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Title: A Collection of Scotch Proverbs

Author: Pappity Stampoy

Author of introduction, etc.: Archer Taylor

Release date: December 1, 2004 [eBook #7018]
Most recently updated: July 3, 2013

Language: English

Credits: Text file produced by Susan Skinner, David Starner and the Online
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HTML file produced by David Widger



By Anonymous

Collected by Pappity Stampoy


With an Introduction by Archer Taylor

  RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan
  RALPH COHEN, University of California, Los Angeles
  VINTON A. DEARING, University of California, Los Angeles
  LAWRENCE CLARK POWELL, Clark Memorial Library
  W. EARL BRITTON, University of Michigan
  EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington
  BENJAMIN BOYCE, Duke University
  LOUIS BREDVOLD, University of Michigan
  JOHN BUTT, King's College, University of Durham
  JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia  University
  ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago
  EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles
  LOUIS A. LANDA, Princeton University
  SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota
  ERNEST C. MOSSNER, University of Texas
  JAMES SUTHERLAND, University College; London
  H. T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles
  EDNA C. DAVIS, Clark Memorial Library




























In his collection of Scottish proverbs from literary texts written before 1600 Bartlett Jere Whiting has laid a solid foundation for the investigation of early Scottish proverbs and has promised a survey of later collections. 1 The following brief remarks are not intended to anticipate his survey but rather to suggest the place of this particular collection in the historical development and to point out the questions that it raises. Before 1600 men in Scotland had begun to make collections of proverbs. A manuscript collection made by Archbishop James Beaton (1517-1603) seems to have disappeared, but may survive in a form disguised beyond all chance of recognition. Although editions of it published in 1610, 1614, and "divers other Years" with "Mr. Fergusson's Additions" have been reported, no copies of them have been found. 2 "Mr. Fergusson" is no doubt David Fergusson (ca. 1525-1598), whose Scottish Proverbs was published at Edinburgh in 1641. 3 This collection presumably includes the earlier gatherings by Beaton and Fergusson, but is arranged in a rough alphabetical order that makes it impossible to recognize its possible sources. According to Beveridge, it contains 911 proverbs.4 A new edition of 1659 and the subsequent editions down to and including that of 1716 announced themselves as Nine hundred and fourty Scottish Proverbs.

In the edition of 1667, according to Beveridge, "The proverbs are numbered to 945; but no doubt there are omissions, as in ... 1692." The edition of 1692 also runs to 945, "with 14 numbers omitted and one number duplicated," making a total of 932, and in the edition of 1706 "a fifteenth number is omitted." 5 No information about the editions of 1709 and 1716 is available. The edition of 1799 was reduced to 577 items.

Two manuscripts that were probably written in the first half of the seventeenth century belong to the tradition represented by Fergusson's collection but differ more or less widely from it in ways that require further study. Beveridge, who prints one of these manuscripts in its entirety, conjectures that it may "be a much extended version founded upon a manuscript copy of [the edition of 1641], no doubt made before the year 1598, when Fergusson's collection had presumably been completed" (p. xvi). However this may be, it contains 1656 proverbs with repetitions and changes in alphabetization that make it difficult to determine what has been added or perhaps omitted. In preparing Beveridge's materials for publication, Bruce Dickins came upon a second "roughly contemporary" manuscript containing an unspecified number of proverbs (pp. 126-127). It contains some texts found in both the first manuscript and the book of 1641 and some entirely new texts, and agrees in one instance with the book against the manuscript and in another with the manuscript against the book. Since only twelve proverbs from this second manuscript are in print, any inferences about relationships are risky.

The successful career of Fergusson's collection or the manuscripts from which it was derived extended even farther than a share in the collections already mentioned. In four collections which remain to be discussed we can reckon with a close direct or indirect connection with Fergusson's printed text. John Ray printed Fergusson's collection in a partially anglicized form with minor changes and additions of uncertain origin in A Collection of English Proverbs (London, 1670). This book became, after several editions, the foundation of the standard modern collections. Except for anglicization, "D" in Ray, and Fergusson, 1641, agree exactly even to tearm [term] in "Dead and marriage make tearm-day." Variations not found in the edition of 1641 like reply for plie [plea] in "Na plie is best" and churn for kirne in "Na man can seek his marrow in the kirne, sa weill as hee that has been in it himself" suggest that Ray may have been following a later edition than that of 1641. According to Beveridge (p. xvi), Fergusson's collection also appears in A Select Collection of Scots Poems, Chiefly in the Broad Buchan Dialect (Edinburgh, 1777, 1785). The two editions are the same, except that that of 1777 has no publisher's name and that of 1785 was issued by T. Ruddiman and Co. The proverbs come at the end and are paged separately.

