Reference > Quotations > W.C. Hazlitt, comp. > English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · ABBREVIATIONS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
W.C. Hazlitt, comp.  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases.  1907.
 
Love and a cough  to  Memory
 
Love and a cough cannot be hid. H.
  Amor tussisque non celantur. The French and Italians add to these two the itch. L’amour, la tousse, et la gale ne se peuvent celer. Fr. Amor la rogna, è la tossa, non si possona nascondere. Ital. Others add, stink.—R.
  See Hazlitt’s Dodsley, (Field’s Woman is a Weathercock, 1612, v. 1), where this proverb is shown to be cited by Sacchetti, the early Italian novelist, and by Pulci in his Morgante Maggiore:
        “Vero e pur che l’ uom non possa
Celar per certo l’ amore e la tossa.”
Pulci’s Morgante Maggiore, iv. 38.    
“Bene dice il proverbio, che l’amore et la tossa non si puo celare mai.”—Franco Sacchetti, Novella 16.
  5985
Love and business teach eloquence. H.  5986
Love and lordship like no fellowship. CL.
  Amor è signoria non vogliono compagnia. Ital. Amour et seigneurie ne se tinrent jamais compagnie. Fr. The meaning of our English proverb is, Lovers and princes cannot endure rivals or partners. Omnisque potestas impatiens consortia erit. The Italian and French, though the same in words, have, I think, a different sense, viz., Non bene conveniunt nec in una sede morantur majestas et amor.—R.
  5987
Love and peas will make a man speak at both ends.  5988
Love and pease-pottage will make their way.
  Because one breaks the belly, the other the heart.—R.
  5989
Love and pride stock Bedlam.  5990
Love at first sight.
        “Dead Shepherd! now I find thy saw of might—
Who ever lov’d that lov’d not at first sight?”
As you Like it, iii. 5.    
  This is Shakespeare’s allusion to Marlowe.
  5991
Love cometh in at the window and goeth out at the door. C.  5992
Love creepeth where it cannot go.
  Rowland’s ’Tis Merry when Gossips meete, 1602, repr. of ed. 1609, p. 14.
  5993
Love does much, but money does more.  5994
Love hath no lack.
  Tell Trothes New Yeares Gift, 1593, repr. 7.
  5995
Love is a sweet tyranny, because the lover endureth his torments willingly.  5996
Love is blind. C.  5997
Love is not found in the market. H.  5998
Love is the loadstone of love.  5999
Love is the true price of love. H.  6000
Love it or lump it. Cornw.  6001
Love, knavery, and necessity, make men good orators.  6002
Love laughs at locksmiths.
  The title of a well-known farce.
  6003
Love lives in cottages as well as in courts.  6004
Love looks for love again. CL.  6005
Love makes a good eye squint. H.  6006
Love me little, love me long. HE.
  This is the title of a ballad licensed to W. Griffith in 1569–70. See Arber, i. 188 b. Herrick has some verses on the saying in his Hesperides, 1648.
  6007
Love me, love my dog. C.
  “Love me, and love my dog.”—The Mad Dog Rebellion worm’d and muzzled (1647).
  Qui me eyme, eyme mon chen. Old Fr. Qui aime Jean aime son chien. Fr. Quien bien quiere á Beltran Bien quiero á su can. Span. Spesse volte si ha rispetto al cane per il padrone.—R. “I will not request you according to the old proverbe, Loue me, loue my hound; but onely, loue me, and hang my dogge.”—Discovery of a London Monster, called the Blacke Dogg of Newgate (1596), ed. 1638, sign. D 3, verso. I do not quite understand the following passage in Killigrew’s Cicilia and Clorinda (Works, 1664, sign. E e):—“His sister is in the Toil too; the Virago that has so long made Otho a Souldier, for ’tis certain he loves Clorinda; but why, unlesse it be for loving him, I know not; the great reason why most men love their dogs.”
