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Sayings

13 Sayings beginning with B

Click on any saying for more information and notes.

Sayings

Bad news travels fast

"Bad news" means news about "bad" things like accidents, death, illness etc. People tend to tell this type of news quickly. But "good news" (passing an exam, winning some money, getting a job etc) travels more slowly.

Barking dogs seldom bite

Don't be afraid of dogs that bark or people that threaten you (say they will do something bad to you) - in both cases they rarely take action.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Different people see beauty in different ways. What one person finds beautiful may not appeal to another person.

Beauty is only skin deep

Physical beauty is superficial. A pleasing exterior is no guide to a person's interior or character.

Behind every successful man is a woman

Many men owe their achievements in life to women.

Better safe than sorry

We should be careful in a dangerous situation. It is better to stay safe than to have an accident (and be sorry about it). The full "grammatical" sentence would be: "It is better to be safe than to be sorry."

Better the foot slip than the tongue

It is better to take a bad step in walking than to say the wrong thing in talking. We can do a lot of damage when we say something by mistake. The elliptical nature of this saying may make it difficult to understand. The full version might be something like: "It is better that your foot should slip than that your tongue should slip."

Better untaught than ill taught

This proverb drops the verb "to be" (It is better to be untaught than ill taught). We understand: "It is better not to be taught at all than to be taught badly." It's better not to learn something than to learn it badly.

Beware of a silent man and still water

A large expanse of water that is still and does not move is often deep and dangerous. We should be careful of it. In the same way, we should be careful with a person who does not talk much.

Beware the fury of a patient man

The implication is that the anger of people who are normally slow to anger is, when it eventually comes, terrible.

Birds of a feather flock together

"Birds of a feather" means "birds of the same type". The whole proverb means that people of the same type or sort stay together. They don't mix with people of another type.

Boys will be boys

This somewhat humorous saying is often used to excuse male behaviour (of both boys and adult men).

Brevity is the soul of wit

The real art of speaking (especially when speaking humorously) is to use as few words as possible.

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