Famous Irish Proverbs

Are you looking for famous Irish proverbs? Do you want to know about the most popular Irish proverbs from Ireland? Read our guide for more information on choosing the right proverb for your requirements.

Different types of Irish Proverbs

It’s an undeniable fact that proverbs offer us great wisdom and advice, ringing true down the ages. More so are Irish proverbs, borne of a deeply religious and hardy people who have suffered much through a turbulent history. Waves of famine and pestilence have resulted in many Irish proverbs that centre around the essences of life – food and water – such as: “Half a loaf of bread is better than no bread at all.” And: “You never miss the water till the well has run dry.” The potato, being the staple food of the Irish and often subject to ravaged harvests, brought on the following proverb: “Be eating one potato, peeling a second, have a third in your fist and your eye on the fourth.” Poverty brought on by inclement Irish weather and unreliable agriculture has its own brand of wisdom in: “Remember, if you lose all, keep your good name; for if you lose that you are worthless.” Through illness and harsh economic conditions, the stoicism of the Irish brought such proverbial gems as: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”

Irish Family Values

Irish proverbs have also developed from the family. The bond of closely-knit Irish families that thrive on familial piety has developed proverbs that hold true to this day. The pull of hearth and home found expression in: “There is no fireside like your own fireside.” Wayward and wandering kith and kin were not to be worried over as: “Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.”

Proverbs Honouring Work

Idleness has never been a favourite amongst any society, much less Irish society. Hard work was often praised in proverbs such as: “You must crack the nuts before you can eat the kernel.” In much the same way as sloth is never encouraged, so is Irish industriousness given stimulus in proverbs such as: “The work praises the man.”

The wisdom of Irish proverbs has left the world with copious amounts of advice that have withstood the test of time. Irish dictums are peppered throughout history, evolving out of the experiences of a sturdy and tenacious populace.

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