Russian ProverbsRating Mail
Don't put all [your] eggs in one basket.
Note : English version: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
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Not the place adorns the man, but a man adorns the place.
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Don't cast beads before(in front of) pigs.
Note : English version: Cast not your pearls before swine.
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If not by washing, then by rolling.
Note : English version: By hook or by crook.
Cultural background: Rolling was a special method of cloth cleaning with use of a primitive wooden hand-held "washing machine" forcefully rolled on the cloth surface, note there were no soap; surface active agent was prepared from ashes.
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Only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.
Note : English version: He that never climbed, never fell.
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Do not spit into a well, it may be useful to drink water.
Note : English version: Actions can boomerang; Never cast dirt into that fountain of which you have sometime drunk; Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
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Unless caught [stealing], [one is] not a thief.
Note : English version: Innocent till proven guilty.
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Don't dig a pit for somebody [to fall into], [or] you will end up in it yourself.
Note : English version: Curses like chickens come home to roost.
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Don't hack the branch you are sitting on.
Note : English version: Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
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Don't sit idly, then there will be no boredom.
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Don't ask the old one, ask the experienced one.
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Don't judge and you won't be judged.
Note : English version: Judge not, lest ye be judged.
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The devil is not as scary as they paint(draw) him.
Note : English version: The devil is not so black as he is painted.
Modern mockery: The devil is not as scary as his little offsprings.
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Do not teach a learned person.
Note : This "proverb" is more of a wordplay, and relies on that semantic connection for its profound effect. A more true to intended effect translation would be: "Don't teach the teacher."
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An unsolicited guest is better than a solicited one.
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An unsolicited guest is worse than a Tatar.
Note : Cultural background: After Tatar-Mongol invasion of Rus in the 13th century, the word, "Tatar" has acquired a secondary meaning of "invader".
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Mute as a fish.
Note : English version: Silent as a grave.
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There is no smoke without fire.
Note : English version: There is no smoke without fire.
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There are no bad ships or winds, there are bad captains.
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There's no bad without the good.
Note : English version: Every cloud has a silver lining.
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Not for village, not for town.
Meaning - Not useful for anything.
Note : English version: Neither here nor there.
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Neither 'baaah', nor 'maaah', nor [even] 'cock-a-doodle-do'.
Meaning - Don't bother talking to him; he cannot give a comprehensible answer.
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Neither candle for God, nor poker for devil.
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Neither Bogdan in town, nor Selifan in village.
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Neither down (from a duck), nor feather.
Meaning - Good Luck (more directly May nothing stand in your way.)
Note : English version: Break a leg!
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Neither fish nor meat.
Meaning - A person without a strong character.
Note : English version: Neither fish nor flesh.
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Neither rhyme nor harmony, ([go] kiss horse's ass).
Meaning - You're a poor poet; Your story doesn't hold water; You're bullshitting me.
Note : English version: Neither rhyme nor reason; You told it through your hat; You lied through your teeth.
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A new broom sweeps in a new way.
Meaning - New manager brings new requirements.
Note : English version: A new broom sweeps clean.; In with the new and out with the old.
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Today [you are] a colonel, but tomorrow [you are] dead.
Meaning - Life is short, fortune is fickle.
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[They] wait three years for [what was] promised.
Meaning - Promises aren't usually carried out immediately.
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[The one who got] burned by [hot] milk, blows on water.
Note : English version: Once bitten, twice shy.
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Tastes are not argued.
Note : English version: To each his own.
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The lambskin is not worth the currying.
Note : English version: The game isn't worth the candle.
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Single [man] in a field is not a warrior.
Note : English version: One man, no man
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[For every] one with a plow, [there're] seven with a spoon.
Meaning - There's a lot of slackers for each productive worker.
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One son is not a son, two sons are half a son, three sons are a son.
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One head is good; two heads are better.
Meaning - Problem is more likely to be solved by a group discussion.; I'll gladly lend you my experience.
Note : English version: Two heads are better than one.
Mockery:One head is good; two heads make a mutant. (or) One head is good, two are better, and three make a dragon
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The teeth are not match for the nut.
Note : English version: A hard nut to crack.
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I ran from the wolf but ran into a bear.
Note : English version: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
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Do not look for [further] good from good.
Note : English version: Leave well enough alone; Enough is as good as a feast.
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A little spark may cause a big fire.
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Cat died of curiosity.
Note : English version: Curiosity killed the cat.
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To get rid of boredom, do some work.
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Don't swear off of beggary and jail.
Note : English version: Never say 'never'.
Background: No one can be sure in his everlasting prosperity and freedom.
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Cat will [eventually] get a downpour of mice' tears
Meaning - The bully will be eventually punished.
Note : English version: What goes around, comes around.
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Of [hard] work, horses die(, but people get stronger.)
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Honest work won't let you live on the stone palace.
Meaning - Great wealth stems from illegal activities more often than not.
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Desire is worse then compulsion.
Meaning - Work you enjoy never feels too hard.
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The scabby sheep spoils the whole flock.
Note : English version: The rotten apple spoils the barrel.
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To become a master or a deadman.
Note : Pan is a Ukrainian or Polish word (land-lord, master, sir) well-known in Russian literature and tradition.; Whatever the consequences can be, I'll try it! English version: Neck or nothing; Stick your neck out.
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