QuoteProverbs

Insects

The world is full of insects, and full of quotes and proverbs in which insects are mentioned. Enjoy!



Love, which did not prevent me stamping out your Mudblood mother like a cockroach, Potter – and nobody seems to love you enough to run forwards this time, and take my curse.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


“Merry Christmas to you, too,” said Hermione, throwing him his present. “I’ve been up for nearly an hour, adding more lacewings to the potion. It’s ready.”

Hermione
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


“This is the most complicated potion I’ve ever seen.” said Hermione, as they scanned the recipe. “Lacewing flies, leeches, fluxweed and knotgrass,” she murmured, running her fingers down the list of ingredients.

Hermione
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


“You read too much, Hermione,” said Ron, pouring dead lacewings on top of the leeches. He crumpled up the empty lacewing bag and looked round at Harry.

Ron
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


"An' there's no point tryin' ter steal any, Goyle," he added, his beetle-black eyes narrowed.

Hagrid
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


"Bugging," said Hermione happily.

"But you said they didn't work —"

"Oh not electronic bugs," said Hermione.

"No, you see … Rita Skeeter" – Hermione's voice trembled with quiet triumph – "is an unregistered Animagus. She can turn -"
Hermione pulled a small sealed glass jar out of her bag.

"- into a beetle."

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


"Completely lousy," said Ron in a hollow voice, sinking into a chair beside Hermione. She looked up at Ron and her frostiness seemed to melt.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"Don't be stupid," Hermione snapped, starting to pound up her beetles again.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


"Had a good summer so far?"
"No, it's been lousy," said Harry.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"I am here on Dumbledore's orders," said Snape, whose voice, by contrast, was becoming more and more quietly waspish, "but by all means stay, Black, I know you like to feel … involved."

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"I'm rubbish," croaked Ron. "I'm lousy. I can't play to save my life. What was I thinking?"

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"It’s not my own neck I’m saving," said Harry tersely, tugging the trunk over a patch of particularly uneven, moth-eaten carpet right in front of the door.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"Maybe she had you bugged," said Harry. "Bugged?" said Ron blankly. "What put fleas on her or something?"

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


"Oh no," said Umbridge, smiling so widely that she looked as though she had just swallowed a particularly juicy fly. "Oh no, no, no."

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"Ron, we're supposed to show the first years where to go!"

"Oh yeah," said Ron, who had obviously forgotten. "Hey – hey you lot! Midgets!"

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"That was quite good,” Harry lied, but when she raised her eyebrows he said, "Well, no, it was lousy, but I know you can do it properly, I was watching from over there. …"

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"That's it, isn't it, boy? You're on the run from the law!"

"Of course I'm not," said Harry, shaking his head as though to scare off a fly, his mind racing now.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"There's something funny, though," said Hermione ten minutes later, holding her pestle suspended over a bowl of scarab beetles.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


"Well now," she said finally, setting down her quill and looking like a toad about to swallow a particularly juicy fly. "What would you like to drink?"

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
Professor Umbridge


"Who said it was me who made it lousy?" snapped Ron.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


"Yes, these are bowtruckles and, as Miss Granger rightly says, they generally live in trees whose wood is of wand quality. Anybody know what they eat?"

"Wood lice," said Hermione promptly, which explained why what Harry had taken for grains of brown rice were moving.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


‘We have rowed well’ said the flea as the fishing boat arrives at its mooring.

Latvian


– what wouldn't he give to strike now, to jinx Dudley so thoroughly he'd have to crawl home like an insect, struck dumb, sprouting feelers –

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


… it brought thousands of dark-grey and black moths, some nearly as big as your hand, flapping and whirring round their ears.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
About the effect of lighting watch-fires


… leaving a layer of general debris at the bottom – old quills, desiccated beetle eyes, single socks that no longer fitted.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


… they were a kind of "purple emperor", a butterfly that loves the tops of oak-woods, but these were not purple at all, they were a dark dark velvety black without any markings to be seen.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo looking at butterflies



Our head could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now they’re bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
J.K. Rowling


A beard signifies lice, not brains.


A bee in one’s bonnet.

An impulsive, often eccentric turn of mind; a notion.


A bee was never caught in a shower.

English


A beetle is a beauty in the eyes of his mother.


A bell cricket is kept in its cage because of its song.

Japanese


A big black bug bit a black dog on his big black nose.

Tongue twister


A bug.

A fault in a machine (computer)


A closed mouth catches no flies.

French


A coconut shell full of water is a sea to an ant.

Indian


A coconut shell full of water is an ocean to an ant.


A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies.

Guinean


A cunning person’s kiss is like that of a mosquito.

Rumanian


A dead bee will make no honey.

English


A deaf insect hears words in the belly of a bird


A dog in a kennel barks at his fleas; a hunting dog does not feel them.

China


A dog’s fleas are its jewels.

Malta


A drop of honey catches more flies than a hogshead of vinegar.


A fig tree with figs turned out to be a ruin with mosquitoes.

Moroccan


A flea can trouble a lion more than the lion can harm a flea.

Kenya


A flea on top of a bald head.

