W.C. Hazlitt, comp. English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. 1907.
He has none to He loathes
He has none of his chairs at home. Lanc.
i.e., he is wrong in his head. N. and Q., 3rd S., viii. 494.
He has not lost all who has one cast left.
He has one face to God and another to the devil.
He has outrun the constable.
He has pissed his tallow.
This is spoken of bucks who grow lean after rutting time, or may be applied to men.—R.
He has riches enough who needs neither borrow nor flatter.
He has shot the cat.
He has shut up his shop windows.
He has studied at Whittington’s College.
Confined in Newgate which, according to Maitland, was rebuilt in 1423 under the will of Sir Richard Whittington. In Newgate there is a room called Tangiers, which gives to the person confined in it the name of Tangerine.—R.
He has swallowed a spider.
He has taken my horse and left me the tether.
He has the best end of the string.
He has the greatest blind-side who thinks he has none.
He has the Newcastle burr in his throat.
He has to do with one who understands trap.
He has touched him on the quick.
He has two stomachs to eat and one to work.
The Spaniards say, Al hacer temblar y al comer sudar. To quake at doing and sweat at eating.—R.
He hath a cloak for his knavery.
The Italians say, Ha mantello d’ogni acqua. Applied to one who can adapt himself to any circumstances.—R.
He hath a colt’s tooth yet in his old head.
He hath a conscience like a cheverel’s skin, that will stretch. Somerset.
He hath a face of brass.
He hath a good hold of the cat that holds him by the skin.
He hath a good judgment that relieth not wholly on his own.
He hath a good muck-hill at his door.
He hath a good nose to make a poor man’s sow.
Il servit bonne truie a pauvre homme. Fr.—R.
He hath a good office, he must needs thrive.
He [the gamester] hath a spring in his elbow.
He hath been in the sun to-day, his face looks roasted.
He hath brought his hogs to a Banbury market.
In the later collections, “to a fair market.” I conclude that the meaning of Clarke’s version, which is probably the original and genuine one, is, that the man brought his hogs to a market where hogs were not sold.
He hath brought up a bird to pick out his own eyes.
[Greek]. Tal nutre il corvo che gli cavera poi gli occhi.—R.
He hath but one fault: he is nought.
He hath conquered well that hath made his enemies fly.
He hath eaten a horse, and the tail hangs out of his mouth.
He hath eaten the hen’s rump.
Ha mangiato il cul della gallina. Ital. Said of a person who is full of talk.—R.
He hath enough to keep the wolf from the door.
That is, to satisfie his hunger, latrantem stomachum.—R. 1670. Comp. To Keep, &c.
He hath escaped a scouring.
He hath good cards to show for it.
He hath good cellarage.
He hath good skill in horse-flesh to buy a goose to ride on.
He hath great need of a fool that plays the fool himself.
He hath left his purse in his other breeches.
He hath made a good progress in a business that hath thought well of it beforehand.
He hath more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults.
He hath more wit in his little finger than thou in thy whole body.
He hath never a cross to bless himself withal.
i.e., no money, which hath usually a cross on the reverse side.—R.
He hath no ink in his pen.
A coarse adage, or figure of speech, which is intended to convey physical impotence. One of the stories in the Jest-Books turns upon it. In a legal suit for divorce the husband, holding a pen, observed: “I have no ink in my pen,” whereupon the lady returned: “That is my case.” My American correspondent writes: “Plume is French argot for penis. The filthy ‘pierreuses’ and ‘manuelles’ who prowl about the garrison-towns at night always address the passenger with an offer ‘tailler la plume d’Usien.’” Pen is in the English phrase abbreviated from Penis.
He hath no mean portion of virtue that loveth it in another.
He hath no more brains than a burbolt.
He hath played a wily trick, and beguiled himself.
He hath shot his fry.
He hath showed them a fair pair of legs.
He hath some wit, but a fool hath the guidance of it.
He hath sown his wild oats.
He hath stolen a roll out of the brewer’s basket.
He hath swallowed a stake, he cannot bow.
He hath the sun on his face.
He hath tied a knot with his tongue that he cannot untie with all his teeth.
He hath two strings to his bow.
He hath well fished, and caught a frog.
He hath windmills in his head.
He helps little that helpeth not himself.
He holds a looking-glass to a mole.
He holds the serpent by the tail.
He hopes to see a goose graze on your head.
That is, of course, to see you in your grave.
He invites future injuries who rewards past ones.
He is a bench-whistler.
He is a fool that makes a wedge of his fist.
Compare, A white wall, &c.
He is a fool that thinks not that another thinks.
He is a good orator who convinces himself.
He is a happy man who is warned by another man’s deeds.
MS. of the 15th cent. quoted in Retrosp. Review, 3rd S., ii. 309. It is, in fact, little more than the Latin Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum.
He is a hot shot in a mustard-pot, when both his heels stand right up.
He is a lion in a good cause.
He is a nonsuch.
