Proverbs, Sayings, Riddles and Quotations

Proverbs, saying and riddles express a truth based on common sense and are used throughout the world.  Because everything depends on water, they use water to teach a truth. The importance of water flow becomes clear in our language and sayings.

The following list shows several sayings which use water. These proverbs that include references to different forms of water describe both good and bad situations.


  • Water can do without fishes, fishes cannot do without water. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Flowing water never gets dirty. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • The fool is thirsty in the midst of water. ~ (Ethiopian Proverb)
  • When you drink the water, remember the spring. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Why jump in the water before the ship turns over. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • With water make rivers, with rice make armies. ~ (Cambodian Proverb)
  • A coward sweats in water. ~ (Ethiopian Proverb)
  • When men are friendly the water is sweet. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Proverb Water and words are easy to pour but impossible to recover. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • In shallow waters, shrimps make fools of dragons. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • The remedy for dirt is soap and water. The remedy for dying is living. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • For the sake of the rose the thorn is watered too. ~ (African Proverb)
  • Water can wear away even the hardest rock.~ (Burmese Proverb)
  • The water in which one drowns is always an ocean. ~ (Armenian Proverb)
  • It is too late to learn to swim when the water is up to your lips. ~ (Danish Proverb)
  • On a rainy day many offer to water the chickens. ~ (Armenian Proverb)
  • For people who love even water is sweet. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Fire, water and government know nothing of mercy. ~ (Albanian Proverbs)
  • Well water is not an enemy of spring water. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • The water that a ship sails on is the same water that swallows it up. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Muddied water does not reflect. ~ (French Proverb)
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. ~ (English Proverb)
  • Good words cool more than cold water. ~ (English Proverb)
  • Water that has reached its level does not flow. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • He who travels over land has to drink enough water. ~ Chilean Proverb
  • Water always finds a way out. ~ (Cameroonian Proverb)
  • Only in water can you learn to swim.~ (Czechoslovakian Proverb)
  • When someone gives you a drop of water reward him with a never ending source. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Wood may remain ten years in the water, but it will never become a crocodile. ~ (Congolese Proverb)
  • We never know the worth of water until the well is dry.~ (English Proverb)
  • When the water falls the stone becomes visible. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • When it rains, collect the water.~ (Burmese Proverb)
  • If the seawater were hotter we could catch boiled fish. ~ French Proverb Still waters run deep. ~ (English Proverb)
  • Don’t sign a paper without reading it, or drink water without seeing it.~ (Spanish Proverbs)
  • To give counsel to a fool is like throwing water on a goose. ~ (Danish Proverb)
  • Boil the water and the scum will rise to the top. ~ (Berber Proverb)
  • Don’t throw away dirty water before you have more clean water. ~ (Danish Proverb)
  • Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine. ~ (Slovakian Proverb)
  • You cannot turn blood into water. ~ (Albanian Proverb)
  • Taking water from the same well doesn’t make all the wives’ gravy taste good. ~ (Ivorian Proverb)
  • A fool and water will go the way they are directed. ~ (Ethiopian Proverb)
  • To ask a favor from a miser is like trying to make a hole in water. ~ (Armenian Proverbs)
  • Foul water will quench fire. ~ (English Proverbs)
  • With true friends . . . even water drunk together is sweet enough. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • Water from far away is no good for a fire close by. ~ (Chinese Proverb)
  • When the water rises, the fish eat the ants; when the water falls, the ants eat the fish.~ (Lao Proverb)
  • Everyone tries to make the water flow to his mill. ~ (Corsican Proverb)
  • All water flows into the ocean or into the purse of the rich. ~ (Danish Proverbs)
  • Prepare yourself for when the water comes up to your knees. ~ (Congolese Proverb)
  • “Rain does not fall on one roof alone” (Cameroon Proverb)
  • “Every peasant is proud of the pond in his village because from it he measures the sea” (Russian Proverb)
  • “No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see” (Taoist Proverb)
  • You draw water to your own mill” (Saying)
  • “It is wise to bring some water when one goes to look for water” (Arab Proverb)
  • “A little water is a sea to an ant” (Afghan Proverb)
  • “What kind of bank needs no Money”?. A riverbank (Riddle)
  • “Water is the only drink for a wise man” (Saying)
  • “One would like to eat fish, but would not like to get into the water” (Russian Proverb)
  • “Filthy water cannot be washed”. (West African Proverb)
  • “To lose oneself in a glass of water” (Saying)
    “A waster of water is a water of better” (Old Irish Adagio)
  • “To feel oneself like a fish out of water” (Saying)
  • “When you drink the water, remember the spring” (Chinese Proverb)
  • “Flowing water never goes bad; our doorways never gather termites” (Chinese Proverb)
  • “No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see” (Taoist Proverb)
  • “Blood is thicker than water” ( German Proverb)
  • “Don´t throw away the old bucket until you know  whether the new one holds water” (Swedish Proverb)
  • “Do not bathe if there is no water” (Shan Proverb)
  • “A little rain each day will fill the rivers to overflowing” (Liberian Proverb)
  •  “What comes with the wind will go with the water”. (Gaelic proverb)
  • “Pure water is the world´s first and foremost medicine” ( Slovakian Proverb)
  •  “Don´t  empty the water jar until the rain falls” (Philippine Proverb)
  • “If a crocodile deserts the water, he will find himself on a spear” (African Proverb)
  • “Be on your guard against a silent dog and still water”.(Latin Proverb)
  • “No matter how high a bird flies, it has to come down for water. (American Proverb)
  •  “A beautiful woman who is pleasing to men is good only for frightening fish when she falls into the water”. (Zen Proverb)
  • “Who digs many wells doesn’t get sweet water in all of them”. (Swedish Proverb )
  • “A  scalded cat from cold water runs”. (Spanish Proverb)
  • “A cat likes to eat fresh fish but it will not go into the water”. (Mongolian Proverb)
  • “Water which is too pure has no fish”. (Afghan Proverb)
  • “Only a fool tests the depth of the waterwith both feet” (African Proverb).
  •  “In troubled waters there’s good fishing” (Russian Proverb)
  • “A mill cannot grind with water that is past”. (American proverb)