China


A flea-bitten horse never tires.


A fly can drive away horses.

Greece


A fly does not mind dying in coconut cream.

Africa, Swahili


A fly follows honey.


A fly in the ointment.

A detrimental circumstance or detail; a drawback.


A fly is nothing; yet it creates loathsomeness.

Egypt


A fly may conquer a lion.


A fly on the wall.

A person who watches others without being noticed.


A fly to a fly.

Similar to: Birds of a feather flock together.


A fly will not get into a closed mouth.

Moroccan


A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.

Samuel Johnson


A greasy-haired teenager sat alone in a dark bedroom, pointing his wand at the ceiling, shooting down flies.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


A hive of bees in May is worth a load of hay.


A louse cannot lift the eiderdown.

China


A louse in the cabbage is better than no meat at all.


A louse.

A mean or despicable person.


A moth will eat the finest linen.

Indonesian


A person is not a fly.


A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.

H. L. Mencken


A reasonable amount of fleas is good for a dog. They keep him from broodin’ on being a dog.


A shut mouth catches no flies.


A single finger cannot catch fleas.

Haitian


A social butterfly.

A person interested principally in frivolous pleasure.


A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


A termite can do nothing to a stone but lick it.

Sudanese


A thin woman, heavily draped in shawls and glittering with strings of beads, she always reminded Harry of some kind of insect, with her glasses hugely magnifying her eyes.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
About Professor Trelawney


A wasp stings the crying face.

Japanese


Active people never have louse bites.

China


After 12 years, the old butterflies came back. Well, I guess at my age you call them moths.

Franco Harris


All flying insects that swarm are unclean to you; do not eat them.

Deuteronomy 14
Bible


All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you.

Leviticus 11
Bible


Ambition and fleas jump high.

German


An ant can do more than an ox that is lying down.


An ant guarding a mango.

Used for a boy who is careful not to let other boys near his girlfriend.


An ant hole may collapse an embankment.

Japanese


An ant is over six feet tall when measured by its own foot-rule.

Slovenian


An ant may work its heart out, but it can’t make money.


An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.

Mexican


An ant watching over a bunch of mangoes.

Worrying about something you will not get any benefit from.


An ant’s nest could bring down a hill.

Japanese


An eagle does not catch flies.


An elephant does not feel a flea bite.

English


An elephant may be big, but it falls on its face more often than an ant.


An Englishman will burn his bed to catch a flea.

Turkish


An optimist is one who believes that a fly is looking for a way to get out.


And a locust unto Mahomet said: ‘We are the army of the great God; we produce ninety-nine eggs; if the hundred were completed, we should consume the whole earth and all that is in it.’

Arab legend


And Harry, in spite of himself, took his eyes off the beetle and looked over the top of the reindeer's antlers, listening. … He had never heard Hagrid talk about his childhood before.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


And the LORD did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.

Exodus 8:24
Bible


And the LORD did what Moses asked: The flies left Pharaoh and his officials and his people; not a fly remained.

Exodus 8:31
Bible


And Viktor pulled a beetle out of my hair after we’d had our conversation by the lake.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp’s nest.

Pope Paul VI


Ants can attack with a grain of rice.

Madagascar


Ants die in sugar.

Malawi


Ants follow fat.


Ants live safely till they have gotten wings.


Ants never lend, ants never borrow.


Any spoke will lead the ant to the hub.


Around a flowering tree, there are many insects.


As busy as a bee.


As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

Ecclesiastes 10:1
Bible


As different as an elephant and a mosquito.


As Dr. John Maunder of the British Medical Entomology Centre has put it: "If you wash lousy clothing at low temperatures, all you get is cleaner lice."

John Maunder
At Home
Bill Bryson


As evening drew in and moths began to swoop under the canopy, now lit with floating golden lanterns, the revelry became more and more uncontained.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


As snug as a bug in a rug.

Very snug. Warm and comfortable.


At high tide fish eat ants; at low tide ants eat fish.

Thailand


Aunt Petunia found a few mouldy blankets in the second room and made up a bed for Dudley on the moth-eaten sofa.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
J.K. Rowling


Be thine enemy an ant, see in him an elephant.

Turkish


Bees do not become hornets.

French


Bees that have honey in their mouths have stings in their tails.

English


Beetle away.

Move away quickly


Beetle brain.

Not too clever


Better a handful of bees than a basket full of flies.

Moroccan


Better an ant’s head than a lion’s tail.

Maltese


Better have one bee than a host of flies.

Italian


Better the wolves eat us than the fleas.


Better to be an ant’s head than a lion’s tail.

Armenian


Beware of a man’s shadow and a bee’s sting.

Birma


Big black bugs bleed blue black blood but baby black bugs bleed blue blood.

Tongue twister.


Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite them, and little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.


Big flies break the spider web.

Italian


Bless the flowers and the weeds, my birds and bees.

Unknown source


Both fell backward, Neville's legs waving wildly like an overturned beetle's, Harry with his left arm held up in the air to try and save the small glass ball from being smashed.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


Both the cockroach and the bird would get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most.

Joseph Wood Krutch


Boys avoid the bees that stung’em.

