Mobile Banner


a short, clever saying


aphorism = Lehrspruch, Denkspruch, kurzer Lehrsatz, geistreicher Sinnspruch, treffend formulierter Gedanke



“The APHORISM, a pithy observation which contains a general truth, is alive and well in the digital age. Its brevity, distilled wisdom, and often wit make it perfect for social media.”

Dr Noreen Masud - BBC Sunday Feature

Did you


- a short clever saying that is intended to express a general truth

Cambridge Dictionary


1520s, “concise statement of a principle” (especially in reference to the “Aphorisms of Hippocrates”), from French 'aphorisme', from Late Latin 'aphorismus', from Greek 'aphorismos', meaning ‘definition’.


- Measure twice, cut once.

- East or west, home is best.

- Actions speak louder than words.

- The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

- You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

- To understand how something works, figure out how to break it.

- Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

- If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

- It’s easier to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission.

- The first one who uses “but” has lost the argument.

- If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.


adage, APHORISM, axiom, bon mot, catchphrase, chestnut, cliché, dictum, epigram, epigraph, epithet, folk wisdom, general truth, homily, mantra, maxim, moral, motto, old chestnut, old saying, pearl of wisdom, pithy saying, precept, principle, proverb, quotation, quote, saying, slogan, tenet, trope, truism, turn of phrase, wise saying, witticism, words of wisdom

PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, say something like:

“APHORISMS can be quite useful in conversation, especially when you don’t have much time to think.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

More Word Quizzes: