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A quiet word is a wise word

Traditional wisdom in the Marches is often contained in pithy, short phrases full of meaning that contain practical advice. These proverbs are often admonitions or advice. There are many more of these than any one person could hope to collect.

Widespread sayings include:

  • Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones. People should take pride in what they do, but be loyal to their nation, rather than taking a pride in their nation's achievements but being loyal to themselves.
  • When a dog barks, you don't bark back. Loud, angry words or taunts shouldn't be answered in kind.
  • Sword and shears both cut alike. Soldiers and farmers both do important jobs.
  • Know a body by their March; judge'em by their company. A variant of 'Don't judge a book by its cover'
  • Every wife has two husbands and Every husband two wives. There is a difference between the reality of a person and the way someone talks about them.
  • The best soil is thirsty soil. The best soil is watered with tears, sweat and blood - that it demands and rewards hard work.
  • Good cider takes good apples.
  • Bread without spice is better than spice without bread. Fancy elements and adornments are no match for substance.
  • Sow, tend and reap; fight, toil and weep. The harvest of fighting is sadness
  • War is a thrice-ploughed field. War is hard dirty work that takes a lot of effort to complete.
  • One boy’s a boy, two boys is half a boy and three boys is no boy at all. The more people you have on a job, the slower it goes.
  • Lost time is never found. Wasted time is gone forever.
  • You don't own it unless you can defend it. What someone else can take away from you is not really yours.
  • The answer lies in the soil.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Liars and gossips sleep in the same bed.
  • Nothing dries faster than a tear.
  • Having a beard doesn't make you wise.
  • Easy come, worth less. A Marcher summation of the virtue of Prosperity
  • As easy to escape as a Landskeeper's Oath. Something very hard, if not impossible, to escape from.
  • Like a rake through fallen leaves. A variant of 'Like a hot knife through butter'
  • Only a civil tongue buys cheap apples. Politeness is a useful trait in both trade and diplomacy
  • Hard work wins wars. Marchers sometimes use this proverb to tacitly criticize the Dawnish affection for Glory.
  • Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining. - Don't treat me like I'm stupid.
  • You can't plough a farm in a day. - Things take as long as they take.
  • Plant a grudge in the soil, it will last a lifetime. Set it in stone and it will last forever.
  • A tree is known by its fruit, not by its leaves.
  • A handsome husband is common property.
  • There's two ways to bury a hatchet.
  • The reward for a good job is more work.
  • Constant tapping breaks the stone - Slow and steady wins the race
  • It's easier to look at a hill than to go over it.
  • Fair words won't bury grudges.
  • Only a fool cuts hay in a burning field.

Making Your Own

The easiest way to make your own sayings is simply to adopt one that isn't especially well known in modern times. Many websites exist with lists of folk sayings to help you out. A more ambitious option is to take a more common saying such as "A rolling stone gathers no moss" and give it a Marcher twist.

Some useful websites include American Folksayings, proverbs and maxims;