Pride comes before a fall.
This proverb seems to have changed to pride goes before a fall.
In the Bible it is longer: Proverbs Chapter 16 verse 18 (NIV) Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
This is a common experience. Just as you think, “I’m doing rather well here”, something starts to go wrong.
I’ll tan your hide.
When I was a child, adults were allowed to hit their children to punish them for wrong-doing. Tanning is the process by which animal skins are turned into leather. And hide is another word for skin.
I’ll cut off your leg and stick it back on with jam.
I never could understand why anyone would say this to a child. But they did!
You’ll be shot at dawn.
Another empty threat. Although being shot at dawn had been a punishment in the not so distant past.
You’ll come to a sticky end.
This sounds like a threat, but it is more of a warning that you are doing something dangerous.
There’ll be tears before bedtime.
When children are over-excited late in the day, it often ends in tears.
You’ll come to your bread and butter or is it cake and milk?
I think this means coming to your senses and appreciating the essential things in life. Do you have a better interpretation?
You children need a squib behind you.
A squib is a small firework. We heard this when we were not getting ready as quickly as a friend’s mother would have liked.
You’ll be for the high jump.
This is another threat of punishment. I thought high jump was a form of athletics, but this sounds more like having to walk the plank!
You’ve made your bed, now you’ll have to sleep in it.
I’m not sure that this one really belongs in the threats and promises section; it is about living with the consequences of your decisions.
You’ll have to face the music.
If you’ve done something wrong, you are likely to be told off at the very least.
It won’t seem so bad in the light of day.
At last I’ve come to a promise. This one is reassurance to someone who is upset about something. Things always seem worse in the middle of the night.
I’ll put the fear of God into you.
As a child I found this rather disconcerting. Was God watching everything I did wrong and getting ready to punish me? Now I believe that what is meant here is a God-fearing attitude. It can turn what sounds like a threat into a promise. Proverbs Chapter 1 verse 7 (NIV) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.