English


Bug-eyed.

With eyes that stick out (e.g. bugeyed with fright)


Bug-hunter.

Entomologist


Bugs are bugs whether they bite or not.


Bugs are not going to inherit the earth. They own it now. So we might as well make peace with the landlord.

T. Eisner


Busy as a bee.

Very busy.


But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land.

Exodus 8:22
Bible


But the eyes that he liked the least were horrible pale bulbous sort of eyes. "Insect eyes," he thought, "not animal eyes, only they are much too big."

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo seeing eyes in the forest


Butterflies are always following me, everywhere I go.

Mariah Carey


Butterflies come to pretty flowers.

Korean


Butterflies forget that they were once caterpillars.

Swedish


Butterflies store no money.


Can’t kill flies with a spear.


Caution is not cowardice; even the ants march armed.

Ugandan


Crime leaves a trail like a water beetle; like a snail, it leaves its silver track; like a horse-mango, it leaves its smell.

Malawi


Determined not to look at Snape, Harry resumed the mashing of his scarab beetles, imagining each one to have Snape's face.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Die like flies.

To die in very large numbers.


Different fields, different grasshoppers; different seas, different fish.

Indonesian


Do not be like the mosquito that bites the owner of the house.

Malawi


Do not compare a fly with an elephant.

Greek


Do not draw your sword to kill a fly.

Korean


Do not flay a flea for hide and tallow.


Do not kill a single wasp; for then a hundred will come to its funeral.


Do not make an elephant out of a fly.

Russian


Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.

China


Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.


Do what we can, summer will have its flies.


Dogs have fleas in order to keep them from thinking about being dogs.


Don’t be such a nit-picker.

Nitpicking = Giving too much attention to unimportant details.


Don’t draw a sword against a louse.

China


Don’t even step on an ant.

Greek


Don’t look for fleas on others to get them on your own head.

Mind your own business.


Don’t strike a flea on a tiger’s head.

China


Don’t throw your blanket in the fire just because it has one flea in it.

Romanian


Don’t try to get blood from a locust; God didn’t put it in there.

African


Dust does not rise because a dog-flea hops.

Myanmar


Dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment.


Eagles don’t catch flies.


Even a flea can bite.


Even a fly has its anger.

Italian


Even a fly has its spleen.

English


Even a lion must defend himself against the flies.


Even a one-inch insect has a five tenths of a soul.

Japanese


Even a one-inch insect has a half-inch soul.


Even an ant can hurt an elephant.


Even caterpillars can fly if they would just lighten up.


Even flies have ears.

Tanzanian


Even good dogs have fleas.

Russian


Even if a chef cooks just a fly, he would keep the breast for himself.

Polish


Even the ant has his bite.

Turkish


Even the lion has to defend himself against flies.

German


Even the sharpest ear cannot hear an ant singing.

Sudanese


Even the wishes of a small ant reach heaven.

Japanese


Every bee’s honey is sweet.

English


Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.

Moroccan


Every flower of the field, every fiber of a plant, every particle of an insect carries with it the impress of its Maker and can—if duly considered—read us lectures of ethics or divinity.

Thomas Pope Blount


Every fly has its shadow.

Portuguese


Every once in a while you come across a farm or some dead little town where the liveliest thing is the flies.

Lost Continent
Bill Bryson


Every ruler sleeps on an anthill.

Afghani


Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.

Drew Barrymore


Everything Harry had learned last year seemed to have leaked out of his head during the summer. he was supposed to be turning a beetle into a button, but all he managed to do was give his beetle a lot of exercise as it scuttle over the desk top avoiding his wand.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.

Brian Jackman


Everything was curved to fit the walls: the stove, the sink and the cupboards, and all of it had been painted with flowers, insects and birds in bright primary colours.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


Female moths are called myths.


Fine fruit will have flies about it.

New England


Fireflies shine only when in motion.


Flea-bite.

Small inconvenience.


Flea-bitten.

Seedy, dilapidated.


Flea-market.

Openair market selling cheap and secondhand goods.


Fleabag.

A seedy, rundown hotel or other lodging place.


Fleapit.

A cheap, squalid theater.


Flies and priests can enter any house.

Russian


Flies are caught more readily with a single drop of honey than with a cask of vinegar.

Turkish


Flies come to feasts unasked.

English


Flies do not swarm on a new pot.

India, Tamil


Flies flock to the lean horse.

Italian


Flies go to lean horses.

English


Flies hunt lean horses.


Flies know well the sweet seller’s beard.

Lebanese


Flies like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

This refers to Mohammad Ali (boxer).


Flies never bother a boiling pot.


Flies swarm where there is honey.

India, Tamil


Flies will easily fly into the honey; their problem is how to get out.


Flies will never leave the shop of a sweet-maker.

Iranian


Flies will not land on a boiling pot.


Flies will tickle lions being dead.

English


Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.

China


Flying termites fly into the fire.

To act on impulse


For an ant to have wings would be his undoing.

Iranian


For every bean full of weevils God supplies a blind grocer.

Arabic


For every grape a hundred wasps.

Persian


Foul-smelling objects swarm with flies.