  6008
Love of lads and fire of chats is soon in and soon out.  6009
Love of wit makes no man rich.  6010
Love rules his kingdom without a sword. H.  6011
Love sees no faults.  6012
Love will find out the way.  6013
Love your neighbour, yet pull not down your hedge. H.  6014
Lovelocks [are] no cupboards. CL.  6015
Lovers ever run before the clock.  6016
Lovers live by love, as larks live by leeks. HE.
  This is, I conceive, in derision of such expressions as living by love. Larks and leeks, beginning with the same letter, helped it up to be a proverb.—R.
  6017
Lowly sit, richly warm.
  A mean condition is both more safe and more comfortable than a high estate.—R.
  6018
Lubberland, where the pigs run about ready-roasted, and cry, Come eat me!
  See Nares’ Glossary, ed. 1859, art. Lubberland. This proverb is referred to by Ben Jonson in his Bartholemew Fair (1614).
  6019
Luck of Muncaster [The].
  The name of an ancient enamelled glass vase given by Henry VI. to Sir John Pennington, when he stayed at Muncastor after the Battle of Hexham in 1463. The tradition was that, so long as it remained unbroken, the family would not want a male heir.
  6020
Lucky men need no counsel.  6021
Lucus a non lucendo.  6022
Lucy Light, the shortest day and the longest night.
  December 13, the day of Lucy, virgin and martyr.
  6023
Lusty Lawrence.
  The title of a ballad licensed in 1594. A metaphor for a man of vigorous physique.
  6024
Lying rides on debt’s back.  6025
Madam Parnel,
crack the nut, and eat the kernel.
  6026
Madge [or Margaret] Good-cow gave a good meal;
but then she cast it down again with her heel. HE.
  Porter’s Two Angry Women of Abingdon, 1599, repr. 104. The idea is copied in a very severe tract against Cromwell, 4to, 1659.
  6027
Magister Factotum.
  “He was Magister factotum: he was as fine as the Crusadoe.”—Gascoigne’s Supposes, 1566 (Works, by Hazlitt, i. 228).
  6028
Maids say nay, and take.  6029
Maids want nothing but husbands, and when they have them they want everything. Somerset.  6030
Maidens should be mild and meek:
swift to hear, and slow to speak.
  6031
Maids should be seen and not heard.
  The Maids Complaint against the Batchelors, 1675, p. 3, where it is called a musty proverb.
  6032
Make a model before thou buildest.  6033
Make a page / of your own age.
  i.e., Do it yourself.—R.
  6034
Make a pearl on your nail.
  Nash’s Pierce Penniless, 1592, repr. Collier, 1868, p. 57. This phrase is connected with a convivial custom known as “drinking supernaculum.” Supernaculum is, according to the most reasonable etymology, derived from Lat. super, and Germ. nagel, the nail, agreeably to a barbarous practice of coupling words taken from two distinct languages; unless it is to be supposed that the word is compounded of super and nagulum, a kind of jargon or loose Latinity, as Nash prints super nagulum. In a marginal note to his text, Nash observes, “Drinking super nagulum, a devise of drinking, new come out of Fraunce; which is, after a man hath turnde up the bottom of the cup, to drop on hys nayle, and made [? make] a pearle with that is left; which if it slide, and he cannot make stand on, by reason ther’s too much, he must drinke againe for his penance.” See also Notes and Queries, 4th S., i. 460, 559, Sussex Arch. Coll., xiv., 15, and my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 574.
  6035
Make a virtue of necessity.
  Il savio fa della necessity virtu. Ital. [Greek] and [Greek], Erasmus makes to be much of the same sense, that is, to do or suffer that patiently which cannot well be avoided. Levius fit patientia, quicquid corrigere est nefas. Or to do that ourselves by an act of our own, which we should otherwise shortly be compelled to do. So the abbeys and convents, which resigned their lands into King Henry VIII.’s hands, made a virtue of necessity.—R.
  6036
Make ado and have ado.  6037
Make haste when you are purchasing a field; but when you are to marry a wife, be slow.  6038
Make me a diviner, and I will make thee rich. B. OF M. R.  6039
Make much of me: good men are scarce.  6040
Make no fire, raise no smoke. HE.*  6041
Make no orts of good hay.  6042
Make not a gauntlet of a hedging glove. CL.  6043
Make not a toil of pleasure, as the man said when he buried his wife.  6044
Make not balks of good ground.
