Deil stick pride—my dog died o't.
Deil's in our bairns: they'll no bed when their belly's fu'.
"Spoken with indignation, when people who are already well enough cannot hold themselves so, or be satisfied."—Kelly.
Delays are dangerous.
Did ye ever fit counts wi' him?
Do not boast of your friend, or consider his friendship too stedfast, until you have had money transactions with him.
Diet cures mair than doctors.
Ding doon Tantallan, and big a road to the Bass.
Ding down the nest, and the rooks will flee away.
"Destroy the places where villains shelter, and they will disperse. This proverb was unhappily apply'd at the Reformation to the destroying of many stately cathedrals and collegiate churches."—Kelly.
Dinna bow to bawtie, lest he bite.
Be careful how you are familiar with your superiors. "Too much familiarity breeds contempt."
Dinna cast awa' the cog when the cow flings.
Do not throw away the milking pail if the cow should kick it over: do not be discouraged if a misfortune should occur.
Dinna dry the burn because it may wat your feet.
Do not remove a public good or convenience because of an individual objection.
Dinna empty your ain mouth to fill other folk's.
Dinna gut your fish till ye get them.
This saying is common to many countries. "Don't cry herrings till they are in the net."—Dutch. "Don't sell the bearskin before you have caught the bear."—Italian. "Unlaid eggs are uncertain chickens."—German.
Dinna lee for want o' news.
Dinna lift me before I fa'.
"'Weel, I've keepit a house this mony a year, and I never heard o' warm plates to a hot dinner before.' 'Then you refuse to give us them?' 'By no manner o' means, Dr Seggie, so ye needna lift folks before they fa'—you're welcome to any plates you please; and a' that I have to say is, that the langer a body lives they see the mair ferlies.'"—Laird of Logan.
Dinna meddle wi' the deil and the laird's bairns.
Dinna scaud your mouth wi' other folk's kail.
Be cautious in interfering with the affairs of neighbours or strangers.
Dinna sigh for him, but send for him: if he's unhanged he'll come.
Do not speak about a thing, or wish it done, but do it. "Talking is easier than doing, and promising than performing."—German.
Dinna speak o' a raip to a chield whase father was hanged.
Dinna straik against the hair.
"Ony way, I wadna hae liked to have offended Mr Treddles; he was a wee toustie when you rubbed him again the hair—but a kind, weel-meaning man."—The Highland Widow.
Dinna stretch your arm farther than your sleeve 'ill let ye.
"'I'll no let ye rest if ye dinna mak me a bailie's wife or a' be done.' I was not ill pleased to hear Mrs Pawkie so spiritful; but I replied, 'Dinna try to stretch your arm, gudewife, farther than your sleeve will let you; we maun ca' canny mony a day yet before we think of dignities.'"—The Provost.
Dinna tell your fae when your foot sleeps.
Dinna touch him on the sair heel.
Do not speak to him on a subject on which he is known to be sensitive.
Dirt bodes luck.
Dirt defies the king.
Dirt parts gude company.
Dit your mouth wi' your meat.
"Dit," close. A suggestion intended to put a stop to idle conversation.
Do a man a good turn, and he'll never forgie you.
"'Are you mad?' cried Bryce Snailsfoot, 'you that lived sae lang in Zetland to risk the saving of a drowning man? Wot ye not, if you bring him to life again, he will be sure to do you some capital injury?'"—The Pirate.
Do as the cow o' Forfar did, tak a stannin' drink.
"A cow in passing a door in Forfar, where a tub of ale had been placed to cool, drank the whole of it. The owner of the ale pursued the proprietor of the cow for the value of the ale; but a learned bailie, in giving his decision, decreed, that since the ale was drank by the cow while standing at the door, it must be considered deoch an dorius, or stirrup cup, for which no charge could be made, without violating the ancient hospitality of Scotland."—Sir Walter Scott, Note to Waverley.
Do as the lasses do—say No, but tak it.
"Maids, in modesty, say 'No' to that which they would have the profferer construe 'Ay.'"—Shakespeare.
Do as the miller's wife o' Newlands did—she took what she had and she never wanted.
Dogs and bairns are fain o' fools.
That is, fools attract the attention of children and dogs.
Dogs bark as they are bred.
Dogs will redd swine.
"Redd," is here used in the sense of to put in order.
Dolour pays nae debts.
Dool and an ill life soon mak an auld wife.
"Sorrow and an evil life maketh soon an old wife."—English.
Do on the hill as ye wad do in the ha'.
Let your private character be consistent with your public one.
Do't by guess, as the blind man fell'd the dog.
Do the likeliest and hope the best.
Double charges rive cannons.
That is, surfeits are dangerous; but the proverb which follows shows, as usual, that there is no rule without an exception.
Double drinks are gude for drouth.
Do weel, an' doubt nae man; do ill, an' doubt a' men.
Do weel and dread nae shame.
Do weel and hae weel.
Do what ye ought and come what can; think o' ease, but work on.
The first clause of this is common to many countries; but as the second only occurs in Henderson's collection, we suspect it is an addition of his own.
Do what ye ought, and let come what will.
Do your turn weel, and nane will speir what time ye took.
Meaning, that work should rather be done well than quickly.
Draff he sought, but drink was his errand.
That is, while pretending to ask for one thing, his great object was to get another.
Draff is gude enough for swine.
Dree out the inch when ye have tholed the span.
Since you have suffered patiently, or submitted to injustice for a long time, bear on quietly when there is a prospect of early relief.
Driest wood will eithest lowe.
Drink and drouth come na aye thegither.
Drink little, that ye may drink lang.
Drive the swine through't.
"You should sift Jamie's tender passion—that's the novelle-name for calf-love; and if it's within the compass o' a possibility, get the swine driven through't, or it may work us a' muckle dule, as his father's moonlight marriage did to your ain, worthy man!"—The Entail.
Drunk at e'en and dry in the morning.
Drunk folk seldom tak harm.
The French say, "God helps three kinds of people: fools, children, and drunkards;" and another of our own states that "God's aye kind to fu' folk and bairns."
Dry bargains bode ill.
A bargain in times gone by was not "lucky," unless ratified by a drink.
Dummie canna lee.
Dunse dings a'.
"It may be mentioned that this is only the opinion which the people of Dunse entertain of the town, as their neighbours, in general, scout the idea with great indignation."—Robert Chambers. There are several local additions to this saying, such as "Dunse dings a' for braw lads and drucken wives;" "for gude yill and bonnie lasses," &c.
Eagles catch nae fleas.
Spoken of conceited people who affect disdain for petty details.
Eagles flee alane, but sheep herd thegither.
Early birds catch the worms.
Early crooks the tree, that good cammock should be.
Early maister, lang servant.
Early sow, early mow.
East or west, hame is best.
East and wast, the sign o' a blast; north and south, the sign o' a drouth.
Easy learning the cat the road to the kirn.
When the natural inclination tends towards any particular subject, it assists the learner greatly.
Eat and welcome—fast and twice as welcome.
Eaten meat is ill to pay.
"Eaten bread is soon forgotten."—Italian.
Eating, drinking, and cleaning need but a beginning.
Eat in measure and defy the doctor.
Eat peas wi' the prince and cherries wi' the chapman.
Eats meat, an's never fed; wear claes, an's never cled.
Of some people it may be said, that "they put their meat in an ill skin;" for, notwithstanding that they live well, they appear always thin and hungry, and not at all, to use a Scotticism, "like their meat." Some people are equally unfortunate with regard to their clothing; always amply dressed, they seem the very reverse.
Eat till ye sweat and work till ye freeze.
Eat-weel's Drink-weel's brither.
Signifying that good drinking must necessarily go hand in hand with good eating.
Eat your fill and pouch nane, is gardener's law.
E'en as ye won't, sae ye may wear't.
As you won it, so you may wear it; applied either in a good or bad sense.
E'ening grey and a morning red, put on your hat or ye'll weet your head.
E'ening orts are gude morning's fodder.
"Orts," rejected provender. Meaning that a thing which is rejected or despised at present may be acceptable or valuable at another time.
E'ening red an' a morning grey is taiken sure o' a bonnie day.
E'en pickle in your ain pock-neuk.
"'Ye'll find the stane breeks and the iron garters—ay, and the hemp cravat, for a' that, neighbour,' replied the bailie. 'Nae man in a civilised country ever played the pliskies ye hae done; but e'en pickle in your ain pock-neuk—I hae gi'en ye warning.'"—Rob Roy.
Eident youth maks easy age.
"Industry is the parent of fortune."—German.
Eild and poortith are a sair burden for ae back.
"Eild and poortith," age and poverty. "Poverty on an old man's back is a heavy burden."—English.
Eild and poortith's sair to thole.
This saying is of similar import to the preceding one. Literally, age and poverty are hard to bear.
Eild should hae honour.
Either live or die wi' honour.
Either prove a man or a mouse.
Either win the horse or tine the saddle.
Win the horse or lose the saddle. "Neck or nothing."
Eith keeping the castle that's no besieged.
"It is easy to sit at the helm in fair weather."—Danish.
Eith learned soon forgotten.
"Easy come, easy go."—English.
Eith to that thy ain heart wills.
Eith working when will's at hame.
The two preceding maxims have a similar meaning to the French sayings, that "Will is power;" and "A willing heart helps work." "Where the will is ready the feet are light."—German.
Ell and tell is gude merchandise.
Ell and tell is ne'er forgotten, and the best pay's on the peck bottom.
"Ell and tell," if we mistake not, refers to good measure and prompt payment; and the latter saying may be construed thus:—The grain is emptied from the "peck" measure, the measure is inverted, and payment for the grain is "told" on the bottom of it.
Enough's as gude as a feast.
Enough's enough o' bread and cheese.
Meaning, that too much of one thing is not good. The French and Dutch say, "Enough is better than too much," while the Italians are of opinion that "Enough is enough, and too much spoils."
Envy shoots at a high mark.
Even stands his cap the day, for a' that.
"It took its rise from a minister in our country, who, in a sermon preached most fiercely against the supremacy of the Pope, at the conclusion said, 'Even stands his cap for all that I have said, drinking good Romany wine this day.' Applied when we signify that all we can say against any great man can do him no harm."—Kelly.
Ever busy, ever bare.
"Great cry and little wool."—English.
Every ane loups the dyke where it's laighest.
Every one leaps the wall at the lowest part,—a man may "loup the dyke" by oppressing those who are unable to resist.
Every bird thinks its ain nest best.
Every cock craws crousiest on his ain midden head.
"Every cock crows loudest on his own dunghill," is a saying common to all nations.
Every craw thinks his ain bird whitest.
