Claddagh Design brings us 40 Irish Proverbs and their respective meanings.

Some are funny, and some are so truthful. I think you’ll love them! In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, here are 40 Irish Proverbs for you to enjoy!

1 Hindsight is the best insight to foresight – Learn from your past mistakes to avoid making new ones.

2. Every man is sociable until a cow invades his garden – Everybody has their off days!

3. Hunger is good sauce – hunger makes any food taste good.

4. Experience is the comb that life gives a bald man – A man who has lived long enough to lose his hair will no doubt know a thing or two about life.

5. Do not resent growing old, many are denied the privilege – this one of the few self explanatory proverbs!

6. Complain that you have no shoes until you meet a man who has no feet – be thankful for what you have because there will always be someone in a worse situation than you.

7. Beware of the anger of a patient man – if you make a patient man angry, you know things are serious!

8. It’s a long road that has no turning – Always doing the same thing is neither beneficial nor entertaining.

9. Many a ship is lost within sight of the harbour – don’t let your guard down no matter how safe you think things may be

10. Life is like a cup of tea; it’s all in how you make it – how you live your life is a result of what you do in it.

11. It is the quiet pigs that eat the meal – this can be compared to ‘the early bird catches the worm’.

12. It’s a lonely washing that has no man’s shirt in it – everybody needs someone to love (and wash clothes for).

13. It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe – take every opportunity to learn.

14. No matter how many rooms you have in your house, you’re only able to sleep in one bed – it doesn’t matter how many possessions you have, we all have the same basic needs in life.

15. When the drop is inside the sense is outside – alcohol leads to senseless activities!

16. If you are looking for a friend without a fault you will be without a friend forever – nobody’s perfect!

17. A lamb’s bleat is often more telling than a dog’s bark – sometimes being subtle works better than being loud and forthright.

18. You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was – success is never guaranteed.

19. It’s better to pay the butcher than the doctor – paying good money for good food is better than eating bad food and having poor health as a result.

20. Broken Irish is better than clever English – this one is quite straightforward!

Photo by jonas mohamadi on

21. It’s as easy to catch a cold in a King’s castle as in a shepherd’s hut – everyone is human, wealth is no measure of health.

22. Even black hens lay white eggs – seemingly bad people can still do good deeds.

23. A good word never broke a tooth – kindness is always returned.

24. An empty sack does not stand – lying and dishonesty gets you nowhere.

25. When the apple is ripe, it will fall – what will be will be.

26. He didn’t lick it off a stone – people’s personalities or actions are always influenced by someone.

27. You never miss the water until the well has run dry – you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

28. God’s mill may grind slowly, but it grinds finely – slow and steady wins the race.

29. However long the day, the evening will come – bad times don’t last forever.

Photo by Djalma Paiva Armelin on

30. You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind – stop thinking and start doing!

31. You’ll arrive back with one arm as long as the other – Whatever you intend to do is pointless and won’t change anything.

32. The longest road out is the shortest road home – time and effort always pays off in the end.

33. If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself – spite is a dangerous thing.

34. Don’t fear an ill wind if your haystacks are tied down – There is no need to worry about things if you’re properly prepared.

35. The skin of the old sheep is on the rafter no sooner than the skin of the young sheep – nobody is immune to death or bad health no matter what their age.

36. It takes time to build castles – hard work and planning will reap rewards eventually.

37. A man’s mouth often breaks his nose – if you talk too much you can get in trouble.

38. The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune – things improve with age.

39. There’s no use boiling your cabbage twice – once something is done, there’s no need to revisit it; leave the past behind.

40. A friend’s eye is a good mirror – trust your friends’ opinions.

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