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Irish Proverbs


Enjoy these Irish Proverbs!

"Nil aon tintean mar do thintean fein."
There's no fireside like your own fireside.

Never bolt the door with a boiled carrot.

Man is incomplete until he marries. After that, he is finished.

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

Three things come without asking: fear, jealousy, and love.

It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.

Idleness is a fool's desire.

Good luck beats early rising.

If a cat had a dowry, she would often be kissed.

To the raven her own chick is white.

Everyone praises his native land.

"Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde"
Beware of the anger of a patient man.

A diplomat must always think twice before he says nothing.

A heavy purse makes for a light heart.

Those who get the name of rising early may lie all day.

A lie travels further than the truth.

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

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.

A scholars ink lasts longer than a martyrs blood.

If you want an audience start a fight.

Don't break your shin on a stool that is not in your way.

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

What will come from the briar but the berry.

"Meallan muilte dé go mall ach meallan siad go mion."
God's mill may grind slowly, but it grinds finely.

"Dafheabhas e an t-ol is e an tart a dheireadh."
Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.

A poem ought to be well made at first, for there is many a one to spoil it afterwards.

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

A change of work is as good as a rest.

A good retreat is better than a bad stand.

"Ní bhíonn airgead amadáin i bhfad ina phóca"
A fool's money is not long in his pocket.

"Ní thagann ciall roimh aois"
Sense does not come before age.

"Níor bhris focal maith fiacail riamh"
A good word never broke a tooth.

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.

A spender gets the property of the hoarder.

"Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras."
Hunger is the best sauce.

"Is minic a bhris beal duine a shron."
It's often a person's mouth breaks his nose.

"Is beo duine gan a chairde ach ni beo duine gan a phiopa."
One may live without one's friends, but not without one's pipe.

Never tell secrets to your relatives' children.

The three sharpest eyes are a blacksmith on a nail, a priest on his parish and a young girl on a boy.

Put a beggar on a horse and he'll ride it to hell.

Cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom.

"Maireann croi eadrom i bhfad."
A merry heart lives long.

"Dafheabhas e an t-ol is e an tart a dheireadh."
Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.

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

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

Only the rich can afford compassion.

A widow and her money are soon courted.

There's many a ship lost within sight of the harbor.

The dog that's always on the go is better than one that's always curled up.

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

It is a long road that has no turning.

An ounce of breeding is worth a pound of feeding.
- Horse racing expression meaning that thoroughbreds are born and not made.

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

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

Necessity knows no law.

Christmas Proverbs

"Téann an saol thart mar a bheadh eiteoga air, agus cuireann gach aon Nollaig bliain eile ar do ghualainn."
Life goes as quickly as if it had wings, and each Christmas places another year on your shoulders.

"Bia is deoch i gcomhair na Nollag; éadach nua i gcomhair na Cásca."
Eat and drink on Christmas – for Easter new clothing.

"Putóga dubha na bliana, ó Nollaig go Lá Fhéile Bríde."
From Christmas day until St. Bridgit’s feast is the darkest part of the year.

"Nollaig ghlas, reilig mhéith.
A green Christmas brings a full graveyard.

Is úr iad broibh go Nollaig."
Grass stalks stay fresh until Christmas

"Tuor maith don athbhliain na píobairí teallaigh a chloisteáil Lá Nollag."
Hearing crickets on Christmas is a good omen for the new year.

"Aifreann na Gine, Aifreann agus fiche."
One midnight Mass is worth twenty-one regular Masses.

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