What is the difference between proverbs and sayings

What is the difference between proverbs and sayings
What is the difference between proverbs and sayings

Proverbs and sayings - these two words somehow always go hand in hand, as if the meaning in them is the same and in themselves they are already a proverb. Or a proverb? Is this so and what is the difference between proverbs and sayings, we will find out in this article.


The proverb refers to small forms of folklore that carry a complete thought, folk wisdom, dressed in a short but very capacious phrase. It happens that the sayings of great people are called proverbs. However, this is not entirely true, because a proverb is not just a clever thought of one person, but the experience of several generations brought together and dressed in a concise conclusion.

difference between proverbs and sayings

The proverb is also an example of a small form of folk art and reflects individual phenomena of life. This phrase carries an emotional load rather than any deep worldly experience. The main difference between proverbs and sayings is that a proverb never tries to convey a thought that would express an indisputable truth.

Already from this it can be understood that proverbs and sayings are absolutelysayings that are different in meaning and form, and yet something unites them.

History of occurrence

Each of us had to hear a variety of examples of folk art in childhood. Most often, they are so applicable to everyday life that it never occurs to anyone to wonder where small folklore forms came from and what actually proverbs and sayings could originally mean. The meaning and difference of these sayings is much deeper than it seems at first glance.

difference between proverbs and sayings examples

In ancient times, when there were no schools and teachers, ordinary people passed on the experience of generations by word of mouth. This way of learning is called "folklore". Much later, oral folk art began to be divided into categories: this is a fairy tale, but here it is a joke. And here is the proverb! And here what?.. And such a phenomenon is present in absolutely all cultures and languages ​​of the world.

As a rule, proverbs and sayings do not remember who composed them: one flew out, the other picked up - and the expression became winged. But there are also author's aphorisms that have become truly popular. Only sayings can become copyrighted. Author's proverbs are called aphorisms. As a rule, these are lines from fables or fairy tales. So, for example, the phrase “with a broken trough” from “The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish” by A.S. became a saying. Pushkin.


The style of presentation is an important difference between proverbs and sayings. Most often, the proverb is endowed with rhythm and rhyme. The meaning contained in this saying combines the vitalexperience, ideas about the world and one's place in the world, common truths and rules that are not questioned. Often, nothing is more capable of expressing the essence of what is happening than the proverb: “Make a fool pray to God, he will hurt his forehead.”

proverbs and sayings differences and similarities

Most often a proverb consists of two parts, thus building a logically complete thought. And this is another obvious difference between a proverb and a saying. Examples of proverbs: “What is the priest, such is the parish”, “What you sow, you will reap”. And this is what the sayings look like: “be patient - fall in love”, “cheese-boron”, “easier than a steamed turnip.”


It is often quite difficult to find the difference between a proverb and a saying. Examples are obvious: "radish horseradish is not sweeter." The expression is short, it is always used very emotionally, it can be used inside a sentence. And yet it contains the main difference between proverbs and sayings - a complete and completely independent thought.

Sayings are usually too short to rhyme, but rhythm is sometimes present. This is especially noticeable when a part of a poetic text or even a proverb becomes a saying. The main task of the saying is to enhance the emotional effect of what was said. Sayings find their place within the whole sentence and are almost never independent.

Proverbs and sayings. Differences and Similarities

proverbs and sayings meaning and difference
  1. Proverb and saying are small forms of folklore, expressed in simplevernacular.
  2. A proverb can be used as an independent form of expressing the main idea, a saying serves only as a decoration or a capacious addition to speech.
  3. The meaning of a proverb always remains the same and expresses an indisputable fact. The meaning of the saying may change depending on the context.
  4. Proverbs have a clear rhythm, and most often rhyme. Sayings are too small to rhyme.
  5. Proverbs always refer to forms of folk art, the author's proverb is called an aphorism. Sayings can be both folk and come out of the author's work.

The allegorical manner of transmission allows small folklore forms, having passed through the thickness of centuries, to remain relevant to this day. That is why proverbs and sayings unite generations, helping them to better understand each other. So, it is not so important whether there are any boundaries and differences between them. The main thing is that small folklore forms, in spite of everything, preserve the culture.

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