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

Like a barber’s to Lost with

Like a barber’s chair, fit for every buttock.

Like a Butler’s Box at Christmas.
Taylor’s Wit and Mirth, 1630, No. 15; Epistolæ Ilo-Elianæ, 1754, p. 86. Cotgrave alludes in his Treasury of Wit and Language, 1655, to the Inns of Court butlers and their reliance on their box. In the Book of Accounts of Sir John Francklyn, Knight, of Willsden, under January 8, 1624–5, we have: Item given to the butlers at Staple Inn … 2/-”

Like a bear in a monk’s hood.
Bacon, in a letter to the Duke of Lenox.

Like a bear to a honey-pot.
Pappe with an Hatchet (1589) sign. B 2 verso. In Germany they catch bears in pitfalls, which are carefully concealed with boughs, &c., smeared with honey, or with honey-pots laid upon them.

Like a blind Sym.
Returne of M. Smythes envoy (about 1547), ad finem (Hazlitt’s Fugitive Tracts, 1875, 1st Series).

Like a cat at a bonfire.

Like a cat, he’ll still fall upon his legs.

Like a cat in pattens.

Like a cat round hot milk.

Like a cat stepping on hot bricks.

Like a chip in porridge, neither good nor harm.

Like a collier’s sack, bad without, but worse within.

Like a constable in Midsummer Watch.
“Vincent.So can also our Gentlemen of the Countrey [weare clothes well and courtly], for though wee walke at home plainely apparrelled: yet when wee come to the Assizes, London, or any other place of assembly, wee will put on Courtlike garments, and (though I say it) some of vs weare them with good grace.
“Vallentine.I beleeue you, euen like a Constable in Midsommer watch.”—The English Courtier and the Countrey Gentleman, 1586, sign. K ii.
See Beaum. and Fletcher’s Knight of the Burning Pestle, 1613 (Works, ed. Dyce, ii. 142, Note), and Reliquiæ Antiquæ, ii. 37. &c. It seems from two or three allusions in the Diary, temp. Hen. VII. and VIII. printed in the latter, that toward the end of Henry VIII.’s reign, it was often the practice to omit keeping Midsummer Watch.

Like a copyhold with nine lives in it.
Triumph of Wit, by J. Shirley, 1688, edit. 1707, p. 19. Spoken of a long-lived person.

Like a crow in a gutter.
“They are set swimming, like a crow in a gutter.”—Rare Triumphes of Love and Fortune, 1589, edit. 1851, p. 92.

Like a dog in a fair: / here, there, everywhere.

Like a dying duck in a thunderstorm.
Perhaps allusive to the liability of ducks to suffer fatally from heavy rain.

Like a flash of greased lightning through a gooseberry bush.
Cameron’s Across Africa, 1885, p. 102.

Like a fencer at a fair.
Letters of Charles Lamb, 1886.

Like a hog hangeth the groin. HE.*

Like a hog, he does no good till he dies.

Like a horse in a mill.
See Dyce’s Beaumont and Fletcher, ii. 162.

  • “Whose consent
  • Is so entangled ever to your will,
  • As the poor harmless horse is to the mill.”
  • Like a Lancashire bagpipe.
    “Then at length he began to draw out his words like a Lancashire Bagpipe.”—A Trve Relation of a Combvstion hapning at St. Anne’s Chvrch, by Aldersgate, &c., 1641, p. 5. Comp. Lincolnshire Bagpipes.

    Like a loader’s horse, that lives among thieves. Somerset.
    The countryman near a town.—R.

    Like a miller; he can set to every wind.

    Like a miller’s mare.
    In the only passage in which I have met with this saying, it is used to denote clumsiness:

  • “Nurse.I can jump yet,
  • Or tread a measure.
  • Lamira.Like a miller’s mare.”
  • The Little French Lawyer, iv. 6.
  • Like a mill-horse that goes much, but performs no journey.

    Like a mouse in a mill.
    Three Lords and Three Ladies of London, 1590, edit. 1851, p. 263.

    Like a mouse in pitch.
    Fragmenta Aulica, 1662, p. 99.

    Like a parish top.
    A large top kept by the parish for the exercise and amusement of the peasantry.—Dyce’s Beaumont and Fletcher, i. 138.

    Like a pig’s tail, going all day, and nothing done at night. Lancashire.

  • Like a ribbon double-dyed:
  • never worn and never tried. Cornw.
  • Like a snail in the shell.
    John Chamberlain, writing to Dudley Carleton, December 20, 1598, says: “I am growne so privat that I stirre not abrode, nor mean to do, but to live at home like a snaile in the shelle.”