Finally, Fergusson's collection was the source of both this collection bearing the mysterious name Pappity Stampoy and a derivative of it, but again with some modifications. Since all the variations except the Latin parallel texts that are, according to Beveridge (pp. xxxvii-xxxix), characteristic of the edition of Fergusson published in 1692 are present in Pappity Stampoy, these variations must have been introduced into one or both of the editions of 1649 and 1659. With such information as is at present available it is impossible to determine whether Pappity Stampoy's rare additions were his own or were also derived, as seems probable, from an edition of Fergusson. Such proverbs as "Drunken wife gat ay the drunken penny" (Pappity Stampoy, p. 17), "Eat and drink measurely, and defie the mediciners" (p. 18), and "Put your hand into the creel, and you will get either an adder, or an Eele" (p. 43) do not appear in the 1641 edition, but may be present in a later one. In any event, The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs vouches for the currency of the last two proverbs in the sixteenth century. Pappity Stampoy may have followed his source in rejecting the "Proverbiale speeches" (Beveridge, pp. 46-50) or may have discarded them on his own responsibility. As F. P. Wilson points out, he showed ingenuity of a sort. "The thief jumbles the order of the first 81 proverbs given in Fergusson under the letter A; then, having put his reader off the scent, he gives the remaining proverbs under this letter in Fergusson's order. Under another letter he may give a run of proverbs in reverse order." 6

Pappity Stampoy, who was scarcely an honorable man, soon got a Roland for his Oliver. As Wilson says, the Adagia Scotica or a Collection of Scotch Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, Collected by R. B. Very Usefull and Delightfull (London: Nathaniel Brooke, 1668) "Turns out to be a page-for-page reprint ... provided with a new title and the initials of a new collector in order (is it unjust to say?) to deceive customers."

Apart from its rarity, Pappity Stampoy's little book has both a curious interest and a value of its own. Bibliographers have failed to decipher the pseudonym, or to identify the printer. Some lucky chance may supply the answers to these questions. The collection has some value to a student of proverbs for a few scantily recorded texts that have presumably been taken from the 1659 edition of Fergusson. Although they do not appear in the old standard collections made by Bohn, Apperson, and Hazlitt, Morris P. Tilley, who has used R. B.'s collection, has found and pinned them down. More interesting and important than such details about the recording of proverbs is the publication of Pappity Stampoy's book in London. It is therefore an early instance of English interest in Scottish proverbs. R. B.'s plagiarism of 1668 is in the same tradition, and so also is John Bay's publication of Scottish proverbs in 1670. A selection of 126 Scottish proverbs, which like the others appears to have been derived from Fergusson, may be found in the anonymous Select Proverbs, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Scotish, British &c. (London, 1707), which is credited to John Mapletoft. It was reprinted with a slight variation in title in 1710. F. P. Wilson notes an even better example of English interest than these in "[James] Kelly's excellent collection of 1721 [which] was published in London and was specially designed for English readers."

Archer Taylor

University of California


Note: The copy here reproduced is in the possession of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.


1 (return)
[ "Proverbs and Proverbial Sayings from Scottish Writings Before 1600," Mediaeval Studies, XI (1949), 123-205, XII (1951). 87-164.]

2 (return)
[ Erskine Beveridge, Fergusson's Scottish Proverbs From the Original Print of 1641 Together with a larger Manuscript Collection of about the same period hitherto unpublished, Scottish Text Society, 15 (Edinburgh, 1924), p. ix. John Maxwell's collection made between 1584 and 1589 was compiled from books; see B. J. Whiting, "John Maxwell's 'Sum Reasownes and Prowerbes,'" Modern Language Notes, LXIII (1948), 534-536.]

3 (return)
[ The spelling Fergusson seems preferable. Donald Wing, Short-Title Catalogue (3 v., New York, 1945-1951), II, 47, F 767-770 prints "Ferguson" but alphabetizes it as "Fergusson." He reports locations for the editions of 1641, 1659, and 1667. Beveridge reports an edition in the British Museum which lacks the titlepage but may be the edition of 1675 and editions of 1692, 1706, and 1799. He reproduces the titlepage of the edition of 1667 and the first page. It shows variations in spelling but not in text. Beveridge cites no locations for the editions of 1649, 1699, 1709, and 1716.]

4 (return)
[ It contains at least 912 proverbs, for there is an error in numbering at No. 686. I have not tested the numbers throughout.]

5 (return)
[ For the details see Beveridge, pp. xxxvii-xxxix.]

6 (return)
[ "English Dictionaries and Dictionaries of Proverbs," The Library, 4th. Series, XXV (1945-1946), 50-71, especially p. 66.]


Collected by Pappity Stampoy.



A Fair Bride is soon buskt, and a short Horse is soon wispt.

A friends Dinner is soon dight.

All is not in hand that helps.

All the Keys of the Countrey hangs not at one Belt.

An ill Cook would have a good Cleaver.

As good haud, as draw.

As the old Cock craws, the young Cock lears.

All fails that fools thinks.

A blyth heart makes a blomand visage.

A gentle Horse would not be over fair spur'd.

A still Sow eats all the Draff.

All things hath a beginning, God excepted.

A blind man should not judge of colours.

A good fellow tint never, but at an ill fellows hand.

All the Corn in the Country is not shorn by the Kempers.

A good beginning makes a good ending.

As many heads as many wits.

A black shoe makes a blythe heart.

A Vaunter and a Lyar is both one thing.

A dum man wan never land.

And old hound bytes fair.

A sloathfull man is a Beggers brother.

As soon comes the Lamb-skin to the market as the old Sheeps.

At open doors Dogs come in.

An hungry man sees far.

All is not tint that is in peril.

As the Sow fills the Draff fowres.

A good asker should have a good nay-say.

A good ruser was never a good rider.

A Lyar should have a good memory.

Ane Begger is wae, another by the gate gae.

A wight man never wanted a weapon.

A half-penny Cat may look to the King.