  A balk, Latin scamnam; a piece of earth which the plough slips over without turning up or breaking. It is also used for narrow slips of land left unploughed on purpose in champagne countries, for boundaries between men’s lands, or some other convenience.—R.
  6045
Make not even the devil blacker than he is.  6046
Make not thy friend too cheap to thee, nor thyself to thy friend.  6047
Make not thy tail broader than thy wings.
  i.e., Keep not too many attendants.—R.
  6048
Make not two sorrows of one:
ye make two sorrows where reason maketh none. HE.*
  6049
Make not your sail too big for your ballast.  6050
Make not your sauce till you have caught the fish.  6051
Make the best of a bad bargain.  6052
Make the vine poor, and it will make you rich.
  Prune off [oft?] its branches.—R.
  6053
Make the young one squeak, and you’ll catch the old one.  6054
Malice drinketh its own poison.  6055
Malice hath a sharp sight and a strong memory.  6056
Malice is mindful.  6057
Malice seldom wants a mark to shoot at.  6058
Malt is above wheat with him. HE.
        “Sixe daies in the weeke beside the market daie.
Malt is aboue wheate with him, market men saie.”—Heywood.
  “Speakinge of a drunkarde.”—Old MS. note in a copy of Heywood, 1576.
  6059
Malo I would rather be
Malo in an apple-tree
Malo than a bad man
Malo in adversity.
  A scholastic jeu d’esprit on the variant senses of Malo in Latin.
  6060
Malvern measure: full and running over.  6061
Man doth what he can, and God what he will.  6062
Man is a wolf to man.
        “And though unto a proverb it is true,
Man is a woolf to man; ’t should not be so.”
Gayton’s Art of Longevity, 1659, p. 23.    
  6063
Man is but his mind.  6064
Man proposes, God disposes. H.
  Home proponit, Deus disponit.—Piers Plowman, ed. Wright, p. 204. In Bradshaw’s Life of St. Werburgh, 1521, we have this couplet:
        “Tho mankynde prepose his mynde to fulfyll,
Yet God dysposeth all thynge at his wylle.”
Edit. 1848, p. xiv.    
  “Homme propose, mais Dieu dispose. Fr. Humana consilia divinitùs gubernantur. El hombre propone, y Dios dispone. Span.”—R.
  6065
Man, woman, and devil are the three degrees of comparison.  6066
Manchester bred:
long in the arms,
and short in the head.
  Higson’s MSS. Coll., No. 51. Compare Cheshire bred and Derbyshire born, &c.
  6067
Manners and money make a gentleman.  6068
Manners make a man, / quoth William of Wickham.
  William Patten of Wickham was Bishop of Winchester, founded New College in Oxford, and Winchester College in this county [Hants]. This generally was his motto, inscribed frequently on the places of his founding. So that it hath since acquired a proverbial reputation.—R. In his Lyfe of Saynt Werburge, 1521, Bradshaw says:
        “—— by a prouerbe certan
Good manners and conynge maken a man.”
Edit. 1848, p. xiii.    
  See a curious account of the Bishop, his origin, fortunes and preferments, in Aubrey’s Letters, &c., i. 235.
  6069
Manners make the man.  6070
Manners often make fortunes.  6071
Man’s best candle is his understanding.  6072
Man’s life is filed by his foe.  6073
Many a dog is hanged for his skin, and many a man is killed for his purse. CL.  6074
Many a dog’s dead since you were a whelp.  6075
Many a good cow hath an evil calf. HE.
