proverbs run in pairs

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Proverb[edit]

proverbs run in pairs

  1. Every proverb seems to be contradicted by another proverb with an opposed message, such as "too many cooks spoil the broth" and "many hands make light work."
    • 1863, Sir Richard Burton, Abeokuta and the Camaroons Mountains, vol. 1, Tinsley (London), p. 309:
      Moreover, all the world over, proverbs run in pairs, and pull both ways: for the most part one neutralizes, by contradiction, the other.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Of the many forms which this expression takes, no one appears to be particularly dominant.