As fair greits the bairn that is dung after noon, as he that is dung before noon.

An oleit Mother makes a fweir Daughter.

A borrowed len should come laughing ahme.

As long runs the Fox as he hath feet.

A proud heart in a poor breast, has meikle dolour to dree.

A teem purse makes a bleat merchant.

Ane year a Nurish, seven years a Daw.

Ane ill word begets another, and it were at at the Bridge at London.

A Wool-seller kens a Wool-buyer.

Auld men are twice bairns.

All fellows, Jock and the Laird.

A hasty man never wanted woe.

A silly bairn is eith to lear.

As good merchant tines as wins.

A racklesse hussy makes mony thieves.

A hungry lowse bites fair.

Anes pay it never crave it.

A fools bolt is soon shot.

Anes wood, never wise, ay the worse.

As the Carle riches he wretches.

An ill life, an ill end.

A Skabbed Horse is good enough for a skald Squire.

A given Horse should not be lookt in the teeth.

An old seck craves meikle clouting.

A travelled man hath leave to lye.

A fool when he hes spoken, hes all done.

A man that is warned, is half-armed.

A mirk mirrour is a mans mind.

A full heart lied never.

A good Cow may have an ill Calf.

A dum man holds all.

A Cock is crouse upon his own midding.

A greedy man God hates.

As fair fights Wrans as Cranes.

A skade mans head is soon broke.

A yeeld Sow was never good to gryses.

An unhappy mans Cairt is eith to tumble.

As meikle upwith, as meikle downwith.

A new Bissom sweeps clean.

A skabbed sheep syles ail the flock.

A tarrowing bairn was never fat.

A tratler is worse then a thief.

An ill shearer gat never a good hook.

A burnt bairn fire dreads.

All the speed is in the spurs.

A word before is worth two behinde.

An ill win penny will cast down a pound.

An old seck is ay skailing.

A fair fire makes a room flet.

An old Knave is na bairn.

A good yeoman makes a good woman.

A man hath no more good then he hath good of.

A fool may give a wise man a counsell.

A man may speir the gate to Rome.

As long fives the merry-man, as the wretch for all the craft he can.

All wald have all, all wald forgive.

Ane may lead a Horse to the water, but four and twenty cannot gar him drink.

A bleat Cat makes a proud Mouse.

An ill-willy Cow should have short horns.

A good piece steil is worth a penny.

A shored Tree stands long.

A gloved Cat was never a good Hunter.

A gangan foot is ay getting, and it were but a thorn.

All is not gold that glitters.

Ane Swallow makes no summer.

A man may spit on his hand, and doe full ill.

An ill servant will never be a good maister.

An hired Horse tired never.

All the winning is in the first buying.

An unch is a feast, (of Bread and Cheese.)

An Horse may snapper on four feet.

All things wytes that well not fares.

All things thrive but thrice.

Absence is a shro.

Auld sin, new shame.

A man cannot thrive except his wife let him.

A bairn must creep ere he gang.

As long as ye bear the tod, ye man bear up his tail.

All overs are ill but over the water.

A man may wooe where he will, but wed where is his weard.

A mean pot plaid never even.

Among twenty four fools not ane wise man.

Ane mans meat is another mans poyson.

A fool will not give his Bauble for the Tower of London.

A foul foot makes a son wemb.

A man is a Lyon in his own cause.

A hearty hand to give a hungry meltith.

A cumbersome Cur in company is hated for his miscarriage.

A poor man is fain of little.

An answer in a word.

A bettlesie brain cannot lye.

A yule feast may be quit at Pasch.

A good dog never barkt but a bene.

A full seck will take a clout on the side.

An ill hound comes halting home.

All things helps quoth the Wran, when she pisht in the Sea.

All cracks, all beares.

All Houndlesse man comes to the best Hunting.

All things hes an end, a Pudding hes twa.

All is well that ends well.

As good hads the stirep as he that loups on.

A begun work is half ended.

A Scots man is ay wife behind band.

A new tout in all old horn.

A broken a Ship hes come to land.

As the fool thinks ay the bell clinks.

A man may see his friend need, but will not see him bleed.

A friend is not known but in need.

A friend in Court is worth a penny in purse.

All things are good unseyed.

A good Goose indeed, but she hes an ill gansell.

All are not maidens that wears bare hair.

A Mach and a Horshoe are both alike.

Airly crooks the Tree that good Lammock should be.

An ounce of mother-wit, is worth a pound of clergie.

An inch of a nag is worth a span of an aver.

A good word is as soon said as an ill.

A spoon full of skytter spills a pot full of skins.


Better give nor take.

Better lang little, then soon right nought.

Better hand loose, nor bound to an ill baikine.

Better late thrive then never.

Buy when I bid you.

Better sit idle then work for nought.

Better learn by your neighbors skaith nor by your own.

Better half an egge, nor teem doup.

Better apple given nor eaten.

Better a Dog faun nor bark on you.

Boden gear stinks.

Bourd neither with me, nor with my Honour.

Betwixt twae stools the arse falls down.

Better bide the Cooks nor the Mediciners.

Better bairns greit, nor bearded men.

Better saucht with little aucht, nor care with many cow.

Better two skaiths, nor ane sorrow.

Bring a Cow to the Hall, and she will run to the byre again.

Better bow nor break.

Bear wealth, poverty will bear itself.