All think well of their own offspring. "Every mother's child is handsome," say the Germans. They also have, "No ape but swears he has the finest children."
Every day is no Yule day; cast the cat a castock.
The first half of this proverb is used literally by the Italians and Dutch. A "castock" is the stalk or core of a cabbage.
Every dog has its day.
Every dud bids anither gude-day.
Every fault has its fore.
Every flow has its ebb.
Every Jack will find a Jill.
"'Never you fash your thumb about that, Maister Francie,' returned the landlady with a knowing wink, 'every Jack will find a Jill, gang the world as it may; and, at the warst o't, better hae some fashery in finding a partner for the night, than get yoked with ane that you may not be able to shake off the morn.'"—St Ronan's Well.
Every land has its laigh; every corn has its ain caff.
Meaning that everything may be found fault with; and silly objections be raised against the most valuable and useful things.
Every man bows to the bush he gets beild frae.
"Every one pays court to him who gives him protection."—Jamieson.
Every man buckles his belt his ain gate.
Every man does his work after his own fashion.
Every man can guide an ill wife weel but him that has her.
Every man can tout best on his ain horn.
"Tout," to blow. Meaning, that every man knows best how to tell his own story.
Every man for himself, and God for us a'.
Every man for his own hand, as Henry Wynd fought.
"Two great clans fought out a quarrel with thirty men of a side, in presence of the king, on the North Inch of Perth, on or about the year 1392; a man was amissing on one side, whose room was filled by a little bandy-legged citizen of Perth. This substitute, Henry Wynd—or, as the Highlanders called him, Gow Chrom, that is, the bandy-legged smith—fought well, and contributed greatly to the fate of the battle, without knowing which side he fought on;—so, 'To fight for your ain hand, like Henry Wynd,' passed into a proverb."—Sir Walter Scott, Note to Rob Roy.
Every man has his ain bubbly-jock.
Every man has his ain draff poke, though some hang eider than others.
The two last sayings are similar in meaning, viz., that every man has his imperfections or faults. The latter qualifies the proverb by admitting that in some these appear more prominently than in others.
Every man kens best where his ain sair lies.
Every man kens best where his ain shoe binds him.
Every man's blind to his ain cause.
Every man's man had a man, and that gar'd the Threave fa'.
"The Threave was a strong castle belonging to the Black Douglases. The governor left a deputy, and he a substitute, by whose negligence the castle was taken."—Kelly.
Every man's no born wi' a siller spoon in his mouth.
Every man's nose winna be a shoeing horn.
Certain things can only be used for certain purposes.
Every man's tale's gude till anither's tauld.
Every man thinks his ain craw blackest.
"Every man to his ain trade," quo' the browster to the bishop.
Every man to his taste, as the man said when he kiss'd his cow.
Every maybe hath a may not be.
Every miller wad weise the water to his ain mill.
"Every miller draws the water to his own mill."—English.
Every play maun be played, and some maun be the players.
Every shoe fits not every foot.
Every sow to her ain trough.
People should keep their own place; or, according to Ray, "Every man should support himself, and not hang upon another."
Everything has a beginning.
Everything has an end, and a pudding has twa.
Everything has its time, and sae has a rippling-kame.
"Rippling-kame," a coarse comb used in the preparation of flax. The proverb means that there is a time proper for everything.
Everything is the waur o' the wear.
That is, worse for wearing.
Everything wad fain live.
Every wight has his weird, and we maun a' dee when our day comes.
Evil words cut mair than swords.
Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in nae ither.
Facts are chiels that winna ding.
Faint heart ne'er wan fair lady.
Fair an' foolish, black an' proud, lang an' lazy, little an' loud.
How far this proverb is borne out by fact is certainly open to question. It appears in Ray's collection as English, and as a remark upon it he says, "Beauty and folly do often go hand in hand, and are often matched together."
Fair and softly gangs far.
"Who goes softly goes safely, and he that goes safely goes far."—Italian.
Fair exchange is nae robbery.
Fair fa' gude drink, for it gars folk speak as they think.
"Fair fa'," well betide; good luck to. This is the Scotch version of the common saying, "When the wine is in, the wit is out;" or, "What is in the heart of the sober man is on the tongue of the drunken man."—Latin.
"Leeze me on drink! it gi'es us mair Than either school or college, It kindles wit, it waukens lair, It pangs us fu' o' knowledge: Be't whisky gill, or penny wheep, Or ony stronger potion, It never fails, on drinking deep, To kittle up our notion, By night or day."—Burns.
Fair fa' the wife, and weel may she spin, that counts aye the lawin' wi' a pint to come in.
Literally, good luck to the hostess who includes a pint still to come when the reckoning is called for. This saying, so far as we can discover, is exclusively Scottish.
Fair fa' you, and that's nae fleaching.
"Fleach," to flatter. A good wish sincerely expressed.
Fair folk are aye foisonless.
Kelly says of the word "foisonless," that it means "without strength or sap; dried up; withered." Scott, in Old Mortality, uses it in the moral sense, "unsubstantial."
Fair gae they, fair come they, and aye their heels hindmost.
Meaning that they go and come regularly, decently, and in order.
Fair hair may hae foul roots.
Fair hechts mak fools fain.
"Hope puts that haste into zour heid, Quhilk boyls zour barmy brain; Howbeit fulis haste cums huly speid, Fair hechts will mak fulis fain."—Cherrie and the Slae.
Fair in the cradle may be foul in the saddle.
Fair maidens wear nae purses.
Fair words are nae cause o' feuds.
Fair words hurt ne'er a bane, but foul words break mony a ane.
Fair words winna mak the pat boil.
Falkirk bairns dee ere they thrive.
Falkirk bairns mind naething but mischief.
Fa' on the feeblest, the beetle among the bairns.
"Spoken when we do a thing at a venture, that may be good for some and bad for another; and let the event fall upon the most unfortunate. Answers to the English 'Among you blind harpers.'"—Kelly.
Fancy flees before the wind.
Fancy was a bonnie dog, but Fortune took the tail frae't.
Fann'd fires and forced love ne'er dae weel.
Far ahint maun follow the faster.
Far ahint that mayna follow, an' far before that canna look back.
Far awa fowls hae fair feathers.
"She wad vote the border knight, Though she should vote her lane; For far-off fowls hae feathers fair, And fools o' change are fain."—Burns.
Far frae court far frae care.
Far frae my heart's my husband's mother.
Far sought and dear bought is gude for ladies.
Farewell frost, fair weather neist.
Fare-ye-well, Meg Dorts, and e'en's ye like.
A jocose adieu to those who go away in the sulks.
Farmer's fauch gars lairds laugh.
Farther east the shorter west.
Farthest frae the kirk aye soonest at it.
In contradistinction to those who are "near the kirk but far frae grace."
Fashious fools are easiest flisket.
Troublesome or fretful persons are easily offended.
Fast bind, fast find.
This saying is very old, and common to many countries. Shakespeare terms it "a proverb never stale to thrifty minds."
Fat flesh freezes soon.
Fat hens are aye ill layers.
Fat paunches bode lean pows.
Ray explains this by adding, "Full bellies make empty skulls."
Fause folk should hae mony witnesses.
Fausehood maks ne'er a fair hinder-end.
Meaning, that falsehood is sure to be exposed in the long run.
Favours unused are favours abused.
Feather by feather the goose is plucked.
February, fill the dike, be it black or be it white; if it's white, it's the better to like.
Feckfu' folk can front the bauldest wind.
"I own 'tis cauld encouragement to sing, When round ane's lugs the blattran' hailstanes ring; But feckfu' folk can front the bauldest wind, An' slunk through muirs, an' never fash their mind." —Allan Ramsay.
Feckless folk are fain o' ane anither.
"Feckless folk," silly people. Fools are fond of one another.
Feckless fools should keep canny tongues.
Silly or mischievous people should be cautious what they say.
Feed a cauld, but hunger a colic.
Feeding out o' course maks mettle out o' kind.
Feeling has nae fellow.
Few get what they glaum at.
Fiddlers, dogs, and flesh-flies come aye to feasts unca'd.
Fiddler's fare—meat, drink, and money.
Fiddler's wives and gamester's drink are free to ilka body.
Fight dog, fight bear; wha wins, deil care.
Fill fu' and haud fu', maks the stark man.
Plenty of meat and drink makes a strong man.
Fine feathers mak fine birds.
Fine to fine maks a bad line.
Or, "Butter to butter's nae kitchen," q. v.
Fire and water are gude servants but ill maisters.
Fire is gude for the fireside.
All things are good in their proper places.
First come, first ser'd.
Fish guts an' stinkin' herrin' are bread and milk for an Eyemouth bairn.
"The small seaport town of Eyemouth was formerly distinguished for its 'ancient fishlike smells,' its narrow, intricate streets, and smuggling trade."—G. Henderson.
Fish maun soom thrice.
First in water, second in sauce, third in wine.
Fleas and a girning wife are waukrife bedfellows.
Flee as fast as you will, your fortune will be at your tail.
Fleying a bird is no the way to grip it.
To frighten a bird is not the way to catch it; severity or constant threatening do not tend to make children or servants better.
Fling at the brod was ne'er a gude ox.
Flit an auld tree and it'll wither.
Flitting o' farms mak mailens dear.
See "As ane flits," &c., of which this is merely a variation.
Folk are aye free to gie what's no their ain.
Folk maun grow auld or dee.
Folk's dogs bark waur than themsels.
Folk should never ask for mair than they can make a good use o'.
Follow love and it will flee thee: flee love and it will follow thee.
Folly is a bonnie dog, but a bad ane.
Fools and bairns shouldna see half-dune wark.
Fools are aye fond o' flittin', and wise men o' sittin'.
Fools are aye fortunate.
Fools are aye seeing ferlies.
Fools are fain o' flattery.
Fools are fain o' naething.
Fools are fond o' a' they forgather wi'.
Fools aye see ither folk's fauts and forget their ain.
Fools big houses and wise men buy them.
Fools' haste is nae speed.
Fools laugh at their ain sport.
Fools mak feasts and wise men eat them.
"This was once said to a great man in Scotland, upon his giving an entertainment. He readily answered, 'Wise men make proverbs, and fools repeat them.'"—Kelly.
Fools ravel and wise men redd.
Literally, fools entangle affairs and circumstances, and require "wise men" to assist them out of their troubles.
Fools set far trysts.
Fools shouldna hae chappin-sticks.
For as gude again, like Sunday milk.
"A precise woman in the country would not sell her milk on the Sunday, but would give it for as good again. Spoken when we suspect people's kindness to be mercenary."—Kelly.
For a tint thing, carena.