Japanese


Fowls will not spare a cockroach that falls in their midst.

Nigeria


From the same flower the bee extracts honey and the wasp gall.


Fuming, Harry dragged his trunk back to the foot of his bed, then threw himself facedown upon the moth-eaten covers, his eyes shut, his body heavy and aching.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


Gnat-piss

A very weak or watery drink


Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

Proverbs 6:6
Bible


Go to the ant you sluggard.

Proverbs 6:6
Bible
A warning against laziness.


God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.

The Fly
Ogden Nash


Hagrid's beetle-black eyes looked very anxious under his wild eyebrows.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Happiness is a butterfly.


Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


Harry continued to pound his scarab beetles, even though he had already reduced them to a very fine powder

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Harry had been spraying only a few seconds when a fully grown doxy came soaring out of a fold in the material, shiny beetlelike wings whirring, tiny needle-sharp teeth bared, its fairylike body covered with thick black hair and its four tiny fists clenched with fury.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


Harry realized at once that she was right: He could no sooner have picked the exit from the other doors than located an ant upon the jet-black floor.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


Harry stared at the black inside of the Hat, waiting. Then a small voice said in his ear, “Bee in your bonnet, Harry Potter?”
   “Er, yes,” Harry muttered…

The sorting hat
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


Harry tipped the powdered beetles into his cauldron and started cutting up his ginger roots.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Harry was again reminded forcibly of a large fly perched unwisely on top of an even larger toad.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
About Professor Umbridge


Haste is good only for catching flies.

Russian


Have butterflies in one’s stomach.

To have a nervous feeling in one’s stomach. Being in love.


Have patience, fleas, the night is long!

Nicaragua


He avenged himself on fleas, and burned up his bed.

Yiddish


He beat the creature off with his hands – it was trying to poison him to keep him quiet, as small spiders do to flies – until he remembered his sword and drew it out.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
About Bilbo.


He can see a louse as far away as China but is not aware of an elephant on his nose.

Malawi


He can swallow a camel but chokes on a mosquito.

Lebanese


He could hear an insect humming gently somewhere behind the curtain. His eyelids began to droop.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


He does not harm a fly.

He is kind and gentle


He dreads a moth who has been stung by a wasp.

Albanian


He flies into the flame, the summer insect.

Japan


He keeps hives and hives of great fierce bees, and lives most on cream and honey.

Gandalf
The Hobbit – Chapter 7 – Queer Lodgings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Talking about Beorn


He managed to make a fly zoom straight into his hand, though he wasn't entirely sure that was his prowess at Summoning Charms – perhaps the fly was just stupid.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


He remembered something his grandfather had once told him: that butterflies were a good omen. Like crickets, and like grasshoppers; like lizards and four-leaf clovers.

The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho


He sent swarms of flies that devoured them, and frogs that devastated them.

Psalm 78:45
Bible


He set it down and returned to the hall, and as he did so, he felt his scar pulse angrily, and there flashed across his mind, swift as the reflection of a dragonfly over water, the outline of a building he knew extremely well.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.

Psalm 105:31
Bible


He told them tales of bees and flowers, the ways of trees, and the strange creatures of the Forest, about the evil things and good things, things friendly and things unfriendly, cruel things and kind things, and secrets hidden under brambles.

The Fellowship of the Ring
J. R. R. Tolkien
About Tom Bombadil


He told them tales of bees and flowers, the ways of trees, and the strange creatures of the Forest, about the evil things and the good things, things friendly and things unfriendly, cruel things and kind things, and secrets hidden under brambles.

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien
About Tom Bombadil


He was drawn to her like a moth to a flame.


He was like a fly to her, a fly she was longing to swat; her tail thrashed again, but he was too high to reach n ow… She shot fire into the air, which he dodged. …Her jaws opened wide.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling
Harry is trying to escape from the dragon


He was mad as a hornet.


He was starting to feel nervous, but he knew his butterflies were as nothing to Ron's, who was clutching his stomach and staring straight ahead again, his jaw set and his complexion pale gray.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
Harry is nervous before starting a game of Quidditch


He who cannot pick up an ant, and wants to pick up an elephant will some day see his folly.

African


He who runs from the white ant may stumble upon the stinging ant.

Nigeria


He who storms in like a whirlwind returns like an ant.

Borneo


He who would gather honey must bear the sting of the bees.


He would never hurt a fly.

He is a very gentle person.


He's a boisterous little boy, but he wouldn't hurt a fly!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


He’s an insect.

An insignificant or contemptible person.


He’s like the master bee that leads forth the swarm.

English


Hercule Poirot made vague gestures to rid himself of this human cluster of flies.

Death on the Nile
Agatha Christy


Hermione took the glass jar back from Ron and smiled at the beetle, which buzzed angrily against the glass.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


His cloud of white hair made him look rather like an aged dandelion clock, and was topped by a moth-eaten fez.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.

Ernest Hemingway


His voice cracked with the strain, and they stood looking at each other in the whiteness and the emptiness, and Harry felt they were insignificant as insects beneath the wide sky.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


Honey catches more flies than vinegar.

If you are nice to others you can easily get their cooperation.


How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

Divine Songs
Isaac Watts


However much the beetle is afraid it will not stop the lizard swallowing it.

African


Human knowledge will be erased from the world’s archives before we possess the last word that a gnat has to say to us.

Henri Fabre


Hungry flies bite sore.


I always felt that insects are the general rule, and everything else is a special case.

Paul Bystrak


I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.

Charles Darwin


I detest mosquitoes. One mosquito can keep me 'awaker' than a bad conscience.

Anne
Anne of Windy Poplars
L. M. Montgomery


I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?

Chuang Tsu


I feel lousy.


I have the brain of a dung beetle. It’s full of shit.

Minkukel


I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.

Charles Dickens


I’ll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.

Muhammad Ali


I’ll NEVER be a butterfly; My mother was a moth.


If a bee didn’t have a sting, she couldn’t keep her honey.


If a bee stings you once, it’s the bee’s fault; if a bee stings you twice, it’s your own damn fault.


If a flea had money, it would buy its own dog.

Jamaican


If caterpillars were meant to fly, God would have given them wings.


If chickens were judges, cockroaches would be sentenced.

Jamaican


If only I were a bird! Ah, but eating caterpillars?

Palestinian


If the hill is on fire the grasshoppers are roasted.

Madagascar


If they are offered winged ants, people will eat them.

African


If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full.

South African


If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground where they are.

Exodus 8:21
Bible


If you let the bee be, the bee will let you be.


If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.


If you step on people in this life, you’re going to come back as a cockroach.

Willie Davis


If you think that something small cannot make a difference – try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room.


In a battle between elephants, the ants get squashed.


In a court of fowls, the cockroach never wins his case.

Rwandan


In a garment made of silk there are no fleas.

Estonian


In an ant colony dew is a flood.

Afghan


In every enemy that is an ant, behold an elephant.

Turkish


In every little house there is a little louse.

Polish


In heaven you won’t hear the mosquitoes.

Finnish


In his own nest a beetle is a sultan.

Egyptian


In that day the LORD will whistle for flies from the distant streams of Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria.

Isaiah 7:18
Bible


In the end he poked his head above the roof of leaves, and then he found spiders all right. But they were only small ones of ordinary size, and they were after the butterflies.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
What Bilbo sees after climbing a tree


In the falling darkness Harry saw small collections of lights as they passed over more villages, then a winding road on which a single car was beetling its way home through the hills.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


In the steppe even a beetle is meat.

Russian


In times of emergency the devil eats flies.

German


In watching for the ant, you let the elephant pass unnoticed

Proverb used in India


Insects do not nest in a busy door-hinge.

China


Inside were a few twigs and leaves and one large, fat beetle.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Instead he tried to interest himself in a beetle crawling along the stone reindeer's back, but the beetle just wasn't interesting enough to block out Hagrid's next words.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Into a closed mouth no fly will enter.

Moroccan


Into a shut mouth flies fly not.


It is easier to guard a bushel of fleas than a woman.

German


It is easier to guard a sack full of fleas than a girl in love.

Jewish


It is easier to watch over one hundred fleas than one young girl.

Polish


It is foolish to show glowworms by candle light.

Italian


It is not summer until the crickets sing.

Greek


It was so quiet in there you could have heard a fly fart.

Lost Continent
Bill Bryson


It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.

Rob Gilbert


It’s easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar.


It’s not the fleas of the dog that make the cat meow.

China


It’s not the monkey on top that make a tree fall but it’s the work and effort of numerous small insects and ants.


Its the roving bee that gathers honey.


Kill a small insect to let live a big one.

Japanese


Knee-high to a grasshopper.

A very small child.


Laws are like cobwebs where the small flies are caught and the big ones break through.


Laws catch flies but let hornets go.

English


Laws catch flies, but let hornets go free.

Scottish


Laws catch flies, but let hornets go.


Laws, like the spider’s web, catch the fly and let the hawk go free.

Spanish


Let each person drive away his own wasps.

Japanese


Let every one keep off the flies with his own tail.

Italian


Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.

Isaiah 51:6
Bible


Like a moth in clothing, or a maggot in wood, sorrow gnaws at the human heart.

Proverbs 25: 20
Bible


Like flies on shit.


Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.

Vladimir Nabokov


Louse.

A mean or despicable person.


Lousy with money.

Abundantly supplied with money.


Lousy.

Nasty, unpleasant, inferior, worthless, bad.


Love is like a butterfly, hold it to tight it will crush, hold it to loose, it will fly.


Make yourself all honey and the flies will devour you.

English


Many ants kill a camel.

Turkish


Money begets money, and fleas beget fleas.

Malta


More courtship lives in carrion flies than Romeo.

William Shakespeare. Romeo & Juliet


More flies are caught with a drop of honey than a barrel of vinegar.

Danish


More flies are caught with a spoonful of syrup than a cask of vinegar.

Dutch


More flies are caught with a spoonful of syrup than with a barrel full of vinegar.

Dutch


More flies are caught with honey than with vinegar.

