A collection of quotes and proverbs about rice, maize, wheat and other cereals.

For a collection of Dutch proverbs about cereals, see: granen.

A blind crow may sometimes find a grain of wheat.

A cough will stick longer by a horse than a peck of oats.

A horse that will not carry a saddle must have no oats.

A hungry hen sees herself in a wheat silo.

A hungry man is glad to get boiled wheat.

A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.

Anne Bronte

A pig used to dirt turns its nose up at rice.

An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff.

A.E. Stevenson

And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.

Exodus 9:31.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.


Ants can attack with a grain of rice.


Apple blossoms are beautiful, but rice dumplings are better.

Asses carry the oats and horses eat them.

Barren corn makes bitter bread.

Better than a banquet somewhere else is a good cup of tea and a bowl of rice at home.

But what is the chaff to the wheat?

Cold tea and cold rice are bearable, but cold looks and cold words are not.

Japanese proverb

Corn is a greedy crop, as farmers will tell you.

Michael Pollan

Cornstarch is used in the manufacture of soda pop, chewing gum, ice cream, peanut butter, library paste, ketchup, automobile paint, embalming fluid, gunpowder, insecticides, deodorants, soap, potato chips, surgical dressings, nail polish, foot powder, salad dressing, and several hundred things more.

At Home
Bill Bryson

Drive the horse with oats, not with curses and oaths.

Even a blind dove finds a grain of wheat at times.

Even though you tread slowly over your rice field it will become muddy.

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.

Dwight David Eisenhower

For rice cakes, go to the rice-cake maker.

Give an ass oats and he runs after thistles.

God gives the wheat, He doesn’t bake the bread.

Good corn is not reaped from a bad field.

Green maize abounds at the houses of those without teeth.

Growing rice gives you more than poetry will.

He knows how many grains to a bushel of wheat.

He that will have a cake out of the wheat must tarry the grinding.

He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

He’s sowing his wild oats.

If in February there be no rain, ’tis neither good for hay nor grain.

If the brain sows not corn, it plants thistles.

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.

If you borrow some chaff from the rich man you have to repay him with wheat.

If you cure a monkey of its tooth ache its your maize farm that suffers.

If you plant rice, rice will grow. If you plant fear, fear will grow.

Kung Fu

If you wish to make an impact for one year, plant corn; if you wish to make an impact for a generation, plant a tree; if you wish to make an impact for an eternity, educate a child.

In Britain corn has meant any grain since the time of the Anglo-Saxons. It also came to signify any small round object, which explains the corns on your feet. Corned beef is so called because originally it was cured in kernels of salt. Because of the importance of maize in America, the word corn became attached to maize exclusively in the early eighteenth century.

At Home
Bill Bryson

In the age of acorns, before the times of Ceres, a single barley-corn had been of more value to mankind than all the diamonds of the mines of India.

Henry Brooke

It is a poor horse that is not worth his oats.

It is in the eyes of a lazy man that maize will ripen.

It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats.

It is safe to lend barley to him who has oats.

It’s a very proud horse that will not carry his oats.

Let him who dreads the sparrows sow no oats.

Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth.


Maize cannot get justice in a chicken’s court.

Measure the corn of others with your own bushel.

Most of us spend the first six days of each week sowing wild oats; then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.

Fred Allen

Never thrust your sickle into another’s corn.

Not all the baboons that enter a maize field come out satisfied.

Oat bread to-day is better than cake to-morrow.

Of course, we are happy to receive this aid, but at the same time, we are trading our dignity for 5 kilograms of sorghum, … The Fulani man has never counted on anybody for assistance, just Mother Nature.

Amadou Doutchi

One bee makes no honey; one grain makes no rice soup.

Out of the thirty thousand types of edible plants thought to exist on Earth, just eleven – corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, cassava, sorghum, millet, beans, barley, rye, and oats – account for 93 percent of all that humans eat, and every one of them was first cultivated by our Neolithic ancestors.

At Home
Bill Bryson

Plant a kernel of wheat and you reap a pint; plant a pint and you reap a bushel.

Anthony Norvell

Praise the ripe field not the green corn.

Talk doesn’t cook rice.

The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows the more lowly he bends his head.

A.B. Guthrie

The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.

Mark 4:28

The first time I tried organic wheat bread, I thought I was chewing on roofing material.

Robin Willams

The heaviest ear of corn bends its head lowest.

Then plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.

Benjamin Franklin

There is no wheat without chaff.

Two caterpillars are conversing and a beautiful butterfly floats by. One caterpillar turns and says to the other: ‘You’ll never see me flying like one of those butterflies.’

Very good corn grows in little fields.

We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari

Wheat stalks heavy with grain learn how to bow their heads.

When arguing with a chicken a grain of corn is always wrong.

When planning for a year, plant maize. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.

When you can’t get bread, oat-cakes are not amiss.

Who sows barley cannot reap wheat.

Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together.

Jonathan Swift

Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.

Without sowing a single wheat you would not harvest thousand ones.

You can never sow rice and expect to harvest maize.

You can’t eat the rice cake in the picture.

You have to separate the chaff from the wheat.


If you are interested in information about cereals you will also like the World Crops Database.