    Like a sow playing on a trump.

    Like a swarm of bees all in a churm [charm]. New Forest.

    Like a syring to a Hampshire goose.
    Guilpin’s Skialetheia, 1598, Epigr. 27.

    Like a Tantony pig.
    In allusion to the privileges enjoyed in the City of London in the old days by the pigs belonging to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Finch Lane. Another version is: To follow or whine / like a Tantony swine.

    Like a toad under a harrow. Cornw.
    Said of a cringer.

    Like a tom-boy.
    Udall’s Ralph Roister Doister, 1566, ed. 1847, p. 32.

    Like an Irish wolf, she barks at her own shadow.
    Day’s Ile of Gvls, 1606, ed. Bullen, 75.

    Like an owl in an ivy bush.
    Said of a stupid person. Life and Death of the Merry Deuill of Edmonton, 1631. “But sitting there a little while, prying and peeping betweene the branches (like an Owle in an Iuy bush) to see if the coast were cleare, he spied the Mother Nun of Chestone.”—Sign. C 3 recto. Udall, in his Ralph Roister Doister (edit. Cooper, p. 27) has:

  • “As the howlet out of an yvie bushe should hoope.”
  • Like Banbury tinkers, that in mending one hole make three. Oxfordshire. F.

    Like Benjamin’s mess, five times to his part.
    Earle (Micro-Cosmographie, 1628, No. 26), speaking of a forward bold man, says, “His talke at the table is like Beniamins messe, fiue times to his part.”

    Like blood, like good, and like age, make the happiest marriages.
    Æqualem uxorem quære. Unequal marriages seldom prove happy. Si qua voles aptè nubere nube pari. Ovid.—R.

    Like Bucklersbury in simple time.
    M. W. of Windsor.

    Like butchers to Romford Market.
    Decker, in his Lanthorne and Candlelight, 1608, sign. F 3 verso, speaking of the men who made a business of cozening innkeepers and others, says: “These Ranck-riders (like Butchers to Rumford Market) sildome goe vnder sixe or seauen in a company—”

    Like carpenter, like chips.
    Qual es el rey, tal es la grey. Span.—R.

    Like Colne clock, always at one. Lancashire.
    i.e., always the same.

    Like crow, like egg.
    Ex malo corvo malum ovum.

  • Like dogs that snarl about a bone,
  • and play together when they’ve none.
  • Like dogs, when one barks, all bark. CL.

    Like father, like son.
    Dyke’s English Proverbs, 1709, p. 30.

    Like fish, that live in salt water, and yet are fresh.

    Like Flanders mares, fairest afar off.

    Like Goodyer’s pig, never well but when he is doing mischief.

    Like host, like guest.
    Rowlands’ Paire of Spy-Knaves [1619].

    Like is a bad mark among your neighbour’s sheep.

    Like Jimmy Broadstock’s turkey-cock, stand and sit.

    Like John Gray’s bird.
    “I went to Toyes shoppe, a stationer at the signe of the Helmet, supposing this matter had bin ended, where I saw togyther Hall, Mallerye, Freuel, and as it were with them, maister Robert Audeley, a gentleman and fellow to maister Freuel, perceiving them to cluster togither like John Grayes birde, ut dicitur, who always loved company.”—Letter by F. A. to L. B., touching the Quarrel between Arthur Hall and Melchisedech Mallerie (1580). Gascoigne throws some light on the meaning of the phrase in his poem called The fruites of warre:

  • “But that the Greene Knight was amongst the rest,
  • Like Iohn Greyes birde that ventred with the best.”
  • Poems, edit. Hazlitt, i. 178.
  • Like lambs, you do nothing but suck and wag your tail.

    Like lettuce, like lips.
    New Custome, 1573 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, iii. 23). Compare Such carpenters, &c. Rosse (Arcana Microcosmi, 1652, 174) reverses the form, and so does Ray. Similes habent labra lactucas. We use them when we would signify that things happen to people which are suitable to them, or which they deserve: as when a dull scholar happens to a stupid or ignorant master, a froward wife to a peevish husband, &c. Dignum patellâ operculum. These proverbs are always taken in the worse sense. Tal carne tal coltello. Ital. Like flesh, like knife.—R. Tales lactucas talia labra petunt; like lips, like lettuce.—Campion’s Observations on the Art of English Poesie, 1602, repr. 166. Comp. Every Jack, supra.