Do not fret about a thing or opportunity which has been lost.
For better acquaintance' sake, as Sir John Ramsay said when he drank to his father.
"Sir John Ramsay had been long abroad, and coming home he accidentally met with his father, who did not know him; he invites his father to a glass of wine, and drinks to him for more acquaintance."—Kelly.
Forbid a fool a thing, an' that he'll do.
Force without foresight aften fails.
Forewarned is forearmed.
For fashion's sake, as dogs gae to market.
For faut o' wise men fools sit on binks.
Forgotten pain, when follows gain.
For gude cheese and cheer mony haunt the house.
Many frequent the house for the sake of what they get to eat.
For my ain pleasure, as the man thrashed his wife.
For puir folk they seldom ring.
Fortune and futurity are no to be guessed at.
Fortune favours the brave.
Fortune gains the bride.
Fortune helps the hardy.
"For I haif aft hard suith men say, And we may see oursells, That fortune helps the hardy aye, And pultrones aye repels."—Cherrie and the Slae.
For want o' a steek a shoe may be tint.
"A stitch in time saves nine." The old nursery lines fully explain the philosophy of this doctrine. "For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, for want of a horse the man was lost."
Foster the guest that stays—further him that maun gang.
Foul fa' nought, and then he'll get naething.
Used in satirical allusion to those who expect a legacy from a very improbable source.
Foul water slockens fire.
Frae saving comes having.
Frae the teeth forward.
He speaks from the lips only, not from the heart.
Freedom's a fair thing.
Fresh fish and poor friends soon grow ill-faur'd.
Fresh fish and unwelcome friends stink before they're three days auld.
Friday flit, short time sit.
Meaning that to remove on a Friday is unlucky.
Friday rules Sunday.
Friends are like fiddle-strings, they mauna be screwed ower ticht.
Friends gree best separate.
Friendship canna stand aye on ae side.
Frost and fausehood hae baith a dirty wa' gang.
Fry stanes wi' butter and the broo will be gude.
Fu' o' courtesy, fu' o' craft.
Gae shoe the goose.
Gae hap and hang yoursel, then you'll dee dancing.
Gae kiss your Lucky—she lives in Leith.
"A cant phrase, from what rise I know not, but it is made use of when one thinks it is not worth while to give a distinct answer, or think themselves foolishly accused."—Allan Ramsay.
Gae to bed wi' the lamb and rise wi' the laverock.
Gae to the deil, and he'll bishop you.
Meaning, that the person addressed is so well versed in evil ways as to be able to occupy a high position in the service of the Evil One.
Gae to the deil, for his name's sake.
Gane is the goose that laid the muckle egg.
Gang farther and fare waur.
Gardener's law—Eat your fill, but pouch nane.
Gar wood's ill to grow; chuckie stanes are ill to chow.
Gather haws before the snaws.
Gathering gear is weel liket wark.
Acquiring wealth is pleasant employment.
Gaunting bodes wanting ane o' things three—sleep, meat, or gude companie.
Yawning is proverbially supposed to indicate the want of one of the three things mentioned.
Gaunting gaes frae man to man.
Gawsie cow, gudely calf.
Handsome mother, goodly daughter.
Gaylie would be better.
When a person says he is "gaylie," Anglice, middling, he is understood not to be so well as he would like to be.
Gear is easier gotten than guided.
Gentlemen are unco scant when a wabster gets a lady.
The "wabster," or weaving profession, seems to have stood very low in the estimation of proverb makers.
Gentle partans hae lang taes.
Gentle servants are poor men's hardships.
Gentle servants are rich men's tinsel.
Gentry's dowff wi' an empty purse.
Get the word o' soon rising, an' ye may lie in bed a' day.
Obtain a reputation for early rising, and you may lie in bed all day. The Spanish say, "Get a good name, and go to sleep."
Get and save, and thou wilt have.
"Get and saif and thou salt haif, Len and grant and thou salt want; Wha in his plenty taks not heid, He sall haif falt in time of need."—The Evergreen.
Get weel, keep weel.
Get what you can, and keep what you hae, that's the way to get rich.
Get your rock and spindle ready, God will send the tow.
"Let us do our duty, and refer the rest to God's providence."—Ray.
Gibbie's grace—Deil claw the clungiest.
This saying of the graceless Gibbie means literally, "Devil take the hungriest."
Gie a bairn his will, and a whelp its fill, and nane o' them will e'er do weel.
Gie a beggar a bed, and he'll pay you wi' a louse.
Gie a carl your finger, and he'll take your haill hand.
Gie a gaun man a drink, and a rising man a knock.
Gie a greedy dog a muckle bane.
Gie a thing, tak a thing, and that's the ill man's ring.
"Gie her her will, or she'll burst," quo' the man when his wife kamed his head with the three-legged stool.
Gie him a hole, and he'll find a pin.
That is, give him an opportunity, and he will take advantage of it.
Gie him an inch, and he'll tak an ell.
Gie him tow enough, and he'll hang himsel.
Gie is a gude fellow, but he soon wearies.
Meaning, that one tires of giving at all times.
Gie losin' gamesters leave to talk.
Giff gaff maks gude friends.
Gie my cousin kail enow, and see my cousin's dish be fu'.
We presume that this is an ironical signification that the cousin's "room" is preferred to his company.
Gie ne'er the wolf the wedder to keep.
Gie ower when the play's gude.
Gie't about, it will come to my faither at last.
Gie the deil his due, and ye'll gang to him.
Gie ye a use, and ye'll ca't a custom.
Gie ye meat, drink, and claes, and ye'll beg among your friends.
Applied to unreasonable people, who get everything they want, and still are not satisfied.
Gie your heart to God, and your alms to the poor.
From the remarkable paucity of proverbs relating to religion in the older collections, we infer that this saying is Henderson's own, as it only appears in his collection.
Gie your tongue mair holidays than your head.
Girn when you knit, and laugh when you louse.
Meaning, that while enforcing discipline we should do so with firmness, and relax it freely when occasion requires.
Glasgow for bells, Lithgow for wells, Falkirk for beans and pease.
Glasgow people, Greenock folk, and Paisley bodies.
"These words imply gradations of dignity, the Paisley bodies being (how far deservedly would admit of much question) at the bottom of the scale. Some years ago, when a public dinner was given to Professor Wilson, of Edinburgh, in Paisley, which is his native place, on his speaking of it as a town containing such and such a number of souls, his friend, Thomas Campbell, who sat by his side, whispered, 'Bodies, you mean.'"—Robert Chambers.
Glasses and lasses are brittle ware.
Glib i' the tongue is aye glaiket at the heart.
A smooth tongue betokens a deceitful heart.
Glowering is nae gainsaying.
Glum folk's no easily guided.
"Glum" or morose people are difficult to manage.
God be wi' the gude Laird o' Balmaghie, for he ne'er took mair frae a poor man than a' that he had.
God comes wi' leaden feet, but strikes wi' iron hands.
God helps them that help themselves.
God help the rich, for the poor can beg.
God help you to a hutch, for ye'll never get a mailing.
Spoken of an incompetent person, that he may succeed in making a bare living, for his abilities will never secure him a fortune.
God keep ill gear out o' my hands; for if my hands ance get it, my heart winna part wi't,—sae prayed the gude Earl of Eglinton.
God keep the cat out o' our gate, for the hens canna flee.
God ne'er measures men by inches.
God ne'er sent the mouth, but he sent the meat wi't.
God's aye kind to fu' folk and bairns.
As instanced by the marvellous manner in which men escape injury while under the influence of drink.
God sends fools fortunes.
God sends meat and the deil sends cooks.
God sends men claith as they hae cauld.
God send us siller, for they're little thought o' that want it.
God send water to that well that folk think will ne'er be dry.
"Spoken when our poor kin and followers are always asking of us; as if we should never be exhausted."—Kelly.
God send ye mair sense, and me mair siller.
God send ye readier meat than running hares.
God send ye the warld you bode, and that's neither scant nor want.
God shapes the back for the burden.
God's help is nearer than the fair e'en.
Gold's gude, but it may be dear bought.
Go to Hecklebirnie.
"This term is used in a strange sort of imprecation. If one say, 'Go to the d——l!' the other often replies, 'Go you to Hecklebirnie!' which is said to be a place three miles beyond hell!"—Jamieson.
Graceless meat maks folk fat.
Grass grows nae green in the common road.
Gratitude preserves auld friendships and begets new.
Great barkers are nae biters.
Great pains and little gains soon mak a man weary.
Great tochers makna aye the greatest testaments.
Great winning maks wark easy.
Greed is envy's auldest brither: scraggy wark they mak thegither.
Greedy folk hae lang arms.
Gree, like tykes and swine.
Greening wives are aye greedy.
Grey-eyed, greedy; brown-eyed, needy; black-eyed, never blin', till it shame a' its kin.
Gude advice is never out o' season.
Gude ale needs nae wisp.
"A wisp of straw stuck upon the top of a country house is a sign that ale is to be sold there; but if the ale be good, people will haunt the house though there be none."—Kelly.
Gude bairns are eith to lear.
Gude bairns get broken brows.
For they are as liable to injury as bad ones.
Gude be wi' auld langsyne, when our gutchers ate the trenchers.
Gude breeding and siller mak our sons gentlemen.
Gude cheer and cheap gars mony haunt the house.
Gude claes open a' doors.
Gude counsel is abune a' price.
Gude-enough has got a wife and Far-better wants.
Gude folk are scarce, tak care o' me.
Gude foresight furthers wark.
Gude gear gangs into little bouk.
Gude gear's no to be gaped at.
Gude health is better than wealth.
Gude kail is half meat.
Gude night, and joy be wi' you a'.
Gude reason and part cause.
Signifying that a person has both good reason and cause to complain.
Gude to fetch sorrow to a sick wife.
Gude! ye're common to kiss your kimmer.
Gude wares may come frae an ill market.
Gude wares mak a quick market.
Gude watch hinders harm.
Gudewill ne'er wants time to show itsel.
Gudewill should be ta'en in part payment.
Gude wit jumps.
Gude words cost naething.
Guessed work's best if weel done.
"Gulp!" quo' the wife when she swallowed her tongue.
Gunpowder is hasty eldin.
Gust your gab wi' that.
"He's no ill boden, That gusts his gab wi' oyster sauce, An' hen weel soden."—Fergusson.
Gut nae fish till ye get them.
Ha' binks are sliddry.
"Great men's favours are uncertain."—Kelly.
Had I fish was never gude to eat mustard.
"An answer to them that say, Had I such a thing, I would do so or so."—Kelly.
"Had I wist," quo' the fool.
