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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.

A’ are guid to Adversa virtute

A’ are guid lasses, but where do a’ the ill wives come frae?Scotch Proverb.

A’ are no freens that speak us fair.Scotch Proverb.

A aucun les biens viennent en dormant—Good things come to some while asleep.French Proverb.

Ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia—The abuse of a thing is no argument against its use.Law Maxim.

Ab actu ad posse valet illatio—From what has happened we may infer what may happen.

A bad beginning has a bad, or makes a worse, ending.Proverb.

A bad dog never sees the wolf.Proverb.

A bad thing is dear at any price.Proverb.

Ab alio expectes, alteri quod feceris—As you do to others, you may expect another to do to you.Labertius.

A barren sow was never good to pigs.Proverb.

A bas—Down! down with!French.

A beast that wants discourse of reason.Hamlet, i. 2.

A beau is everything of a woman but the sex, and nothing of a man beside it.Fielding.

A beau jeu beau retour—One good turn deserves another.French Proverb.

A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face, and a beautiful behaviour than a beautiful form.Emerson.

A beautiful object doth so much attract the sight of all men, that it is in no man’s power not to be pleased with it.Clarendon.

A beautiful woman is the “hell” of the soul, the “purgatory” of the purse, and the “paradise” of the eyes.Fontenelle.

A beggarly account of empty boxes.Romeo and Juliet, v. 1.

A beggar’s purse is always empty.Proverb.

A belief in the Bible, the fruit of deep meditation, has served me as the guide of my moral and literary life. I have found it a capital safely invested, and richly productive of interest.Goethe.

Abends wird der Faule fleissig—Towards evening the lazy man begins to be busy.German Proverb.

A beneficent person is like a fountain watering the earth and spreading fertility.Epicurus.

Aberrare a scopo—To miss the mark.

Abeunt studia in mores—Pursuits assiduously prosecuted become habits.

Ab extra—From without.

Abgründe liegen im Gemüthe, die tiefer als die Hölle sind—There are abysses in the mind that are deeper than hell.Platen.

Ab honesto virum bonum nihil deterret—Nothing deters a good man from what honour requires of him.Seneca.

A big head and little wit.Proverb.

Ab igne ignem—Fire from fire.

Abiit, excessit, evasit, erupit—He has left, gone off, escaped, broken away.Cicero of Catiline’s flight.

Ability to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false, is the characteristic of intelligence.Swedenborg.

Ab incunabilis—From the cradle.

Ab initio—From the beginning.

Ab inopia ad virtutem obsepta est via—The way from poverty to virtue is an obstructed one.Proverb.

Ab intra—From within.

Ab irato—In a fit of passion.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.Proverb.

A bis et à blanc—By fits and starts.French.

A bitter and perplex’d “What shall I do?” is worse to man than worst necessity.Schiller.

A black hen will lay a white egg.Proverb.

A blind man should not judge of colours.Proverb.

A blockhead can find more faults than a wise man can mend.Gaelic Proverb.

A blue-stocking despises her duties as a woman, and always begins by making herself a man.Rousseau.

Abnormis sapiens—Wise without learning.Horace.

A bon chat bon rat—A good rat to match a good cat. Tit for tat.Proverb.

A bon chien il ne vient jamais un bon os—A good bone never falls to a good dog.French Proverb.

A bon droit—Justly; according to reason.French.

A bon marché—Cheap.French.

A book may be as great a thing as a battle.Disraeli.

A book should be luminous, but not voluminous.Bovee.

Ab origine—From the beginning.

About Jesus we must believe no one but himself.Amiel.

Above all Greek, above all Roman fame.Pope.

Above all things reverence thyself.Pythagoras.

Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light.Victor Hugo.

Ab ovo—From the beginning (lit. from the egg).

Ab ovo usque ad mala—From the beginning to the end (lit. from the egg to the apples).

A bras ouverts—With open arms.French.

A brave man is clear in his discourse, and keeps close to truth.Aristotle.

A brave spirit struggling with adversity is a spectacle for the gods.Seneca.

A breath can make them, as a breath has made.Goldsmith.


Absence lessens weak, and intensifies violent, passions, as wind extinguishes a taper and lights up a fire.La Rochefoucauld.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.Bayly.

Absence of occupation is not rest; / A mind quite vacant is a mind distress’d.Cowper.

Absens hæres non erit—The absent one will not be the heir.Proverb.

Absent in body, but present in spirit.St. Paul.

Absit invidia—Envy apart.

Absit omen—May the omen augur no evil.

Absolute fiends are as rare as angels, perhaps rarer.J. S. Mill.

