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Irish Proverbs

Many quips a strong man will make

compiled by Ann-Marie Imbornoni
  • A good beginning is half the work.
  • You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.
  • Many hands make light work.

  • Long churning makes bad butter.
  • It's no use boiling your cabbage twice.

  • Read more Irish quotes.

  • Every dog is brave on his own doorstep.
  • A little dog can start a hare, but it takes a big one to catch it.
  • Do not show your teeth until you can bite.

  • The world would not make a racehorse of a donkey.
  • Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.

  • An old broom knows the dirty corners best.
  • There never was an old slipper but there was an old stocking to match it.
  • The old pipe gives the sweetest smoke.

  • The windy day is not the day for thatching.

  • A trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea.
  • There are as many good fish in the sea as ever came out of it.
  • There are finer fish in the sea than have ever been caught.

  • No forcing the sea.
  • Men may meet, but mountains never greet.

  • It takes time to build castles.
  • Time and patience would bring the snail to Jerusalem.
  • Patience is a poultice for all wounds.

  • If you don't know the way, walk slowly.
  • It was not on one foot that St. Patrick came to Ireland.
  • Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.

  • Learn about ten major Irish saints.

  • He who pays the piper calls the tune.
  • There is no tune without a penny.

  • The best way to keep loyalty in a man's heart is to keep money in his purse.
  • A heavy purse makes a light heart.
  • The heavier the purse, the lighter the heart.

  • Two shorten the road.
  • A friend's eye is a good mirror.
  • There is luck in sharing a thing.

  • Beauty will not make the pot boil.
  • Better good manners than good looks.

  • What's in the marrow is hard to take out of the bone.
  • You can take a man out of the bog, but you can't take the bog out of the man.
  • What will come from the briar but the berry.

  • What's a proverb?

  • One man's meat is another man's poison.
  • The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.
  • If the cap doesn't fit, don't wear it.

  • You can't build a barrel around a bung hole.

  • It is better to be lucky than rich.
  • It is better to be lucky than wise.
  • It is better to be lucky than to be an early riser.

  • It is not a secret if it is known by three people.
  • What I'm afraid to hear I'd better say first myself.
  • A kind word never broke anyone's mouth.

  • Eaten bread is forgotten.
  • You never miss the water till the well has run dry.
  • Absence increases sorrow.

  • In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • A light heart lives long.
  • When the belly is full, the bones like to stretch.
  • Good sense is as important as food.

  • The wine is sweet, the paying bitter.
  • What butter and whiskey will not cure, there's no cure for.
  • Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.

  • If you lie down with dogs, you'll rise with fleas.
  • Talk of the devil, and he will appear.
  • Constant company wears out its welcome.

  • Burning embers are easily kindled.

  • Poverty parts good company.
  • No one is ever poor who has the sight of his eyes and the use of his feet.
  • The thief is no danger to the beggar.

  • When your hand is in the dog's mouth, withdraw it gently.
  • Better be sure than sorry.

  • God is good, but never dance in a small boat.
  • The grace of God is found between the saddle and the ground.
  • God's help is nearer than the door.

  • Read about St. Patrick's Day history.

  • When the sky falls we'll catch larks.
  • One swallow never made a summer.

  • A silent mouth never did any harm.
  • It's often a man's mouth broke his nose.
  • Everyone is wise till he speaks.

  • Words will not feed the friars.
  • Proverbs cannot be contradicted.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The longest inaugural speech was William Henry Harrison’s. At 8,445 words, it is nearly twice the length of any other president's.

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