Better a wit cost, nor two for nought.

Better good sale, nor good Ale.

Better wooe over midding, nor over mosse.

Better happy to court, nor good service.

Blaw the wind nere so saft, it will lowen at the last.

Better be happy nor wise.

Binde fast, finde fast.

Better plays a full wemb nor a new coat.

Better say, Here it is, nor, Here it was.

Better auld debts nor auld sairs.

Bourd not with Bawty, fear lest he bite ye.

Better a fowl in hand nor twa flying.

Better rew sit, nor rew flie.

Better spare at the breird nor at the bottome.

Better finger off, nor ay warking.

Bind the seck ere it be full.

Better be well loved, nor ill won geir.

Better a clout nor a hole out.

Better no ring, nor the ring of a rash.

Butter and burn-trouts gar maidens f—— the wind.

Better held out nor put out.

Better have a Mouse in the pot as no flesh.

Better sit stil, nor rise and get a fall.

Better leave nor want.

Better buy as borrow.

Better be dead as out of the fashion.

Better unborn nor untaught.

Better be envied nor pittied.

Better a little fire that warms, nor a meikle that burns.

Be the same thing that thou wald be cald.

Better a laying Hen nor a lyin Crown.

Bannaks is better nor na kind of bread.

Black will be no other Hue.

Beauty but bounty avails nought.

Bairns mother burst never.

Breads House skiald never.

Biting and scarting is Scots folks Wooing.

Beware of Had I wist.

Better be alone nor in ill company.

Better a chigging mother, nor a riding father.

Better never begun nor never endit.

Bonie silver is soon spendit.

Before I wein, and now I wat.


Curtesie is cumbersom to them that kens it not.

Come it aire, come it late, in May comes the Cow-quake.

Court to the Town, and whore to the window.

Calk is na sheares.

Clap a carle on the culs, and he will shit in your louf.

Cadgers speaks of lead saddles.

Changing of works is lighting of hearts.

Charge your friend ere you need.

Cats eats that Hussies spares.

Cast not forth the old water while the new come in.

Cease your snow balls casting.

Crabbit was, and cause had.

Comparisons are odious.

Cold cools the love that kindles over hot.

Cut duels in every Town.

Condition makes, and condition breakes.

Come not to the councell uncalled.


Dead and marriage makes Term-day.

Do weil and have weil.

Do as ye wald be done to.

Do in Hill, as ye wald do in Hall.

Dame dein warily.

Dummie cannot lie.

Draff is good enough for Swine.

Dead at the one door, and heirship at the other.

Do well, and doubt no man; and do weil, and doubt all men.

Do the likeliest, and God will do the best.

Drunken wife gat ay the drunken penny.

Drink and drouth comes sindle together.

Dead men bites not.

Daffing dow nothing.

Dogs will red swine.

Drive out the inch as thou hast done the span.

Dirt parts company.


Every man can rule an ill wife, but he that hes Her.

Eaten meat is good to pay.

Eild wald have Honour.

Evening Orts is good morning-fother.

Every man wisheth the water to his own milne.

Early maister, lang knave.

Every land hes his lauch, and every corne hes the caff.

Eat and drink measurely, and defie the mediciners.

Every man for Himself, quoth the mertine.

Efter delay comes a Let.

Efter long mint, never dint.

Every man slams the fat sows Arse.

Experience may teach a fool.

Every man wats best where his own shoe binds him.

Efter word comes weard.


Foul water slokens fire.

Fools are fain of flitting.

Falshood made never a fair Hinder-end.

Far fowls have fair feathers.

Follie is a bonny Dog.

Fair heights makes fools fain.

Freedome is a fair thing.

For a tint thing care not.

Fool hast is no speed.

For fault of wise men fools sits on binks.

Forbid a fool a thing, and that he will do.

Fools set far trystes.

For love of the Nuris, many kisses the Bairn.

Fair words brake never bane, foul words many ane.

Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.

Fools are fain of right nought.

Far fought, and dear bought, is good for Ladies.

Follow love, and it will flee from thee; leave it, and it will follow thee.

Fill fow, and had fow, makes a starke man.

Fools should have no chappin sticks.

Fidlers, dogs and flies, come to the feast uncalled.

Fire is good for the farcy.

Few words sufficeth to a wise man.

Friendship stands not in One side.


Give never the Wolf the Wedder to keep.

Gods help is nearer nor the fair even.

Good wine needs not a wisp.

Grace is best for the man.

Goe shoe the Geese.

Giff, gaff, makes good friends.

Good chear, and good cheap, garres many haunt the House.

God sends men cold, as they have clothes to.

Good-will should be tane in part of payment.

God sends never the mouth, but the meat with it.

Girne when you knit, and laugh when ye loose.

Go to the Devil for Gods-sake.

God sends meat, and the Devil sends Cooks.


Had-I-fish, was never good with Garlick.

He that is welcome fares well.

He that spends his geir on a whore, hes both shame and skaith.

Hunger is good Kitchir-meat.

He mon have leave to speak that cannot had his tongue.

He that is far from his geir, is near his skaith.

He that lippens to bon plows, his land will ly ley.

He rides sicker that fell never.

Help thy self, and God will help thee.

He that will not hear motherhead, shall hear stepmotherhead.

He that crabs without cause, should mease without mends.

He that spares to speak, spares to speed.