Absolute freedom is inhuman.Rahel.

Absolute individualism is an absurdity.Amiel.

Absolute nothing is the aggregate of all the contradictions of the world.Jonathan Edwards.

Absque argento omnia vana—Without money all is vain.

Abstineto a fabis—Having nothing to do with elections (lit. Abstain from beans, the ballot at Athens having been by beans).

Absurdum est ut alios regat, qui seipsum regere nescit—It is absurd that he should govern others, who knows not how to govern himself.Law Maxim.

Abundat dulcibus vitiis—He abounds in charming faults of style.Quintilian.

Ab uno ad omnes—From one to all.Motto.

Ab uno disce omnes—From a single instance you may infer the whole.

Ab urbe condita (A.U.C.)—From the building of the city, i.e., of Rome.

A bureaucracy always tends to become a pedantocracy.J. S. Mill.

A burnt child dreads the fire.Proverb.

Abusus non tollit usum—Abuse is no argument against use.Proverb.

Academical years ought by rights to give occupation to the whole mind. It is this time which, well or ill employed, affects a man’s whole after-life.Goethe.

A cader va chi troppo in alto sale—He who climbs too high is near a fall.Italian Proverb.

A capite ad calcem—From head to heel.

A careless master makes a negligent servant.Proverb.

A carper will cavil at anything.Proverb.

A carrion kite will never make a good hawk.Proverb.

“A cat may look at a king,” but can it see a king when it looks at him?Ruskin.

A causa perduta parole assai—Plenty of words when the cause is lost.Italian Proverb.

Accasca in un punto quel che non accasca in cento anni—That may happen in a moment which may not occur again in a hundred years.Italian Proverb.

Accedas ad curiam—You may go to the court. A writ to remove a case to a higher court.Law Term.

Accensa domo proximi, tua quoque periclitatur—When the house of your neighbour is on fire, your own is in danger.Proverb.

Accent is the soul of speech; it gives it feeling and truth.Rousseau.

Acceptissima semper / Munera sunt, auctor quæ pretiosa facit—Those presents are always the most acceptable which owe their value to the giver.Ovid.

Accident ever varies; substance can never suffer change or decay.William Blake.

Accidents rule men, not men accidents.Herodotus.

Accipe nunc, victus tenuis quid quantaque secum afferat. In primis valeas bene—Now learn what and how great benefits a moderate diet brings with it. Before all, you will enjoy good health.Horace.

Accipere quam facere præstat injuriam—It is better to receive than to do an injury.Cicero.

Acclinis falsis animus meliora recusat—The mind attracted by what is false has no relish for better things.Horace.

Accusare nemo se debet nisi coram Deo—No man is bound to accuse himself unless it be before God.Law Maxim.

Accuse not Nature; she hath done her part; / Do thou thine.Milton.

Acer et vehemens bonus orator—A good orator is pointed and impassioned.Cicero.

Acerrima proximorum odia—The hatred of those most closely connected with us is the bitterest.Tacitus.

Acerrimus ex omnibus nostris sensibus est sensus videndi—The keenest of all our senses is the sense of sight.Cicero.

A certain degree of soul is indispensable to save us the expense of salt.Ben Jonson.

A certain tendency to insanity has always attended the opening of the religious sense in men, as if they had been “blasted with excess of light.”Emerson.

A chacun selon sa capacité, à chaque capacité selon ses œuvres—Every one according to his talent, and every talent according to its works.French Proverb.

A chacun son fardeau pèse—Every one thinks his own burden heavy.French Proverb.

A change came o’er the spirit of my dream.Byron.

A chaque fou plait sa marotte—Every fool is pleased with his own hobby.French Proverb.

A character is a completely-fashioned will.Novalis.

Ach! aus dem Glück entwickelt sich Schmerz—Alas! that from happiness there so often springs pain.Goethe.

A cheerful life is what the Muses love; / A soaring spirit is their prime delight.Wordsworth.

Acheruntis pabulum—Food for Acheron.Plautus.

Ach! es geschehen keine Wunder mehr—Alas! there are no more any miracles.Schiller.

A child is a Cupid become visible.Novalis.

A child may have too much of its mother’s blessing.Proverb.

A chill air surrounds those who are down in the world.George Eliot.

A chip of the old block.

A Christian is God Almighty’s gentleman.Hare.

Ach! unsre Thaten selbst, so gut als unsre Leiden / Sie hemmen unsers Lebens Gang—We are hampered, alas! in our course of life quite as much by what we do as by what we suffer.Goethe.

