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W.C. Hazlitt, comp. English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. 1907.

It is for to Justices

It is for want of thinking that most men are undone.

It is good enough for the parson, unless the parish was better.
It is here supposed, that if the parish be very bad, the parson must be in some fault; and therefore anything is good enough for that parson whose parishioners are bad, either by reason of his ill example, or the neglect of his duty.—R.

It is good fasting when the table is covered with fish.

It is good fishing in troubled waters. C.
Il n’y a pesche qu’en eau troublé. Fr. In troubled waters; that is, in a time of public calamity, when all things are in confusion.—R.

It is good pride to desire to be the best of men.

It is good sheltering under an old hedge.
In 1674, appeared a tract, entitled, Learne to Lye Warm; or, An Apology for that Proverb, ’Tis good sheltering under an old Hedge.

It is good sleeping in a whole skin. HE.
The title of a lost drama by W. Wager, probably produced about 1550. See Gothamite Tales, ed. 1630, No. 9; and Field’s A Woman is a Weathercock, 1612, repr. 1828, p. 37. “This naughtie broode therefore of counterfetes, of al other not tollerable in a common weale, are speciallye to be loked to in theire beginnynge, leaste their euill example by long sufferaunce growe to such a president at the laste, that the common saying, Good to slepe in a whole skinne, beinge espied to escape without daunger or reprehension, bee taken vp for a pollicye.”—Historie of Wyates Rebellion, by John Proctor, 1555, 8vo. One of the Merie Tales of Skelton, first printed about 1567, is headed, “Howe the cobler tolde Maister Skelton, it is good sleeping in a whole skinne.”

It is good still to hold the ass by the bridle. DS.

It is good to be in good time; you know not how long it will last.

It is good to be merry at meat.

It is good to be near of kin to an estate.

It is good to be sure: toll it again, quoth the miller. R.
Millers were not fond of giving over-measure.

It is good to cut the briars in the sear-month.
i.e., in August. Aubrey’s Rem. of Gentilism and Judaism (circa 1670).

It is good to fear the worst, the best can save itself.

It is good to have a hatch before the door. HE.
Compare the Three Ladies of London, 1584, in Hazlitt’s Dodsley, vi. 343.

It is good to keep one head for the reckoning.
New Custome, 1573, act iii. sc. 1. Said originally, perhaps, of a festive party.

It is good to learn at other men’s cost.

It is good to set a candle before the devil.
Interlude of Thersites, about 1550, edit. 1848, p. 84.

It is good to strike the serpent’s head with your enemy’s hand.

It is got into dry cock.
i.e., Out of harm’s way.—Walker’s Parœm., p. 13.

It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.

It is hard striving against the stream. C.

It is hard to be high and humble.

It is hard to break an old hog of an ill custom.

It is hard to get on, harder to get honour, hardest to get honest.
I had this from Miss Augusta Huth.—W. C. H.

It is hard to make a good web of a bottle of hay.

It is hard to make an old dog stoop low. HE.

  • It is hard to make fast that will break ere it bow;
  • a promise once passed is hard to be revoked;
  • a serious maiden all wise men do allow;
  • a sweet lamb is better than a rotten kid;
  • a wife that is unchaste is like a filthy sow;
  • an old man a lecher nothing to be more hated;
  • a woman unshamefast, a child unchastised,
  • is worse than gall, where poison is under hid.
  • Communicated from an early MS. to Current Notes for Dec. 1853. I have modernised the spelling, but keep the string of proverbial maxims in its original stanza form. A second series may be found infra—“None lives in quiet,” &c.

    It is hard to suffer wrong and pay for it too.

    It is hard to turn tack upon a narrow bridge.

    It is ill coming to the end of a shot [feast] and the beginning of a fray. HE.
    To pay the shot is to pay the reckoning; but here Heywood seems to employ shot rather in the sense of the entertainment itself.

  • “He that goeth to a fray at the bgynnyg,
  • And to a good meale at the latter endyng,
  • Shall haue a —— for his good attendyng.”
  • Jyl of Braynefords Testament (circa 1530), repr. Furnivall, p. 4.
  • It is ill fishing before the net. HE.

    It is ill healing of an old sore. HE.

    It is ill killing a crow with an empty sling.

    It is ill putting a naked sword in a madman’s hand. HE.

    It is ill to drive black hogs in the dark.

    It is ill to put spurs to a flying horse. C.