French


Moses answered, ‘As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the flies will leave Pharaoh and his officials and his people.

Exodus 8:29
Bible


Most Internet users seem to have the attention span of grasshoppers

Stephen King


Moth-eaten.

Oldfashioned ; out of date (e.g. motheaten ideas).


Moth

The odour of old age, of dust, of unwashed clothes and stale food intensified as she unwound a moth-eaten, black shawl, revealing a head of scant white hair through which the scalp showed clearly.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


Moths, and all sorts of ugly creatures, hover about a lighted candle. Can the candle help it?

Charles Dickens
Said by Estella in ‘Great Expectations’.


No bees, no honey; no work, no money.


No flies get into a shut mouth.

Spanish


No flies land on a boiling pot.

Spanish


No fly dares to get near a boiling kettle.

Mexican


None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.


Nothing in haste but catching fleas.

Dutch


Nothing should be done in a hurry except catching fleas.


Nothing should be done in haste but gripping a flea.

German


Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest.

Leviticus 11
Bible


Old bees yield no honey.


One bee is as good as a handful of flies.

German


One bee is better than a thousand flies.

Spanish


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


One beetle knows another.

Irish


One beetle recognizes another.

Irish


One can’t give a grasshopper to a child if one has not caught it yet.

Madagascar


One catches more flies with a spoonful of honey than with twenty casks of vinegar.

French


One chafer knows another.

Irish


One dead fly spoils much good ointment.

New England


One finger alone cannot even kill a louse.

Kenyan


One thumb alone does not kill a louse.

Palestinian


One tiny insect may be enough to destroy a country.

Ancient Arabic


Only fleas are to be caught quickly.

Russian


Pansy Parkinson gave a shriek of laughter that turned almost at once into a scream, as the twigs on the table leapt into the air and revealed themselves to be what looked like tiny pixieish creatures made of wood, each with knobbly brown arms and legs, two twiglike fingers at the end of each hand, and a funny, flat, barklike face in which a pair of beetle-brown eyes glittered.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
A description of 'Bowtruckles'


People seek out big shots as flies seek out the elephant’s tail.

Indonesian


Proverbs are like butterflies, some are caught, some fly away.


Put a bug in someone’s ear.

To impart useful information to another in a subtle, discreet way.


Riding an elephant to catch grasshoppers.

Using a sledge hammer to crack a nut


She thinks she’s the bee’s knees.

She has a very high opinion of herself.


She’s cute as a bug’s ear.


She’s got ants in her pants.

A state of restless impatience.


Sit on a wasp’s nest and say ‘God wills it!’.

Lebanese


Small termites collapse the roof.

African


Smiling serenely, Hermione placed the beetle back inside her schoolbag.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Snug as a bug in a rug.

Feeling very comfortable.


Stir up an ant’s nest.


Take not a musket and kill a butterfly.

Don’t use more force than is necessary.


Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.

Bradley Millar


Temple dogs are always looking for a place with no fleas, not realising they are carrying them with them as they go.


Termites live underground.

Ethiopian


The ambitious one makes friends with the elephant, then tramples upon the ant.

Indian


The ant crept forth to her daily toil, the butterfly fluttered and basked in the warm rays of the sun; myriads of insects spread their transparent wings, and revelled in their brief but happy existence. Man walked forth, elated with the scene; and all was brightness and splendour.

The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens


The barmaid was friendly. She wore butterfly glasses and a beehive hairdo.

Lost Continent
Bill Bryson


The bee stays not in a hive that has no honey.

Turkish


The bee that makes the honey doesn’t stand around the hive, and the man who makes the money has to worry, work, and strive.


The bee works all summer and eats honey all winter.


The bee’s knees.

An excellent or the best person or thing.


The bees make honey but cannot eat it; the sea-swallows build nests but cannot live in them.

Vietnamese


The beetle is a beauty in the eyes of its mother.

Arabian, Egyptian


The beetle is a bride in the arms of its mother.

Arabian


The best way to put an end to the bugs is to set fire to the bed.

Mexican


The better the fruit, the more wasps to eat it.

German


The big fish eat the little fish, the little fish eat the water-insects, and the water-insects eat the weeds and mud.

China


The biting fly gets nothing by alighting on the back of the tortoise.

African


The biting fly has no one to come to his aid in trouble.

African


The brave flea dares to eat his breakfast on the lip of a lion.


The busy fly is in every man’s dish.

Spanish


The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

Rabindranath Tagore


The butterfly often forgets it once was a caterpillar.

Swedish


The butterfly that flies among the thorns will tear its wings.

African


The butterfly that settles on a branch is afraid that he will break it.

Armenian


The buzzing of the flies does not turn them into bees.

Georgian


The constant creeping of ants will wear away the stone.


The cricket cries, the year changes.

Cameroonian


The death throes of an elephant are not so annoying as a living flea.

Zanzibar


The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Mark Twain


The dog in the doghouse barks at his fleas, the dog that hunts does not feel them.


The drone bee dies soon after the wedding night.


The dung beetle, seeing its child on the wall, thinks it sees a pearl on a thread.

Arabic


The eagle does not catch flies.

