Careful Words

give (n.)

give (v.)

give (adj.)

'T is a little thing

To give a cup of water; yet its draught

Of cool refreshment, drained by fevered lips,

May give a shock of pleasure to the frame

More exquisite than when nectarean juice

Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.

Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854): Ion. Act i. Sc. 2.

Weave the warp, and weave the woof,

The winding-sheet of Edward's race.

Give ample room and verge enough

The characters of hell to trace.

Thomas Gray (1716-1771): The Bard. II. 1, Line 1.

The Proverbes of John Heywood is the earliest collection of English colloquial sayings. It was first printed in 1546. The title of the edition of 1562 is, John Heywoodes Woorkes. A Dialogue conteyning the number of the effectuall proverbes in the English tounge, compact in a matter concernynge two maner of Maryages, etc. The selection here given is from the edition of 1874 (a reprint of 1598), edited by Julian Sharman.


Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,

Bear 't that the opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,

But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;

For the apparel oft proclaims the man.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.

  The horseleech hath two daughters, crying, Give, give.

Old Testament: Proverbs xxx. 15.

An old man, broken with the storms of state,

Is come to lay his weary bones among ye:

Give him a little earth for charity!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry VIII. Act iv. Sc. 2.

By flatterers besieg'd,

And so obliging that he ne'er oblig'd;

Like Cato, give his little senate laws,

And sit attentive to his own applause.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Prologue to the Satires. Line 207.

A brave man struggling in the storms of fate,

And greatly falling with a falling state.

While Cato gives his little senate laws,

What bosom beats not in his country's cause?

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Prologue to Mr. Addison's Cato.

Give thy thoughts no tongue.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.

Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe

When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;

Like other charmers, wooing the caress

More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;

Yet thy true lovers more admire by far

Thy naked beauties—give me a cigar!

Lord Byron 1788-1824: The Island. Canto ii. Stanza 19.

Give me a look, give me a face,

That makes simplicity a grace;

Robes loosely flowing, hair as free,—

Such sweet neglect more taketh me

Than all the adulteries of art:

They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

Ben Jonson (1573-1637): Epicoene; Or, the Silent Woman. Act i. Sc. 1.

Give me again my hollow tree,

A crust of bread, and liberty.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace. Satire vi. Book ii. Line 220.

Give me another horse: bind up my wounds.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Richard III. Act v. Sc. 3.

Maid of Athens, ere we part,

Give, oh give me back my heart!

Lord Byron 1788-1824: Maid of Athens.

  Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry (1736-1799): Speech in the Virginia Convention. March, 1775.

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!

I am so weary of toil and of tears,—

Toil without recompense, tears all in vain!

Take them, and give me my childhood again!

Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832-1911): Rock me to sleep.

Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.

They are not a pipe for fortune's finger

To sound what stop she please. Give me that man

That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him

In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,

As I do thee.—Something too much of this.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.

A narrow compass! and yet there

Dwelt all that's good, and all that's fair;

Give me but what this riband bound,

Take all the rest the sun goes round.

Edmund Waller (1605-1687): On a Girdle.

  It is more blessed to give than to receive.

New Testament: Acts xx. 35.

  Give me neither poverty nor riches.

Old Testament: Proverbs xxx. 8.

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak

Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Macbeth. Act iv. Sc. 3.

He will give the devil his due.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry IV. Part I. Act i. Sc. 2.

Go, Soul, the body's guest,

Upon a thankless arrant:

Fear not to touch the best,

The truth shall be thy warrant:

Go, since I needs must die,

And give the world the lie.

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618): The Lie.

I give thee all,—I can no more,

Though poor the off'ring be;

My heart and lute are all the store

That I can bring to thee.

Thomas Moore (1779-1852): My Heart and Lute.

I give thee sixpence! I will see thee damned first.

George Canning (1770-1827): The Friend of Humanity and the Knife-Grinder.

Give thy thoughts no tongue.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act i. Sc. 3.

They please, are pleas'd; they give to get esteem,

Till seeming blest, they grow to what they seem.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): The Traveller. Line 266.

Give what thou canst, without Thee we are poor;

And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away.

William Cowper (1731-1800): The Task. Book v. The Winter Morning Walk. Line 905.