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Sayings

16 Sayings beginning with N

Click on any saying for more information and notes.

Sayings

Nature abhors a vacuum

Empty spaces become filled very quickly.

Necessity is the mother of invention

If we absolutely need to do something that has never been done, we will find a way to do it. It is this need or necessity that forces people to invent things.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be

Do not borrow things. Do not lend things.

Never do evil that good may come of it

Do not do something bad to achieve something good.

Never speak ill of the dead

Show respect to people who have died by not saying anything bad about them. Since dead people can no longer hurt us, or defend themselves, it is better to forget their bad actions and remember only their good ones.

Never spur a willing horse

Don't urge someone who is already working well to work harder and faster. If you do, he may work less hard or be less eager.

No man is an island

Human beings do not (or should not) live in isolation. All people are interconnected. A person is not like an island, standing alone and surrounded by sea.

No news is good news

If we are waiting for news about someone, it's probably good if we hear nothing because "bad news" would arrive quickly.

No pain, no gain

If we do not do hard work, and suffer some pain, we will achieve or gain nothing.

No reply is best

It is often advisable not to give any answer. Don't say no. Don't say yes. Say nothing.

None so blind as those who will not see

Nobody is blinder than the person who decides he does not want to see. Often used in reference to prejudice and intolerance.

None so deaf as those who will not hear

Nobody is deafer than the person who decides he does not want to listen. Often used in reference to prejudice and intolerance.

Nothing is certain but death and taxes

This saying may be seen in three ways: 1) We cannot be 100% sure about anything (except dying and having to pay the taxman - in this case the latter idea being added for humour). 2) We cannot escape taxation (in this case the idea of death serving only to highlight the certainty of taxes). 3) We can be absolutely sure that we will die (in this case the idea of taxes being added for humour). The first interpretation seems to have been the original intent (see Origin below).

Nothing is impossible to a willing heart

Someone who is eager, keen and determined can achieve anything.

Nothing so certain as death

We can be 100% sure that we will die.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

We can't expect to achieve anything if we never take any risks.

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