Had you sic a shoe on ilka foot, you would shochel.
Or, had you my sorrows to bear, you would look equally miserable.
Hae! gars a deaf man hear.
Hae God, hae a'.
Hae, lad,—rin, lad; that maks an olite lad.
Hae you gear or hae you nane, tine heart and a' is gane.
Hain'd gear helps weel.
"Hain'd gear"—saved money—is of great assistance.
Hair by hair maks the carl's head bare.
Hale sale is gude sale.
Hale claith's afore cloutit.
Half acres bear aye gude corn.
Meaning that when people have but little property, they take good care of it.
Half a tale is enough for a wise man.
Hallowe'en bairns see far.
"And touching the bairn, it's weel kent she was born on Hallowe'en was nine years gane, and they that are born on Hallowe'en whiles see mair than ither folk."—The Monastery.
Hame's a hamely word.
"Hame's hamely," quo' the deil when he found himsel in the Court o' Session.
Hand in gear helps weel.
Hand in use is father o' lear.
The constant practice of our profession is the surest road to "lear" or affluence.
Handle your tools without mittens.
Hand ower head, as men took the covenant.
"Alluding to the manner in which the covenant, so famous in Scottish history, was violently taken by above sixty thousand persons about Edinburgh, in 1638; a novel circumstance at that time, though afterwards paralleled by the French, in voting by acclamation."—Fielding.
Handsome is that handsome does.
Hang a thief when he's young, and he'll no steal when he's auld.
Hang him that has nae shift, and hang him that has ower mony.
Hang hunger and drown drouth.
Hanging gaes by hap.
Hanging's nae better than it's ca'd.
Hanging's sair on the eesight.
Hankering an' hinging-on is a poor trade.
Hands aff is fair play.
Hap an' a ha'penny is world's gear enough.
Happiness and moderate means in this world are enough.
Happy for the son when the dad gaes to the deil.
"For commonly they who first raise great estates, do it either by usury and extortion, by fraud and cozening, or by flattery, and by ministering to other men's vices."—Ray.
"Alas for the son whose father goes to heaven!"—Portuguese.
Happy is the bride that the sun shines on; happy is the corpse that the rain rains on.
Happy is the wooing that's no lang o' doing.
Happy man be his dool.
A good wish,—that happiness may be the greatest affliction sent him.
Happy man, happy kavel.
Happy the man that belongs to nae party, but sits in his ain house, and looks at Benarty.
"Sir Michael Malcolm, of Loch Ore, an eccentric baronet, pronounced this oracular couplet in his old age, when troubled with the talk of the French Revolution. As a picture of meditative serenity and neutrality, it seems worthy of preservation."—Robert Chambers.
Happy's the maid that's married to a mitherless son.
Hard fare maks hungry bellies.
Hardships seldom come single.
Haste and anger hinder gude counsel.
Haste maks waste, and waste maks want, and want maks strife between the gudeman and the gudewife.
Hasty meet, hasty part.
"An observation upon marriage suddenly contracted, as if it were ominous, and portended a sudden separation."—Kelly.
Hasty was hanged, but Speed-o'-foot wan awa.
Haud the hank in your ain hand.
Do the difficult part of your work yourself, or retain every advantage you can.
Haud your feet, Lucky Dad, auld folk's no fiery.
Literally, look to your feet, as you are not nimble: applied when people stumble.
Haud you hand, your father slew a whaup.
Haud your hands aff ither folk's bairns till ye get some o' your ain.
Hawks winna pike out hawks' een.
"It was an unco thing to see hawks pike out hawks' een, or ae kindly Scot cheat anither."—Rob Roy.
Hearken to the hinder-end, after comes not yet.
Hearts may 'gree though heads may differ.
He begs frae them that borrowed frae him.
He bides as fast as a cat does to a saucer.
Meaning that a person will "bide" or stay only so long as he can get anything, or serve his own purpose.
He blaws in his lug fu' brawly.
"Blaw his lug," to praise a person in an extravagant or fulsome manner.
He blushes at it like a beggar at a bawbee.
He breeds o' the gowk that casts a' down at e'en.
He brings a staff to break his ain head.
He can do ill, and he may do gude.
He can haud the cat and play wi' the kitten.
He can ill rin that canna gang.
He can lee like a dog licking a dish.
He canna see an inch before his nose.
He can say "My Jo," and think it no.
That is, he can be complimentary in his speech, but not in his intentions.
He can suck the laverock's frae the lift.
"In relation to one who possesses great power of wheedling. It evidently alludes to the idea of the fascinating power of serpents by means of their breath."—Jamieson.
He can wile the flounders out o' the sea.
"'Heard ye ever the like o' that, laird?' said Saddletree to Dumbiedikes, when the counsel had ended his speech. 'There's a chiel can spin a muckle pirn out o' a wee tait o' tow!... And he's cleckit this great muckle bird out o' this wee egg! He could wile the very flounders out o' the Firth.'"—Heart of Midlothian.
He caresna wha's bairns greet if his ain laugh.
He ca's me scabbed because I winna ca' him sca'd.
Meaning that a man has endeavoured to make his opponent in a particular transaction lose his temper, but failing to do so, he loses his own.
"Hech!" quo' Howie, when he swallowed his wife's clue.
"Hech!" is here used as an expression of surprise and relief that a disagreeable operation has been performed. A "clue" is a ball of worsted.
He comes oftener wi' the rake than the shool.
"Spoken of a poor friend whose business is not to give us, but to get from us."—Kelly.
He comes o' gude, he canna be ill.
A satirical expression applied to persons who are vain enough to suppose that they can do no wrong.
He complains early that complains o' his parritch.
He counts his ha'penny gude siller.
Meaning that a person may confer a very small favour, and have a greatly exaggerated idea of his own generosity.
He cuts near the wood.
To "cut near the wood" is to be very keen in driving a bargain.
He daurna say "Bo" to your blanket.
He doesna aye ride when he saddles his horse.
He doesna ken a B frae a bull's foot.
A saying denoting that a person is extremely ignorant.
He doesna ken what end o' him's upmost.
He doesna like his wark that says "Now!" when it's done.
He doubles his gift that gies in time.
He eats the calf i' the cow's wame.
Which means, in other words, he has spent his fortune before he received it; that "He has eaten his corn in the blade."—French.
Heedna says, or ye'll ne'er sit at ease.
He fells twa dogs wi' ae bane.
"Pate disna fend on that alane; He can fell twa dogs wi' ae bane, While ither folk Must rest themselves content wi' ane, Nor farer trock."—Fergusson.
He flings the helve after the hatchet.
He fyles his neighbour's cog to get the brose himsel.
Meaning that a person has been wicked enough to injure the character of another that he might supplant him in influence or position.
He gaed for oo' but came hame shorn.
"A camel going to seek horns lost his ears."—Arabic.
He gangs awa in an ill time that ne'er comes back again.
He gangs far aboot seeking the nearest.
He gangs frae the jilt to the gellock.
To "jilt," to throw or dash water on a person; "gellock" (gavelock), an iron lever or crowbar. Meaning, perhaps, that a man's temper is such that he passes from the extreme of playfulness to that of passion very quickly.
He gangs lang barefoot that waits for dead men's shune.
He gaes nae whitings without banes.
Or, if he confers an obligation, it is sure to have some condition attached to it.
He girns like a sheep's head in a pair o' tangs.
"Little Andrew, the wratch, has been makin' a totum wi' his faither's ae razor; an' the pair man's trying to shave himsel yonder, an' girnan like a sheep's head on the tangs."—Hugh Miller.
He got his mother's malison the day he was married.
Spoken of a man who has a bad wife.
He had gude skill o' horse flesh wha bought a goose to ride on.
He harps aye on ae string.
He has a bee in his bonnet-lug.
Applied when a person is very much occupied with a project of his own.
He has a cauld coal to blaw at.
"A' things o' religion hae settled into a method that gies the patronless preacher but little chance o' a kirk. Wi' your oye's ordinar looks, I fear, though he were to grow as learned as Matthew Henry himsel, he would hae but a cauld coal to blaw at."—Sir Andrew Wylie.
He has a crap for a' corn.
He has a gude judgment that doesna lippen to his ain.
He has a hearty hand for a hungry meltith.
He bestows charity liberally.
He has a hole beneath his nose that winna let his back be rough.
Meaning that his extravagance in the matter of food is such that it prevents his back being "rough" or well clothed.
He has a lang clue to wind.
"I might hae been in a state and condition to look at Miss Girzy; but, ye ken, I hae a lang clue to wind before I maun think o' playing the ba' wi' Fortune, in ettling so far aboun my reach."—The Entail.
He has an ill look among lambs.
He has a saw for a' sairs.
That is, a salve or "balm for every wound."
He has a slid grip that has an eel by the tail.
"Spoken to those who have to do with cunning fellows whom you can hardly bind sure enough."—Kelly.
He has been rowed in his mother's sark tail.
Synonymous with being "tied to his mother's apron-string," i.e., kept too strictly under parental authority.
He has brought his pack to a braw market.
He has come to gude by misguiding.
He has coosten his cloak on the ither shouther.
He has coup'd the muckle pat into the little.
Sarcastically applied to those who claim to have executed extraordinary deeds.
He has drowned the miller.
Meaning that in mixing liquids, as in mixing toddy, too much water has been added. The English say, "He has put the miller's eye out."
He has faut o' a wife that marries mam's pet.
He has feathered his nest, he may flee when he likes.
He has gane without taking his leave.
He has gi'en up a trade and ta'en to stravaigin'.
A humorous way of expressing that a man has retired from business to live comfortably. To "stravaig" is to walk about idly.
He has got a bite o' his ain bridle.
He has gotten his kail through the reek.
"To meet with severe reprehension. To meet with what causes bitterness or thorough repentance as to any course that one has taken."—Jamieson.
He has gotten the boot and the better beast.
This saying has evidently emanated from the stable. When persons wish to exchange horses, he who has the poorest animal gives a "boot" or compensation in addition to the horse, to make the exchange equal. The proverb is applied to a person who has over-reached his neighbour.
He has gotten the whip hand o' him.
He has got the heavy end of him.
Meaning that in an argument or struggle he has the best of it.
He has help'd me out o' a deadlift.
Or rendered very great assistance in an emergency.
He has hit the nail on the head.
He has it o' kind, he coft it not.
Meaning that a person's bad qualities are inherited from his parents; equivalent to the saying, "What's bred in the bone won't out of the flesh."
He has left the key in the cat-hole.
He has licket the butter aff my bread.
To "lick the butter," in proverbial phraseology, is to supplant a person in business, or so interfere with his arrangements as to injure them.
