Basque Proverbs

By | May 15, 2014

Sayings of Basque origin

  • Let us have little, but let us always have enough.
  • Let’s agree to disagree
  • Money is the best of servants, but the worst of bosses.
  • Not all truths are good to say.
  • Not having enough is like not having anything.
  • A good listener needs few words.
  • A promise is a debt, it’s always been said.
  • By falling, one learns to walk.
  • Doing nothing and doing useless work are the same.
  • Don’t say as much as you know, and don’t eat as much as you can.
  • Earth belongs to the brave but heaven to those who deserve it.
  • Far from the eyes, far from the heart.
  • For many, the truth hurts.
  • God didn’t make even the fingers all the same.
  • God is a busy worker but loves to be helped.
  • He who doesn’t want to hear unpleasant things, shouldn’t say unpleasant things.
  • If you do no wrong, you need not be afraid.
  • If you have much, you will need much.
  • If you hear something and you don’t object, people will assume that you agree.
  • If you say anything you want, you will hear things you don’t want to.
  • In an empty house, there’s nothing but anger.
  • It’s better to have a good reputation, than to be rich.
  • It’s better to have one than be waiting for two.
  • Lazy people are always busy.
  • Old people know much; they were taught by necessity.
  • One eye is enough for the seller, but one hundred is not too many for the buyer.
  • One may recover a lost sheep, but not wasted time.
  • One who knows, tells everything one knows.
  • Talking is easy, doing is hard.
  • The choosy one ends up with the ordinary.
  • The hand of the stranger is heavy.
  • The lazy person has no work and has no time.
  • The lost sheep may be recovered, the lost time cannot.
  • The needle dresses people but stays naked itself.
  • The one who loves you will make you cry, the one who hates you will make you laugh.
  • The one who wants everything perfect, often gets just the opposite.
  • The stupid find relief in the suffering of others.
  • The sun shines equally on the good and the bad.
  • There is never trust without loss.
  • There is no bread without pain.
  • Those who don’t look forward, stay behind.
  • Time flies when you are among friends.
  • Well begun, is half done.
  • What is in the heart, comes to the tongue.
  • What is seen at home is what the child learns.
  • With a good friend the hours are short.
  • With the passing of time, all things are forgotten.
  • You know much if you know how to live.
  • You will have a sad end, bird, if you don’t make your nest while you’re still young.
  • What the wolf does pleases his mate.
  • When the fox is engaging you in conversation, keep an eye on your chicken.
  • When there is, spend lavishly, and when there isn’t, that’s life.
  • Whoever crossed the river at the fordable point, knows how deep the river is.
  • Time goes by, and we go with it.
  • To do nothing or to do useless work is the same thing.
  • Waiting is futile for whomever wants to kiss someone’s backside.
  • There is no point in offering a helping hand to someone who wants to drown.
  • Those who have their tail made of straw are afraid of fire.
  • The thread must be longer than the needle.
  • The tree falls towards the side it’s leaning.
  • The truth is bitter and unpleasant.
  • The wolf and the dog agree about the goat — which together they eat.
  • The woman who takes a wolf for a husband is always looking into the wood.
  • There is never a lack of food for the lazy person, nor of work for the industrious.
  • The priest’s pot is small but tasty.
  • The satiated cannot see the hungry.
  • The sickness of the body is the cure of the mind.
  • The small sheep, always a lamb.
  • The old fox sheds its old hair, but not its old habits.
  • The old sayings tell no lies.
  • The most painful insult is the one that’s true.
  • The one who has a lot of time to spare, is the one who always arrives late.
  • The closest to the church are the farthest from paradise.
  • The craftsman has a bad roof.
  • The debts made to one’s mother are never paid.
  • The eagle needs feathers, and the wren does too.
  • The lazy person has no work, but has no time for anything else either.
  • Say little about what you know, and don’t say anything about what you don’t know.
  • Sleep with a woman and she will make sure you wake up.
  • Telling the truth, you may lose your friends.
  • My dog slaps you with his tail and bites you with his teeth.
  • My skin is closer to me than my shirt is.
  • Old bachelors and old maids are either too good or too bad.
  • Not able to take revenge on the donkey; take it out on the saddle.
  • More people are threatened than are beaten up.
  • In other places dogs go barefoot too.
  • Iron must be hammered when it’s hot.
  • It is the mountains that do not move to help one another; but one man surely comes to the help of another.
  • It is useless to hurry, once the water has already gone by.
  • It’s not useful closing the barn door after the horse has been stolen.
  • Laziness leads many people astray.
  • Life without friends means death without neighbors.
  • Health is an asset without equal.
  • Honey is bitter for a sore mouth.
  • A bleating sheep eats no grass.
  • A dog which belongs to two houses dies of hunger.
  • A face that never laughs betrays an evil heart.
  • A father doing good things will have a similar son.
  • A foreign land is a land of wolves.
  • A lot of donkeys means a lot of hay.
  • A silver hammer can open an iron gate.
  • A thrifty father begets a squandering son.
  • All things black are not coal.
  • An imaginary mill produces no flour.
  • Another’s mother is good, but our own is much better.
  • Beware of women with beards and men without beards.
  • Empty houses are full of noises.
  • Eyes that don’t see don’t cry.
  • God is good, but not crazy.
  • Flatterers and traders are related.

Basque Map and flagThe Basque are an indigenous ethnic group who primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country, a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France. ~ More

Basque is a language isolate ancestral to the Basque people, who are indigenous to and mainly inhabit the Basque Country.

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