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Difference between Idioms and Proverbs

Idioms and proverbs are often used by us in certain situations. We often tend to give advice to someone through idioms and proverbs. We come across a lot of idioms and proverbs both in Hindi and in English. But many of us do not know the meaning and difference between idioms and proverbs. So, let us begin by understanding the meaning of these two terms.

An idiom is defined as a phrase that comprises of its own meaning. But this meaning cannot be understood in a layman's language.

Idiom has a non-literal meaning. There are around twenty five thousand idioms in English.

On the other hand, a proverb is defined as a short sentence that is usually used to give advice to someone. It is considered as a well-known fact that is prevalent in Indian households.

Idioms vs Proverbs

Now, let us look at some fundamental differences between idioms and proverbs.

1. An idiom is defined as a phrase that contains its own meaning but cannot be understood in layman's language. A proverb is defined as a well-known sentence that is used to give advice to the other person.
2. An idiom has a non-literal meaning used in reading, writing, and speaking. A proverb has a literal meaning that applies in various stages of life.
3. Idioms are majorly used in poetry. Proverbs are used in daily lives.
4. Idioms are used to express an idea or thought. Proverbs are used to give suggestions to other people.

So this is the basic difference between idioms and proverbs. We have seen that proverbs and idioms are often used by our parents and grandparents. Now, let us look at the list of some of the common idioms.

1. A Blessing in Disguise A good thing that we thought is bad at first.
2. Beating around the Bush Avoid saying what one actually means because it is uncomfortable.
3. Better Late Than Never Coming a little late than not to arrive at all.
4. Getting out of hand Things getting out of control.
5. Getting your act together Work hard or better leave.
6. Break a Leg Wishing one Good Luck.
7. Giving the benefit of doubt Trusting someone
8. Miss the boat It's too late
9. No pain, no gain Work hard to get what you want.
10. Pulling someone's leg To make fun of someone.

These are the most widely used English idioms. Now, let us look at the commonly used proverbs in English.

1. A cat has nine lives. A cat can survive many fatal accidents.
2. Actions speak louder than words. Actions are better representative of one's character than words.
3. Adversity and loss make a man wise Wisdom is gained faster under challenging times.
4. A fool and his money are soon parted. Foolish people do not know how to handle their money.
5. A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. No matter how much complicated a task is, it always starts with a single step.
6. All good things come to an end. Good experiences often come to an end.
7. All's well that ends well. As long as the result is good, the number of problems in the way doesn't matter.
8. All that glitters is not gold. Things or people that look good on the outside might not be as valuable or good.
9. All is fair in love and war. One can break the rules in love or war to achieve a good result.
10. Always put your best foot forward. Give your best and try hard as you can.

So, these are commonly used proverbs that we often hear from everyone. There is a never-ending list of these idioms and proverbs, but the ones mentioned above are the most common idioms and proverbs used in English. Well, it is interesting to note that proverbs were written by King Solomon in 700 B.C. Proverbs and idioms are used to indicate a deep sense of thought or emotion. Proverbs are used to give advice to the people. In work environments, idioms and proverbs are used to motivate the employees and create a positive work environment. There are many kinds of proverbs and idioms, like African proverbs and idioms, Chinese proverbs and idioms, French proverbs and idioms, etc.

A proverb is a bit of wisdom provided to people, while an idiom is a phrase that has its own meaning. The meaning that an idiom comprises of cannot be understood by a common man. Both idioms and proverbs have deep and vivid meanings. Both have some basic differences that are already given above. Thus, both idioms and proverbs have different meanings which provide a sense of deep thought and emotion.

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