Romanian


The eagle does not feed on flies.

Turkish


The earth does not shake when the flea coughs.

Austrian


The eyeless ant asked God: ‘Give me eye-lashes’.

Georgian


The fangs of the green snake and the sting of a wasp don’t really make poison; that is only to be found in a woman’s heart.

China


The fatter the flea, the leaner the dog.

German


The flight of the eagle will not stop that of the sand fly.

African


The fly does not kill, but it does spoil.

Hebrew


The fly flutters around the candle till at last it gets burnt.

Dutch


The fly flutters around the candle till it gets burnt.

Dutch


The fly has no pity for the thin man.

Congolese


The fly heeds not death; eating is all to him.

African


The fly on the back of a water buffalo thinks that it’s taller than the buffalo.

Filipino


The fly sat upon the axle of the chariot-wheel and said: ‘What a lot of dust I raise!’

Greek


The fly sat upon the axle of the chariot-wheel and said: ‘What a lot of dust I raise!’.


The fly that bites the tortoise breaks its beak.

Italian


The fly that stands on the carabao’s (water buffalo) back thinks that it is taller than the carabao.

Philippines


The hinge of a door is never crowded with insects.

China


The idiot who has his eye on your wife is like a blood sucking fly.

Egyptian


The insect that eats the leaf is under the leaf.


The lean dog is all fleas.


The lepidopterist who records in her notebook that a butterfly is blue may not stop to consider that this is true only because the giant ball of nuclear fuel ninety-three million miles away happens to maintain a surface temperature just right for shedding certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation on the Earth; that the eyes of humans have evolved to be sensitive to those wavelengths; that the eye can discriminate slightly different wavelengths as colours; that one of those colours has, by cultural consensus, been defined as 'blue', and so on. Nevertheless, science benefits from the lepidopterist's note that the butterfly is blue.

Seeing further: the story of science & the Royal Society
Bill Bryson


The light of the firefly is sufficient for itself only.


The little ant at its hole is full of courage.

African


The locust flies with the wings of a falcon.

Saudi Arabian


The locust lives only a little while, but it does great damage.

Rumanian


The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.

Proverbs 30:27
Bible


The loudest bark rids not a dog of his fleas.


The man who has been beaten by a firebrand runs away at the sight of a firefly.


The mantis seizes the locust but does not see the yellow bird behind him.

China


The more hair a dog has, the more fleas he will have.

Netherlands Antillean


The mosquito is more dangerous than the tiger.


The mosquito is small — but when he sings, your ears are full of him.

Mauritius


The mosquito is small, but when he sings, your ears are full of him.


The mosquito is without a soul, but its whizzing vexes the soul.

Turkish


The most fragrant of flowers are eaten by the green-fly.

Malawi


The moth does most mischief to the finest garment.

Italian


The noise of the giant bees flying to and fro and crawling in and out filled all the air.

The Hobbit – Chapter 7 – Queer Lodgings
J.R.R. Tolkien
About Beorn's bee hives


The skinnier the dog, the more fleas he has.

German


The smallest insect may cause death by its bite.


The spider and the fly can’t make a deal.

Jamaican


The spiders web lets the rat escape and catches the fly.

Spanish


The summer insect cannot talk of ice; the frog in the well cannot talk of heaven.

China


The summer insect knows not ice.

Japanese


The sun was shining brilliantly, and it was a long while before he could bear it. When he could, he saw all round him a sea of dark green, ruffled here and there by the breeze; and there were everywhere hundreds of butterflies.

The Hobbit – Chapter 8 – Flies and Spiders
J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo on top of a tree.


The three most difficult to understand; the mind of a woman, the labor of the bees and the ebb and flow of the tide.

Unknown source


The tiny ant dares to enter the lion’s ear.

Armenian


The wise bee does not sip from a flower that has fallen.

China


The world flatters the elephant and tramples on the ant.

Indian


Their mosquito won’t bite me.

Ivory Coast


There are no flies on him.

He is not a fool, he cannot be tricked.


There are rumours about a new Muggle Protection Act – no doubt that flea-bitten, Muggle-loving fool Arthur Weasley is behind it –

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.

Leviticus 11
Bible


There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.

R. Buckminster Fuller


There was a beetle on the statue the night we heard Hagrid telling Madame Maxime about his mum!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


There was a buzzing and a whirring and a droning in the air. Bees were busy everywhere. And such bees! Bilbo had never seen anything like them. … They were bigger than hornets. The drones were bigger than your thumb, a good deal, and the band of yellow on their deep black bodies shone like fiery gold.

The Hobbit – Chapter 7 – Queer Lodgings
J.R.R. Tolkien
About the bees of Beorn.


There were insects, too, hideous crawling things, with eyes that stared upon him, and filled the very air around, glistening horribly amidst the thick darkness of the place.

The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens


There were moths fluttering about, and the light became very dim, for the moon had not risen.

The Hobbit – Chapter 3 – A Short Rest
J.R.R. Tolkien


There’s always a bigger maggot.


These are of no more significance than the scurryings of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements.

Firenze
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


They are flies that are born of a wasp.