He has made a moonlight flitting.
To "shoot the moon," as the English say, is to decamp from a house without paying the rent.
He has mair floor than he has flail for.
Or more work than he can overtake.
He has mair jaw than judgment.
He has mair wit in his wee finger than ye hae in your hale bouk.
He has muckle prayer, but little devotion.
He hasna a bauchle to swear by.
He hasna a hail nail to claw him wi'.
He hasna as muckle sense as a cow could haud in her faulded nieve.
He has nae clag till his tail.
"A vulgar phrase, signifying that there is no stain on one's character, or that no one can justly exhibit a charge against him."—Jamieson.
He has nae mair mense than a miller's horse.
Vide, "As menseless as a tinkler's messan."
He has naething to crave at my hand.
He has need o' a clean pow that ca's his neighbour nitty now.
"A man ought to be free of those faults that he throws up to others."—Kelly.
He has neither stock nor brock.
He has neither money nor meat.
He has ower many greedy gleds o' his ain.
Meaning that a man has too many family claims upon his generosity to meet, to be able to attend to those of strangers.
He has skill o' roasted woo—when it stinks it's ready.
He has some sma' wit, but a fool has the guiding o't.
He has soon done that never dought.
He has spur metal in him.
He has swallowed a flee.
He has ta'en the country on his back.
A proverbial expression of the fact that a man has run away.
He hastit to his end like a moth to a candle.
He has the best end o' the string.
He has the gift o' the gab.
"'I wish,' said Dumbiedikes, 'I were as young and as supple as you, and had the gift o' the gab as weel.'"—Heart of Midlothian.
He has wit at will that wi' an angry heart can sit still.
He hauds baith heft and blade.
That is, he has a thing entirely at his own option.
He hearsna at that ear.
He hears wi' his heels, as the geese do in hairst.
"That is, he heard, had he been pleased to answer."—Kelly.
He hid a bodle and thought it a hoard.
He hides his meat and seeks for mair.
"Spoken when covetous people pretend poverty, and conceal their wealth to plead pity."—Kelly.
He is not a merchant bare, that hath either money, worth, or ware.
"A good merchant may want ready money."—Kelly.
He jump'd at it, like a cock at a grossart.
"'I had quite forgotten,' said Tyrrel, 'that the inn was your own; though I remember you were a considerable landed proprietor.' 'Maybe I am,' replied Meg, 'maybe I am not; and if I be, what for no? But as to what the laird, whose grandfather was my father's landlord, said to the new doings yonder—he just jumped at the ready penny, like a cock at a grossart.'"—St Ronan's Well.
He keeps his road weel enough wha gets rid o' ill company.
He kens a'thing that opens and steeks.
He kens his ain groats amang other folk's kail.
He kens how many beans mak five.
He kens how to butter a whiting.
The import of the two preceding sayings is, that a man is very sharp in looking after his own interests.
He kens how to turn his ain cake.
"'Never fash your beard, Mr Bide-the-Bent,' replied Girder; 'ane canna get their breath out between wives and ministers. I ken best how to turn my own cake. Jean, serve up the dinner, and nae mair about it.'"—Bride of Lammermoor.
He kens muckle wha kens when to speak, but far mair wha kens when to haud his tongue.
He kens nae a mavis frae a madge-howlet.
He kens nae a selgh frae a salmon.
He kens nae the pleasures of plenty wha ne'er felt the pains o' poverty.
He kens whilk side his bannock's buttered on.
"There was a set of ancient brethren of the angle from Edinburgh, who visited St Ronan's frequently in the spring and summer, a class of guests peculiarly acceptable to Meg, who permitted them more latitude in her premises than she was known to allow to any other body. 'They were,' said she, 'pawky auld carles, that kend whilk side their bread was buttered upon.'"—St Ronan's Well.
He kicks at the benweed.
Benweed, ragwort. That is, he is headstrong, or unreasonable.
He lay in his scabbard, as mony a gude sword's done.
Meaning that he prudently allowed an insult or slight to pass without notice.
He left his siller in his ither pocket.
A sarcastic allusion to those who seek to evade paying their share of the reckoning. It was remarked of a friend of ours, that on such occasions he "was the first to put his hand in his pocket, but the last to draw it out."
He likes nae beef that grows on my banes.
He'll claw up their mittans.
Metaphorically, "He will kill them, or give the finishing stroke."—Jamieson.
He'll either win the horse or tine the saddle.
He'll gang mad on a horse wha's proud on a pownie.
Spoken of those who take undue advantage of the slight authority they possess.
He'll gang nae farther than his tether's length.
He'll gang to hell for house profit.
He'll get the poor man's answer, "No."
He'll gie his bane to nae dog.
He'll gie you the whistle o' your groat.
He'll hae enough some day, when his mouth's fu' o' mools.
"Spoken of covetous people, who will never be satisfied while they are alive."—Kelly.
He'll hing by the lug o't.
"Keep a firm hold of it, as a bull-dog does of his prey."—Jamieson.
He'll hing that ower my head.
"'She would haud me nae better than the dirt below her feet,' said Effie to herself, 'were I to confess I hae danced wi' him four times on the green down by, and ance at Maggie Macqueen's; and she'll maybe hing it ower my head that she'll tell my father, and then she wad be mistress and mair.'"—Heart of Midlothian.
He'll kythe in his ain colours yet.
"He'll appear without disguise; he'll be known for the man he is."—Jamieson.
He'll lick the white frae your e'en.
"This phrase is always applied when people, with pretence of friendship, do you an ill turn, as one licking a mote out of your eye makes it blood shot."—Allan Ramsay.
He'll mak a spune or spoil a horn.
"Ay, ay, we're a' subject to a downcome. Mr Osbaldistone is a gude honest gentleman; but I aye said he was ane o' them wad mak a spune or spoil a horn, as my father, the worthy deacon, used to say."—Rob Roy.
He'll mend when he grows better, like sour ale in summer.
"The young laird of Balmawhapple, ... he had no imperfection but that of keeping light company at a time; such as Jinker the horse-couper, and Gibby Gaethroughwi't, the piper o' Cupar; 'O' whilk follies, Mr Saunderson, he'll mend, he'll mend,' pronounced the bailie. 'Like sour ale in summer,' added Davie Gellatley, who happened to be nearer the conclave than they were aware of."—Waverley.
He'll need to dree the dronach o't.
He'll ne'er send you awa wi' a sair heart.
He'll neither dance nor haud the candle.
Like the dog in the manger, he will neither enjoy himself, nor allow others to do so.
He'll neither dee nor do weel.
Sarcastically applied to people who may be peevish or fretful through ill health.
He'll neither haud nor bind.
"'Then, if ye maun hae't, the folk in Lunnun are a' clean wud about this bit job in the north here.' 'Clean wood! what's that?' 'Ou, just real daft—neither to haud nor to bind—a' hirdy girdy—clean through ither—the deil's ower Jock Wabster.'"—Rob Roy.
"A proverbial phrase expressive of violent excitement, whether in respect of rage, or of folly, or of pride; borrowed, perhaps, from the fury of an untamed beast, which cannot be so long held that it may be bound with a rope."—Jamieson.
He'll neither hup nor wine.
Of similar import to the preceding. Hup and wine are two words used in guiding plough and cart horses.
He'll never rue but ance, and that'll be a' his life.
"Ride down to Portanferry, and let nae grass grow at the nag's heels; and if ye find him in confinement, ye maun stay beside him night and day for a day or twa, for he'll want friends that hae baith heart and hand; and if ye neglect this, ye'll never rue but ance, for it will be for a' your life."—Guy Mannering.
He'll no gie an inch o' his will for a span o' his thrift.
That is, regardless of expense, his wishes must be gratified.
He'll no gie the head for the washing.
To "keep the head for the washing" is to retain possession of an article which has been made to order or repaired until all charges upon it are paid.
He'll no let the grass grow at his heels.
He'll no sell his hen on a rainy day.
He will not sell his wares at an unpropitious time.
He'll rather turn than burn.
He'll shoot higher that shoots at the moon, than he that shoots at the midden, e'en though he may miss his mark.
He'll soon be a beggar that canna say "No."
He'll tell it to nae mair than he meets.
He'll wag as the bush wags.
That is, he will do as circumstances compel him.
He loes me for little that hates me for nought.
His love has never been very strong if it turns for a trifle.
He'll wind you a pirn.
"An my auld acquaintance be hersel, or onything like hersel, she may come to wind us a pirn. It's fearsome baith to see and hear her when she wampishes about her arms, and gets to her English, and speaks as if she were a prent book—let a-be an auld fisher's wife."—The Antiquary.
He lo'ed mutton weel that lick'd where the ewie lay.
"Spoken to them who will sip the bottom of a glass where good liquor was, or scrape a plate after good meat."—Kelly.
"He loved mutton well that dipped his bread in wool."—English.
He looks as if he could swallow a cow.
This saying and the four which follow are expressive of peculiarities in the appearance of persons.
He looks as if the wood were fu' o' thieves.
He looks like a Lochaber axe fresh frae the grundstane.
He looks like the far end of a French fiddle.
"Gin ye wad thole to hear a friend, Tak tent, and nae wi' strunts offend, I've seen queans dink, and neatly prim'd Frae tap to middle, Looking just like the far-aff end O' an auld fiddle."—The Farmer's Ha'.
He looks like the laird o' fear.
He loses his time that comes sune to a bad bargain.
Help for help in hairst.
Farmers in time of harvest occasionally give each other a "day's shearing," or the use of the whole reaping staff for a day. Of course, the favour is returned, and the benefit rendered mutual.
Help is gude at a'thing, except at the cog.
"At the cog," signifies in taking our food.
He maks nae bairn's bargains.
He maun be a gude friend when you dinna ken his value.
He maun be soon up that cheats the tod.
He maun hae leave to speak that canna haud his tongue.
Addressed to people who talk foolishly or without purpose.
He maun lout that has a laigh door.
He maun rise soon that pleases a'body.
He may be trusted wi' a house fu' o' unbored millstanes.
Meaning that such a person cannot be trusted at all.
He may find fault that canna mend.
He may laugh that wins.
He may tine a stot that canna count his kine.
"The man may ablens tyne a stot That cannot count his kinsch, In zour awin bow ze are owre-schot Be mair than half-an-inch."—Cherrie and the Slae.
He may weel soom wha has his head hauden up.
Meaning that a task is easy when assistance is given.
He needs a lang-shanket spoon that sups kail wi' the deil.
"He that has to do with wicked and false men had need to be cautious and on his guard."—Kelly.
He needs maun rin that the deil drives.
He ne'er did a gude darg that gaed grumbling about it.