  [Greek]. Heroum filii noxii. [Greek].—Homer, Odyss. [Greek]. Ælius Spartianus, in the life of Severus, shows, by many examples, that men famous for learning, virtue, valour, or success, have, for the most part, either left behind them no children, or such as that it had been more for their honour, and the interest of human affairs, that they had died childless. We might add unto those which he produceth, many instances out of our own history. So Edward I., a wise and valiant prince, left us Edward II.: Edward the Black Prince, Richard II.: Henry V., a valiant and successful king, Henry VI., a very unfortunate prince, though otherwise a good man. And yet there want not in history instances to the contrary; as among the French, Charles Martel, Pepin, and Charlemagne, in continual succession; so Joseph Scaliger the son was, in point of scholarship, no whit inferior to Julius the father. Fortes creantur fortibus et bonis, &c.—R.
  6076
Many a good drop of broth is made in an old pot.  6077
Many a man singeth,
when he home bringeth
  his young wife:
wist he what he brought,
weep he mought,
  ever his life sith,
quoth Hendyng.
  Proverbs of Hendyng (Reliq. Antiq., i. 112).
  6078
Many a man setteth more by an inch of his will than by an ell of his thrift.
  Whitinton’s Vulgaria, 1520, quoted in the Bibliographer for January, 1882.
  6079
Many a mickle makes a muckle.  6080
Many a true word is spoken in jest.
        “But beth nought wroth, my lorde, though I play,
For oft in game a soth I have herd say.”
Chaucer, Monkes Prologue, 1, 15450.    
  6081
Many an honest man stands in need of help that has not the face to beg it.  6082
Many by-walks, many balks: many balks, much stumbling.
  Latimer’s Sermons, 1549, repr. Arber, p. 56. Baulks or balks = ridges or narrow causeways; but probably a play on words is intended. Comp. Faiths and Folklore, 1905, v. Whorpell, and supra, Make not, &c.
  6083
Many can bear adversity, but few contempt.  6084
Many can brook the weather that love not the wind.
  Loves Labours Lost, 1598.
  6085
Many can pack the cards that cannot play.  6086
Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves.
  Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsæ.
  6087
Many dogs soon eat up a horse.  6088
Many dressers put the bride’s dress out of order.  6089
Many drops make a shower.  6090
Many drops of water will sink a ship.  6091
Many estates are spent in the getting,
since women, for tea, forsook spinning and knitting,
and men, for their punch, forsook hewing and splitting.
  6092
Many for folly themselves foredo.
  How the Goode Wif, &c., in Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, i.
  6093
Many frosts and many thowes [thaws]
make many rotten yowes [ewesJ. D.
  6094
Many get into a dispute well that cannot get out well.  6095
Many hands make light work. HE.
  How the Goode Wif, &c., ut supra; Parlament of Byrdes (circa 1550), ibid. iii. 177. Mr. Furnivall refers me to the romance of Sir Bevis of Hamtoun (about 1320), line 3177. “Multorum manibus grande levatur onus. [Greek]. Homer. Unas vir nullus vir. [Greek]. Euripid.”—R.
  6096
Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.  6097
Many have come to a port after a storm.  6098
Many haws, many sloes: / many cold toes. D.  6099
Many humble servants, but not one true friend.  6100
Many kinsfolk and few friends. HE.  6101
Many kiss the child for the nurse’s sake. HE.
  Osculor hunc ore natum nutricis amore.—Leonine verse in a MS. of the 12th cent., in Trin. Coll. Camb. (Wright’s Essays, i. 150). Pur l’amour le chevaler, bees la dame l’esquier. Old Fr.
  6102
Many kiss the hand they wish cut off. H.  6103
Many lads, many loons.
  Colkelbie Sow, 14th c. (Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry of Scotl., 1895, i. 195).
  6104
Many littles make a mickle. C.
  The proverbe saith that many a smale makith a grete.—Chaucer, Persones Tale, ed. Wright, roy. 8vo. p. 192. “Petit a petit l’oiseau fait sa nid. Goutte à goutte on remplit la cave. Fr. And, Goutte à goutto la met s’egoute. Drop by drop the sea is drained. [Greek]. Hesiod. Adde parum parvo magnus acervus erit. De petit vient on au grand: and, Les petits ruisseaux font les grandes rivieres. Fr. Piuma à piuma si pela l’ occa. Ital. A quattrino a quattrino se fa il soldo. Ital. De muitos poucos se faz ham muito. Port.”—R.