Indonesian


They could see the tops of buildings, streams of headlights like luminous insect eyes, squares of pale yellow that were windows.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


Thinking that he should probably wait for Filch to come back, Harry sank into a moth-eaten chair next to the desk.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


Those who sleep with dogs gets up with fleas.

American


Those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas.

Italian


Though your enemy is the size of an ant, look upon him as an elephant.

Danish


Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man, but they don’t bite everybody.

Stanislaw J. Lec


Ticks, bedbugs and a crying child are insupportable.

Lebanese


Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

Groucho Marx


Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.

Jon Lithgow


To a boiling pot flies come not.

English


To a rough approximation and setting aside vertebrate chauvinism, it can be said that essentially all organisms are insects.

R.M. May


To be as small as a vinegar fly and want to shit like an elephant.

Too big for your boots


To bug.

To fit a room or telephone with a hidden microphone. To listen secretly to a conversation. To bother, to say something more than once as a reminder and thereby annoy the listener.


To gag a maggot.

Stink (e.g. a smell that could gag a maggot)


To louse something up.

To spoil or ruin something


To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it.

Herman Melville


To the ant, a few drops of dew is a flood.

Iranian


Twenty cauldrons stood steaming between the wooden desks, on which stood brass scales and jars of ingredients. Snape prowled through the fumes, making waspish remarks about the Gryffindors’ work while the Slytherins sniggered appreciatively.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


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.’


Two fat tears leaked out of Hagrid's beetle-black eyes and fell slowly into his tangled beard.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


Underage wizards weren’t allowed to use magic outside school. Harry hadn’t told the Dursleys this; he knew it was only their terror that he might turn them all into dung beetles that stopped them locking him in the cupboard under the stairs with his wand and broomstick.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling


Unlike the singing cicadas, the silent fireflies burn themselves.

Japanese


Until the crickets sing it is not summer.

Greek


Wasp-tailed.

Very slim


Waspish.

Bad tempered


We are closer to the ants than to the butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure.

Gerald Brenan


We are getting near. We are on the edge of his bee-pastures.

Gandalf
The Hobbit – Chapter 7 – Queer Lodgings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Talking about Beorn


We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.

Charles Darwin


Well, you're the one who's supposed to be researching magical methods of bugging!

Harry Potter
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach


What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach


What the caterpillar calls the end, the butterfly calls the beginning.


When a fly does not get up off a dead body, he is buried with it.

African


When an ant gets wings, it loses its head.

Bosnian


When bees are old they yield no honey.

English


When he had made tea and offered around a plate of doughy cookies, he leaned back in his chair and surveyed Harry closely through his beetle-black eyes.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling


When I have spun the web they may take the flies, but not before.

Sherlock Holmes
The Five Orange Pips
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


When mosquitoes work, they bite and then they sing.

Malian


When she saw Harry, her prominent eyes seemed to bulge excitedly and she made a beeline straight for him.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling


When the ant grows wings it is about to die.

Arabic


When the bee sucks, it makes honey; when the spider, poison.


When the mantis hunts the locust, he forgets the shrike that’s hunting him.

China


When the moth flies around the flame, it burns itself to death.

China


When the water rises the fish eat the ants, when the water falls the ants eat the fish.


When there are lots of insects, look for a good grain year.

Sicily


When they started to shoe the Sultan’s horse, the beetle stretched out its leg.

Arabic


When you go in search of honey, you must expect to be stung by bees.

Joseph Joubert


Whenever I hear of the capture of rare beetles, I feel like an old war-horse at the sound of a trumpet.

Charles Darwin


Where bees are there is honey.

English


Where the sugar is, there will the ant be also.

Philippines


Where there are bees, there is honey.


Where there are dogs there are fleas.

Where there is smoke there is fire


Where there is butter there are flies.

Polish


Where there is sugar, there are bound to be ants.

Malay


While honey lies in every flower, it takes a bee to get the honey out.


Who does not think that his fleas are gazelles?

Arabic


Who play wid de puppy get bit wid de fleas.

British Guiana


With a flea in one’s ear.

With severe and clearly expressed anger and disapproval from somebody; With an annoying hint or a stinging rebuke


With a tiny jerk of the head, Snape seemed to flick off an irksome fly.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling


With honey you can catch more flies than with vinegar.

Yiddish


Women are like wasps in their anger.

English


You are like the butterfly that flies from flower to flower.


You can catch a cricket in your hand but its song is all over the field.

Madagascar


You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.


You can catch more flies with molasses than vinegar.


You can only know the fleas in the bed you have slept in.

African


You can’t have more bed-bugs than a blanket-full.

Spanish


You don't catch people's religions the way you catch their fleas.

The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett


You don’t teach a cricket to jump.


You must lose a fly to catch a trout.

English


Harry stared fixedly at the first question. It was several seconds before it occurred to him that he had not taken in a word of it; there was a wasp buzzing distractingly against one of the high windows. Slowly, tortuously, he began to write an answer.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
During an examination


“That’s her,” he said, pointing at Luna, who was still dancing alone, waving her arms around her head like someone attempting to beat off midges.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling