Finnish Proverbs

Sayings of Finnish origin

He who cannot light a fire knows nothing about love.

Not all that shines is gold, nor all that glows is silver.

Little is better than nothing.

Happiness does not come from happiness itself, but from the journey towards achieving it.

Better a bitter truth than a sweet lie.

A tree is climbed from its base.

After the rain, fine weather.

One’s own help [is] the best help.

All eggs should not be put in one basket.

War does not determine who is right, only who is remaining.

Even a small star shines in the dark.

As we grow older our bad qualities make us younger.

You are not a man until you have plowed a field.

A barking dog does not bite.

Who promises a lot, gives a little.

The wise man will be cheated only once.

No one can climb a tree with no branches.

Don’t beat the man who has already been beaten.

Do it today! Tomorrow it might be forbidden.

The memories of one’s youth make for long, long thoughts.

What is acquired easily is lost easily.

You reap what you sow.

Love is a garden full of flowers and marriage is a field of stinging nettles.

A small candle can light up the darkest forest.

Silence is gold, talking is silver.

Finland Map and flagFinland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a sovereign state in Europe. A peninsula with the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, the country has land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east. Estonia is south of the country across the Gulf of Finland. The nation is an area in the geographic region of Fennoscandia, which also includes Scandinavia and parts of the Russian federal subjects of Leningrad Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, and the Republic of Karelia.
Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland.
Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.

More Finnish Proverbs and Sayings

A child who is loved has many names.

Who stands by the door of his house is not yet gone away.

A child is like an axe; even if it hurts, you still carry them on your shoulders.

The cheese betrays the milk.

If you borrow some chaff from the rich man you have to repay him with wheat.

One sleeps like one makes his bed.

One cannot ski so softly that the tracks cannot be seen.

A woman becomes her most beautiful, one hour after taking a sauna.

Geese are caught with Geese.

The lazy sweat when they eat and complain of the cold when they work.

Do not protect yourself by a stone wall, but rather by your family.

He who shuns the millstone, shuns the meal.

A married man has many sorrows — an unmarried man has one more.

The cat would eat fish, too, but it wouldn’t jump into the ocean.

He needs a long candle who awaits the death of another.

The wolf makes a terrible shepherd.

Such father, such son.

A spot in gold and a fault in a wise man are soon visible.

Even the crow sings with its own voice.

Praise your horse tomorrow, your son when he has a beard, your daughter when she is married and yourself never.

A fat man is a lazy man.

Don’t raise your club so high; it will only fall on your head.

The path of obligation lies down the marriage aisle.

Men seek a warm hearth as termites seek rotten wood.

Age does not give sense it only makes one go slowly.

A fool boasts of his horse, a madman of his wife, the skillfulness of his children.

The old cow forgets that she was once a calf.

A small fire in the hearth is better than fleas in the bed.

The cake is fine on top, but there are crickets inside.

Read like the devil reads the Bible.

Freedom does not lengthen life.

No smoke without fire.

Foreigners bring fleas to the sauna.

The world is a good teacher, but it charges a huge fee.

If tar, hard liquor and sauna do not cure; the disease is fatal.

The back has to pay for what the ears didn’t hear.

Cowardice will not prolong life.

A priest with lice in his beard brings bad luck everywhere he travels.

The lazy man is living behind God’s back.

A loaf of fresh baked bread brings happiness to even devils.

God did not create haste.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.

Other land blueberry; own land strawberry.

He who shares the meat is always left with the bone.

A wife who farts during the supper hour foretells a thunderstorm.

A widow, like a widower, is a house without a roof.

Better one hazel grouse in the bag, than ten on the branch.

A honey pot often contains wasps.

One who grows up without discipline will die without glory.

A mother-in-law who farts during the supper foretells a good harvest.

The echo knows all languages.

Love blinds your eyes, marriage opens them wide.

The mouth lies, but the eyes tell the truth.

A ring round the sun for rain, a ring round the moon for fine weather.

A poke in the eye for those, who dwell on the past.

Everyone knows the bear, but the bear knows no one.

Spend, spend, spend – your children will pay the debts.

Life is uncertain so eat your desert first.

Not worth it to go further than the sea for fish.

A beloved child has many names.

A child unwilling to be taught must learn to dig trenches.

A wife who cannot cook puts the blame on the pots.

An opportunity makes a thief.

The reins of fortune, the keys to luck, are in the hands of God and not under envy’s arm or at an evil person’s fingertips.

Big fish are worth of fishing even if you don’t catch one.

From a word comes a word; from a spark the earth catches fire.

If the bathroom and a brandy cannot help a man, then death is imminent.

Invite a beggar to break bread and you will be minding the silver all evening.

Judge not the dog by its hair.

Be always a little afraid so that you never will be much afraid.

In heaven you wont hear the mosquitoes.

If there is snow in the forest at the New Year, diseases will spread that year.

With a walking-stick you reach many lands; you reach many more with words.

One shouldn’t make a bull out of a fly.

Evil will get its share.

The winter does not leave without a backward glance.

The walking-stick reaches many lands, the word many more.

If a man knew where he would fall, he would spread straw there first.

An old dog doesn’t bark lies.

Rain in August portend crickets in the tea kettle.

Never judge a reindeer from close by when you got it from a rich man because you may find that some of the antlers are missing.

Such mother, such daughter.

The butchers children go to bed hungry.

A tiny morsel is a feast to the starving man.

A laughing ermine eats a goodly cobbler while the weasel dances to his own tune.

The forest answers in the same way one shouts at it.

The mouth brought the wolf into the trap, the tongue the ermine to the snare.

One year ages the old, two years grow a child.

Rain does not stay in the sky.

A youth who does not work hard, will be begging will he is old.

The unhappy child cries for toasted snow.

The woman should let the man lead the dance.

A good deal for two, is a clip on the ears of a third.

Don’t look for lice if you’re not itching.

Help a man uphill, not at the foot of the hill.

Age does not give you good sense, it only makes you go slowly.

To an optimist every weed is a flower; to a pessimist every flower is a weed.

Winter brings want.

Big words won’t split ones mouth.

A good bell is heard from far, a bad one still further.

Better ice that melts than fire that extinguishes.

When you flee from a wolf, you run into a bear.

Those who wrestle weasels will be scratching for fleas.

” our Land” , “Maamme” is the title of Finland’s national anthem.


Oh our land, Finland, land of our birth,
rings out the golden word!
No valley, no hill,
no water, shore more dear
than this northern homeland,
precious land of our fathers.

Your splendour from its shell
one day will bloom;
From our love shall rise
your hope, glorious joy,
and once your song, fatherland
higher still will echo.

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