Spanish proverbs

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He who wants the heavens must pay.

Proverbs from all Spanish speaking parts of the whole world.

A[edit]

  • A caballo regalado no se le mira el diente/colmillo/dentado/pelo or A caballo regalado no le mires los dientes.
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Meaning: "Do not search for faults in a gift, as in don't try to guess the horse's age by looking at its teeth since it is free."
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 54. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Luna, Cari (2004). The Everything Spanish Phrase Book: A Quick Reference for Any Situation. Everything Books. p. 5. ISBN 275 1593370490. 
  • A cabo de cien anos los reyos son villanos, A cabo de ciente ydiez los villanos son reyes.
  • A cada necio agrada su porrada.
    • English equivalentː Every fool is pleased with his own folly.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "147". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • A cada pajarillo agrada su nidillo.
    • English equivalent: The bird loves her own nest.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "923". Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 776. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • A grandes males, grandes remedios.
    • English equivalent: Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.
    • Meaning: "Drastic action is called for – and justified – when you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). "812". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 552. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
  • A la ocasión la pintan calva.
    • English equivalent: Opportunity knocks only once.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 400. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A la tercera va la vencida.
    • English equivalent: Third time's the charm.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A mal nudo, mal cuno.'
    • English equivalent: You must meet roughness with roughness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda.
    • Alt: Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda.
    • Alt Variation: Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda; el que se apendeja Dios lo deja. (A play with words that rhyme)
    • Translations:
      • God helps those who get up early. / The early bird gets the worm.
      • Alt.Var:God helps those who get up early, and leaves those who are too late.
    • Interpretations:
      • Initiative will be rewarded.
    • Equivalent English proverbs:
      • Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
    • Meaning: "A lifestyle that involves either staying up late nor sleeping late is good for body and mind and leads to financial success."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 5 September 2013. 
    • Source: Luna, Cari (2004). The Everything Spanish Phrase Book: A Quick Reference for Any Situation. Everything Books. p. 5. ISBN 275 1593370490. 
  • A quien no pide consejo, darlo es de necios.
    • English equivalent: Give neither salt nor counsel till you are asked for it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 661. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A quien se hace de miel las moscas le comen.
    • English equivalent: He that makes himself an ass must not take it ill if men ride him.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 676. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A seguro, le llevan preso.
    • For safety you are taken prisoner.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A donde el seto es bajo todos pasan.
    • English equivalent: Men leap over where the hedge is lower.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1087. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al amigo más amigo, no le fíes tu secreto, y así nunca te verás, arrepentido o sujeto.
    • If you tell your secret to your friend, you will make him your master.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 74. 
  • Al árbol por el fruto es conocido.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • Meaning: "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Al cuco no cuques y al ladrón no hurtes.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Al hombre osado la fortuna le da la mano.
  • Al médico, confesor, y letrado, no le hayas engañado.
    • English equivalent: Conceal not the truth from thy physician and lawyer.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 666. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al mentiroso le conviene ser memorioso.
    • English equivalent: A liar should have a good memory.
    • Meaning: "Liars must remember the untruths they have told, to avoid contradicting themselves at some later date."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "274". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 
  • Al ratón de un sólo agujero presto le pilla el gato.
    • English equivalent: It is a poor mouse that has only one hole.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Al que mucho se le confía, mucho se le exige.
    • English equivalent: Everybody to whom much is given, much is expected.
    • Meaning: "More is expected of those who have received more - that is, those who had good fortune, are naturally gifted, or have been shown special favour."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1095. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Amores, dolores y dineros, No pueden estar secretos.
    • English equivalent: Love, smoke and cough are hard to hide.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 50. 
  • Antes de firmar, mirar.
    • Translation: Look before you sign.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1160. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Antes que te cases, mira lo que haces.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1069. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Árbol que nace torcido, jamás su tronco endereza
    • A tree that is born twisted never grows straight.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 275. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • A lo bueno, dejarlo estar.'
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • A papaya puesta, papaya partida. (Colombian saying)
    • Alt: No hay que dar papaya...y a papaya puesta, papaya partida
    • Papaya that is served, papaya that is eaten
    • English equivalent: If you turn yourself into a doormat, others will walk over you.
    • Interpretation: If you leave yourself open to abuse, people will abuse you.
    • Source: Munévar, Gonzalo (2006). El amo del destino. Universidad del Valle. p. 208. ISBN 9584400207. 
  • A falta de pan, buenas son tortas.
    • Alt: A falta de pan, galletas
    • Alt: A falta de pan, tortillas (Mexico, Guatemala)
    • Alt: A falta de pan, casabe (República Dominicana)
    • Translations:
      • If there's no bread, cakes will do.
      • In place of bread, cakes are good.
      • Alt. Trans.: If there's no bread, have crackers
    • Interpretations:
      • Settle for the next best thing.
      • Beggars can't be choosers.
      • In times of need, kindness is especially sweet.
    • Equivalent English proverb: Any port in a storm.
    • Source: Klipper, Maya (2006). A falta de pan, buenas son tortas. La Stampa. ISBN 987051362X. 
  • A donde fueres, haz lo que vieres
    • Alt: Allá donde fueres, haz lo que vieres
    • English proverb: When among wolves we must howl.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 673. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Agua blanda en piedra dura, tanto cavadura continua gotera cava la piedra.
    • English equivalent: Constant dropping wears the stone.
    • "A steady effort can achieve, little by little, a great effect, as many drops do by gradually dissolving and eroding the stone."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "71". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 349. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Apretados pero contentos.
    • English equivalent: The more the merrier.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1094. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aprovecha el día presente.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda.
    • English equivalent: A golden bit does not make the horse any better.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Al que Dios quiere castigar le quita la razón.
    • English equivalent: Whom God will destroy, he first make mad.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 841. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Alcalda del mes de enero.
    • New is of the month of January
    • English equivalent: New brooms sweep clean.
    • "We often apply it to exchanges among servants, clerks, or any persons employed, whose service, at first, in any new place, is very good, both efficient and faithful; but very soon, when all the new circumstances have lost their novelty, and all their curiosity has ceased, they naturally fall into their former and habitual slackness."
    • Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 38. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1103. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aquél es rico, que está bien con Dios.
    • English equivalent: He who serves God has a good master.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 873. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aquél va más sano, que anda por el llano.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 701. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ara bien y hondo, cogerás pan en abando.
    • English equivalent: Plough deep while sluggards sleep, and you will have corn to sell and keep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1001. ISBN 0415096243. 