    It is ill to wake a biting bandog.
    Defence of Priests Mariages (about 1560), fol. 109.

    It is impossible to stop the tide at London Bridge.
    “What! stop the tide at London Bridge? It contradicts a proverb! It is impossible!”—Sharp’s Address to the Corporation of London on the Importance and Utility of Canals, 1773, p. 9.

    It is in vain to cast your net when there is no fish.

    It is like nuts to an ape.

    It is lost labour to sow where there’s no soil.

    It is merry in the hall / when beards wag all. C.
    Life of Alexander, 1312, wrongly attributed to Adam Davie. There the line runs:

  • “Swithe mury hit is in halle,
  • When burdes wawen alle.”
  • It is quoted in the Merie Tales of Shelton (1567). “When all are eating, feasting, or making good cheer. By the way, we may not that this word cheer, which is particularly with us applied to meats and drinks, seems to be derived from the Greek word [Greek], signifying joy: As it doth also with us in those words cheerly and cheerful.”—R.

    It is merry when knaves meet. HE.
    Three Lords and Three Ladies of London, 1590, edit. 1851, p. 277. Title of a satirical tract by S. Rowlands, published in 1600 or 1601.

    It is misery enough to have once been happy. CL.

    It is money makes the mare to go.
    [Greek], &c. I danari fan correre i cavalli. Ital. Un asno cargado de oro sube ligero por una montana. Span.—R.

    It is much folly to run to the foot that may go to the head. HE.*

    It is much like a blacksmith with a white silk apron.

    It is my own fault if I am deceived by the same man twice.

    It is natural to a greyhound to have a long tail.

    It is needless to pour water on a drowned mouse.

    It is never too late to learn [or mend].
    Nunquam sera est, &c.—R.

    It is no advantage for a man in a fever to change his bed.

    It is no good hen that cackles in your house and lays in another’s.

    It is no jesting with edge tools.
    Ballad printed before 1600 (Anc. Ballads and Broadsides, 1867, p. 374); True Tragedie of Richard III., 1594, repr. 17. This proverb also occurs in the Honest Man’s Fortune, 1613 (Dyce’s B. and P., iii. 375), and in many other places.

    It is no more to him than a crab in a cow’s mouth.

    It is no shame to yield to him that we must not oppose.

    It is nonsense [or no sense] to set a louse on a steel, to bark at a tailor. Craven.

    It is not a chargeable thing to salute civilly.

    It is not a sign of humility to declaim against pride.

    It is not a sin to sell dear, but it is to make ill measure.

    It is not all butter that the cow shites. C.

  • It is not alone for calf that cow loweth,
  • but it is for the green grass that in mead groweth.
  • “Hit nis noht al for the calf that kow louweth,
  • Ac hit is for the grene gras that in the medewe grouweth.”
  • Wright’s Political Songs, 1839, p. 332.
  • It is not as thy mother says, but as thy neighbours say.

    It is not every one that can pickle well.

    It is not good to have an oar in every one’s boat. C.

    It is not good to scald one’s lips in other men’s pottage.
    Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Seruingmen, 1598, by J. M. (Three Ined. Tracts, Roxb. Lib., p. 99).

    It is not lost that comes at last.

    It is not the beast, but the mind, that is the sacrifice.

    It is not the gay coat that makes the gentleman. CL.

    It is not want, but abundance, that makes avarice.

    It is of no use laying sorrow to your heart, when others only lay it to their heels.

    It is possible for a ram to kill a butcher.

    It is possible to sin against charity, when we do not sin against truth.

    It is pride, not nature, that craves much.

    It is safe taking a shive of a cut loaf.

    It is safer to commend the dead than the living.

    It is safer to hear and take counsel than to give it.

    It is shaven against the wool. C.

    It is short while since the louse bore the langell.

  • It is soon espied when the thorn pricketh,
  • and well wots the cat whose beard she licketh.
  • Skelton’s Garlande of Laurell, 1523. Comp. Well Wots the Cat, &c.

    It is sooner said than done.

    It is the bridle and spur that makes a good horse.

    It is the clerk makes the justice.

    It is the ordinary way of the world to keep folly at the helm, and wisdom under the hatches.

    It is the property of fools to be always judging.

    It is time enough to cry oh! when you are hurt.

    It is time to set when the oven comes to the dough.
    “i.e., Time to marry when the maid wooes the man.”—R. The next has the same meaning.

    It is time to yoke when the cart comes to the caples. Cheshire.

    It is to no more purpose than to carry water in a riddle.
    Walker’s Parœm., p. 13.

    It is too late to grieve, when the chance is past. C.

    It is too late to spare / when the bottom is bare.

    It is true that all men say. C.

    It is wise not to seek a secret, and honest not to reveal it.

    It is wit to pick a lock and steal a horse, but wisdom to let it alone.

    It is working that makes a workman.

  • It is written upon a wall in Rome,
  • Ribchester was as rich as any town in Christendom. Lancashire.
  • Some monumental wall, whereon the names of the principal places were inscribed then subject to the Roman empire. And probably this Ribchester was anciently some eminent colony; as by pieces of coins and columns there daily digged out doth appear. However, at this day it is not so much as a market-town; but whether decayed by age, or destroyed by accident, is uncertain. It is called Ribchester, because situated on the river Ribble.—R. See England’s Gazetteer, 1751, v. Ribchester.

    It looks as well as a diamond necklace about a sow’s neck.

    It matters not what religion an ill man is of.

    It may be a slander, but it is no lie. HE.*

    It melts like butter in a sow’s tail, or works like soap, &c.

    [It must be] a wily mouse that should breed in the cat’s ear. HE.
    This, or some similar saying, is referred to in the Demaundes Joyous, 1511:—“At the last he [Callimachus], lyghted on a little caue, where thrusting in his head more bolde then wise, hee espyed an olde man cladde all in gray, with a head as white as Alablaster, his hoarie beard hanging downe well neere to his knees, with him no earthly creature, sauing onelye a Mouse sleeping in a Cattes eare.”—Lyly’s Euphues and his England, 1580, repr. 1868, p. 233. This anecdote rather tells against our proverb, for the writer goes on to say how the mouse came out of the cat’s ear, and they dined together like a modern Happy Family. “But that which was moste of all to bee considered and noted, the Mouse and the Catte fell to their victualles, beeing such reliques as the olde manne had left, yea and that so louingly, as one woulde haue thoght them both married, iudging the Mouse to be verye wilde, or the cat very tame.”

    It must needs be true that every man saith. HE.

    It ought to be a good tale that is twice told.

    It pricketh betimes that will be a good thorn. HE.

    It rains by planets.
    This the country people use when it rains in one place, and not in another: meaning that the showers are governed by the planets, which, being erratic in their own motions, cause such uncertain wandering of clouds and falls of rain. Or that the fall of showers is as uncertain as the motions of the planets are imagined to be.—R. The country people in these days, much less in Ray’s, know nothing of planetary influence on the weather, and probably Ray did not know much.

    It rains like Old Boots.
    i.e., like the devil.

    It shall be at the wife’s will if the husband thrive.
    The Tale of the Basyn, in Hazlitt’s Popular Poetry, iii. 45.

  • “Hit is an olde seid saw, I swere be seynt Tyue;
  • Hit shal be at the wyves will if the husbonde thryue.”
  • Herbert says, “He that will thrive must ask leave of his wife.” “It is an antient English proverb, that if a man will thrive, he must ask leave of his wife, and thrift is a matter of no small consideration in Oeconomy. If, therefore, choyce be made of a wife, let him use as well his ear as his eye, that is, let him rather trust to his discretion according to what he hears, than to his affection kindled by sight.”—Observations and Advices Oeconomical, by Francis Dudley, fourth Lord North, 1669, p. 4.

    It shall be done when the king cometh to Wogan. Worcestershire.
    i.e., never.

    It shines like Holmeby. Northamptonshire.
    A comparison that may have originated in the glittering appearance which Holmeby House presented, when gilded with the rays of the sun.—Miss Baker.

    It signifies nothing to play well if you lose.

    It were better to hear the lark sing than the mouse cheep.

    It will be a feather out o’ your wing.

    It will be a forward cock that croweth in the shell.
    I rather imagine that this is a phrase of Lyly’s own invention; it occurs in his Endimion, 1591 (Works, 1858, i. 22), and I do not remember to have met with it elsewhere.

    It will be a nosegay to him as long as he lives.
    It will stink in his nostrils. Spoken of any bad matter a man hath been engaged in.—R.

    It will be all the same a hundred years hence.
    Said by any one to express an indifference to the result of some immediate matter.

    It will be an ill web to bleach.

    It will be fair weather when all shrews have dined.

    It will be long enough ere you wish your skin full of oilet holes. F.

