Italian ProverbsRating Mail
"Strike while the iron is hot"
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"He who eats alone dies alone."
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"Between doing and saying lies the sea." (or) "Easier said than done."
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f you scatter thorns, don't go barefoot.
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"See Naples, and then die!"
Note : Note: used to express admiration for Naples. Said by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe after visiting the city at the end of the 18th century.
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Who falls in water doesn't drown - but who falls badly will.
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"Few words to the good knowledgeable" (or) "A word to the wise (is sufficient)."
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"By running and defecating at the same time, you'll get crap on your heels." (or) "Doing two things at the same time will result in a mess."
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"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."
Meaning - "It is not worth or right to judge a gift, just accept it."
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"Give them a finger and they'll take an arm" (or) "Give an inch and they'll take a mile."
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"Help yourself and God will help you." (or) "God helps those who help themselves." (or) "Help yourself and Heaven will help you."
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"Don't tell a peasant how well cheese goes with pears."
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"Friend who won't give, relatives who won't lend you a hand, avoid them like the plague."
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Those who have airs will be laid low - those who abase themselves will be raised up.
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"The ox saying 'horned' to the donkey" (or) "The pot calling the kettle black"
Note : Note: Italian double meaning: "cornuto" is a colloquial expression for "cuckold"
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The letter C is most likely to betray - cousin, brother-in-law, friend.
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The calm is the virtue of the strong.
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"The dog that barks doesn't bite." (or) "The barking dog seldom bites."
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"Be alive horse, because grass grows." (or) "While the horse lives, the grass grows."
Meaning - Keep alive horse, waiting for the grass (your food) to grow...
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"May the horse live!" (or) "That'll be the day!"
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"Well begun is half done."
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"He who mentions Siena mentions the Palio" (that city's famous horse-race).
Note : Note: said of something that one cannot mention without calling some other thing to mind.
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"Those who sleep don't catch any fish" (or) "The early bird catches the worm."
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"He who works by himself does the work of three (people)." (or) "If you want something done, do it yourself." (or) "Too many cooks spoil the broth"
Note : Note: ironically contradicted by: "Union produces might."
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"He who has his own mother never cries."
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"He who perseveres wins at last."
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"He who wrongs someone has to expect something in retaliation." (or) "What goes around, comes around."
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"If one cooks the meal then the others wash up."
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"Who leaves the old street for the new one, knows what he left but not what he'll find." (or) "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know."
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He who is born round does not die square
Meaning - Whatever you do, you cannot change the way people are
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"He who speaks to your face is not a traitor."
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"He who thinks badly commits a sin but hits the mark."
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"He who meddles in others people's affairs will be left with two of three parts."
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"No matter where you go, your house is always there waiting."
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"Who came in late, finds a bad accommodation" (or) "Never waste your time"
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"He who does many bad deeds can expect a big one in return." (or) "What goes around comes around."
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"He who wants too much doesn't catch anything."
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"He who finds a friend finds a treasure."
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"He who goes slowly goes safely and goes far." (or) "Slow and steady wins the race."
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"He who walks with the limper learns to limp"
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"Who can, doesn't want to; who wants to, can't; who knows how, doesn't do it; who does it, doesn't know how; like this the world goes badly."
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"Comedian! Tragedian!"
Note : Note: exclaimed by Pope Pius VII during a violent scene that Napoleon made before him.
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"Who's born as donkey can't die as horse"
Note : Note: Abruzzo's proverb
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"I (can) protect myself from my enemies; may God protect me from my friends!" (or) "With friends like these, who needs enemies!"
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"Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give to God what belongs to God." (or) "Give credit where credit is due."
Note : Note: Comes from The New Testament, Matthew 22:21.
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"Do no evil and have no fear."
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"Graves are filled with after-the-fact wisdom." (or) "Hindsight is always 20/20."
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"God save us from the enriched poor and from the impoverished rich."
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"A woman who cries, a man who swears, a horse that sweats, all imposture."
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A pussy hair can pull more weight than a bunch of bulls.
Meaning - "A woman can talk a man into anything"
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