    Like lord, like chaplain.
    Bale’s King Johan (circa 1540), ed. 1838, p. 73.

    Like lucky John Toy. Cornw.
    Notes and Queries, 2nd S., ii. 337. This is applicable to any one who exults over a small gain at the expense of a heavy loss, like Master Slender and his lute-case. They say, Like lucky John Toy: lost a shilling and found a tupenny loaf. Similar sayings occur of other persons, real or otherwise, as Lucky John Hodges.

    Like Madam Hassel’s feast: enough, and none to spare.
    See Notes and Queries, 2nd S., ii. 339.

    Like master, like man. C.
    Another form is: Trim Tram: like master, like man. A Cat may Look upon a King, 1652. Tel maitre, tel valet. Fr. Tall’ abbate tali i monachi. Ital. Ruya señor eria ruya servidor. Span.—R.

    Like me, God bless the example.

    Like Morley’s ducks, born without a notion.
    “A public-house at Sneinton, near Nottingham, had been kept by generations of Morleys, and one of them, in answer to a complaint of their straying into a neighbour’s garden, said his ducks were ‘born without a notion.’”—Notes and Queries.

    Like Moraoh downs, hard and never ploughed. Cornw.
    Notes and Queries, 3rd S., v. 275.

    Like mother, like daughter. WALKER (1672).

    Like my lady’s eldest son.
    Much Ado about Nothing, 1600.

    Like my Lord Craven’s drum.
    i.e., always beating, night and day. This saying is quoted by Radcliffe in the Ramble, 1682 (repr. in Dryden’s Miscellany Poems, edit. 1716). This was no doubt William, first Lord Craven, 1626–65, the friend of Elizabeth of Bohemia. See my Poetical Miscellanies, 8vo, 1870.

    Like one of the heads on London Bridge, able neither to speak nor breathe.
    Don Quixote, by J. Phillips, 1687.

    Like priest, like people.
    Ad un popolo pazzo prete spiritalo. Ital.—R.

  • Like punishment and equal pain,
  • both key and keyhole do sustain. CL.
  • Like saint, like offering.
    Tal para tal, Pedro para Juan. Span.—R.

    Like Sampson’s calf.
    Harrison’s Description of England, 1587.

    Like Scotsmen, ay wise ahent the hand.

    Like Teague’s cocks, that fought one another, though all were on the same side. F.

    Like the Bloxwich Bull.
    On another occasion, at Bloxwich, some wag stole the bull [that would have been baited at the wake] at midnight, and when the excited crowd assembled on the morrow from all parts of the district, they were doomed to disappointment. This circumstance gave rise to a local proverb still in use. When great expectations are baffled, the circumstance is instinctively likened to “the Bloxwich Bull.”—Timbs’ Nooks and Corners of English Life, 1867, p. 261.

    Like the flounder, out of the frying-pan into the fire. C.

    Like the gardener’s dog, that neither eats cabbage himself, nor lets anybody else.

    Like the Kilkenny cats, who fought and left nothing but their tails.

    Like the Mayor of Hartlepool, you cannot do that. Leicestershire.
    i.e., You cannot work impossibilities.—R.

    Like the old woman’s dish-cloth, better when it is dry.
    Spoken of paint on a building in a half-finished state.

    Like the old woman’s tripe, always ready.

    Like the parson of Saddleworth, who could read in no book but his own. Lancashire.

    Like the smith’s dog that sleeps at the noise of the hammer, and wakes at the crashing of teeth.

    Like the tailor, who sewed for nothing, and found thread himself.
    Don Quixote, lib. xlviii.

    Like those dogs that, meeting with nobody else, bite one another.

    Like to like.
    I doubt if this be not the genuine form of the saying, which subsequently received enlargement as below. Gascoigne quotes it, without any further addition, in his Complaynt of Philomene, written at intervals between 1562 and 1575. Pares cum paribus.—Polydore Vergil (Proverbiorum Libellus, 1498, ed. 1503, sign. E iii).

    Like to like, and Nan to Nicholas.

    Like Tom Peep’s wife, no man.

    Like will to like. HE.

    Like will to like, quoth the devil to the collier.
    Ulpian Fulwell’s Drama, 1568. Or, As the scabbed squire said to the mangy knight, when they both met over a dish of buttered fish. Ogni simile appetisce il suo simile. Ital. Chacun cherche son semblable; or, demande sa sorte. Fr. Cascus cascam ducit, i.e., vetulus anum. Similis similem delectat. Cada ovelha com sua parelha. Port.—R.

