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Proverbs D

What do these proverbs mean?


Dead men tell no tales.

(A dead person can’t say anything about what another person has done. Criminals might take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to kill their victims.)

Discretion is the better part of valor.

(If you do something great or heroic, don’t talk about it — keep it to yourself.)

Do as I say, not as I do.

(Do what I say you should or shouldn’t do, but don’t follow my example for personal behavior.)

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

(Treat others as you would like to be treated. Be nice and polite to other people and there’s the chance that the favor will be returned.)

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

(Don’t turn against the person or thing that provides you with a job, money, food, benefits, whatever.)

Don’t burn your bridges behind you.

(If you are going to leave a job or a position, leave it on good terms. Don’t cause problems before moving on to a new position.)

Don’t cast pearls before swine.

(Common people don’t appreciate the finer things in life, so don’t give them those things that have great value, such as food, art, literature, treasure, etc.)

Don’t change horses in midstream.

(It’s not a good idea to make a big change in this circumstance.)

Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

(Try not to depend on something good happening until it actually happens. If, for example, someone says you have won a million dollars, wait until you actually receive the money before you allow yourself to feel any happiness or comfort.)

Don’t cross that bridge until you come to it.

(Don’t worry about or deal with a problem until you are actually experiencing it.)

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

(Don’t cause trouble for another person if it also causes trouble for you.)

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

(Be thankful–not critical–of any gift you receive.)

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

(Don’t pin your hopes and dreams on one thing; it’s better to have more than one plan of action.)

Don’t put the cart before the horse.

(Don’t plan something too far ahead in the future. Your plans might be disrupted by some unforeseen event.)

Don’t rock the boat.

(Don’t do something new and different because everything is okay just the way it is.)

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

(Don’t get rid of or throw away too much of something because you might also get rid of that which is good along with that which is bad.)

Don’t try to walk before you can crawl.

(Do things slowly and sequentially — step by step.)

Don’t upset the apple cart.

(Don’t do anything new and different. This is similar to "Don’t rock the boat.")

Don’t wash your dirty linen in public.

(Don’t talk about your family or personal matters in front of strangers in public.)

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