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A proverb is a simple, concrete, traditional saying that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience. Proverbs are often metaphorical and use formulaic language. Collectively, they form a genre of folklore.
Some proverbs exist in more than one language because people borrow them from languages and cultures similar to theirs. In the West, the Bible and medieval Latin have played a considerable role in distributing proverbs. Not all Biblical proverbs, however, were distributed to the same extent: one scholar has gathered evidence to show that cultures in which the Bible is the "major spiritual book contain between three hundred and five hundred proverbs that stem from the Bible," whereas another shows that, of the 106 most common and widespread proverbs across Europe, eleven are from the Bible. However, almost every culture has its own unique proverbs.