    Like wood, like arrows. CL.

    Like Wood’s dog, he’ll neither go to church nor stay at home. F.

    Like word, like deed.

  • “The wise Plato saith, as ye may rede,—
  • The worde mot neede accorde with the dede:
  • If men schal telle propurly a thing,
  • The worde mot corde with the thing werkyng.”
  • Chaucer, The Maunciples Tale, l. 17139–42.
  • Like’s an ill mark.

    Likely lies in the mire, when unlikely gets over.

    Likeness caused liking. CL.

    Lilies are whitest in a blackamoor’s hand.

    Lime makes a rich father and a poor son. D.
    There is no question but that the continual use of lime as a manure materially impoverishes any description of soil.—D.

    Lincoln shall be hanged for London’s sake.
    Sir Thomas More, a play (circa 1590). It is here called “an old proverb.”

    Lincoln was. CL.
    There is an amplified version of this proverb in Brome’s Travels, 1700:—

  • Lincoln was, and London is,
  • And York shall be
  • The fairest city of the three.
  • “‘That Lincoln was—namely a far fairer, greater, richer city than it now is—both plainly appears by the ruins thereof, being without controversies the greatest city in the kingdom of Mercia. That London is we know, but that York shall be God knows.’ Those who hope that it may become the English metropolis, he adds, ‘must wait until the river Thames runs under the great arch of Ouse bridge.’”—Fuller’s Worthies, 1662.
    Two popular sayings in Welsh of the same character (says a writer in Notes and Queries) have come under my notice. The first is attributed to Merlin:—
  • Llanllwch fu,
  • Caerfyrddin sydd,
  • Abergwili saif.
  • That is, “Llanllwch was, Caermarthen is, Abergwili shall stand.” The other prediction is accredited to a Glamorganshire prophet:—
  • Llandaf y sydd,
  • Llandaf a fydd,
  • Llandaf a godir o gerig Caerdydd.
  • That is, “Llandaff now stands, Llandaff will always stand; with Cardiff stones will Llandaff be built.” Some remarks on these prophecies appeared in the Red Dragon and also in Cymru Fu, the Cambrian Notes and Queries.

    Lincolnshire bagpipes.
    In Henry IV., part 1, act ii. sc. 1, Shakespeare makes Falstaff say that he is as melancholy as “the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.” It was a particularly clumsy instrument, emitting a somewhat doleful and monotonous sound. See a representation of one in Mr. Collier’s Broadside Ballads, 1868, p. 118. In the Three Lords and Three Ladies of London, 1590. Simplicity enumerates among the ballads he has on sale “the sweet ballad of the Lincolnshire bagpipes.” Compare the following passage:—“Beeing in this discourse comes whistling by with his Cane, a lustie tall fellow red hayr’d, and cheekes puffed and swolne as if hee had beene a Lincolne-shire bagg-piper, or a Dutch-Trumpeter under Grobbendonck.”—Peacham’s Coach and Sedan Pleasantly Disputing for Place and Precedence, 1636, sign. B 4 recto. In Middleton’s drama, A Mad World, my Masters, 1608 (edit. 1640, sign. D 2 and 3), there is a curious allusion to Lincolnshire and the purloining characteristics of its natives,—perhaps the strolling bagpipers who found their way to London, and combined the professions of street-musician and pickpocket:—“Sir Bounteous Progress. Oh, the honestest theeves of all come out of Lincolne-shiere, the kindest natur’d gentlemen; the’le rob a man with conscience: they have a feeling of what they goe about, and will steale with teares in their eyes: ah, pittifull gentlemen!”

    Lincolnshire, where hogs shite soap and cows shite fire.
    The inhabitants of the poorer sort washing their clothes with hogs’ dung, and burning dried cow-dung for want of better fuel.—R.

    Linen often to water, soon to tatter.

    Lip-honour costs little, yet may bring in much.

    Lips, however rosy, must be fed.

    Lipsbury pinfold.
    See Nares’ Glossary, 1859, in v.

    Listen at the keyhole, and you’ll hear news of yourself.

    Listeners hear no good of themselves.

    Lithe as a lass of Kent.
    Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 74. Mr. Skeat refers to Spenser and Drayton.

    Little and little the cat eateth the stickle. HE.

    Little and often fills the purse.

    Little between right and wrong.

    Little birds may pick a dead lion.

