Irish Proverbs

Irish Proverbs

A bad workman quarrels with his tools.

A cat can look at a king.

A combed head sells the feet.

A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

A glowing gríosach (ember) is easily rekindled.

A good retreat is better than a bad stand.

A heavy purse makes a light heart.

A hen is heavy when carried far.

A light heart lives long.

A lock is better than suspicion.

A man cannot grow rich without his wife’s leave.

A man may live after losing his life but not after losing his honour.

A man without dinner— two for supper.

A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

A silent mouth is melodious.

A silent mouth is sweet to hear

A trade not properly learned is an enemy.

A trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea.

A watched kettle never boils.

A word is more enduring than worldy wealth.

An empty sack does not stand.

An oak is often split by a wedge from its own branch.

An old broom knows the dirty corners best.

As the big hound is, so will the pup be.

As the old cock crows so the young cock learns.

As the old cock crows, the young cock learns.

Be neither intimate nor distant with the clergy.

Beauty won’t make the kettle boil.

Better be sparing at first than at last.

Better fifty enemies outside the house than one within.

Better good manners than good looks.

Better the trouble that follows death than the trouble that follows shame.

Better to be a man of character than a man of means.

Blow not on dead embers.

Both your friend and your enemy think you will never die.

Broken Irish is better than clever English.

Cut your coat according to your cloth.

Dead men tell no tales but there’s many a thing learned in the wake-house.

Do not mistake a goat’s beard for a fine stallion’s tail.

Don’t make little of your dish for it may be an ignorant fellow who judges it.

Don’t show your skin to a person who won’t cover it.

Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord, and it makes you miss him.

Drinking A man takes a drink, the drink takes a drink, the drink takes the man.

Earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.

Enough and no waste is as good as a feast.

Ev’ryone is wise till he speaks.

Even a small thorn causes festering.

Even a tin knocker will shine on a dirty door.

Every branch blossoms according to the root from which it sprung.

Every finger has not the same length, nor every son the same disposition.

Every man’s mind is his kingdom.

Every terrier is bold in the doorway of its own house.

Every tide has an ebb save the tide of graces.

Everyone feels his own wound first.

Face the sun, but turn your back to the storm.

Firelight will not let you to read fine stories but it will warm you and you won’t see the dust on the floor.

Forgetting a debt doesn’t mean it’s paid.

God’s help is nearer than the door.

He who can follow his own will is a king.

He who has water and peat on his own farm has the world his own way.

Honey is sweet, but don’t lick it off a briar.

However long the day, night must fall.

If God sends you down a stony path, may he give you strong shoes.

If it’s drowning you’re after, don’t torment yourself with shallow water.

If you buy what you don’t need you might have to sell what you do.

If you come up in this world be sure not to go down in the next.

If you dig a grave for others you may fall into it yourself.

If you do not sew in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn.

If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.

If you don’t want flour on your clothes, stay out of the mill.

If you move old furniture it may fall to bits.

If you want praise, die. If you want blame, marry.

If your messenger is slow, go to meet him.

Instinct is stronger than upbringing.

Irish Proverbs: Romance & Marriage

It is more difficult to maintain honour than to become prosperous.

It is not the same to go to the king’s house as to come from it.

It is often that a person’s mouth broke his nose.

It is often that a person’s tongue cut his throat.

It is the good horse that draws its own cart

It is the quiet pig that eats the meal.

It’s a dirty bird that won’t keep its own nest clean.

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.

It’s difficult to choose between two blind goats.

It’s easy to halve the potato where there’s love.

It’s no use boiling your cabbage twice.

It’s no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.

It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe.

It’s not a matter of upper and lower class but of being up a while and down a while.

It’s the first drop that destroys you, there’s no harm at all in the last.

Its no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.

Keep your shop and your shop will keep you.

Laziness is a heavy burden.

Let your bargain suit your purpose.

Lie down with dogs and you’ll rise with fleas.

Life is a strange lad.

Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout.

Lose an hour in the morning and you’ll be looking for it all day.

Make the fence or you will pay the plundering.

Many a day shall we rest in the clay.

Many a sudden change takes place on an unlikely day.

May you have a bright future – as the chimney sweep said to his son.

Melodious is the closed mouth.

Need teaches a plan.

Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to a fool

Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot.

Never dread the winter till the snow is on the blanket.

Never sell a hen on a wet day.

No two people ever lit a fire without disagreeing.

One must pay health its tithe.

Only a fool burns his coal without warming himself.

Patience is a poultice for all wounds.

Pity him who makes an opinion a certainty.

Poverty waits at the gates of idleness.

Praise the child and you praise the mother.

Praise the ripe field, not the green corn.

Praise the ripe field not the green corn.

Pride comes before a fall.

Promise is in honour’s debt.

Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.

Questioning is the door of knowledge.

Quiet people are well able to look after themselves.

Seeing is believing, but feeling is the God’s own truth.

Seldom is the last of anything better than the first.

Silence is the fence around the haggard where wisdom is stacked.

Slow is every foot on an unknown path.

Stone before the fire is reserved for the poor.

Stupidity is sending the goose on a mission to the fox’s den.

The best way to keep loyalty in a man’s heart is to keep money in his purse.

The day will come when the cow will have use for her tail.

The friend that can be bought is not worth buying.

The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.

The heaviest ear of grain bends its head the lowest.

The help of God is closer than the door.

The life of an old hat is to cock it.

The light heart lives long.

The longest road out is the shortest road home.

The man who pays the piper calls the tune.

The man with a cow doesn’t need a scythe.

The mills of God grind slowly but they grind finely.

The old dog for the hard road and leave the pup on the path.

The old pipe gives the sweetest smoke.

The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune.

The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.

The person bringing good news knocks boldly on the door.

The pig in the sty doesn’t know the pig going along the road.

The raggy colt often made a powerful horse.

The river is no wider from this side than the other.

The schoolhouse bell sounds bitter in youth and sweet in old age.

The thief is no threat to the beggarman.

The tiredness leaves but the profit remains.

The treachery returns to the betrayer.

The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.

The work praises the man.

The world would not make a racehorse of a donkey.

There are fish in the sea better than have ever been caught.

There are two tellings to ev’ry story.

There are two things that cannot be cured: death and the want of sense.

There is hope from the sea, but none from the grave.

There is no luck except where there is discipline.

There is no need like the lack of a friend.

There is no strength without unity.

There is no wise man without fault.

There is often the look of an angel on the Devil himself.

There never came a gatherer but a scatterer came after him.

There’s no need to fear the wind if your haystacks are tied down.

There’s no point in keeping a dog if you are going to do your own barking.

There’s nothing so bad that it couldn’t be worse.

They are scarce of news that speak ill of their mother.

Time and patience would bring a snail to America.

Time is a good storyteller.

Two people see a thing that an individual does not see.

Unwillingness easily finds an excuse.

What butter and whiskey will not cure, there’s no cure for.

What fills the eye fills the heart.

What I am afraid to hear I’d better say first myself.

When the apple is ripe it will fall.

When the cat is outside, the mouse does be dancing.

Who gossips with you will gossip of you.

Who keeps his tongue keeps his friends.

You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.

You may as well give cherries to a pig as advice to a fool.

You must take the little potato with the big potato.

You never miss the water till the well runs dry.

You won’t learn to swim on the kitchen floor.

You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind

You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.

Young people don’t know what old age is, and old people forget what youth was.

Your feet will bring you where your heart is.

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