B[edit]

  • Bien predica quien bien vive.
    • English equivalent: Lead by example.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 

C[edit]

  • Callen barbas y hablen cartas.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 808. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cada carnero de su pie cuelga.
    • English equivalent: Every bird must hatch its own eggs.
    • Meaning: We must depend on ourselves, financially and in other regards.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 777. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cada cosa en su tiempo.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, God disposes.
    • "Plans are insulted destinies. I don't have plans, I only have goals."
    • Ash Chandler, Freudian Slip, Mumbai Mirror Buzz, April 2006.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 29. 
  • Costumbre adquirida en la mocedad, se deja muy mal en la vejez.
    • English equivalent: Old habits die hard.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1122. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Como canta el abad, así responde el sacristán.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Comprar gato en saco.
    • English equivalent: Let the buyer have a thousand eyes for the seller wants only one.
    • "I formulate my law, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud. Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, e.tc is crap."
    • Theodore Sturgeon Venture (1957)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1101. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con el agua de la bañadera echar también al niño.
    • English equivalent: Don't throw out the child with the bath water.
    • "Do not take the drastic step of abolishing or discarding something in its entirety when only parts of it is unacceptable."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 25 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con el tiempo todo se consigue.
    • Swedish equivalent: Time heals all wounds.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Como midais sereis medidos.
    • English equivalent: Whatever measure you deal out to others will be dealt back to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1219. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con la gente no es temible la muerte.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Cuando la cabeza duele todos los miembros duelen.
    • English equivalent: When the head is sick, the whole body is sick.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1117. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuando las barbas de tu vecino veas cortar, pon las tuyas a remojar.
    • Translation: When you see your neighbour's beard being cut, put yours in water.
    • Meaning: Be cautious when you see disgraces to people near you.
  • Cuando todos dicen que eres asno, rebuzna y ponte rabo.
    • English equivalent: When all men say you are an ass, it is time to bray.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1221. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuando te dieren un condado, agárrale.
    • English equivalent: When the pig is proffered, hold up the poke.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1226. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuando tu amigo pide, no hay mañana.
    • English equivalent: When thy friend asks, let there be no to-morrow.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 151. 
  • Cuando una puerta se cierra, ciento se abren.
    • English equivalent: When one door closes another opens.
    • Meaning: "When baffled in one direction a man of energy will not despair, but will find another way to his object."
    • Source for meaning: Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 67. Retrieved on 26 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 845. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Cuanto menos se diga, mejor.
    • English equivalent: Least said, soonest mended.
    • Meaning: "In private animosities and verbal contentions, where angry passions are apt to rise, and irritating, if not profane expressions are often made use of, as we sometimes see to be the case, not only among neighbors, but in families, between husbands and wives, or parents and children, or the children themselves and other members of the household, - the least said, the better in general. By multiplying words, cases often grow worse instead of better."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. pp. 125. 
    • Whit Wirsing (9 June 2009). The Ultimate Spanish Phrase Finder: Frases Equivalente: Ingles-espanol, Espanol-ingles. McGraw Hill Professional. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-07-143303-7. Retrieved on 8 June 2013. 
  • Cuídame del agua mansa, que de la brava, yo sólo me cuidaré.
    • English equivalent: Still water runs deep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243. 

