Irish sayings

Irish sayings, Irish proverbs are famous the world over and are essentially usually short and popular sayings that express a basic truth or principal,about a situation. Sayings-proverbs worldwide share the same trait.

There were ways of saying things for every situation and in many ways the saying were almost a kind of set of practical conventions which ordinary people followed throughout the course of their life.

They were a source of wisdom for every likely event. These sayings were an integral part of everyday life. A short, and sometimes not too sweet , but always practical view of life.

Irish sayings and proverbs were based on the reality of the peoples lives, no more so than in any culture. The reality of an often difficult life could rarely be forgotten.

The reality of the peoples lives are expressed in their statements. There were Irish expressions to describe every aspect of life from birth to death.

Very often the Irish way of saying things seem to be about animals and birds, but in reality they are an observation on human characteristics or nature.

For example there are many Irish expressions that describe character traits and the passing down of these traits through the genes 'As the big hound is, so will the pup be' or my mother-in-laws favourite 'Nature breaks out through the eyes of the cat'.

Now clearly a human being has not been mentioned but if I wanted to describe how someone was behaving or likely to behave I could use that saying-proverb without mentioning the person involved and yet those in my company wouls know exactly what I was talking about.

Of course many Irish sayings-proverbs had deeper meanings and layers built in to them over the years. Unfortunately I am not an expert in this area but it is something that has always interested me.

It is only as you grow older that you realise you have been using some of these sayings/proverbs most of your life and not being aware of their real depth. I hope you enjoy these Irish sayings-proverbs and hopefully put them to some use again whenever the opportunity arises.

I will list these famous Irish sayings-proverbs in categories so that they will be a bit more manageable , and perhaps when you are caught for a means of summing up a situation you will be able to refer back to these Irish sayings-proverbs for the appropriate words. You will find more famous Irish sayings and Proverbs here and find more information on Irish Customs in our Facts on Irish Customs section.

So in typical Irish fashion and cheer I will start off by providing Irish sayings-proverbs on a great subject in Ireland. Dying and death. If you enjoyed our section or indeed the website in general why not add it to your favourites or bookmark it, and visit us again.

Irish Sayings ~ Proverbs Abouth Dying and Death

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

Death is in front of an old person and at the young person's back

Death looks the old in the face and lurks behind youth.

When death comes it will not go away empty.

Many a day we shall rest in the clay.

We owe the grave many a day.

The smallest of things outlives the human.

The keening is best if the corpse left money.

Dead men tell no tales but there's many a thing learned at a wake.

The skin of the old sheep is not on the rafter any sooner than the skin of the young sheep.

There are no pockets in a habit.

It is not a matter of upper or lower class but of being up a while and down a while. 

Irish Sayings ~ Proverbs About Character Traits.

What is in the dog comes out in the pup.

A bad egg, a bad bird.

Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

As the big hound is so will the pup be.

Nature breaks out through the eyes of the cat.

You can take the man out of the bog but you can't take the bog out of the man.

What would the cat's son do but kill a mouse.

Instinct is stronger than upbringing.

As the old cock crows the young cock learns.

Irish Sayings ~ Proverbs About Drink

A drink precedes a story.

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

Good as drink is it ends in thirst.

The truth comes out when the drink goes in.

Wine divulges truth.

When the drop is inside, the sense is outside.

He'll never comb a grey hair because of his drinking.

When the drink was gone the fun was gone.

You've never seen a flagday for a needy publican.

It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.

Practice makes perfect, many do think,

But a man's not too perfect when he's practiced at drink.

Irish Sayings ~ Proverbs About Work

Well begun is half done.

Two thirds of the work is the semblance.

It's a bad hen that does not scratch for herself.

It's harder to gather than to scatter.

A man's work is from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done.

Food is a good workhorse.

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

Make hay while the sun shines.

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

Those that do the talking at meetings never meet to work.

A lazy man's best day is tomorrow.

Sow early, mow early.

A bit of hard work never killed anyone.

Make hay while the sun shines.

It's better to like what you do than to do what you like.

Sow early, mow early.

A lazy man's best day is tomorrow.

The mason that lays fifty bricks will die no sooner than the one that lays twenty.

The willing horse is always loaded.

Celtic Wedding Rings