He that may not do as he would, mon do as he may.

He is well easit that hes ought of his own, when others go to meat.

He that does ill hates the light.

He that speaks the things he should not, hears the things he would not.

He that is evil deem'd is half hang'd.

He that tholes, overcomes.

He rises over early that is hangit ere noon.

He that forsakes missour, missour forsake him.

Half a tale is enough to a wise man.

He that hews over hie, the spail will fall into his eye.

He that eats while he lasts, will be the war while he die.

He is a weak Horse that may not bear the Saddle.

He that borrows and bigs; makes feasts and thigs; drinks and is not dry; these three are not thrifty.

He is a proud Tod that will not scrape his own Hole.

He is wise, when he is well can had him sa.

He is poor that God Hates.

He is wise, that is ware in time.

He is wise who can make a friend of a foe.

Hair, and hair, makes the Carles head bare.

Hear all parties.

He that is red for windlestraws, should not sleep in lees.

He that is fraid of a far—should never hear thunder.

He is not the fool that the fool is, but he that with the fool deals.

He loves me for little that hates me for nought.

He that hes twa huirds, is able to get the third.

He is a fairy beggar that may not goe by ane mans door.

Hall-binks are fliddery.

He is not the best Wright that hews the maniest speals.

He that evill does, never good weins.

Hoordom and grace, can never bide in one place.

He that counts all costs, will never put plow in the yeard.

He that slayes, shall be slain.

He that is ill of his harbery, is good of his way kenning.

He that will not when he may, shalt not when he wald.

Hanging gangs by hap.

He that comes un-call'd sits un-serv'd.

He was scant of news, that told his father was hang'd.

He that comes first to the hill, may sit where he will.

He that was born to be hang'd will never be drown'd.

He gangs early to steal, that cannot say Na.

He that shames, shall be shemt.

He should wear iron shone, that bides his neighbours deed.

Half a nuch is half sill.

Hunger is hard in a heal man.

He is a fairy Cook, that may not lick his own fingers.

He is good that fail'd never.

He plaints early that plaints on his kail.

He that does his turn in time, sits half idle.

He is twise fain, that sits on a slane.

Hald in geir, helps well.

Hunting, hawking, and paramours, for one joy an hundred displeasures.

He that marries e're he be wise, will die e're he thrive.

He that marries a Daw, eats meikle dirt.

Huly and fair men rides far journeys.

Hast makes wast.

He that looks not e're he loup, will fall e're he wit of himself.

He that counts but his Host, counts twise.

He that hes gold may buy land.

He should have a heal pow, that cals his neighbour nikkynow.

He is worth no weil that may bide no wae.

He that owes the Cow goes nearest her tail.

He should have a long shafted spoon that sups kail with the Devil.

Happy man, happy cavil.

He sits above that deals aikers.

Hame is hamely, though never so seemly.

He hes wit at will, that with angry heart can hold him still.

He that is hated of his subjects, cannot be counted a King.

Hap and an halfpennie is worlds geir enough.

He is fairest dung when his own wand dings him.

He calls me scabbed, because I will not call him skade.

He is blind that eats his marrow, but far blinder that lets him.

Have God and have All.

Honesty is na pride.

He that fishes afore the net, long e're he fish get.

He tint never a Cow, that grat for a needle.

He that hes no geir to tine, hes shins to pine.

Hea, will gar a deaf man hear.

He that takes all his geir fra himself, and gives it to his bairns, it were weil ward to take a mell and knock out his hairns.

He sits full still that hes a riven brick.

He that does bidding, deserves na dinging.

He that blaws best bears away the Horn.

He is well staikit thereben, that will neither borrow, nor len.


Ill weeds waxes weil.

It is ill to bring out of the flesh that is bred in the bene.

It is a fairy brewing that is not good in the newing.

It's tint that is done to old men and bairns.

It is a silly flock where the yow bears the bell.

Ill win, ill warit.

In some mens aught mon the old horse die.

It is a sooth board that men sees wakin.

In space, comes Grace.

It is a sin to lye on the Devil.

It is eith till, that the awn self will.

It is good mows that fills the wemb.

It is na time to stoup when the head is off.

It is fair in the hall, when beards wag all.

It will come in an hour, that will not come in a year.

If thou do no ill, do no ill like.

If he steal not my kail, break not my dike.

If he may spend meikle, put the more to the fire.

If I can get his cart at a Waltar, I shall lend it a put.

If I may not keep geese, I shall keep gesline.

It is kindly that the poke fair of the Herring.

It is eich to cry yule on another man's cost;

Ilk a man as he loves, let him send to the Cooks,

It is eith to swim where the head is hild up.

It is weil warit they have sorrow, that buyes it with their silver.

If ane will not, another will.

It is ill to take a breik off a bare ——

It is dear bought honey that is lickt off a thorn.

If God be with us, who will be against us.

It is weil warit that wasters warn geir.

It is ill to bring but the thing that is not thereben.

It that lies not in your gate, breaks not your shins.

It is na play where ane greits, and another laughs.

If a man knew what would be dear, he would be but Merchant for a year.

It is true that all men sayes.

I have a good bow, but it is in the Castle.

It is hard to fling at the brod, or kick at the prick.

Ilk man mend ane, and all will be mendit.

It is a fairy collop that is tane off a Capon.

Ill bairns are best heard at home.

It is ill to waken sleeping dogs.