  6105
Many masters, quoth the toad to the harrow, when every tine turned her over.  6106
Many men for land wive to their undoing, quoth Hendyng.
  Reliq. Antiq., i. 115.
  6107
Many Mountagues, but one Markham.
  See Sir James Whitelocke’s Liber Famelicus, edit. Bruce, p. 52, and Mr. Bruce’s note. Muchos Grisones y pocos Bayardos. Span. This had perhaps an eye to the Chevalier Bayard.
  6108
Many nits [nuts], many pits.
  Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. 510. i.e., It hazel nuts be plentiful, the season will be unhealthy.—Shelly.
  6109
Many old camels carry the skins of the young ones to the market.  6110
Many owe their fortune to their enviers.  6111
Many rains, many rowans: / many rowans, many yawns. D.
  Rowans are the fruit of the mountain ash, and an abundance thereof is held to denote a deficient harvest.—D.
  6112
Many sands will sink a ship.  6113
Many slones [sloes], many groans.
  N. and Q., 1st S., ii. 510.
  6114
Many speak much that cannot speak well.  6115
Many talk like philosophers and live like fools.  6116
Many talk of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow,
and many talk of Little John that never did him know. C.
  The first part is given by Camden in his Remaines, 1614, p. 310; and by Fuller, in his Worthies of England, 1662; but the whole may be equally old. See Downfall of Robert Earle of Huntingdon, 1601, repr. 14. Another version is:
        “There be some that prate
Of Robin Hood and of his bow,
That never shot therein, I trow.”
—Gutch’s Robin Hood, 1847, i. 58.    
  “That is, many talk of things which they have no skill in or experience of. Robert Hood was a famous robber in the time of King [Edward II.]: his principal haunt was about Shirewood Forest, in Nottinghamshire. Camden calls him Prædonem mitissimum. Of his stolen goods he afforded good pennyworths. Molti parlan di Orlando chi non videro mai suo brando. Ital. Non omnes qui citharam tenent citharædi.”—R.
  See the ballad of The Well-Spoken No Body (circa 1600):
        “Many speke of Robin Hoode that neuer shotte in his bowe.”
  “There are a sort of Persons that talk much of Robin-hood, and yet never shot in his Bow.”—The Nativity of Carolus Adolphus, King of Sweden, by Merlinus Verax, 1659, p. 1.
  6117
Many that are wits in jest are fools in earnest.  6118
Many there be that buy nothing with their money but repentance.  6119
Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.  6120
Many things lawful are not expedient.  6121
Many ventures make a full freight.  6122
Many wells, many buckets: / many words, many buffets. HE.  6123
Many who wear rapiers are afraid of goose quills.  6124
Many without punishment, none without sin.  6125
Many words hurt more than swords.
  Mas hiere mala palabre, que espada afilada. Span.—R.
  6126
Many words will not fill a bushel.  6127
Many would be cowards if they had courage enough.  6128
Many would have been worse if their estates had been better.  6129
March balkham / comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb. F.  6130
March birds are best.  6131
March borrowed of April three days and they were ill:
they killed three lambs were playing on a hill.
  Alluded to in Poor Robin for 1731. See Hazlitt’s Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 64.
  6132
March comes in with an adder’s head, and goes out with a peacock’s tail. D.  6133
March dust and May sun / makes corn white and maids dun. D.  6134
March he sits upon his perch;
April he soundeth his bell;
May he sings both night and day;
June he altereth his tune;
and July—away to fly.
  In allusion to the cuckoo. Notes and Queries, Jan. 23, 1869.
  6135
March in Janiveer, / Janiveer in March I fear.  6136
March many-weathers.
  In reference, of course, to the variability of the season.
  6137
March many-weathers rained and blowed;
but March grass never did good.
  6138
March search:
April, try:
May will prove whether you live or die.
  6139
March said to April:
I see three hogs on a hill:
Wilt thou lend me days three?
I’ll do my good will to make them die.
When three days were come and gone,
The three hogs came hopping home.
  Ram’s Little Dodeon, 1606, sign. C 2 vo.
