Proverbs From Around the World — A to M

This is part one of Proverbs From Around the World. You can find the N to Z proverbs by clicking here.

William Penn wrote, “The wisdom of nations lies in their proverbs, which are brief and pithy. Collect and learn them; they are notable measures of directions for human life; you have much in little; they save time in speaking; and upon occasion may be the fullest and safest answers.”

Anonymous, that prolific pontificator, wrote, “Proverbs are the cream of a nation’s thought.”

These are by no means the only proverbs from around the world, Nor are they the best. They are simply those that I happened to read and like. Feel free to add your own.

Belgian Proverb

Experience is the comb that nature gives us when we are bald.

Chinese Proverbs

Two leaps per chasm is fatal.

One joy scatters a hundred griefs.

Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.

Behind an able man there are always other able men.

Blessings never come in pairs; misfortunes never come alone

English Proverbs

What can be done at any time is never done at all.

As bad as marrying the devil’s daughter and living with the old folks.

Estonian Proverb

What you are afraid of overtakes you.

French Proverb

Everything passes, everything perishes, everything palls.

German Proverbs

Too clever is dumb.

An old error is always more popular than a new truth.

Indian Proverb

The cobra will bite you whether you call it Cobra or Mr. Cobra.

Irish Proverbs

It is better to be a coward for one minute than dead for the rest of your life.

Patience cures many an old complaint.

When the apple is ripe, it will fall.

Italian Proverbs

The best way to get praise is to die.

There is no thief like a bad book.

By asking for the impossible, we obtain the best possible.

Japanese Proverbs

The reverse side also has a reverse side.

To teach is to learn.

A man in love mistakes a pimple for a dimple.

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

A good husand is healthy and absent.

At the first cup man drinks wine; at the second cup wine drinks wine; at the third cup wine drinks man.

Jewish Proverb

If the rich could hire people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living


Pat Bertram is the author of the conspiracy novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+

6 Responses to “Proverbs From Around the World — A to M”

  1. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    Not a bad collection. Too clever is dumb works for me. The television show The Big Bang Theory is based on this. Last year I mansaged to get my hands on Thre Art of War by Sun Tzu.

  2. shadowoperator Says:

    Thank you, Pat. If you’ve seen my posts at all, you know I love pithy sayings. I really enjoyed these.

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I like these proverbs. Here’s one of my favorites, a Persian proverb: “Trust in God but tie your camel.” That alone is a great argument against using faith but nothing else to cure sickness.

  4. Juliet Waldron Says:

    Pat: These are terrific and many are tremendously funny. What a great idea for the blog!

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