Irish Proverbs and Sayings
Irish Proverbs and Sayings
As well as being known for their sense of humor, the Irish have also made a name for themselves with the many sayings, proverbs and blessings that they use. Indeed, every culture has their share of proverbs which are part of the culture of different countries. Here is a selection of Irish proverbs and sayings which I will explain if the meaning isn't clear. I hope you enjoy reading them.
A bald man has been known to say about his baldness "Sure grass doesn't grow on a busy street"
"If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas."
"A wild goose never reared a tame gosling"
If someone says "You didn't lick that off the ground" what they mean is someone has inherited a trait from his or her parents.
This is a compliment to someone older: " the older the fiddle ,the sweeter the tune"
There are two sayings that are used about letting someone go ahead of you through a doorway. They are "The dirt before the brush". This is not said in a derogatory manner but intended as humor. The other one is "Age before beauty."
If someone is known for their wisdom with money, it is said that "he wouldn't buy a pig in a poke." A poke is another word for a bag and the implication is the wise man would not buy a pig without seeing it.
Biding one's time and choosing the right moment is what is meant by the saying " Don't sell your hen on a wet day." Another one that means the same thing is "The day of the big wind is no time to be doing the thatching."
There is a great tradition of fishing in coastal Ireland and there is a saying that "a trout in the pot is better than a salmon in the sea."
If someone wrongs you and you think it is typical behavior, you might say "what do you expect from a cow but a kick."
Trying to change the mind of a stubborn person is "like whistling jigs to a stone."
If someone overstays their welcome you might say "If that man went to a wedding, he would stay for the christening."
If someone is a bad shot with a gun, you might say "he couldn't hit a hole in a ladder."
If it is raining a lot, you could say "It's good weather for ducks."
"It is said that there are only three kinds of Irishmen who can't understand women-young men, old men and men of middle age."
"There never was worse use made of a man than to hang him."
There is a place in Co. Clare in South-West Ireland called "The Burren." It is made of rocks and there is very little growth there. The Irish say of The Burren that "there is not enough water to drown a man, no trees to hang a man and no soil to bury him."
I will finish off here with a poem you might like to read about a mouse:
Some Guinness was spilled on the barroom floor,
When the pub was shut for the night.
Out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
and stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor,
then back on his haunches he sat,
And all night long you could hear him roar:
"Bring on the goddam cat!"
I hope you enjoyed reading this and feel free to add any sayings or proverbs you like yourself in the comment box below. Cheers :-)