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

Talk of the Devil, and he is bound to appear

1. Speaking about the Devil may invite him to come. 2. We often say "Talk of the devil!" (or "Speak of the devil!") when somebody that we have just been speaking about suddenly appears.

Tell me who you go with and I'll tell you who you are

This proverb suggests that like minds stick together. If I know who your friends are, I know what your character is.

The best advice is found on the pillow

If we have a problem, we may find the answer after a good night's sleep. People also often say: "I'll sleep on it."

The best things in life are free

We don't have to pay for the things that are really valuable, like love, friendship and good health.

The darkest hour is always before dawn

This proverb says that just before the sun rises the sky is at its blackest, suggesting that when times are at their worst for us they will soon get better.

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose

1) Bad people can appear to be good to achieve their objective. 2) Even good things can be twisted to achieve bad ends.

The Devil sometimes speaks the truth

1) Sometimes what Satan says is true, to make us more ready to believe his lies. 2) Don't believe everything at face value. Be aware that liars can use the truth to trick us.

The early bird catches the worm

Birds that wake early in the morning will find worms to eat, but birds that wake late will find no worms. The saying suggests that the same is true for us in life. If we do something early, before other people, we will be successful.

The end justifies the means

If our objective is good, then it doesn't matter if the way we achieve it is bad or wrong or evil.

The greater the sinner, the greater the saint

1) If a bad person can become good, a very bad person can become very good. Someone with great energy for doing bad, may, when he chooses, apply it equally to doing good. 2) Converts are the most zealous. In a day-to-day sense, for example, someone who has given up smoking may preach more about the virtues of not smoking than someone who never smoked.

The nearer the Church, the farther from God

1) The implication is that those who are most involved in any religious system, its organizers and high priests, are in danger of separating themselves from God. 2) If written as "The nearer the church, the farther from God", the implication might be a warning about placing too much importance on material buildings, and a reminder that God is everywhere.

The pen is mightier than the sword

This proverb suggests that written material like books or poetry has more influence than fighting or war. We may also understand from it that ideas (as often set down in writing) are more effective than violence.

The rich knows not who is his friend

When you have money, you don't know if people are friendly with you because they like you, or because they like your money. The structure of this saying is difficult. In normal English it would be something like: "Rich people do not know who their friends are."

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

1) People who believe they are doing good can end up doing bad (the law of unintended consequences). 2) There is no value in simply planning to do good if you don't actually do it.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

Even though we may want to say "No" to temptation (doing something bad), our body may be unable to resist it.

The squeaking wheel gets the grease

The person who makes the most fuss gets all the attention.

The tide must be taken when it comes

We should use all opportunities when they come, before it's too late.

The wages of sin is death

If we sin we die. ("Death" here refers not to physical death but to spiritual death or eternal damnation.)

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach

Many women have won a man's love by cooking delicious meals for him. They fed his stomach and found love in his heart.

The wish is father to the thought

Our opinions or beliefs are often influenced by our desires and hopes. The phrase "father to" is used in the sense of parentage: the thought is born from the wish.

There are two sides to every question

In any dispute or discussion, we should acknowledge that people have different points of view.

There is a time to speak and a time to be silent

We should know when to say something and when to say nothing.

There is safety in numbers

You are safer as part of a group of people than as an individual. Being in a group makes people more confident about taking action.

There is truth in wine

When people are drunk, what they say is often true. People often speak the truth when they lose their self-control.

There's no such thing as a free lunch American English

We cannot get something for nothing. We must pay for everything. Nothing in life is free.

There's one law for the rich, and another for the poor

The legal system treats people with money better than people without money.

They also serve who only stand and wait

We all have a place in this world and we all perform a function, regardless of our ability or disability. The word order of this sentence may make it more difficult to understand. In normal English it would be something like: "They (those people) who only stand and wait, also serve."

They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind

A warning that we must expect to suffer serious consequences as the result of our own bad actions. We get back what we give out.

Things are not always what they seem

Things may look like one thing but be another thing. This saying is often applied to situations, not just things or people.

Time and tide wait for no man

1) Nobody can stop the progression of time. 2) We should act on favourable opportunities immediately, without delay.

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Sometimes it is better to have one or a few people do a job than to have many people do it. If too many people are involved, the task will not be done well.

Truth has no answer

It is difficult to argue against facts. We cannot refute what is true.

Truth is stranger than fiction

Real life can be more amazing and difficult to believe than made-up stories.

Truth needs no colours

Facts are facts. What is true is true, and it does not need decoration.

Truth will out

In the end, what is true will come to be known. The truth always appears eventually, despite all efforts to hide it. It is impossible to keep something secret forever.

Two heads are better than one

Two people can usually solve a problem more easily than one person.

Two wrongs do not make a right

If somebody does something bad to you, it will not make things ok if you do something bad to them in return.

Contributor: Josef Essberger