"A gude darg" means here a good day's work.
He ne'er tint a cow that grat for a groat.
Literally, he never lost a cow who cried for the loss of a groat.
He never lies but when the holly's green.
The holly being an evergreen, that is to say, a person never speaks truth at all.
He picked it up at his ain hand, as the cow learned flinging.
He puts his meat in an ill skin.
Meaning that although a person takes plenty of food and nourishment, his appearance belies it.
He puts in a bad purse that puts in his pechan.
He reads his sin in his punishment.
Henry Clark never slew a man till he come at him.
"A ridicule upon them that threaten hard and dare not execute."—Kelly.
Hen's are aye free o' horse corn.
Hen scarts and filly tails, make lofty ships wear lowly sails.
"Certain light kinds of clouds are thus denominated, from their supposed resemblance to the scratches of hens on the ground and the tails of young mares. They are held as prognosticative of stormy weather."—Robert Chambers.
Here-awa, there-awa, like the Laird o' Hotch Potch's lands.
"Castle fa'an?—na', but the sute's fa'an, and the thunners come right down the kitchen-lumm, and the things are a' lying here-awa, there-awa, like the Laird o' Hotch Potch's lands."—Bride of Lammermoor.
Here's the wine, but where's the wa-nuts?
He reives the kirk to theek the quire.
To "steal from the church to roof the choir," is "to rob Peter to pay Paul."
He rides on the riggin' o't.
That is, he goes to a very great extreme.
He rides sicker that never fa's.
He rides well that never falls: he is a perfect man who never errs.
He rules easier wi' a saugh wand than wi' a sharp brand.
He's aftener there than in the parish kirk.
He's a bodie o' the nick-stick kind.
"One who proceeds exactly according to rule; who will not dine a second time with any person till he has made a return in kind."—Jamieson.
He's a cake and pudding courtier.
He's a causey saint and a house deil.
One whose outward deportment towards strangers is not in unison with the harshness which he exercises at home.
He's a' fair gude e'en, and fair gude-day.
He's a fool that asks ower muckle, but he's a greater fool that gies it.
He's a fool that forgets himsel.
He's a fool that marries at Yule; for when the bairn's to bear the corn's to shear.
He's a gude horse that never stumbled, and a better wife that never grumbled.
"Both so rare, that I never met with either."—Kelly.
He is a gude piper's bitch; he's aye in at meal-times.
He's a gude shot that hits aye the mark.
He's a hardy man to draw a sword at a haggis.
He's a hawk o' a right nest.
He's a man o' wise mind that o' a foe can mak a friend.
He's an auld horse that winna nicher at corn.
He's ane o' snaw-ba's bairntime.
"That is, such as wealth and prosperity make worse, or who insensibly go behind in the world."—Kelly.
He's a poor beggar that canna gang by ae door.
He's a poor man that's never missed.
He's a proud beggar that maks his ain awmous.
That is, he is proud or well pleased who succeeds in realising his own expectations or wishes.
He's a proud horse that winna carry his ain corn.
He's a sairy cook that canna lick his ain fingers.
He's as bare as the birk at Yule.
He's as bauld as a Lammermuir lion.
"A sheep is called a Lammermuir lion; and the proverb is applied, in a sarcastic way, to a boasting or assuming person, or to a braggadocio fellow, who is a coward at bottom."—G. Henderson.
"As fierce as a lion on Cotswold."—English.
He's as gleg as a gled.
He's as happy as a dead bird.
He's a selfish skyte that cares but for his ain kyte.
He's as fu' as a fiddler.
Equivalent to being as "drunk as a lord."
He's as gleg as M'Keachen's elshin, that ran through sax plies o' bend-leather into the king's heel.
Quoted in the Heart of Midlothian when Sharpitlaw, accompanied by Ratcliffe and Madge Wildfire, go to Muschat's Cairn in search of Robertson.
He's as hard wi' me as if I had been the wild Scot o' Galloway.
He's a silly chield that can neither dae nor say.
He's as stiff as if he had swallowed the poker.
He's as welcome as snaw in hairst.
He's as welcome as water in a riven ship.
He's auld and cauld, and ill to lie beside.
He's awfu' big ahint the door.
To be "big ahint the door," is to be very courageous when there is no occasion for it.
He's a wise man that can tak care o' himsel.
He's aye for out o' the cheese-fat he was moulded in.
"'Keep back, sir, as best sets ye,' said the bailie, as Andrew pressed forward to catch the answer to some question I had asked about Campbell; 'ye wad fain ride the forehorse an ye wist how. That chield's aye for being out o' the cheese-fat he was moulded in.'"—Rob Roy.
He's aye wise ahint the hand.
"Ye noo hae hit the nail upo' the head, I better wi' less travel micht hae deen, Had I been tenty as I sud hae been; But fouks, they say, are wise ahint the han', Whilk to be true unto my cost I fan."—Ross's Helenore.
He's as wise as Wudsie's calf, that kent milk frae water.
He's been at the kirk o' Crackabout, whaur the kail pat was the minister.
He's better fed than bred.
He's blind that eats marrow, but far blinder that lets him.
He's but Jock the laird's brither.
"The Scottish lairds concern and zeal for the standing and continuance of their families, makes the provision for their younger sons very small."—Kelly.
He's cooling and supping.
"That is, he has nothing but from hand to mouth."—Kelly.
He's cowpet the crans.
"It's a great misery to me that I hae nae books to let you look ower to see my losses; but what gude, when I think on't, would the sight o' losses do to you? It wouldna put a plack in your pouch—aiblins every twa or three pages ye wad see this ane or that ane cowpet the crans, and deep in my debt."—Laird of Logan.
He seeks nae mair than a bit an' a brat.
Meaning that he is content with little.
He's either a' honey or a' dirt.
He is either exceedingly affectionate and kind, or vice versa.
He sell't his soul for a cracket saxpence.
He's failed wi' a fu' hand.
When a man "fails wi' a fu' hand," he defrauds his creditors with the assistance of the Bankruptcy Act.
He's frae the tap o' the wing, but ye're a grey-neck quill.
Meaning, we presume, that a man is not so good as he would like to be thought, or as some person he may have compared himself with.
He's free o' fruit that wants an orchard.
He's fond o' barter that niffers wi' Auld Nick.
He's gane aff at the nail.
Or "destitute of any regard to propriety of conduct; mad; wrongheaded; tipsy."—Jamieson.
He's gane a' to pigs and whistles.
"Hech, sirs, what a kyteful o' pride's yon'er! and yet I would be nane surprised the morn to hear that the Nechabudnezzar was a' gane to pigs and whistles, and driven out wi' the divors bill to the barren pastures of bankruptcy."—The Entail.
He's gane ower the buss taps.
"To behave extravagantly; to go over the tops of the bushes."—Jamieson.
He's gane to seek his faither's sword.
He's gane to the dog-drave.
He's got his leg ower the harrows.
He's got his nose in a gude kail pat.
Meaning that a person has been well provided for. Generally applied to a poor man who has married a rich wife.
He's gude that never failed.
He's his faither's better, like the cooper o' Fogo.
"Fogo is a small decayed village near Dunse. It appears that each generation of its coopers improved upon the plans or workmanship of their ancestors, and the son became better than the father."—G. Henderson.
He's horn deaf on that side o' his head.
That is, he has already made up his mind upon that matter.
He should be seldom angry that has few to mease him.
He's idle that might be better employed.
He's ill-faur'd that dogs bark at.
"'I have had that wad sober me or ony ane,' said the matron. 'Aweel, Tib, a lass like me wasna to lack wooers, for I wasna sae ill-favoured that the tikes wad bark after me.'"—The Monastery.
He's in the wrang when praised that glunshes.
He sits fu' close that has riven breeks.
"This elegant speech was made by the Earl of Douglas, called Tineman, after being wounded and made prisoner at the battle of Shrewsbury, where
"'His well-labouring sword Had three times slain the semblance of the king.'" —Fortunes of Nigel.
He sits wi' little ease wha sits on his neighbour's coat tail.
He's John Tamson's man.
"'Atweel, Cuddie, ye are gaun nae sic gate,' said Jenny, coolly and resolutely. 'The deil's in the wife!' said Cuddie, 'd'ye think I am to be John Tamson's man, and maistered by women a' the days o' my life?' 'And whase man wad ye be? And wha wad ye hae to maister ye but me, Cuddie, lad?'"—Old Mortality.
He's laid down the barrow.
That is, "he's cowpet the crans," q. v.
He sleeps as dogs do when wives sift meal.
Meaning that a person is very sharp, and that he, figuratively, sleeps with one eye open.
He's lifeless that's faultless.
Implying that no one is without fault.
He's like a bagpipe, ne'er heard till his wame's fu'.
He's like a chip amang parritch—little gude, little ill.
He's like a cow in a fremit loaning.
That is, strange, or out of place. "Fremit loaning," strange lane.
He's like a flea in a blanket.
He's like a singet cat—better than he's bonny.
He's like the craws, he eats himsel' out o' ply.
He's like the smith's dog—so weel used to the sparks that he'll no burn.
Spoken of people who are so much accustomed to tipple, that they never seem any the worse of it.
He's like the wife's bawty—kens naething about it.
He slippet awa like a knotless thread.
He's loose in the heft.
He's mair buirdly i' the back than i' the brain.
He's mair fleyed than hurt.
He's mair worth hanging than hauding.
He's nae gude weaver that leaves lang thrums.
No good workman who wastes material, or leaves work in a slovenly state.
He's nae sma' drink.
He's ne'er at ease that's angry.
He snites his nose in his neighbour's dish to get the brose himsel.
This rude but expressive saying is used when a person has done another an injury in order to benefit himself.
He's no a man to ride the water wi'.
"A phrase applied to one who, it is believed, cannot be depended on."—Jamieson.
He's no a stirk o' the right stock.
"I was a friendless lad, and ye took me by the hand,—and could I sit still and see scathe befa' my benefactor, I wouldna be a stirk o' the right stock, that's bred on the land o' Scotland."—Sir Andrew Wylie.
He's no gude to creel eggs wi'.
"Not safe or easy to deal with."—Jamieson.
He's no nice but needfu'.
He's no sae daft as he lets on.
He's no steel to the bane.
He's no the best wright that casts maist spails.
He's no the fool that the fool is, but he that wi' the fool deals.
He's no the happiest wha has maist gear.
He's no worth kissing caps wi'.
To "kiss caps wi'," is to keep company with, to associate together in drinking.
He's out and in, like a dog at a fair.
He's ower auld a cat to draw a strae before.
