: ODEP 772, Whiting463, Stevenson 100:14.

3. They who are content to remain in the valley will get no news from the mountains. Rec. dist.: N.C. SEE ALSO ACT so in the valley that you need

not fear those who stand on the h Ill. / There is no HILL without a valley.

valor Valor can do but little without discretion. Rec. dist.: Mich.1st cit.: 1672 Codrington , Select Proverbs. 20c. coll.: ODEP858, Stevenson 584:7. SEE ALSO DIPLOMACY is a better part of valor. / DISCRETION is the better part of valor.

valuableSEE A good REPUTATION is more valuable than money. / Common SENSE is the rarest thing in the world and the most valuable.

value(n.)1. Every man stamps his value upon himself. Rec. dist.: Ont.

2. If you'd know the value of money, go and borrow some. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can.1st cit.: 1640 Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs (Jacula Prudentum) in Works, ed. Hutchinson ( 1941); US1754 Franklin, PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 222:14, Whiting463, ODEP435.

3. Like a postage stamp, a man's value depends upon his ability to stick to a thing till he gets there. Rec. dist.: Miss.

4. Set not too high a value on your own abilities. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

SEE ALSO It is better to have one FRIEND of great value than many with no value. / You never know the value of FRIENDS until you lose them. / A SAINT has no value in his own house. / The only value of TIME is its use. / USE TIME as though you knew its value

Use TIME as though you knew its value.

value(v.) SEE Value your FRIENDS above your opinions. / Don't value a GEM by what it's set in. / HEALTH is not valued till sickness comes. / Don't value a man for the QUALITY he is of, but for the qualities he possesses. / Nothing is more precious than TIME, yet nothing is less valued.

vanity1. Do not let your vanity make you overestimate your powers. Rec. dist.: Kans., N.Y., Ont.

2. Every man has as much vanity as he is deficient in understanding. Rec. dist.: Mich.

3. Vanity backbites more than malice. Rec.

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