Irish Proverbs

By | June 27, 2016

Sayings of Irish origin

A man is often a bad adviser to himself and a good adviser to another.

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

That which is nearest a woman’s heart is the first to come out.

Age is honorable and youth is noble.

A person’s heart is in his feet.

When you are right no one remembers; when you are wrong no one forgets.

When the apple is ripe it will fall.

If you want an audience start a fight.

If you want to be criticized, marry.

Nature breaks through the eyes of the cat.

Even a small thorn causes festering.

A questioning man is halfway to being wise.

When a twig grows hard it is difficult to twist it.

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George’s Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, in the northeast of the island. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.4 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland

Ireland is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern part of the island.

The Irish language, also referred to as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. (An excerpt from Wikipedia)

More Irish Proverbs

The longest road out is the shortest road home.

As the old cock crows the young cock learns.

There is no fireside like your own fireside.

The man with the boots does not mind where he places his foot.

Thirst is the end of drinking and sorrow is the end of drunkenness.

Walk straight, my son — as the old crab said to the young crab.

Nodding the head does not row the boat.

It is to please herself that the cat purrs.

There is no woman more accustomed to bad shoes on her than the cobbler’s wife.

Your own deeds will long be baptized on you.

A trade not properly learned is an enemy.

People live in each other’s shelter.

A hut is a palace to the poor man.

Walls have ears.

It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.

Three diseases without shame: love, itch, and thirst.

It is not a secret if it is known by three people.

God often pays debts without money.

Neither give cherries to pigs nor advice to fools.

The world would not make a racehorse of a donkey.

A hungry ass keeps her kicking end down.

Lack of resource has hanged many a person.

Comfort is not known if poverty does not come before it.

Three things that can’t be taught: generosity, poetry and a singing voice.

Mere words do not feed the friars.

The covetous person is always in want.

One may live without one’s friends but not without one’s pipe.

No time for your health today, will result in no health for your time tomorrow.

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

Soft words butter no parsnips, but they won’t harden the heart of the cabbage either.

Good sense is as important as food.

A fast is better than a bad meal.

He is bad that will not take advice, but he is a thousand times worse that takes every advice.

Falling is easier than rising.

Though honey is sweet, don’t lick it off a briar.

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

The three most beautiful sights: a potato garden in bloom, a ship under sail, and a woman after the birth of a child.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

A drink precedes a story.

A hound’s food is in its legs.

Scattering is easier than gathering.

When the drop is inside the sense is outside.

A turkey never voted for an early Christmas.

Better be quarrelling than lonesome.

May you live to be a hundred — and decide then rest for yourself.

If the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet.

A lock is better than suspicion.

Don’t change your horse when you are about to cross a river.

What fills the eye fills the heart.

Turning it over in your mind won’t plough the field.

Women do not drink liquor but it disappears when they are present.

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

Better one good thing that is than two good things that were.

It is not a fish until it is on the bank.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Anything is better than a bad marriage.

God’s help is nearer than the door.

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

The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.

Youth sheds many a skin.

The smallest thing outlives the human being.

If you want to know me come and live with me.

A loan long continued usually confers ownership.

Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot.

There never was a scabby sheep in a flock that didn’t like to have a comrade.

When the hand ceases to scatter, the heart ceases to pray.

Every patient is a doctor after his cure.

It’s a bad hen that won’t scratch herself.

It is the quiet pigs that eat the meal.

When fire is applied to a stone it cracks.

Live in my heart and pay no rent.

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

A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

If you hit my dog you hit myself.

Things aren’t as they seem.

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

Even a tin knocker will shine on a dirty floor.

It is easier to demolish a house than to build one.

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

It is a bad hen that does not scratch herself.

If God shuts one door, He opens another.

A narrow neck keeps the bottle from being emptied in one swig.

Sense does not come before age.

Don’t give cherries to a pig; don’t give advice to a fool.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

It takes time to build castles.

In at one ear and out at the other.

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.

Two shorten the road.

It is easy to halve the potato where there is love.

There was often a bad cloth on a tailor and a bad shoe on a cobbler.

Trust me, but look to thyself.

The Irish forgive their great men when they are safely buried.

The light heart lives long.