"The rents and the lands are but a sair fash to me," re-echoed Ailie; "and I'm ower failed to tak a helpmate, though Wylie Mactrickit, the writer, was very pressing, and spak very civilly; but I'm ower auld a cat to draw that strae before me—he canna whilliwhaw me as he's done mony a ane."—Old Mortality.
He's ower-shot wi' his ain bow.
Overreached with his own weapons.
He's ower soon up that's hanged ere noon.
He's soger bred but major minded.
He's ta'en a start and an owerloup.
"The usual expression for a slight encroachment on a neighbour's property."—Sir Walter Scott.
He speaks like a prent book.
He speaks in his drink what he thinks in his drouth.
He spoke as if every word would lift a dish.
In allusion to a person who has addressed another in a very pompous or affected manner.
He's poor enough that's ill faur'd.
He's poor that canna promise.
He's rich that has nae debt.
He's sairest dung that's paid wi' his ain wand.
That is, he suffers most who injures himself by his own folly, or by means which may have been intended to injure another.
He's silly that spares for ilka speech.
He's sometimes i' the air, but ye're aye on the grund.
He's the bee that maks the honey.
He's the best spoke o' your wheel.
He's the slave o' a slaves wha ser's nane but himsel.
He's twice fain that sits on a stane.
"That is, glad to sit down, because he is weary, and glad to rise, because the stone is hard."—Kelly.
He starts at straes, and lets windlins gae.
This saying is, we think, exclusively Scotch. It very briefly but pithily applies to those who, while anxiously correcting trifling errors, allow greater ones to pass unheeded: who strain at gnats, and swallow camels.
He streaks reem in my teeth.
"Spoken when we think one only flattering us, and not earnest or sincere in what they pretend."—Kelly.
He struts like a craw in the gutter.
He stumbles at a strae and loups ower a linn.
He's unco fond o' farming that wad harrow wi' the cat.
He's unco fu' in his ain house that canna pick a bane in his neighbour's.
Satirically applied to those who are unwilling to partake of a meal in a friend's house.
He's waur to water than to corn.
Fonder of his meat than his drink.
He's weel boden there ben that will neither borrow nor lend.
Meaning that a person must be very well off indeed who can afford to dispense with all assistance.
He's weel eased that has o' his ain.
He's weel worthy o' sorrow that buys it wi' his ain siller.
He's wise that kens when he's weel enough.
"This is a pitch of wisdom to which few attain."—Kelly.
He's wise that's timely wary.
He's worth gowd that can win it.
He's worth nae weel that can bide nae wae.
He that ance gets his fingers i' the dirt can hardly get them out again.
He that bides weel betides weel.
He that bids me to meat wishes me to live.
He that blaws best bears awa the horn.
He that blaws in the stoor fills his ain een.
He that borrows and bigs, maks feasts and thigs, drinks an's no dry,—nane o' these three are thrifty.
He that buys a house that's wrought has mony a pin and nail for nought.
He that buys land buys stanes; he that buys beef buys banes; he that buys nuts buys shells; he that buys gude ale buys naething else.
He that can hear Dumbuck may hear Dumbarton.
Dumbuck Hill, in Argyleshire, is farther from Glasgow (the locale of this saying) than Dumbarton: proverbially applied to those who are better acquainted with circumstances than they pretend to be, but who, in their anxiety to gain more information, betray themselves.
He that canna do as he would maun do as he may.
He that canna gie favours should seek nane.
He that canna mak sport should mar nane.
He that cheats in daffin winna be honest in earnest.
He that cheats me ance, shame fa' him; he that cheats me twice, shame fa' me.
He that comes first to the ha' may sit where he will.
He that comes o' hens maun scrape.
He that counts a' costs will ne'er put plough i' the grund.
"He that forecasts all difficulties that he may meet with in his business will never set about it."—Kelly.
He that counts without his host may have to count twice.
He that deals in dirt has aye foul fingers.
He that does as he's bidden deserves nae bannin'.
He that does his turn in time sits half idle.
He that doesna mind corn pickles never comes to forpits.
"Get a large sheet of paper, man, and make a new pen, with a sharp neb, and a fine hair-stroke. Do not slit the quill up too high, it's a wastrife course in your trade, Andrew. They that do not mind corn pickles never come to forpits. I have known a learned man write a thousand pages with one quill."—Fortunes of Nigel.
He that does you an ill turn will ne'er forgie you.
He that drinks when he's no dry will be dry when he has nae drink.
He that eats a boll o' meal in bannocks eats a peck o' dirt.
He that eats but ae dish seldom needs the doctor.
He that fa's in a gutter, the langer he lies the dirtier he is.
He that fishes before the net, fishes lang or he fish get.
He that gapes till he be fed may gape till he be dead.
He that gets forgets, but he that wants thinks on.
He that gets gear before he gets wit is but a short time maister o't.
He that gies a' his gear to his bairns, tak up a beetle and ding out his harns.
"Taken from the history of one John Bell, who, having given his substance to his children, was by them neglected. After he died there was found in his chest a mallet with this inscription,—
"'I, John Bell, leave here a mell, the man to fell, Who gives all to his bairns, and keeps nothing to himsel.'" —Kelly.
He that grapes in the dark may fyle his fingers.
He that hains his dinner will hae the mair to his supper.
He that has a bonnie wife needs mair than twa een.
He that has a dog at hame may gang to the kirk wi' a clean breast.
He that has ae sheep in a flock will like a' the lave the better for't.
"Spoken when we have a son at such a school, university, army, or society, we will wish the prosperity of these respective bodies upon his account."—Kelly.
He that has a goose will get a goose.
Or, he that is rich already has legacies left him; as, "The fat sow's tail's aye creash'd."
He that has a gude crap may thole some thistles.
He that has been very fortunate can easily put up with slight drawbacks.
He that has a muckle nose thinks ilka ane speaks o't.
"People who are sensible of their guilt are always full of suspicion."—Kelly.
He that has a wide wame ne'er had a lang arm.
That is, a corpulent person is never very active.
He that has a wife has a maister.
"He that's not sensible of the truth of this proverb may blot it out or pass it over."—Kelly.
He that has but ae ee maun tent it weel.
He that has gall in his mouth canna spit honey.
He that has his hand in the lion's mouth maun tak it out the best way he can.
Meaning that he who has willingly jeopardized himself must extricate himself without assistance.
He that has horns in his bosom needna put them on his head.
He that has just enough can soundly sleep; the owercome only fashes folk to keep.
He that has muckle wad aye hae mair.
He that hasna purse to fine may hae flesh to pine.
"'It will be nonsense fining me,' said Andrew, doughtily, 'that hasna a grey groat to pay a fine wi'—it's ill taking the breeks aff a Hielandman.' 'If ye hae nae purse to fine, ye hae flesh to pine,' replied the bailie, 'and I will look weel to ye getting your deserts the tae way or the tither.'"—Rob Roy.
He that hasna siller in his purse should hae silk on his tongue.
He that has routh o' butter may butter his bread on baith sides.
He that has siller in his purse may want a head on his shouthers.
He that has twa hoards can get a third.
He that hath and winna keep it, he that wants and winna seek it, he that drinks and is not dry, siller shall want as well as I.
He that hews abune his head may get a spail in his ee.
He who aims at things beyond his power may be injured by his projects.
He that hides kens whaur to seek.
He that ill does never gude weens.
He who is in the habit of ill-doing himself always has a bad opinion of others.
He that invented the maiden first handselled her.
James, Earl of Morton, who invented the "maiden" or guillotine, was the first who suffered by it.
He that isna handsome at twenty, strong at thirty, wise at forty, rich at fifty, will never be handsome, strong, wise, or rich.
He that keeks through a keyhole may see what will vex him.
"He who looks through a hole will discover his dole."—Spanish.
He that keeps the cat's dish keeps her aye crying.
He that kens what will be cheap or dear, needs be a merchant but for half-a-year.
As the exercise of his foresight will enable him to acquire a competency in that time.
He that kisses his wife at the market cross will hae mony to teach him.
He that lacks my mare may buy my mare.
Used when a person disparages an article that he may secure it to himself.
He that laughs alane will mak sport in company.
He that lends his pot may seethe his kail in his loof.
He that lends money to a friend has a double loss.
Because he loses both his money and his friend.
He that lends you hinders you to buy.
He that lippens to chance lippens his back to a slap.
He that lippens to lent ploughs may hae his land lang lea.
He that relies on favours being granted is liable to disappointment.
He that lives on hope has a slim diet.
He that lo'es law will soon get his fill o't.
He that looks not ere he loup will fa' ere he wat.
He that looks to freets, freets will follow him.
"He that notices superstitious observances (such as spilling of salt, Childermass day, or the like) it will fall to him accordingly."—Kelly.
He that maks friends fear'd o' his wit should be fear'd o' their memories.
He that marries a beggar gets a louse for a tocher.
He that marries a daw eats muckle dirt.
He who is connected with a "daw," or drab, has many troubles to put up with.
He that marries a widow and twa dochters has three back doors to his house.
Or, as Kelly quotes, "three stark thieves; because his wife will put away things to them, or for them."
He that marries a widow will hae a dead man's head often thrown in his dish.
He that marries before he's wise will dee ere he thrive.
He that middles wi' tulzies may come in for the redding stroke.
To "middle with tulzies" is to interfere with quarrelsome people; the chances are that a person who does so will come off at a loss.
He that never eats flesh thinks harigals a feast.
Parallel to the English proverb, "He who never eats flesh thinks pudding a dainty."
He that never rade never fell.
He that never thinks will ne'er be wise.
He that oppresses honesty ne'er had ony.
He that pays his debt begins to mak a stock.
He that pays last ne'er pays twice.
He that pities another minds himsel.
He that plants trees lo'es ithers beside himsel.
He that plays wi' fools and bairns maun e'en play at the chucks.
When a man mixes with children, or fools or rogues, he must adapt himself to them.
"What signifies what I desired, man? when a wise man is with fules and bairns, he maun e'en play at the chucks. But you should have had mair sense and consideration than to gie Babie Charles and Steenie their ain gate; they wad hae floored the very rooms wi' silver, and I wonder they didna."—Fortunes of Nigel.
He that pleads his ain cause has a fool for his client.
He that puts the cat in the pock kens best how to tak her out.
He that puts on the public gown maun aff the private person.
A maxim of proverbial philosophy which many persons in petty authority might practise with advantage—to the public.
He that rides ahint anither doesna saddle when he pleases.
That is, he who is dependent on another must submit to his superior's authority.
He that rides or he be ready wants aye some o' his graith.
He that's angry opens his mouth and steeks his een.
That is, vents himself in abuse without looking into the details of the case.
