A Dictionary of American Proverbs

By Wolfgang Mieder; Stewart A. Kingsbury et al. | Go to book overview

G

gain(n.)1. A small gain is worth more than a large promise. Rec. dist.: Ont.

2. An evil gain is equal to a loss. Var.: Dishonest gains are losses. Rec. dist.: Ill., N.J.1st cit.:US 1755 Franklin, PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 926:11.

3. Every gain must have a loss. Rec. dist.: N.Y.1st cit.: 1597 Bacon, "Of Seditions and Troubles" in Essays, ed. Arber. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 928:6.

4. Gain bends one's better judgment. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

5. Gain cannot be made without some other person's loss. Rec. dist.: Ill.1st cit.: 1576 Pettie, Petite Palace of Pleasure, ed. Gollancz ( 1908). 20c. coll.: Stevenson 928:6.

6. Gain is temporary and uncertain, but expense is constant and certain. Rec. dist.: Mich.

7. Great gains are not won except by great risks. Rec. dist.: N.J.

8. Hope of gain lessens pain. Rec. dist.: Miss., N.Y., Ont.1st cit.: 1583 Melbancke, Philotimus; US 1734 Franklin, PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: ODEP 294, Whiting 219, Stevenson 924:6.

9. Ill-gotten gain is no gain at all. Rec. dist.: Ark., Ky., Tenn.

10. Ill-gotten gain never does anyone any good. Rec. dist.: Ont.1st cit.: 1670 Ray, English Proverbs. 20c. coll.: Stevenson 926:4.

11. Ill-gotten gains are soon lost. Rec. dist.: Fla., Ont.1st cit.: 1519 Horman, Vulgaria. 20c. coll.: ODEP 398.

12. Light gains make a heavy purse. Vars.:(a) Light gains make heavy profits. (b) Little gains make heavy profits. (c) The proverb is true, that light gains make heavy purses; for light gains come often, great gains now and then. Rec. dist.: Ind., Okla., Utah. 1st cit.: 1546 Heywood, Dialogue of Proverbs, ed. Habernicht ( 1963); US 1744 Franklin, PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: ODEP 463, Whiting 171, Stevenson 923:13.

13. Little gain, little pain. Rec. dist.: Mich., N.Y., Ont.

14. One who does everything for gain does nothing for good. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

15. Only that which is honestly got is gain. Rec. dist.: Kans., R.I.

16. The chase of gain is rich in hate. Rec. dist.: Ind.

17. There are no gains without pains. Rec. dist.: U.S., Can.1st cit.: 1577 Grange, Golden Aphroditis; US 1745 Franklin, PRAlmanac. 20c. coll.: ODEP 572, Whiting 171, Stevenson 924:6, T&W 149, Whiting( MP) 247.

SEE ALSO What is a poor man's FOLLY is a rich man's gain. / Little LABOR, little gain. / His LOSS is my gain. / No PAINS, no gains; no sweat, no sweet. / NO RISK, no gain.

gain(v.) Not what I gain, but what I lose. Rec. dist.: Ont.

SEE ALSO CONCESSIONS may gain ground. The way to gain a FRIEND is to be one. / The ground of LIBERTY must be gained by inches. / MONEY lost is never gained. / Employ the TIME well if you mean to gain leisure. / Nothing VENTURED, nothing gained.

gainer No one ought to be a gainer by his own wrongdoing. Rec. dist.: Mich.

gait Don't criticize a man's gait until you are in his shoes. Rec. dist.: Ont.

gale It's not the gale but the set of the sail that determines the way you go. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

SEE ALSO Hoist up the SAIL while the gale does last.

gallant The gallant man needs no drums to rouse him. Rec. dist.: N.Y.

SEE ALSO Call him not ALONE who dies side by side with gallant men.

gallows SEE Save a THIEF from the gallows, and he will be the first to cut your throat. / The end of the THIEF is the gallows.

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A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • A 3
  • B 33
  • C 79
  • D 133
  • E 173
  • F 193
  • G 245
  • I 323
  • J 337
  • K 345
  • L 357
  • M 395
  • N 423
  • O 435
  • P 447
  • Q 493
  • R 497
  • S 521
  • T 579
  • U 623
  • V 629
  • W 637
  • Y 685
  • Z 689
  • Bibliography 691
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