  • “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives” (American Indian Saying)
  • “Like swift water, an active mind never stagnates” (Saying)
  • “To make a hole into the water” (Saying)
  • ”It is raining cats and dogs” (Saying)
  • “Still waters run deep” (Saying)


  • “What lives in winter, dies in summer and grows up with its root upward”?.  An Icicle ( Riddle)
  • “What runs but never gets tired?. Water” (Riddle)
  • “What three letters mean “stiff water“?. Ice (Riddle)
  • “What runs but never gets tired?. Water from a tap or a river (Riddle)
  • “What runs and has no feet, roars but has no mouth?”.The sea (Riddle)
  • “I have seas without water,
    I have forests without wood ,
    I have deserts without sand ,
    I have houses with no brick” . What am I? . A map ( Riddle)


  • I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man. ~ Henry David Thoreau
  • Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.~ Mark Twain
  • There is no small pleasure in sweet water. ~ Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
  • This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can’t see how deep it is. ~ Dennis Rodman
  • The people are like water and the ruler a boat. Water can support a boat or overturn it. ~ Li Shimim
  • But I do see the good side of water now. How good it is when you’re really thirsty, how it glitters and gurgles! How alive it is! ~ G.K. Chesterton
  • I love the sounds and the power of pounding water, whether it is the waves or a waterfall. ~ Mike May
  • Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. ~ Lao Tzu
  • We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~ Thomas Fuller
  • Expect poison from standing water.~ William Blake
  • The earth requires the use of its two-thirds water to keep its face clean. ~James Lendall Basford
  • If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. ~ Loren Eiseley
  •  “There are four brothers in this world that were all born together. The first runs and never wearies. The second eats and is never full. The third drinks and is always thirsty. The fourth sings a song that is never good”.  Water, fire, earth, wind.  (Riddle)nk needs no money?
  •  “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” (saying)