He that's aught the cow gangs nearest the tail.
He that has most interest in an undertaking or property is willing to run a greater risk than he that has none.
He that says what he likes will hear what he doesna like.
He that's born to a plack 'll ne'er get a pound.
He that's born to be hanged will never be drowned.
He that's crabbit without cause should mease without amends.
He that seeks alms for Godsake begs for twa.
He that seeks motes gets motes.
He that seeks trouble 'twere a pity he should miss it.
He that sells his wares for words maun live by the loss.
He that's far frae his gear is near his skaith.
A man who is away from his property, or not sufficiently careful of it, is liable to be wronged in his absence.
He that's first up's no aye first ser'd.
He that shames, let him be shent.
"An old Scottish proverb not now used, scarcely understood: a wish that he who exposes his neighbour may come to shame himself."—Kelly.
He that shows his purse tempts the thief.
He that's ill o' his harboury is gude at the way-kenning.
He that is unwilling that a visitor or friend should remain in his house, is very ready to give information as to the way home, and the advantages of following it.
He that's ill to himsel will be gude to naebody.
He that sleeps wi' dogs maun rise wi' flaes.
Or, he who keeps bad company will be contaminated by it.
He that's mann'd wi' boys and hors'd wi' colts will hae his meat eaten and his wark ill done.
In sarcastic allusion to those who entrust matters of importance to youthful or inexperienced persons. "Because," as Kelly says, "the boy will neglect his business, and the colt will throw him."
He that's no my friend at a pinch is no my friend at a'.
He that spares to speak spares to speed.
That is, he who is afraid to speak for his own advancement when an opportunity occurs, does injury to himself.
He that speaks the thing he shouldna will hear the thing he wouldna.
He that speaks to himsel speaks to a fool.
He that speaks wi' a draunt an' sells wi' a cant, is right like a snake in the skin o' a saunt.
This humorous but withal libellous expression of opinion literally means, that they who speak in drawling, canting terms are wolves in sheep's clothing.
He that speers a' gets wit but o' pairt.
He that speers a' opinions comes ill speed.
He that spends before he thrives will beg before he thinks.
He that spends his gear before he gets 't will hae but little gude o't.
He that spits against the wind spits in his ain face.
He that's poor when he's married shall be rich when he's buried.
He that's rede for windlestraes should never sleep on leas.
Equivalent to the English saying, "He that's afraid of the wagging of feathers must keep from among wild fowl;" and the Dutch one, "He who is afraid of leaves must not go to the wood."
He that's scant o' wind shouldna meddle wi' the chanter.
A "chanter" is the drone of a bagpipe, and a good supply of wind is required to fill it. Proverbially applied to those who undertake more than they are able to accomplish.
He that steals a preen may steal a better thing.
He that steals can hide.
He that strikes my dog wad strike mysel if he daur'd.
He that stumbles twice at ae stane deserves to break his shin bane.
For not removing the stumbling-block at first.
He that's welcome fares weel.
He that thinks in his bed has a day without a night.
He that tholes owercomes.
To "thole" is to suffer or endure.
He that tigs wi' a stranger pays the smart.
He that tigs wi' the tailor gets a button in his sleeve.
He that tines his siller is thought to hae tint his wit.
Meaning that he who willingly loses or risks money is readily supposed to be a fool.
He that wants content canna sit easy in his chair.
He that wants to strike a dog ne'er wants stick.
He that wears black maun wear a brush on his back.
He that will be angry for onything will be angry for naething.
He that will to Cupar maun to Cupar.
Applied to foolish or reckless persons who persist in carrying on projects in the face of certain failure, of which they have been duly advised. Why Cupar, the capital of the kingdom of Fife, should have been selected as typical of such "pig-headedness," we are unable to say.
He that winna be counselled canna be helped.
He that winna hear Mother Hood shall hear Stepmother Hood.
"That is, they who will not be prevailed upon by fair means, shall meet with harsher treatment."—Kelly.
He that winna lout and lift a preen will ne'er be worth a groat.
That is, he who despises trifles will never be rich.
He that winna thole maun flit mony a hole.
He who will not bear the crosses of the world patiently only increases his sorrows in trying to evade them.
He that winna use the means maun dree the moans.
He that winna when he may, shanna when he wad.
"Spoken of him who has refused a good offer, and then would have it again."—Kelly.
He that woos a maiden maun come seldom in her sight: he that woos a widow maun ply her day and night.
He that would climb the tree maun tak care o' his grip.
He that would eat the kernal maun crack the nut.
He that would pu' the rose maun sometimes be scarted wi' the thorns.
He thinks himsel nae sheepshank.
Spoken of conceited persons who think themselves of great consequence.
He tines bottles gathering straes.
A variation of "He starts at straes, and lets windlins gae." "Ye hae found it to your cost, that she is a most unreasonable, narrow, contracted woman, and wi' a' her 'conomical througality—her direction-books to mak grozart wine for deil-be-licket, and her Katy Fisher's cookery, whereby she would gar us trow she can mak fat kail o' chucky-stanes and an auld horse-shoe—we a' ken, and ye ken, laird, warst o' a', that she flings away the pease, and maks her hotch-potch wi' the shawps, or, as the auld byeword says, tynes bottles gathering straes."—The Entail.
Het kail cauld, nine days auld, spell ye that in four letters.
The key to this childish puzzle is to be found in the word that: it has no deeper meaning.
Het love, hasty vengeance.
Het sup, het swallow.
He wad gang a mile to flit a sow.
"Spoken of sauntering persons, who would take any pretence to go from their proper business."—Kelly.
He was miss'd by the water, but caught by the widdie.
He has escaped drowning only to be hanged, as "He that is to be hanged will never be drowned—unless the water goes over the gallows."—Dutch.
He wasna the inventor o' gunpowder.
Meaning that a person is very timid or cowardly.
He was ne'er a gude aiver that flung at the brod.
"Spoken of them who spurn at reproof or correction, whom Solomon calls brutish."—Kelly.
He was scant o' grey cloth that soled his hose wi' dockens.
"The return of a haughty maid to them that tell her of an unworthy suitor."—Kelly.
He was scant o' news that tauld his faither was hang'd.
"They're scarce of news who speak ill of their mother."—Irish.
He was the bee that made the honey.
He watsna whilk end o' him's upmost.
He does not know whether he stands on his head or his heels.
He wears Langton's coat o' mail.
"Once, in a skirmish with the English, the Laird of Langton, being unarmed, turned his coat inside out, to make his opponents believe he had on a coat of mail, and so rushed on to the fray. By 'Langton's coat of mail,' is meant a presumptuous but brave man."—G. Henderson.
He wears twa faces aneath ae cowl.
He wha mair than his worth doth spend, aiblins a rape his life will end.
He wha marries a maiden marries a pockfu' o' pleasure; he wha marries a widow marries a pockfu' o' pleas-sure.
"These two are always joined together, and are a dissuasive from marrying a widow, because she is often involved in law suits."—Kelly.
He wha marries for love without money, hath merry nights and sorry days.
He wha tells his wife a' is but newly married.
He winna send you away wi' a fair heart.
Or, he will not grant you the favour you are going to seek.
He woos for cake and pudding.
He would fain be forward if he wist how.
He would fain rip up auld sairs.
That is, gladly rake up old grievances, to enable him to pick a quarrel.
He would gar you trow that the mune's made o' green cheese.
Applied to simple, credulous people, who readily believe the most absurd statements.
He wouldna lend his gully,—no! to the deil to stick himsel.
In sarcastic allusion to those who decline to oblige borrowers, and who carry their principles so far that they "would not lend the devil a knife to cut his throat."—Italian.
He would need to be twice sheeled and ance grund that deals wi' you.
He would rake hell for a bodle.
He would skin a louse for the tallow o't.
In allusion to greedy, parsimonious people, who would rather be put to a great deal of trouble than incur a trifling expense.
He would tine his lugs if they were not tacked to him.
He is so careless and forgetful, that he would lose his ears were they not attached to his head.
He's horn deaf on that side o' his head.
That is, he is wilfully deaf on that subject.
Highest in the court, nearest the widdie.
Highlanders—shoulder to shoulder.
High trees show mair leaves than fruit.
In disparaging allusion to tall persons.
His absence is gude company.
His auld brass will buy her a new pan.
Spoken of young maidens who marry wealthy old men, meaning that when the husband dies his money will help her to a younger one.
"Though auld Rob Morris be an elderly man, Yet his auld brass it will buy you a new pan; Then, doughter, you shouldna be so ill to shoo, For auld Rob Morris is the man ye maun loo." —Tea-Table Miscellany.
His bark's waur nor his bite.
"'Hout, mother,' said Hobbie, 'Elshie's no that bad a chield; he's a grewsome spectacle for a crooked disciple, to be sure, and a rough talker; but his bark is waur than his bite.'"—The Black Dwarf.
His corn's a' caff.
"I'll lay my lugs that's the true reason, and brawly does he ken his corn's a' caff, or he wadna keep the sack mouth tied, and try to put us aff wi' bletheration."
His e'ening sang and his morning sang are no baith alike.
His eggs hae a' twa yolks.
His geese are a' swans.
Or, his stories are all of a Munchausen order, told more for the sake of effect than of truth.
His head will never fill his faither's bonnet.
His head's in a creel.
"My senses wad be in a creel, Should I but dare a hope to speel Wi' Allan, or wi' Gilbertfield, The braes o' fame; Or Ferguson, the writer chiel, A deathless name."—Burns.
His heart's in his hose.
His meal's a' daigh.
His purse and his palate are ill met.
As the first is light, while the second is heavy.
His room's better than his company.
His tongue's nae slander.
For his bad character or motives are so well known that none would believe him were he to speak ill of a person.
His wame thinks his wizen's cut.
This humorous saying is expressive of the most extreme hunger, when the belly has come to the conclusion that the throat has been cut, and all further supply of food stopped.
His wit gat wings and would hae flown, but pinchin' poortith pu'd him down.
Honest men marry soon, wise men never.
Honesty hauds lang the gate.
To "haud the gate" is to "maintain the even tenor of your way."
Honesty may be dear bought, but can ne'er be an ill pennyworth.
Honesty's the best policy.
Honours change manners.
Hooly and fairly gangs far in a day.
"Working constantly, though soberly (slowly), will despatch a great deal of business."—Kelly.
Hooly and fairly men ride far journeys.
Hope hauds up the head.
Hope is sawin' while death is mawin'.
Hope weel and hae weel.
Horns an' grey hair dinna aye come o' years.
Horses are gude o' a' hues.
"A good horse ne'er had a bad colour."—English.
Hotter war sooner peace.