He is a representative of Barkshire.
Jocularly, he is afflicted with a cough. Fuller (1662).—R.
He is a slave of the greatest slave who serveth nothing but himself.
He is a Walberswick whisperer; you may hear him over to Southwold. E. Anglia.
These two places are about a mile apart. See Forby’s Vocab., p. 430.
He is able to buy an abbey.
He is above his enemies that despises their injuries.
He is an ill guest that never drinks to his host.
He is arrested by the bailiff of Mershland. Norfolk.
That is, clapped on the back by an ague, which is incident to strangers at first coming into this low, fenny, and unwholesome country.—R.
He is as hot as Dick’s pepper-box.
According to Chaffers (Hist. of Porcelain, &c., 3rd edit., 543). this saying originated with Mr. Richard Chaffers, the eminent Liverpool potter.
He is as hot as if he had a bellyful of wasps and salamanders.
He is as much out of his element as an eel in a sand-bag.
He is at forced put.
He is at his wit’s end.
He is better fed than nurtur’d.
He is better with a rake than a fork.
Most men are better with a rake than a fork: more apt to pull in and scrape up, than to give out and communicate.—R.
He is blind enough who sees not through the holes of a sieve.
He is blind that eats marrow, but he is blinder that lets him.
He is building a bridge over the sea.
He is burnt to the socket.
He is dagged.
He is driving his hogs over Swarston Bridge. Derbyshire.
This is a saying used in Derbyshire when a man snores in his sleep.—R. We say now generally, He is driving pigs to market.
He is driving turkeys to market.
i.e., He cannot walk straight.
He is either a god or a painter, for he makes faces.
See Mery Tales and Quicke Answeres (circa 1540), ed. 1864, p. 106.
He is erecting broken ports.
He is false by nature that has a black head and a red beard.
He is fool enough himself who will bray against another ass.
He is free of Fumbler’s hall.
Spoken of a man that cannot get his wife with child.—R. See Handb. of E. E. Liter., art. Fumbler’s Hall, for the title of a tract on this subject.
He is free with his horse that never had one, quoth Hendyng.
Rel. Antiq., i. 114.
He is going into the peas-field.
i.e., falling asleep.—R.
He is going to grass with his teeth upwards.
i.e., He is going to be buried.—R.
He is gone up Johnson’s end. Worcestershire.
i.e., He has sunk into poverty.
He is good as long as he’s pleased, and so is the devil.
He is got in his boots.
i.e., He is very drunk, or has been at a drinking-bout. Kennett’s Paroch. Antiq. ed. 1818, Glossary, v. Bothagium.
He is grey before he is good.
He is happy can beware by others’ harms.
Merely the Latin: “Fœlix quam faciunt alime pericula cautum.”
He is happy that knoweth not himself to be otherwise.
He is [or was] heart of oak.
He is idle that might be better employed.
He is ignoble that disgraces his brave ancestors by a vicious life.
He is in [or on] a merry pin.
It was an ancient kind of Dutch artificial drunkenness; the cup, commonly of wood, had a pin about the middle of it, and he was accounted the man who could nick the pin, by drinking even to it; whereas to go above or beneath was a forfeiture. This device was, of old, the cause of so much debauchery in England, that one of the constitutions of a Synod held at Westminster, in the year 1102, was to this effect: that priests should not go to publick drinkings, ‘nec ad pinnas bibant,’ nor drink at pins; and King Edgar made a law that none should drink below the pin.”—Blount’s Glossographia, 1681, quoted by Brady. Fuller, in the third book of his Ch. Hist., gives a somewhat similar explanation. See Hazlitt’s Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 492. Cowper, in John Gilpin, has:
He is in great danger who, being sick, thinks himself well.
He is in his own clothes. E. Anglia.
“Let him do as he pleases; I fear him not.”—Forby.
He is in ill case that gives example to another.
He is in the cloth market.
i.e., in bed.—R.
He is lifeless that is faultless.
He is like a bell, that will answer every pull.
He is like a dog on a cat.
He is like a silvered pin, / fair without but foul within.
He is like a Waterford merchant, up to the eyes in business.
He is making clothes for fishes.
He is making ropes of sand.
He is my friend that grindeth at my mill.
That shows me real kindness. The Italians say, Colui é il mio zio che vuole il bene mio.—R.
He is my friend that succoureth me, not he that pitieth me.
He is never alone that is in the company of noble thoughts.
He is never likely to have a good thing cheap that is afraid to ask a price.
Il n’aura jamais bon marché qui ne le demande pas.—Fr.
He is no great heir that inherits not his ancestors’ virtues.
He is no man’s enemy but his own.
He is none of the Hastings.
Spoken of a slow person. There is an equivoque in the word Hastings which is the name of a great family in Leicestershire, which were Earls of Huntingdon. They had a fair house at Ashby de la Zouch, now much ruined.—R. 1670.
He is not a merchant bare / that hath money’s worth or ware.
He is not a wise man who cannot play the fool on occasion.
He is not drunk gratis who pays his reason for his shot.
He is not fit for riches who is afraid to use them.
He is not fit to carry guts to a bear.
He is not free that draws his chain.
He is not good himself who speaks well of everybody alike.
He is not laughed at that laughs at himself first.
He is not poor that hath little, but he that desireth much.
He is on the ground.
He is on the high ropes.
i.e., conceited and insolent.—R.
He is one-and-thirty.
He is one that will not lose his cap in a crowd.
He is only fit for Ruffians’ hall.
West Smithfield (now the horse-market) was formerly called (says the Continuer of Stowe’s Annals) Ruffians’-hall, where ruffians met casually, and otherwise, to try the masteries with sword and buckler. Fuller remarks that a ruffian is the same with a swaggerer; so called, because endeavouring to make that side to swag or weigh down whereon he engageth.—R. 1670.
He is paced like an alderman.
He is pleased with gourds, and his wife with cucumbers.
This may have a hidden meaning of a not very delicate nature.
He is ploughing a rock.
He is poor indeed that can promise nothing.
He is proper that hath proper conditions.
He is put to bed with a shovel.
He is quite beside the book.
Mightily mistaken.—Walker’s Parœm., 1672, p. 31.
He is ready to leap over nine hedges.
He is rich enough that wants nothing.
He is rich that is satisfied.
He is run off his legs.
He is sillier than a crab, that has all his brains in his belly.
He is so hungry that he could eat a horse behind the saddle.
He is so suspicious that he can’t be got at without a stalking-horse.
He is so wary that he sleeps like a hare with his eyes open.
He is sowing on the sand.
He is teaching a pig to play on a flute.
He is teaching an old woman to dance.
He is teaching iron to swim.
He is the best gentleman that is the son of his own deserts.
He is the son of a bachelor.
i.e., a bastard.—R.
He is the wretch that does the injury, not he that endures it.
He is top-heavy.
He is up to snuff.
He is wise enough that can keep himself warm.
He is wise that hath wit enough for his own affairs.
He is wise that is ware in time.
He keeps his road well enough who gets rid of bad company.
He kills a man that saves not his life when he can.
He knoweth enough that knoweth nothing, if so be he know how to hold his peace.
He knows best what good is that has endured evil.
He knows how many blue beans go to make five.
Said of a shrewd, calculating person. Saber cuantas son cinco.—Span.
He knows how to carry the dead cock home. Derbyshire.
Said of any one who bears defeat bravely. A correspondent of Notes and Queries says:—I never hear this saying now, but can remember when it was in common use in the Derbyshire village where I was born. It was said of lads and men who, when defeated in any of the games, trials of strength, or fights, knew how to bear defeat manfully. If loss or defeat was sustained bravely, some one would out with the expression, “He knows how to carry the dead cock home!” Many will at once surmise, and rightly, that this saying was the outcome of the pastime of cook-fighting, once the highest and most exciting of amusements among the labouring men and lads, especially at Shrovetide, but also on other occasions when time could be spared for the sport. One village champion cock would be pitted against that of another, money and reputation being staked.
He knows not whether his shoes go awry.
He knows nothing about Diss. Cambr.
The late Mr. C. H. Cooper (N. and Q., 1st S., vi. 303) thought that this saying originated in the M. of A.’s Disses, i.e., Disputations, and had no topographical bearing.
He knows one point more than the devil.
He knows on which side his bread is buttered.
He knows tin. Cornw.
He laid his legs on his neck.
i.e., As we should say, He took to his heels. Tarlton’s Jests, 1638 (Old English Jest-Books, ii. 248).
He laugheth that winneth.
He laughs ill that laughs himself to death.
He leaps into a deep river to avoid a shallow brook.
He leaps like a Belle giant or devil of Mount Sorrel. Leicestershire.
“In the neighbourhood of Mountsorrel,” says Peck, “the country people have a story of a giant or devil, named Bell, who once, in a merry vein, took three prodigious leaps, which they thus describe: At a place, thence ever after called Mountsorrel, he mounted the sorrel horse, and leaped a mile, to a place, from it since named Oneleap, now corrupted to Wanlip: thence he leaped another mile, to a village called Burst-all, from the bursting of both himself, his girths, and his horse: the third leap was also a mile; but the violence of the exertion and shock killed him, and he was there buried; and the place has ever since been denominated Bell’s Grave, or Bell-grave;” intending thereby to ridicule those who deal in the marvellous; or, in other words, draw the long bow.—R.
He lies as fast as a horse can trot.
He lieth by the wall. S. Devon.
i.e., He is dead.
He lighted upon a lime twig.
He lives long that lives till all are weary of him.
He lives longest that is awake most hours.
He lives under the sign of the cat’s foot.
He is henpecked: his wife scratches him.—R.
He lives unsafely that looks too near on things.
He liveth long that liveth well.
He loathes the spring-head, and drinks the foul stream.