Proverbs starting with letter G

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune

A man with a wife and family cannot be so adventurous, or take so many chances, as an unmarried man. A hostage is a person given to another as a pledge or security. 'Hostages to fortune' are persons... Read more →

A growing youth has a wolf in his belly

Young people who are growing fast are hungry all the time. 'If you doubt that a growing youth has a wolf in his belly, you should see how much my fourteen-year-old cousin eats.'

The greatest talkers are the least doers

Those who talks the most do less than anybody else. This proverb means much the same as Actions speak louder than words and Empty vessels make the most sound.

Great oaks from little acorn grow

Everything has to have a small beginning, so don’t be discouraged by your own 'smallness'. Here is an example of the way in which the proverb is used: 'He sat up in business fifty years ago in a... Read more →

A great city, a great solitude

Sometime “loneliness” is used instead of  “solitude”. The saying comes to us from Greek. It means that in a large centre of civilisation, where many thousands of people are going about their... Read more →

Grasp all, lose all

Don’t be avaricious. If you are too greedy you will lose even what you already have. The dog in the fable was carrying a piece of meat across the bridge. He glanced down into the water and saw... Read more →

The grapes are sour

People who cannot get what they want are inclined to pretend that they never wanted it, in order to save face. This comes from the fable of the fox that tried hard to reach a bunch of grapes, but... Read more →

Good wine needs no bush

High-quality goods need no advertising because people soon get to know about them. In olden days, taverns and private houses where beer or wine could be bought by travellers had a branch or bunch of... Read more →

A good tale is none the worse for being told twice

Children, in particular, love to hear a story again, however many times they heard it before. ‘Mummy, please tell me the story of the girl who had two wicked sisters, who went out and left her to... Read more →

A good name is sooner lost than won

It takes a long time to build up a good reputation, but this reputation is quickly lost by just one crime or piece of bad behaviour.