You are not a fully fledged sailor unless you have sailed under full sail, and you have not built a wall unless you have rounded a corner.

When the sky falls we’ll all catch larks.

A barrel that contains the wine will retain the drop in its staves.

The mills of God grind slowly but they grind finely.

If the cat sits long enough at the hole, she will catch the mouse.

What the child sees, the child does. What the child does, the child is.

It is a long road that has no turning.

A scholar’s ink lasts longer than a martyr’s blood.

Patience is poultice for all wounds.

Instinct is stronger than upbringing.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.

Any man can lose his hat in a fairy wind.

The person who doesn’t scatter the morning dew will not comb grey hairs.

There never was an old slipper but there was an old stocking to match it.

It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.

It’s no use boiling your cabbage twice.

Crafty advice is often got from a fool.

Love conceals ugliness, and hate sees many faults.

An Irishman is never at his best except when fighting.

Money swore an oath that nobody who did not love it should ever have it.

Snuff at a wake is fine if there’s nobody sneezing over the snuff box.

It is the good horse that draws its own cart.

Bricks and mortar make a house, but the laughter of children make a home.

Handfuls make a load.

Don’t talk about a rope in the house of someone whose father was hung.

A poor person is often worthy.

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

An old broom knows the dirty corners best.

Praise the ripe field, not the green corn.

Every invalid is a physician.

Twenty years a child; twenty years running wild; twenty years a mature man –and after that, praying.

The slow horse reaches the mill.

Humor to a man is like a feather pillow. It is filled with what is easy to get but gives great comfort.

He who gets a name for early rising can stay in bed until midday.

Wine divulges truth.

The beginning of health is sleep.

Take gifts with a sigh; most men give to be paid.

It is better to exist unknown to the law.

Say but little, and say it well.

There is no need like the lack of a friend.

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

A hen is heavy when carried far.

A glutton lives to eat; a wise man eats to live.

All sins cast long shadows.

Time is a great story teller.

Put silk on a goat, and it’s still a goat.

A silent mouth is musical.

One beetle recognizes another.

Hope is the physician of each misery.

Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.

Love is blind to blemishes and fault.

You must live with a person to know a person.

The people meet each other but the hills do not.

Every beginning is weak.

It’s as hard to see a woman crying as it is to see a barefooted duck.

Every eye forms its own fancy.

Be neither intimate nor distant with the clergy.

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

Never burn a penny candle looking for a halfpenny.

The trick the father has, the son has.

The well fed does not understand the lean.

It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.

Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.

A small debt makes a man your debtor, a large one your enemy.

God likes help when helping people.

It’s for her own good that the cat purrs.

It is often that a cow does not take after its breed.

The work praises the man.

Men are like bagpipes: no sound comes from them till they’re full.

Marriages are all happy. It’s having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.

You must crack the nuts before you can eat the kernel.

There is no strength without unity.

What is the world to a man when his wife is a widow.

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

Strife is better than loneliness.

Good luck beats early rising.

What’s got badly, goes badly.

When the liquor was gone the fun was gone.

If you have one pair of good soles it is better than two pairs of good uppers.

The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.

Marry a mountain girl and you marry the whole mountain.

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

Two thirds of help is to give courage.

The little fish feed the big fish.

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

Good luck comes in slender currents, misfortune in a rolling tide.

The full person does not understand the needs of the hungry.

The steed does not retain its speed forever.

This is better than the thing we never had.

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

Praise the young and they will blossom.

Two thirds of the work is the semblance.

He who comes with a story to you brings two away from you.

Quiet people are well able to look after themselves.

Everyone is wise until he speaks.

Let him who will not have advice have conflict.

One woman understands another.

The old pipe gives the sweetest smoke.

Need teaches a plan.

When the goat goes to church, he does not stop till he gets to the altar.

Fear is a fine spur; so is rage.

The hole is more honorable than the patch.

There is no luck except where there is discipline.

The day of the storm is not the time for thatching your roof.

Youth does not mind where it sets its foot.
“Amhrán na bhFiann” is the Irish national anthem.

Ireland National Anthem ( English Lyrics):
Soldiers are we,
whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free,
no more our ancient sireland,
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the “bearna baoil”,[fn 4]
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal,
’Mid cannon’s roar and rifles’ peal,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song

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