  6140
March wind and April showers bring forth May flowers.  6141
March wind wakens the adder and blooms the thorn.
  This saying is referred to by Shakespeare in Julius Cæsar, ii. 1.
  6142
Margaret’s flood.
  Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. 512.
  6143
Margery good cow, that gave a gallon of milk, and kicked down the pail, and bewrayed the milkmaid.
  Part of the title of a very severe tract against Cromwell, 4to, 1659. It seems to have been borrowed from some current saying. The collections sometimes give a corrupt version, perhaps formed out of it: The cow gives good milk, but kicks over the pail.
  6144
Mariner’s craft is the grossest, yet of handicrafts the subtlest. B. OF M. R.  6145
Mark Snelling anon.
  Anon was the old waiter’s “Coming, sir, immediately.” Is this Mark Snelling connected with Du. maaken, to make; snell, quick; snellen, to run at speed? But Mark Snelling may have been in his time as classical as the “plump head-waiter at the ‘Cock.’”—Notes and Queries, March 2, 1878.
  6146
Marriage comes unawares, like a soot-drop. Irish.
  An allusion to the rain finding its way through the thatch, blackened by the smoke of the peat fires.—Mr. Hardman, in Notes and Queries.
  6147
Marriage is honourable, but housekeeping’s a shrew.  6148
Marriage with peace is the world’s paradise; with strife, this life’s purgatory.  6149
Marriageable foolish wenches are troublesome troops to keep. W.  6150
Marriages are made in heaven.
  Nozze e magistrato dal cielo e destino. Ital.—R.
  6151
Marry a widow before she leave mourning. H.  6152
Marry come up, my dirty cousin. Cheshire.
  See Wilbraham’s Cheshire Glossary in Archæologia, xix., or the separate ed. 1820, p. 57. “Spoken by way of taunt to those who boast themselves of their birth, parentage, or the like.”—R. Marry come up is still employed as a phrase to convey astonishment, or an exclamation of surprise. The only early use I have met with of it is in Duffett’s Empress of Morocco, 4to, 1674, a skit on Settle, p. 4. It seems to be employed there without any precise meaning.
  6153
Marry in haste, and repent at leisure.  6154
Marry in Lent, / and you’ll live to repent. East Anglia.  6155
Marry, that would I see, quoth blind Hugh.
  Pardoner and Frere, 1533, edit. 1848, p. 122. A more modern version (copied probably from it) is:
        That I fain would see,
Said blind George of Hollowee.
  6156
Marry your daughters betimes, lest they marry themselves. R. (1670.)  6157
Marry your son when you will, your daughter when you can. H.  6158
Martin-drunk.
  Defined by T. Nash to be the seventh class of drunkenness—where a man drinks himself sober before he stirs. See N. and Q., 1st S., v. 587. Nash was one of those who took part in the Mar-Prelate controversy, and his allusion here is undoubtedly to Martin himself or Martin Junior.
  6159
Marvel is the daughter of ignorance. B. OF M. R.  6160
Master Hogge and his man John,
they did cast the first cannon.
  Archæol., xxxvii. 483. This refers to the iron foundry established at Buxted, near Lindfield, in Sussex, by John Owen in 1535, who was shortly succeeded by Pierre Baude, a Frenchman, and Ralph Hoge, who had an assistant named John Johnson, the “man John,” of the homely couplet. Two of the ordnance cast by Hogge are said to be in the Tower. See Sussex Archæol. Collections, i. 11. A piece of ordnance ascribed to Buxted used to stand on Eridge Green, not far from Eridge Castle; but it is believed to be now in the British Museum. Comp. Antiquary, xxxii. 199.
  Besides cannon the Sussex foundry supplied the county and the public with other products of a more generally useful character. At Rowfant, Crawley, the former seat of Sir Curtis Sampson, there are fire-backs of this manufactory, one with a portrait of Charles II. They seem to belong to the 17th century. Specimens occasionally occur in the market.
  6161
Master Mayor of the Bull-ring.