Ach! vielleicht indem wir hoffen / Hat uns Unheil getroffen—Ah! perhaps while we are hoping, mischief has already overtaken us.Schiller.

Ach wie glücklich sind die Todten!—Ah! how happy the dead are!Schiller.

Ach! zu des Geistes Flügeln, wird so leicht kein körperlicher Flügel sich gesellen—Alas! no fleshly pinion will so easily keep pace with the wings of the spirit.Goethe.

A circulating library in a town is an ever-green tree of diabolical knowledge.Sheridan.

A circumnavigator of the globe is less influenced by all the nations he has seen than by his nurse.Jean Paul.

A clear conscience is a sure card.Proverb.

A cock aye craws crousest (boldest) on his ain midden-head.Scotch Proverb.

A cœur ouvert—With open heart; with candour.French.

A cœur vaillant rien d’impossible—To a valiant heart nothing is impossible.French Proverb.

A cold hand, a warm heart.Proverb.

A combination and a form, indeed / Where every god did seem to set his seal / To give the world assurance of a man.Hamlet, iii. 4.

A’ complain o’ want o’ siller; nane o’ want o’ sense.Scotch Proverb.

A compte—In part payment (lit. on account).French.

A confesseurs, médecins, avocats, la vérité ne cèle de ton cas—Do not conceal the truth from confessors, doctors, and lawyers.French Proverb.

A conscience without God is a tribunal without a judge.Lamartine.

A consistent man believes in destiny, a capricious man in chance.Disraeli.

A constant fidelity in small things is a great and heroic virtue.Bonaventura.

A constant friend is a thing hard and rare to find.Plutarch.

A contre cœur—Against the grain.French.

A corps perdu—With might and main.French.

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.Hamlet, i. 2.

A courage to endure and to obey.Tennyson.

A couvert—Under cover.French.

Acqua lontana non spegne fuoco vicino—Water afar won’t quench a fire at hand.Italian Proverb.

A crafty knave needs no broker.Proverb. quoted in Henry VI.

A craw’s nae whiter for being washed.Scotch Proverb.

A creation of importance can be produced only when its author isolates himself; it is ever a child of solitude.Goethe.

Acribus initiis, incurioso fine—Full of ardour at the beginning, careless at the end.Tacitus.

A critic should be a pair of snuffers. He is often an extinguisher, and not seldom a thief.Hare.

A crowd is not company.Bacon.

A crown / Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns.Milton.

A crown is no cure for the headache.Proverb.

A cruce salus—Salvation from the cross.Motto.

A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run.Ouida.

A crust of bread and liberty.Pope.

Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta—Outward acts betray the secret intention.Law Maxim.

Act always so that the immediate motive of thy will may become a universal rule for all intelligent beings.Kant.

Acti labores jucundi—The remembrance of past labours is pleasant.

Action can be understood and again represented by the spirit alone.Goethe.

Action is but coarsened thought.Amiel.

Action is the right outlet of emotion.Ward Beecher.

Actions speak louder than words.Proverb.

Actis ævum implet, non segnibus annis—His lifetime is full of deeds, not of indolent years.Ovid.

Activity is the presence, and character the record, of function.Greenough.

Actum est de republicâ—It is all over with the republic.

Actum ne agas—What has been done don’t do over again.Cicero.

Actus Dei nemini facit injuriam—The act of God does wrong to no man.Law Maxim.

Actus legis nulli facit injuriam—The act of the law does wrong to no man.Maxim.

Actus me invito factus, non est meus actus.—An act I do against my will is not my act.Law Maxim.

Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea—The act does not make a man guilty, unless the mind be guilty.Law Maxim.

Act well your part; there all the honour lies.Pope.

A cuspide corona—From the spear a crown, i.e., honour for military exploits.Motto.

A custom / More honoured in the breach than the observance.Hamlet, i. 4.

Adam muss eine Eve haben, die er zeiht was er gethan—Adam must have an Eve, to blame for what he has done.German Proverb.

Ad amussim—Made exactly by rule.

A danger foreseen is half avoided.Proverb.

Adaptiveness is the peculiarity of human nature.Emerson.

Ad aperturam—Wherever a book may be opened.

Ad arbitrium—At pleasure.

Ad astra per ardua—To the stars by steep paths.Motto.

A Daniel come to judgment.Mer. of Ven., iv. 1.

Ad avizandum—Into consideration.Scots Law.

A day may sink or save a realm.Tennyson.

A day of grace (Gunst) is as a day in harvest; one must be diligent as soon as it is ripe.Goethe.

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one’s self.Dickens.

Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet—When a disaster happens, every report confirming it obtains ready credence.

Ad captandum vulgus—To catch the rabble.

Addere legi justitiam decus—It is to one’s honour to combine justice with law.Motto.

A death-bed repentance seldom reaches to restitution.Junius.

A deep meaning resides in old customs.Schiller.

A democracy is a state in which the government rests directly with the majority of the citizens.Ruskin.

A Deo et rege—From God and the king.Motto.

Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est—So much depends on habit in the tender years of youth.Virgil.

Ad eundem—To the same degree. Said of a graduate passing from one university to another.

Ad extremum—At last.

Ad finem—To the end.

Ad Græcas kalendas—At the Greek calends, i.e., never.

Ad gustum—To one’s taste.

Adhibenda est in jocando moderatio—Moderation should be used in joking.Cicero.

Ad hoc—For this purpose.

Ad hominem—Personal (lit. to the man).

Adhuc sub judice lis est—The affair is not yet decided.

Adhuc tua messis in herba est—Your crop is still in grass.Ovid.

A die—From that day.

Adieu la voiture, adieu la boutique—Adieu to the carriage, adieu to the shop, i.e., to the business.French Proverb.

Adieu, paniers! vendanges sont faites—Farewell, baskets! vintage is over.French.

Ad infinitum—To infinity.

Ad interim—Meanwhile.

Ad internecionem—To extermination.

A Dio spiacente ed a’ nemici sui—Hateful to God and the enemies of God.Dante.

A Dios rogando y con el mazo dando—Praying to God and smiling with the hammer.Spanish Proverb.

A discrétion—Without any restriction (lit. at discretion).French.

Ad libitum—At pleasure.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam—To the greater glory of God.Motto of the Jesuits.

Ad mala quisque animum referat sua—Let each recall his own woes.Ovid.

Admiration praises; love is dumb.Borne.

Ad modum—In the manner.

Ad nauseam—To disgust; sickening.

Ad ogni santo la sua torcia—To every saint his own torch, i.e., his place of honour.Italian Proverb.

Ad ogni uocello suo nido è bello—Every bird thinks its own nest beautiful.Italian Proverb.

Ad ognuno par più grave la croce sua—Every one thinks his own cross the hardest to bear.Italian Proverb.

A dog’s life—hunger and ease.

A dog winna yowl if you fell him wi’ a bane.Scotch Proverb.

Adolescentem verecundum esse decet—A young man ought to be modest.Plautus.

Ad omnem libidinem projectus homo—A man addicted to every lust.

Adó sacan y non pon, presto llegan al hondon—By ever taking out and never putting in, one soon reaches the bottom.Spanish Proverb.

Ad patres—Dead; to death (lit. to the fathers).

A downright contradiction is equally mysterious to wise men as to fools.Goethe.

Ad perditam securim manubrium adjicere—To throw the helve after the hatchet, i.e., to give up in despair.

Ad perniciem solet agi sinceritas—Honesty is often goaded to ruin.Phædrus.

Ad pœnitendum properat, cito qui judicat—He who decides in haste repents in haste.Publius Syrus.

Ad populum phaleras, ego te intus et in cute novi—To the vulgar herd with your trappings; for me, I know you both inside and out.Persius.

Ad quæstionem legis respondent judices, ad quæstionem facti respondent juratores—It is the judge’s business to answer to the question of law, the jury’s to answer to the question of fact.Law.

Ad quod damnum—To what damage.Law.

Ad referendum—For further consideration.

Ad rem—To the point (lit. to the thing).

A droit—To the right.French.

A drop of honey catches more flies than a hogshead of vinegar.Proverb.

A drop of water has all the properties of water, but it cannot exhibit a storm.Emerson.

A drowning man will catch at a straw.Proverb.

Adscriptus glebæ—Attached to the soil.

Adsit regula, peccatis quæ pœnas irroget æquas—Have a rule apportioning to each offence its appropriate penalty.Horace.

Adstrictus necessitate—Bound by necessity.Cicero.

Ad summum—To the highest point.

Ad tristem partem strenua est suspicio—One is quick to suspect where one has suffered harm before.Publius Syrus.

Ad unguem—To a nicety (lit. to the nail).

Ad unum omnes—All to a (lit. one) man.

A dur âne dur aiguillon—A hard goad for a stubborn ass.French Proverb.

Ad utrumque paratus—Prepared for either case.

Ad valorem—According to the value.

Advantage is a better soldier than rashness.Henry V., iii. 6.

Adversa virtute repello—I repel adversity by valour.Motto.