Ill herds makes fat wolfes.

It is hard to wive and thrive in a year.

It is good sleeping in a heal skin.

It is not tint that is done to friends.

It is ill to draw a strea before an old Cat.

It is a pain both to pay and pray.

It is good fishing in drumbling waters.

It is little of God's might, to make a poor man a Knight.

It is good baking besides meal.

It is a good Goose that drops ay.

It is not the habit that makes the Monck.

It is not good to want, and to have.

It hes neither ——, nor elbow.

I shall sit on his skirt.

It is a bare Moor that he goes over, and gets not a Cow.

I shall hold his Nose to the Grindstone.

It goes as meiklle in his heart, as in his heel.

It goes in at one ear, and out at the other.

It is na mair pitty to see a Woman greit, nor to see a Goose go barefoot.

It is well said, but who will bell the Cat?

It is short while seen the louse boore the langelt.

I have a sliddery Eel by the tail.

It is as meet as a Sow to bear a Saddle.

It is as meet as a thief for the widdie.

I would I had as meikle pepper as he counts himself worthy Mice dirt.

It will be an ill web to bleitch.

I cannot find you both tails and ears.

It is ill to make a bowing horn of a tods tail.

If ever ye make a lucky pudding, I shall eat the prick.

It that God will give, the Devil cannot reave.

In a good time I speak it, in a better I leave it.

It's a silly pack that may not pay the custom.

I have seen as light a green.

It's a cold coal to blow at.

It is a fair feild where all are dung down.

It's a fair dung bairn that dare not greit.

I wat where my own shoe binds me.

If ye wanted me, and your meat, you would want ane good friend.


Kindnesse lies not ay in ane side of the house.

Kings caff is worth other mens corn.

Kame single, kame fair.

Kings have a long ears.

Kindnesse comes of will.

Kindnesse will creep where it may not gang.

Kail spares bread.

Kindnesse cannot be bought for geir.

Kamesters are ay creeshie.

Knowledge is eith born about.

Kings are out of play.

Kings and Bears oft worries their Keepers.


Laith to bed, laith out of it.

Like draws to like, a skabbed Horse to an old dyke.

Lear young, lear fair,

Little intermitting makes good friends.

Little sayd is soon mended, and a little geir is soon spended.

Long tarrowing takes all the thank away.

Long lean wakes hameald cattell.

Little wit makes meikle travel.

Let them that are cold blow at the coal.

Little may an old Horse do, if he may not neigh.

Love hes no lack.

Long standing, and little offering, makes a poor price.

Leave the Court, ere the Court leave thee.

Long ere you cut Falkland-wood with a Pen-knife.

Light supper makes long life.

Liked geir is half bought.

Lucke and bone voyage.

Like to die mends not the Kirkyard.

Lordships changes manners.

Let him drink as he hes browen.

Light winning makes a heavy purse.

Likely lies in the mire, and unlikely goes by it.

Live, and let live.

Love me, love my dog.

Laugh, and lay down again.

Livelesse, faultlesse.

Laith to the drink, laith fra it.

Last in bed, best heard.

Lightly comes, lightly goes.

Lads will be men.

Lata is long and dreigh.

Little wars an ill hussie what a dinner holds in.

Lips go, laps go, he that eats, let him pay.

Let alone makes many lurden.

Little kens the wife that sits by the fire, how the wind blows cold in hurle-burle swyre.

Little troubles the eye, but far lesse the soul.

Love me little, and love me long.


Many do lack, that yet would fain have in their pack.

Many smalls makes a great.

Measure, is Treasure.

Mint, ere ye strike.

Many irons in the fire, pare must cool.

Men may buy Gold over dear.

Many speaks of Robin Hood, that never shot in his Bow.

Maidens should be meek while they be married.

Many purses holds friends together.

Misterfull folk must not be mensfull.

Meat makes, and clothes shapes, but manners makes a man.

Many hands makes light work.

Meat is good, but Mense is better.

Make not twa mewes of ane daughter.

Many maisters, quoth the Poddock to the Harrow, when every tind took her a knock.

Meat and Masse, never hindred man.

Maistery mowes the Meadows down.

March Whisquer was never a good Fisher.

Mister makes men of craft.

Make no balks of good beerland.

Mickle Water runs, where the Miller sleeps.

Many brings the rake, but few the shovel.

Meikle must a good heart thole.

Many man makes an errand to the hall to bid the Lady good-day.

Many cares for meal that has baken bread enough.

Make not meikle of little.

Meikle spoken, part must spill.

Many tines the half-mark whinger for the half-penny whang.

Messengers should neither be headed nor hanged.

Meikle has, would ay have more.

Men are blind in their own cause.

Musle not the Oxens mouth.

Many words would have meikle drink.

Many man speirs the gate he kens full well.

Man propones, but God dispones.

Millers take ay the best Multar with their own Hand.

Many man serves a thanklesse master.

Mustard after meat.

Many words fills not the furlot.

Meikle Head, little Wit.

Many Aunts, many Eames, many kin, and few friends.

Mends is worth misdeeds.

Men goes over the dike at the laichest.

Might oftentimes overcomes right.


Neirest the King, neirest the Widdie.

No man can play the fool so well as the wise man.

No plea is best.

Nature passes Nurture.

New Lords, new Laws.

Neirest the heart, neirest the mouth.

