The Irish have a beautiful way with words that even when translated sound poetic.

Nowhere is that more  true than with proverbs and seanfhocals -- literally “old words” that the Irish use. Here are some examples:

1. Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na scoilb. A windy day is not a day for thatching.
Meaning: Don’t close the barn door after the horse gets out.



2. Ní féidir leis an ngobadán an dá thrá a fhreastal.
The sandpiper cannot serve two beaches.

Uttered when one is trying to do to much at the same time.



3. I scath a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
In each other’s shadow the people live.

Uttered when a local calamity shows up how much people need each other.



4. Ní mar a shíltear a bhítear.
What is assumed is often wrong.

Uttered when things don’t go quite according to plan.


5. Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras. Before a big meal after a long fast.



6. Giorraíonn beirt bother.
A companion shortens a road.

When a friend helps time pass on a journey.



7. An sean Madra  don bhóthar chruaidh
.
The old dog for the hard road.

When age and experience is the best  answer to a problem.



8. Ni beireann cailin dathuil an citeal.
Beauty doesn’t boil the kettle.

When a girl may have looks but little home skills.



9. Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón.
It is often a man’s mouth broke his nose.

Usually after a loudmouth in a pub gets his comeuppance.



10. Cad a dhéanfadh mac a cat a dhéanamh ach luch a mharú?
What would the son of a cat do but kill a mouse?

Our nature is always within us. 

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