Why do we say "Two heads are better than one..

Well-Known Expressions

Two heads are better than one.


Having the advice of another person is always helpful.


It seems that this proverb traces back as far as 1390 but is first recorded in John Heywood's Book of Proverbs (1546).

Heywood was an English dramatist employed at the courts of Henry VIII and his daughter Mary I, but when Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1564, Heywood (a Roman Catholic) was forced to flee to Belgium*, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He was important in the development of English comedy, specifically short comic dialogues known as interludes - but is now best remembered for his book of proverbs.

*According to Heywood's biography, 'he fled to Belgium'; but I assume by this the biographer means he fled to the area now known as Belgium, because at the time most of modern day Belgium was part of the The Spanish Netherlands. Belgium did not become a country in its own right until 1830.

Alphabetical list of expressions

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