    It will do, in spite of the Devil and Dick Senhouse. Cumberland.
    They were a constant family of gamesters, and the country people were wont to say, the Senhouses learnt to play at cards in their mother’s belly. The doctor playing with a stranger, he tipped the die so pat, that the other exclaimed—Surely it is either the Devil or Dick Senhouse. A common saying,—It will do, in spite of the Devil and Dick Senhouse. This was Richard Senhouse, made Bishop of Carlisle in 1624.
    When he was a scholar at Cambridge, coming into the country to see his friends, his horse happened to cast a shoe, and having no money to pay the smith withal, “Well, well,” says the smith, “go your ways, and when you come to be Bishop of Carlisle you’ll pay me;” which he did in abundance of gratuity, and was a religious and honest pastor.—Hutchinson’s History of Cumberland, 1794, quoted by Brady. See also Lysons’ Cumberland, p. 54, where an interesting account of this ancient family may be found.

    It will do with an onion.

    It will not always be honeymoon. CL.

    It would make a beggar beat his bag.

    It would make a dog doff his doublet.

  • It would make a man scratch where it doth not itch,
  • to see a man live poor to die rich.
  • “Est furor haud dubius simul et manifesta phrenesis,
  • Ut locuples moriaris egenti vivere fato.”—Juvenal.
  • It would vex a dog to see a pudding creep.

    It’s a bad cause that none dare speak in.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135.

    It’s a foolish sheep, that makes the wolf his confessor.

    It’s a shame to steal, but a worse to carry home.

    It’s all Dover with me.
    i.e., it is all sixes and sevens, all up with me. One of my servants, who is a Cornish woman, frequently uses this expression; but I suspect its derivation from the disorderly proceedings at Dover Court in Essex.—W. C. H.

    It’s as hard to please a knave as a knight. R. (1670).

    It’s better to be a cold than a cuckold.

    It’s better to be stung by a nettle, than pricked by a rose.

    It’s but a copy of his countenance.

    It’s easy to bowl down hill.

    It’s gone over Borough Hill after Jackson’s pig. Northamptonshire.
    A common phrase in the neighbourhood [of Daventry] when anything is lost.—Miss Baker. Borough Hill, as the same authority points out, is an ancient Roman encampment near Daventry.

    It’s good to have company in trouble. R.
    Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.—R.

    It’s good to have some friends both in heaven and hell. R. (1670).
    Byron remarked that one should doff one’s cap to the statue of Jupiter, in case he returned to power.

  • It’s hard to split the hair,
  • that nothing is wanted and nothing to spare.
  • It’s height makes Grantham steeple stand awry.
    Thoresby’s Diary; Taylor’s Wit and Mirth, 1629; Braithwaite’s Barnabæ Itinerarium (1638), sign. R.

  • “Benausus.And ’cause there be such swarms of Heresies rising:
  • I’le have an artist frame two wonderous weathercocks
  • Of Gold, to set on Pauls and Grantam Steeple,
  • To show to all the kingdom what fashion new
  • The wind of humor hither means to blow.
  • —Randolph’s Muses Looking-glass, 1638, act iii. sc. 1.
  • I confess that Grantham steeple did not strike me much in respect either to its altitude or obliquity. W. C. H.

    It’s no sure rule to fish with a crossbow. H.

    Itch and ease / can no man please. HE.

    Itch is more intolerable than smart.

    I’ve got a touch of old Lawrence to-day.
    Cooper’s Sussex Vocabulary, 1833. The sense is, I feel rather lazy.

    Jack at a pinch.

    Jack Drum’s entertainment.
    A thrashing.—Three Ladies of London, by R. W., 1584 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, vi. 324), and the title of a drama printed in 1601. Comp. Stafford’s Law, &c.

    Jack in a box.
    Chettle’s Kind Harts Dreame (1592), repr. 45, or sign. F 3 of orig. edit., title of a tract by Lawrence Price, 12mo, 1657.
    Decker, in his Lanthorne and Candlelight, 1608, chap. 11, gives an account of a common form of swindling at that time by a sharper whom he names Jack in a box.

    Jack in office.
    A vulgar, officious person.

    Jack in office is a great man.

  • “The patient man hath over praise,
  • The proud doth reape disdaine:
  • And Iacke will be a Gentleman,
  • If office he obtaine.”
  • A Garden of Spirituall Flowers, 1638, part 2, dated 1632, p. 303. This work was first printed, I believe, in 1609. I have seen it in 1612, 1620 and 1622.

    Jack in the cellar.
    Nares’ Glossary, ed. 1859, art. Hans in Kelder, and Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, in v.

    In Cornwall, this is the popular name of the common heart’s-ease.

    Jack Nicker.
    The goldfinch is so called in Cheshire. Mr. Wilbraham (Cheshire Glossary, 1820, p. 39) was not able to learn the origin of the phrase.

    Jack Nokes and Tom Stiles.

    The London Chanticleers, 1659 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, xii. 347); Mayne’s City Match, 1639 (ibid. xiii. 240). We often say, “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” Thomas Nash speaks contemptuously of “a sort of shifting companions that run through every art and thrive by none.”

    Jack of all trades is of no trade.

    Jack of Dover.
    An old popular name for a sole from the supposed excellence of those found thereabout. Some, however, prefer those of Harwich.

    Otherwise called Will-o-Wisp or Joan in the Wad. See my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 635. It is now generally allowed that this is a mere physical phenomenon.

    Jack on [or of] both sides.
    That is, a trimmer. [Greek]. A turncoat, a weathercock.—R. This expression occurs on the title of Bishop Wigand’s De Neutralibus et Mediis, in Engl., 8vo, 1562. “Jack of both sides” is an interlocutor in A Dialogue, wherein is plainlie layd open the Tyrannicall Dealing of Lord Bishops against Gods Children (1589), edit. 1640. “And as for Nevters, or as they may wel be englished, Jackes on both sides, wee haue innumerable remayning vs, whiche lyke cunnyng Tennies Players, can finely play with both handes, to and fro: forwarde and backward: hye and low: Or as our English Prouerbe is vsed: can holde w the Hare and runne with the Hounde.”—Humphrey Roberts’s Complaynt for Reformation, 1572, sign. A 3.
    On the 13th May, 1606, was licensed “A picture called Jacke on both sides.”—Arber’s Transcript, iii. 139. Comp. Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, p. 710.

    Jack out of office. HE.
    “Heere to day and gone to morow. In good credite with his maister at noone, and Jacke out of office before night.”—A Health to the Gentl. Prof. of Servingmen, 1598, repr. Roxb. Lib. 166.

    Jack roast beef.

    Jack Sprat teacheth his grandame. CL.
    Ante barbam doces senes. The French say, Les oisons menent paitre les oies. The goslings lead the geese.—R.

    Jack Straw.
    This seems to have been used as a cant term. See Reliquiæ Antiquæ, i. 84.

    Jack West [a stye in the eye]. Hants.

    Jack will be a gentleman.
    Hazlitt’s Dodsley, xii. 456.

  • Jack will eat no fat, and Jill will eat no lean,
  • yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes clean. CL.
  • Jack Sprat is another form.

    Jack with the bush.

  • “If thou calle for aught by worde, signe or becke,
  • Then Jacke with the bush shal taunt thee with a chek.”
  • Barclay’s Eglogs, 1570, sign. B iv. recto, col. i.
  • Jack would be a gentleman if he could but speak French. HE.
    This was a proverb when the gentry brought up their children to speak French. After the Conquest, the first kings endeavoured to abolish the English language and introduce the French.—R. Not the French which we know, but the language of Normandy.

    Jack would wipe his nose if he had it.

    Jack’s alive at our house.
    An old phrase, where festivities were proceeding anywhere.

    Jackasses never can sing well, because they pitch their notes too high.

    Janiverr, / freeze the pot upon the fier.

  • Jape with me, but hurt me not:
  • sport with me, but shame me not.
  • Puttenham (Arte of English Poesie, 1589, sign, E e 4 verso) calls this “a common Prouerbe,” and speaks of it as a sentence to be addressed by a lady to one of the other sex.

    Jeerers must be content to taste of their own broth.

    Jeering Coggeshall. Essex.
    This is no proverb; but an ignominious epithet, fastened on this place by their neighbours, which, as I hope they do not glory in, so I believe they are not guilty of. Other towns in this county have had the like abusive epithets. I remember a rhyme which was in common use formerly of some towns not far distant the one from the other. Fuller (1662).—R. Compare Braintree for the pure, &c.

    Jest with an ass, and he will flap you in the face with his tail.

    Jesters do oft prove prophets.

    Jesting lies bring serious sorrows.

    Jests are never good till they’re broken.

    Jests, like sweetmeats, have often sour sauce.