Na man can both sup and blow together.

Nothing comes sooner to light, than that which is long hid.

Nothing enters a close Hand.

Neir is the Kirtle, but neirer is the Sark.

Need hes no law.

No man may puind for unkindnesse.

Neirest to the Kirk, farthest fra God.

Need makes Virtue.

Never rade, never fell.

Nothing is difficile to a weill willed man.

Need gars naked men run, and sorrow gars Websters spin.

No man can seek his marrow in the Kirn, so weil as he that hes bin in it himself.

No man makes his own hap.

No penny, no pardon.


Of the Earth mon the dike be biggit.

Of other mens leather, men take large whangs.

Over hot, over cold.

Of two ills choose the least.

Over meikle of any thing is good for nothing.

Of ane ill comes many.

Of enough, men leave.

Over high, over laigh.

Of need make Virtue.

Over fast, over loose.

Of all War, Peace is the final end.

Over great familiarity genders despight.

Of ill Debtois men takes Oattes.

Over jolly dow not.

Oft counting makes good friends.

Of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Over narrow counting culzies no kindnesse.

Out of sight, out of langer.


Put twa half-pennies in a purse, and they will draw together.

Put not your hand betwixt the rind and the Tree.

Pith is good in all Playes.

Penny wise, pound fool.

Puddings and Paramours would be hotly handled.

Poverty parts good company, and is an enemy to vertue.

Put a begger on horseback, and he will ride fast, or else break his neck.

Preists and Doves, make foul houses.

Painters and Poets may have leave to lie.

Put your hand no farther nor your sleeve may reek.

Plenty, is na Dainty.

Pride and sweirnesse would have meikle upholding.

Patience perforce.

Poor men are fain of little thing.

Poor men (they say) have no souls.

Possession is worth an ill chartour.

Play with your peers.

Pride will have a fall.

Provision in season makes a rich meason.

Peter in, and Paul out.

Put that in the next few.

Put your hand into the creel, and you will get either an adder, or an Eele.


Quhat better is the house that the Daw rises in the morning.

Quha may wooe, but Cost?

Quhen the well is full, it will run over.

Quhair the Deer is slain, some bloud will lie.

Quhom God will help, no man can hinder.

Quhen the eye sees not, the heart rewes not.

Quhen friends meets, hearts warms.

Quhen I am dead, make me a caddel.

Quhair the Pig breaks, let the shels lie.

Quhiles the hawk hes, and whiles he hunger hes.

Quha may hold that will away?

Quhen wine is in, wits out.

Quhair stands your great horse?

Quhen a man is full of lust, his wemb is full of leasing.

Quhen the good-wife is fra hame, the keys are tint.

Quhen the Steed is stoon, steik the stable-door.

Quhen Taylours are true, there is little good to shew.

Quhiles thou, whiles I, soe goes the Baillerie.

Quhen the craw flees, her tail follows.

Quhen thy neighbours house is on fire, take tent to thy own.

Quhen the good-man is fra hame, the board-cloth is tint.

Quhen the iron is hot, it is time to strike.

Quhen the Play is best, it is best to lear.

Quhen all men speaks, no man hears.

Quhen the Tod preaches, beware of the hens.

Quhen the belly is full the bones would be at rest.

Quhen the cup is fullest, bear it evenest.

Qhuen thieves reckons, leal men comes to their geir.


Ryme spares no man.

Ruse the fair day at even.

Rhue and time, grows both in ane garden.

Reason band the man.

Rome was not bigged on the first Day.

Racklesse youth makes a goustie Age.

Reavers should not be rewers.

Rule youth well, and eild will rule it fell.

Ruse the Ford, as ye find it.


Scots-men reckon ay fra an ill hour.

Send, and fetch.

Sairy be your meil-poke, and ay your nieve in the nook on't.

Sike Priest, sike Offering.

Swear by your brunt shins.

Seying goes good cheap.

She that takes gifts her self, she sels; and she that gives, does nought else.

She is a sairy mouse, that hes but one Hole.

Shod in the cradle, bair-foot in the Stubble.

Spit on the Stane, and it will be wet at the last.

Sike lippes, sike Latace.

Soon gotten, soon spended.

Saw thin, and maw thin.

Speir at Jock-thief my marrow, if I be a leal man.

Seldom rides, tynes the spurres.

She's a foul bird that syles her own nest.

Sike man, sike master.

Seil comes not while sorrow be gone.

Sooth bourd is na bourd.

Sike a man as thou would be, draw thee to sike company.

Seldom lies the Devil dead by the dike side.

Sike father, sike son.

Soft fire makes sweet malt.

Sturt payes na Debt.

Self do, self ha.

Surfeit slayes mae nor the sword,

Shame shall fall them that shame thinks, to do themselves a good turn.

Shew me the man, and I will shew you the Law.

Seek your sauce where you get your Ale.

Shro the ghuest the house is the war of.

Sokeing sale is best.

Send him to the sea and he will not get water.

Shame is past the shad of your haire.

She hath past the discipline of a Tavern.

Sain you will fra the Devil, and the Lairds bairns.

Small winning makes a heavy purse.

Sike answer as a man gives, sike will he get.

Soon ripe, soon rotten.


Two Wolves may worry ane Sheep.

There is remead for all things but starke dead.

There is little to the rake to get after the beisome.

There came never ill of good Advisement.

