Proverbs From Around the World — N to Z

This is part two of Proverbs From Around the World. You can find the A to M 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.

Norwegian Proverb

Heroism consists in hanging on one minute longer.

Persian Proverb

Fate: When its time has arrived, the prey comes to the hunter.

Polish Proverbs

The greatest love is a mother’s, then a dog’s, then a sweetheart’s.

When I have money, everyone called me brother.

The woman cries before the wedding, the man afterward.

Portuguese Proverb

An old man in love is like a flower in winter.

Russian Proverbs

If God listened to every shepherd’s curse, our sheep would all be dead.

The eggs do not teach the hen.

Live with the wolves, howl like a wolf.

A sleeping fox counts hens in its dreams.

When money speaks, the truth is silent.

Sicilian Proverb

The less things change, the more they stay the same.

Scottish Proverbs

Better bend than break.

A man is a lion in his own cause

Spanish Proverbs

If you want to make someone laugh, tell them your troubles.

An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.

There is no happiness; there are only moments of happiness.

It is better to be a mouse in a cat’s mouth than a man in a lawyer’s hands.

If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we’ll see.

Never advise anyone to go to war or to marry.

Habits are at first cobwebs then cables.

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward

United States of America Proverbs

The most dangerous food is wedding cake.

Never swap horses crossing a stream

A louse in the cabbage is better than no meat at all. (Pennsylvanian Dutch.)

A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass. (Sioux)

In the beginning God gave to every people a cup of clay, and from this cup they drank their life. (Northern Paiute)

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence. (Vermont)

Welsh Proverbs

Heaven defend me from a busy doctor.

He understands badly who listens badly.

Better one word before than two after.

Yiddish Proverb

Small children disturb your sleep, big children your life.

Yugoslavian Proverb

Tell the truth and run.


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+

3 Responses to “Proverbs From Around the World — N to Z”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I got one I heard from a Bedouin man (or maybe it was a metaphor): a marriage meeting is like drinking tea and coffee. The bride is the tea, and the bride’s mother is the coffee.
    Oh Pat, I took your advice and checked out Smashwords. It looks like a good site, so I’ll use it. In thanks, I posted your link on my blog. Hope you don’t mind.

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