  • Little boats must keep the shore;
  • larger ships may venture more.
  • Little chests may hold great treasure.
    Quoted proverbially by Gosson (Schoole of Abuse, 1579, repr. 1841, pp. 3–4).

    Little difference between a feast and a bellyful.

    Little dogs start the hare, the great get her. H.

    Little England beyond Wales [Pembrokeshire.]

    Little fish are sweet. East Anglia.
    Small gifts are acceptable.

    Little good comes of gathering.

  • “For in old prouerbe we sing
  • Cums littill gud of gaddering.”
  • Tale of Colkelbie Saw, (Hazlitt’s Pop. Scot. Poetry, 1894, i. 185).
  • Little he can do, / and ’tis out of season too. CL.

    Little journeys and good colt bring safe home. H.

    Little knows the fat sow what the lean doth mean. HE.

    Little London beyond Wales.
    i.e., Beaumaris, in the Isle of Anglesey; both this and Pembrokeshire so called because the inhabitants speak good English: indeed, in Pembrokeshire many of the people can speak no Welsh.—R.

    Little mead, / little need. Somerset.
    A mild winter hoped for after a bad summer.—R.

    Little minds, like weak liquors, are soonest soured.

    Little mischief too much.

    Little (or small) pitchers have wide ears. HE.
    Ce que l’enfant oit au foyer, est bientôt connu jusqu’au Monstier. The Parish quickly knowes what Infants heare in private. Cotgr. Monstier is old French for the parish church. See Le Roux, 1781, in v. “So that it seems they have long tongues as well as wide ears; and therefore (as Juvenal well said), Maxima debetur puero reverentia.”—R.

  • Little said, soon amended; / little good, soon spended;
  • little charge, soon attended; / little wit, soon ended. HE.
  • Little sticks kindle the fire: great ones put it out. H.

    Little strokes fell great oaks.
    Multis ictibus dejicitur quereus. Many strokes fell, &c. Assiduity overcomes all difficulty. [Greek]. Minutula pluvia imbrem parit. Assidua stilla saxum excavat.

  • “Quid magis est durum saxo? Quid mollius undâ?
  • Dura tamen molli saxa cavantur aquâ?”—Ovid.
  • “Annulus in digito subter tenuatur habendo;
  • Stillicidi casus lapidem cavat, uncus aratri
  • Ferreus occulté decrescit vomer in armis.”—Lucret.
  • Pliny reports that there are to he found flints worn by the feet of pismires; which is not altogether unlikely; for the horse ants, especially, I have observed to have their roads or footpaths so worn by their travelling, that they may easily be observed.—R.

    Little things are pretty.

    Little things attract light minds.

    Little tit, all tail. HE.

    Little wealth, little care. H.

    Little wit in the head makes much work for the feet.

    Live and let live.
    i.e., Do as you would be done by. Let such pennyworths as your tenants may live under you. Sell such bargains, &c.—R. It is a tavern-sign.

    Live not upon the opinion of other men.

    Liverpool gentlemen and Manchester men.
    This saying, which is, of course, a sneer at the inferior breeding of the Mancunians, may be thought to be out of date now, since assuredly there is as much culture at least in Manchester as at Liverpool.

    Living upon trust is the way to pay double.

    Living well is the best revenge. H.

    Lob’s pound.
    Compare He’s in Cob’s pound.

    London Bridge is built upon woolpacks.
    The London Chaunticleers, 1659, sc. viii. This saying arose from the duty on wool, levied to defray the cost of rebuilding the bridge. See Knight’s London, i. 79. The same story is told of the bridge at Wadebridge in Cornwall, and is open, probably, to a similar explanation. See Dr. Hunt’s Popular Romances, ii. 25. It appears from Aubrey, as cited in Brayley and Britton’s Surrey, v. 191, note, that the parsonage-house at Shere in Surrey was also said to be built on woolpacks, and probably with a similar meaning.
    In August, 1619, according to the MS. Diary of William Whiteway (Current Notes, May, 1853), a custom was established on wool cloth.

    London Bridge was made for wise men to go over, and fools to go under. CL.
    Here we appear to have a reference to the dangers attending those who shot the bridge in boats in former days. Anne Killigrew, the poetess and artist, was among those who lost their lives in this way, and a glance at any of the old views of the bridge, for instance that belonging to the Corporation, and showing it as it was in 1627, will explain the frequency of accidents. Even within living memory the passage involved considerable risk if the current was strong, and the waterman was not alive to the fall.