There was never a Cake, but it had a make.

There is no friend, to a friend in mister.

Take time while time is, for time will away.

Tide and time, bides na man.

Time tries the truth.

The mair haste, the war speed.

The tree falls not at the first strake.

Thou wilt get no more of the cat, but the skin.

There are many sooth words spoken in bourding.

There is na thief without a Resetter.

There is many a fair thing full false.

There is na man so deaf as he that will not hear.

There was never a fair word in flyting.

The mouth that lyes, slayes the foul.

Trot mother, trot father, how should the foal amble?

They were never fain that fidgit.

Two fools in ane house, is over many.

The day hes eyne, the night hes ears.

The more ye tramp in a ——- it grows the broader.

That which hussies spares, Cats eat.

The weakest goes to the walls.

There is no medicine for fear.

Touch a gall'd Horse on the back and he will fling.

There is no fool to an old fool.

There is none without a fault.

The longer we live, the more farlies we see.

They are welcome that brings.

Twa Daughters, and a back-door, are three stark thieves.

The Piper wants meikle, that wants the nether chafts.

There came never a large Fart forth of a Wrans ———-.

Teem bags rattles.

The thing that is fristed, is not forgiven.

Take part of the pelf when the pack is a dealing.

Tread on a Worm and she will stir her tail.

They are lightly herrite, that hes all their awn.

The Craw thinks her awn Bird fairest.

They buy good cheap that brings nothing hame.

Thraw the wand while it is green.

The Sowter's wife is worst shod.

They will know by an half-penny if a Preist will take offering.

The worst world that ever was, some man wan.

The Tailours wife is worst clad.

Take him up there with his five Egges, and four of them rotten.

Thy tongue is no slander.

This bolt came never out of your bag.

There is little sap in dry peis hools.

Tarrowing bairns were never fat.

The mother of mischief is na mair nor a midgewing.

The higher up, the greater fall.

There are many fair words in the marriage making, but few in the tochergood paying.

True love kythes in time of need.

There is nothing mair precious nor time.

The mair cost, the mair honour.

The lesse play the better.

They that speirs meikle will get wot of part.

There is meikle between word and deed.

There are mae wayes to the wood nor ane.

The blind Horse is hardiest.

The mae the merrier, the fewer the better cheer.

They are good willy of their Horse that hes none.

Three may keep counsel if twa be away.

They put at the Cairt, that is ay gangan.

Twa wits is better nor ane.

They laugh ay that wins.

There are mae maidens, nor maukin.

They mense little the mouth, that bites off the nose.

There is nothing so crouse, as a new washen louse.

They are as wife, as speir not.

This world will not last ay.

Twa hungry meltithes makes the third a glutton.

The grace of God is geir enough.

Thou shouldst not tell thy foe when thy foot sleeps.

The greatest Clerks are not the wisest men.

There belongs mair to a bed nor four bare leggs.

They had never an ill day, that had a good evening.

There is meikle hid meat in a Goose eye.

Take a man by his word, and a Cow by her horn.

The shots overgoes the old swine.

Touch me not on the fair heel.

The Malt is above the Meal.

There is a dog in the well.

Thy Thumb is under my Belt.

The goose-pan is above the roast.

The next time ye dance, wit whom ye take by the hand.


Use your friend as ye would have him.

Unskilfull mediciners, and horse-marshels slayes, both man and beast.

Use makes perfectnesse.


Well done, soon done.

Wonder lasts but nine nights in a Town.

We have a craw to pluck.

Whatrax my Jo, I ken your coptan.

Wrang hes no warrand.

Wont beguil'd the Lady.

Wit in a poor mans head, and mosse in a mountain, avails nothing.

Weil is that weil does.

Well good-mother-daughter.

Whatrax of the seed, where the frendship dow not.

Wood in wildernesse, & strength in a fool.

Weapons bodes peace.

Wiles help weak folk.

Waken not sleeping dogs.

Women and bairns keep counsell of that they ken not.

We hounds flew the Hare, quoth the messoun.

Wishers and woulders are poor householders.

Weil worth aw, that gars the plough draw.

Words are but winde, but dunts are the Devill.

With empty hand no man should hawks allure.

Wark bears witnesse who weil does.

Wrang hearing makes wrang rehearsing.

Wealth gars wit waver.

Weil bides, weil betides.

Wrong count is no payment.


Ye should be a King of your word.

Your winning is no my tinsel.

Ye may puind for debt, but not for unkindnesse.

Ye learn your Father to get bairns.

Ye will break your crag as soon as your fast in his house.

Ye ride a bootlesse errand.

Ye may not sit in Rome, and strive with the Pope.

Ye seek grace at a gracelesse face.

Ye strive against the stream.

Ye drive a Snail to Rome.

Youth never casts for peril.

Ye seek hot water under cold ice.

Ye breed of the cat, ye would fain have fish, but ye have na will to wet your feet.

Youth and age will never agree.

Ye will get war bodes ere Beltan.

Ye breed of the gouk, ye have not a rime but ane.

Ye may drink of the burn, but not bite of the brae.

Ye cannot make a silk purse of a sows lug.

Ye have a face to God, and another to the Devil.

Ye breed of the Millers dog, ye lick your lips ere the poke be open.

Ye would doe little for God, and the Devil were dead.

Ye have a ready mouth for a ripe cherry.