  I have met with this saying only in the subsequent passage from Barnaby Rich, New Description of Ireland, 1610, ch. 3:—“And let mee say something for our Females in Ireland, and leaning to speake of worthy Matrones,… I will speake onelie of the riffe-raffe,… (I meane those Huswives that doe vse selling of drinke in Dubline, or else where) commonly called Tauerne-keepers, but indeed filthy and beastly alehouse-keepers: I will not meddle with their honesties, I will leaue that to be testified by Maister Maior of the Bull-ring….”
  6162
M[aster] what-call-you-him.
  “Then it comes to the ears of my neighbours kinsmen & friends, that my neighbour Jenkinsons-daughter shall have M. what call you-hims man.”—Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Seruingmen, by J. M., 1598, repr. 166.
  6163
Masters are mostly the greatest servants in the house.  6164
Masters should be sometimes blind and sometimes deaf.  6165
Maudlin, Maudlin, we began,
and built t’ church steeple t’ wrang side on.
  Higson’s MSS. Coll., 198. This saying is local at Wigan, co. Lancaster. The steeple, says Mr. Higson, is built on the north side, at the junction of nave and chancel.
  6166
Maxfield [Macclesfield] measure, heap and thruch [thrust]. Cheshire.  6167
May-bees don’t fly this month.
  This is a Scotish as well as an English proverb; it is analogous to the Scotish saying: “The buke o’ May-bees is very braid.”
  6168
May-day is come and gone;
thou art a gosling, and I am none. D.
  6169
May it please God not to make our friends so happy as to forget us!  6170
May makes or mars the wheat.
  In that month the ear and grains are commonly formed.
  6171
May my girdle break, if I fail.
  See Fairholt’s Costume in England, 1860, p. 459. It is there explained that in the girdle the purse was invariably kept.
  6172
May never goes out without a wheat-ear. East Anglia.
  Forby’s Vocab. of East Anglia, 1830, p. 417.
  6173
May the man be damned and never grow fat,
who wears two faces under one hat.
  6174
Meal make before sail take. Cornw.
  A proverb certainly applicable with peculiar force to a county, where so many subsist by the profits of the fishery, and where no man, in setting out, can tell with much certainty how long his return may be delayed.
  6175
Measure is a merry mean, as this doth show:
not too high for the pye, nor too low for the crow. HE.
  6176
Measure is a treasure.  6177
Measure is measure.
  Seager’s School of Vertue, 1577 (Furnivall’s Babees Book, p. 344).
  6178
Measure not others’ corn by your own bushel.  6179
Measure thrice what thou buyest, and cut but once.  6180
Meat and drink.
          “Slen…. I warrant your afeard of a Beare let loose, are you not?
  Anne.  Yes, trust me.
  Slen.  Now that’s meate and drink to me.”
  —Merry Wives of Windsor, 1602 (Hazlitt’s Shakespear’s Library, vi. 140). “Istuc mihi cibus est.”—Plautus. “It is meat and drink to me.”—Walker’s Parœmiologia, 1672, p. 14.
  6181
Meat and matins [or prayer and provender] hinder no man’s journey.
  Meals and matins minish never, I apprehend to be an alia lectio of this. A third variation is, Mass and meat never marred work.
  6182
Meat, drink, and money: a fiddler’s life. CL.  6183
Meat is much; but manners is more.  6184
Meddle with your old shoes.  6185
Meddlers are the devil’s body-lice; they fetch blood from those that feed them.  6186
Medicines are not meant to live on.  6187
Medlars are never good till they are rotten.  6188
Meet him at [the] Land’s End! HE.*  6189
Meeterly as maids are in fairness.
  Meeterly = tolerably well, moderately. This word and meeter are more frequently used in the Western Borders than in the interior of Craven. Leland, in his Itinerary, has meately in the same sense.—Dialect of Craven, 1828.
  6190
Melverly God help me!  6191
Melverly and what do you think?
  Melverley, on the Severn, is a desolate place in winter, but agreeable enough in the summer. The river floods lay it nearly under water during the rainy season.
  6192
Memory is the treasurer of the mind.  6193
 

 
CONTENTS · ABBREVIATIONS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors