Sayings beginning with O. Select a saying for more details.

Oil and water don't mix

If you add oil to water, the oil tries to stay separate. This proverb is a way of saying that certain people or characteristics do not go together.

Once bitten, twice shy

If an animal (such as a dog) bites you one time, you will be extra careful the next time. This saying talks about learning from our mistakes.

One good turn deserves another

If someone helps you, they merit being helped in return.

One might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb

If you are going to be killed for stealing a lamb, then why not steal a sheep (which is bigger and more valuable)? In general, it means that if you are going to get the same punishment, you may as well commit the greater offence.

One tongue is enough for a woman

Some people think that women talk too much. If they already talk too much, they don't need another tongue. One tongue is sufficient (but see Origin below).

Opportunity only knocks once

We should take an opportunity (or chance) when it comes. According to this saying, it will not come again.

Opportunity seldom knocks twice

Take any opportunity or chance when it comes - it may not come again.

Out of debt, out of danger

When we no longer owe money to anyone, we are safe and secure. The implication is that it is dangerous to owe anyone.

Out of office, out of danger

The implication is that people in high government or official jobs are not safe. They will be safe only when they leave their job.

Out of sight, out of mind

When we don't see something, we don't think about it. We soon forget people who are no longer present.

Contributor: Josef Essberger