    London lick-penny.
    In the Supplement to “A Chronicle of London, 1089–1483,” 1827, p. 260, occurs a ballad by John Lydgate with this title printed for the first time from Harl. MS., 542, from a copy in the hand of John Stow. It was probably a very old bye-name.
    “Tom Strowd. London lick-penny call ye it,—’t ’as lick’d me with a witness.”—Day’s Blind-Beggar of Bednal Green, 1659, ed. Bullen, 34.
    The countryman coming up hither, by his own experience will easily expound the meaning thereof.—R.

    Londoner-like: as much more as you will take.

    Long a widow weds with shame.

    Long absent, soon forgotten.
    [Greek]. Friends dwelling afar off are not friends. And [Greek]. Forbearance of conversation dissolves friendship.—R. Compare Far from eye, &c.

    Long and lazy.

  • “That was the proverb. Let my mistresse be
  • Lasie to others, but be long to me.”
  • Herrick’s Hesperides, 1648.
  • Long and slender, like a cat’s elbow.

    Long be thy legs, and short be thy life. HE.*

  • Long beards heartless; / painted hoods witless;
  • gay coats graceless; / make England thriftless.
  • Stowe’s Chronicle, edit. 1573, sign. Bb. iiii. Puttenham’s Art of English Poesie, 1589, sign. V 2 verso. Diary of John Manningham (Harl. MS. 5353, fol. 30 verso) under date of January 1602–3. Stowe calls this Scottes tauntes; of course it is as old as the 14th century, and arose during the wars between the Scots and ourselves in the time of Edward III. Stowe’s authority seems to have been Polydore Vergil. He (Stowe) observes: “The Scottes made many rymes against the Englyshemen for the fonde disguised apparell by them at that time worne, amongest the whiche this was one, whiche was fastened vpon the churche doores of saint Peter towards Stangate.”

    Long ere you cut down an oak with a penknife.

  • Long foretold, / long last;
  • short notice, / soon past.
  • Spoken of the rain.

    Long hair and short wit. HE.*

    Long jesting was never good. H.

    Long, lazy, lousy Lewisham. Kent.
    This proverb has been preserved rather by the alliteration than its being founded in truth.—R. Walpole (Letters, ed. Cunningham, v. 112) applies the epithet to Brentford.

    Long life hath long misery.

    Long looked for comes at length. CL.
    Honest Christmas, thou art the very last man that I thought upon, and now I see the old proverb is proved true, Long look’t for is come at last.—Make Roome for Christmas, &c., by Laurence Price, 1657, sign. A 4. See also Plumpton Correspondence, Camd. Soc., v.

    Long standing and small offering maketh poor parsons. HE.

    A sobriquet applied to the natives of Kent. See Halliwell in v. and compare Kentish longtails supra.

    Longer lives a good fellow than a dear year.

  • Look at your corn in May, / and you will come weeping away;
  • look at the same in June, / and you’ll sing another tune. R. (1670.)
  • Look ere you leap.
    Paradyce of Daynty Devyses, 1578, repr. 134.

  • “But we, whom you haue warnde, this lesson learne by you:
  • To know the tree before we climbe, to trust no rotten bowe,
  • To view the limed bushe, to loke afore we light.”
  • Tottels Miscel., 1557, repr. 286. The more modern version is:
  • Look before you leap,
  • For snakes among sweet flowers do creep.
  • Look high and fall into the dirt.

    Look not a given horse in the mouth. W.
    No man ought to look a given horse in the mouth.—Heywood. It seems this was a Latin proverb in Hierom’s time: Erasmus quotes it out of his preface to his Commentaries on the Epistle to the Ephesians: Noli (ut vulgare est proverbium) equi dentes inspicere donati. A caval donato non guardar in bocca. Ital. A cheval donné il ne faut pas regarder aux dents. Fr. It is also in other modern languages.—R.

    Look not for musk in a dog’s kennel. H.

    Look on the wall, and it will not bite you.
    Spoken in jeer to such as are bitten with mustard.—R.

    Look to him, gaoler; there’s a frog in the stocks.

  • Look to the cow, / and the sow,
  • and the wheat mow, / and all will be well enow. Somerset.
  • Look to the main chance.

    Lord have mercy upon the soul, as St. Oswald said when he fell to the earth.
    See my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 468.

    Lordly vices require lordly estates.

    Lose a leg rather than life.

    Lose nothing for asking.

    Lost time is never found again.

    Lost with an apple and won with a nut. HE.*