    Jetsam and Flotsam.
    The right to what comes from a ship-wreck or otherwise, and is found cast on the shore or floating on the water. In Cornouaille in Brittany it is known as the Droit de Bris.

    Joan Blunt.
    Current formerly in Northamptonshire for a plain-spoken person. Miss Baker was unable to trace the origin of the expression; but surely it is pretty obvious.

    Jockey’s a gentleman.
    Rowley’s Woman never Vext, 1632 (Dilke, v. 298).

    Johannes factotum.
    A term of contempt for a Jack of all trades. Greene applies the term to Shakespeare in his Groatsworth of Wit, 1592. Comp. Magister Factotum infra, and see my Shakespear: Himself and his Work, 1903, pp. 14, 115.

    John a’Dreams.
    Hamlet, ii. 2. A dreamy, wool-gathering fellow.

    John Bull.

    John Doe and Richard Roe.
    A familiar piece of legal phraseology. In Radcliffe’s Ramble, 1682, we find:

  • “Give way great Shakespeare, and immortal Ben,
  • To Doe and Roe, John Den, and Richard Fenn.”
  • John Drawlatch. HE.
    i.e., a sneak.

  • “Why will ye (quoth he), I shall folow her will;
  • To make me Iohn Drawlache, or such a snekebill.”
  • Heywood.
  • John Lively, Vicar of Kelloe,
  • had seven daughters and never a fellow.
  • There are other versions. By fellow should we not understand mate or wife, rather than (with Mr. Halliwell) son? See his Popular Rhymes, 1849, p. 202.

    John Tomson’s man.
    A henpecked husband, whose wife rules the roost. The phrase is used by Dunbar, who died in or about 1515, and who, in one of his petitions to his sovereign (James IV.) for preferment, quaintly wishes the king might be John Tomson’s man for once, the Queen being favourable to the poet’s suit. Who John Tomson was, is more than I know. See also Notices of Popular English Histories, by Halliwell, p. 91, and Laing’s ed. of Dunbar, ii. 297, where a note by Pinkerton suggests that the original saying was Joan Tomson’s man. But comp. Mackay’s Ballads of Scotland, 1861, p. 198.

    Johnny Crapaud.
    The French as a nation. Equivalent to our John Bull. See N. and Q., 1st S., v. 439. But the truth seems to be that this byname is improperly and unjustly applied, since Frenchmen, as a rule, do not eat frogs. It is only or chiefly in the South that the green or edible variety is made an article of merchandise and food. Moreover, Crapaud does not stand for a frog, but for a toad, one of the symbols in the ancient arms of France. See N. and Q., January 3, 1885.

  • Johnny tuth’ Bellas daft was thy poll,
  • when thou changed Bellas for Henknoll.
  • We can only account, says Mr. Halliwell (Popular Rhymes, 1849, p. 200–1), for the proverb by supposing that, at a former period, Bellasyse had been exchanged for lands, but not the manor of Henknoll. See his remarks, and account of the tradition on which the saying is alleged to be founded.

    Jone’s ale is new.

  • “Ale.It onely pleades for mee: who hath not heard
  • of the old ale of England?
  • Beere.Old ale; oh! there ’tis growne to a prouerbe:
  • Jones ale is new.”
  • Wine, Beere, Ale, and Tobacco, &c., 1630.
  • Jone’s as good as my lady [in the dark].
    [Greek]. Erasmus draws this to another sense, viz., There is no woman chaste where there is no witness; but I think he mistakes the intent of it, which is the same with ours.—R. This was the title of a lost drama by Thomas Heywood and is the subject of Herrick’s epigram, “No difference i’ the dark,” Hesperides, 1648, Hazlitt’s 2nd edit., 1892, ii. 114.

    Judge’s wigs.
    The names given in Sussex to the rain clouds seen in the distance among the hills. They are often mentioned by Cobbett.

    Just as Jerman’s [German] lips. HE.
    An Answere to Maister Smyth (1540), a broadside in Hazlitt’s Fugitive Tracts, 4to, 1875, st. 9. In apparent allusion to the firm compression habitual among the Germans.

    Justice Nine-holes. Kent.
    Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 98. This phrase refers to an actual incident in the last year of Queen Mary (1558).

    Justice pleaseth few in their own house. H.

    Justices’ justice.
    A satirical saying which has originated in the tyrannical and ignorant policy of the unpaid county magistrates. These are often composed of parsons, who are, as a class, the most narrow-minded, arbitrary, and intolerant of mankind.