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Utorok, 24. novembra 2020
English proverbs referring to animals
Dátum pridania: 31.01.2008 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: emma07
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 1 791
Referát vhodný pre: Vysoká škola Počet A4: 5.3
Priemerná známka: 2.96 Rýchle čítanie: 8m 50s
Pomalé čítanie: 13m 15s

A bird in one hand is worth two in the bush.

Meaning: It's better to have a small actual advantage than the chance of a greater one.

Origin: The phrase has been known for centuries, but in a variety of slightly different versions. The earliest English version of the proverb is from the Bible and was translated into English in Wycliffe's version in 1382, although Latin texts have it from the 13th century: Ecclesiastes IX – „ A living dog is better than a dead lion“. Alternatives that explicitly mention birds in hand come later.

The earliest if those is in Hugh Rhodes' 'The boke of nurture or schoole of good maners', circa 1530: "A byrd in hand - is worth ten flye at large."

John Heywood, the 16th century collector of proverbs, recorded another version in his ambitiously titled 'A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue', 1546: "Better one byrde in hande than ten in the wood."

Slovak Counterpart: Lepší vrabec v hrsti, jako holub na streche. Lepší vrabec v hrsti, jako zajac v chrastí.

Birds of feather flock together.

Meaning: Like-minded people associate together, as do birds of the same species.

Origin: This proverb has been known by the late 16th century and recorded by Philemon Holland, in a translation of 'Livy's Romane historie', 1600, in its original form: "As commonly birds of a feather will flye together“

Slovak Counterpart: Vrana k vrane sadá, rovný rovného si hľadá.

The early bird catches the worm.

Meaning: Success comes to those who prepare well and put in effort

Origin: This is first recorded in John Ray's 'A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678': "The early bird catcheth the worm." Clearly the title of the work indicates that this was considered proverbial even at the early date

Slovak Counterpart: Ranné vtáča ďalej kráča.

Old birds are not caught with chaff.

Meaning: Origin:

Slovak Counterpart: Ostrieľanú líšku neprekabátiš.

Every bird loves to hear himself sing.


Slovak Counterpart: Každá líška svoj chvost chváli.


When the cat´s away, the mice will play.

Meaning: Those in charge do not see what their "underlings" do in their absence; the powerful know not what goes on behind their backs.


Slovak Counterpart: Keď kocúr nie je doma, myši majú bál/raj/hody. Dobre myšiam, keď mačky doma nieto.

All cats are/appear grey in the dark.

Meaning: Darkness obscures distinguishing visual features, so that one may be easily mistaken / fooled. Under certain conditions, we all appear the same.


Slovak Counterpart: V noci je každá krava čierna

Curiosity killed the cat.

Meaning: If you are too interested in things you should not be interested in, you could be in danger. You may be causing yourself problems by trying to find out things you don't need to know.

Origin: The earliest printed reference to the origin of this proverb is attributed to British playwright Ben Jonson in his play, Every Man in His Humour (performed first by British playwright William Shakespeare): “...Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care will kill a cat, up-tails all, and a pox on the hangman..” In this instance, “care” was defined as “worry” or “sorrow”. Shakespeare used a similar quote in his play, Much Ado About Nothing: “What, courage man! What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care”

Slovak Counterpart:

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Meaning: In other words, there is not only one way to achieve a goal.

Origin: Slovak Counterpart:


Don´t count your chickens before they hatch.

Meaning: Don't assume something good is going to happen before it happens. Don't assume you have something good before you actually get it.


Slovak Counterpart: Ešte vlka nezabili, už na jeho kožu pili. Nechváľ dňa pred večerom. Nekrič hop, kým nepreskočíš.

Curses, like chickens, come home roost.

Meaning: Once uttered, words cannot be taken back; one's ill words may come back to cause one trouble.


Slovak Counterpart: Kto druhému jamu kope, sám do nej padne. Čím kto hreší, tým trestáný býva.


He who lies down with dogs, rises with fleas.

Meaning: One who associates with people of bad character or habit are likely to pick up bad attitdudes and habits.

Origin: Slovak Counterpart:

Let the sleeping dogs lie.

Meaning: Don't stir up trouble when all is calm


Slovak Counterpart: Nechať veci na pokoji. Spiaceho psa netreba budiť. Nepokúšať Pána Boha.

You can´t teach an old dog new tricks.

Meaning: People who have long been used to doing things in a particular way will not abandon their habits.


Slovak Counterpart: Starého koňa je zle učiť rajtovať. Starý strom nie je dobre presádzať.

A living dog is better than a dead lion. / A bird in one hand is worth two in the bush /

Meaning: It's better to have a small actual advantage than the chance of a greater one


Slovak Counterpart: Lepší vrabec v hrsti ako holub na streche. Lepší vrabec v hrsti ako zajac v chrastí.

Barking dogs seldom bite.

Meaning: People who make big threats don't usually carry them out.


Slovak Counterpart: Pes, ktorý breše, nehryzie.

Every dog has his day.

Meaning: Everyone is successful during some period in their life.


Slovak Counterpart: Na každého sa raz šťastie usmeje. Aj na našej ulici bude raz sviatok.

Give a dog a bad name and hang him.


Slovak Counterpart: Kto raz poctivosť stratí, nikto mu ju nenavráti. Ak má niekto zlé meno, všetko naňho zvaľujú.

Don´t keep a dog and bark yourself.

Meaning: Don't pay someone to do a task and then do it yourself

Origin: The earliest citation of this proverb is Brian Melbancke's ' Philotimus: „the warre betwixt nature and fortune“, 1583: "It is smal reason you should kepe a dog, and barke your selfe."

Slovak Counterpart:
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