D[edit]

  • Dar al diablo lo que es debido.
    • English equivalent: Give the devil his due.
    • Meaning: "People deserve recognition for their skills and contributions even if they are otherwise unworthy or unlikeable."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2009). The Facts on File Dictionary of Allusions. Infobase Publishing. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-8160-7105-0. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 862. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • De buenas intenciones esta empedrado el camino al infierno.
    • English equivalent: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • De grandes cenas están las sepulteras llenas.
    • English equivalent: Gluttony kills more than the sword.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • De malas costumbres nacen buenas leyes.
    • English equivalent: Good laws have sprung from bad customs.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Debajo del sayal hay mal.
    • English equivalent: Judge not a man and things at first sight.
    • "No good Book, or good thing of any sort, shows its best face at first."
    • Thomas Carlyle, Essays, "Novalis" (1829)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Despues de los años mil, Torna el agua a su carril.
  • Devolver bien por mal.
    • English equivalent: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    • Meaning: Make something good out of bad things that has happened to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Del hombre necio a veces buen consejo.
    • English equivalent: A fool may give a wise man counsel.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 40. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Dinero guardado, dinero capado.
    • Translation: The hidden things of wisdom and a treasure that is not seen, what profit is in them both?
    • English equivalent: Money is there to be spent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1013. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dios que de la llaga, de la medicina.
    • English equivalent: God who gives the wound gives the salve.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 874. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dios me libre de hombre de un libro.
    • English equivalent: Fear the man of one book.
    • "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
    • Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See (1990)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 851. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dios tarda, pero no olvida.
    • Translation: God is slow, but he does not forget.
    • English equivalent: Punishment is lame but it comes.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 779. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dividar para reinar.
    • Translation: Divide to rule.
    • English equivalent: Divide and conquer.
    • Meaning: "The best way to conquer or control a group of people is by encouraging them to fight among themselves rather than allowing them to unite in opposition to the ruling authority."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 13 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "823". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Dolor comunicado, dolor alviado.
    • English equivalent: A problem shared is a problem halved.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 351. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dueña yo dueña tu, ¿quién botará la puerca afuera?
    • Translation: You a lady, I a lady who is to drive out the sow?
    • English equivalent: There are too many chiefs and not enough indians.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 991. ISBN 0415096243. 

E[edit]

  • El abismo llama al abismo
    • English equivalent: Deep calls to deep.
    • "The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution."
    • Russell L. Ackoff, The development of operations research as a science (1956)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El mejor no vale nada.
    • English equivalent: Bad is the best choice.
    • "I always search good in bad. l also search bad in good."
    • Vennu Malesh, It's My Life (2012)
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 17. 
  • El peresozo siempre es menesteroso.
    • English equivalent: Poverty is the reward of idleness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1146. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El dìa que te casas, o te matas o te sanas.
    • Translation: The day you get married, either you kill yourself or you become sound.
    • English equivalents: Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye; A man's best fortune or his worst is a wife.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 65. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El favo es dulce, mas pica la abeja.
    • English equivalent: Honey is sweet, but the bees sting.
    • Meaning: Suffering is the acceptable in the quest for something great.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 837. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El fruto no cae lejos del árbol.
    • Translation: The fruit of a tree falls to its root.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • Meaning: "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • El hijo de la gata ratones mata.
    • Meaning: "What is innate is not to be eradicated by force of education or self discipline: these may modify the outward manifestations of a man's nature, but not transmute the nature itself."
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 985. ISBN 0415096243. 
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. X. 
  • El hilo siempre se rompe por lo más delgado.
    • Translation: The thread always breaks at the thinnest.
    • English equivalent: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
    • Meaning: "A weak part or member will affect the success or effectiveness of the whole."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 31 July 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 19. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • El lenguaje de la verdad es sencillo.
    • Translation: The language of truth is simple.
    • English equivalent: Truth gives a short answer, lies go round about.
    • Latin equivalent: Obscuris vera involvens.
      • Translation: Obscurity envelops truth.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1216. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El mejor nadador es del agua.
  • Translation: The best swimmer is from the water.
    • English equivalent: Good swimmers are often drowned.
    • Meaning: Beware of letting your competence lead you into overconfidence.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El miedo no es tonto.
    • Translation: Fear isn't dumb.
    • English equivalent: Discretion is the better part of valor.
    • Meaning: "Drastic action is called for – and justified – when you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 703. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El peresozo siempre es menesteroso.
    • English equivalent: Poverty is the reward of idleness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "267". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • El perro ladra y la caravana pasa.
    • Translation: The dogs bark and the caravan passes on.
    • Meaning: Let the world say what it will.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • El pez grande se come al chico.
    • Translation: The little fish gets eaten by the big one.
    • English equivalent: Men are like fish; the great ones devour the small.
    • Meaning: "Small organizations or insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater and more powerful."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 1 July 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1086. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El poeta nace, el orador se hace.
    • Translation: The poet is born, the orator is made.
    • English equivalent: Poets are born, but orators are trained.
    • Meaning: Some things can be improved by training, others require innate talent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 331. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • El ruin pajarillo, Descubra su nidillo.
    • Translation: Wretched bird, fouls its own nest.
    • English equivalent: Don't wash your dirty linen in public; It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest.
    • Meaning: Don't speak in public of unpleasant private affairs; Don't speak ill of yourself and the groups you belong to.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 45. 
  • El que jugó, jugará.
    • English equivalent: Once a drunkard always a drunkard; Once a thief always a thief.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 771. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El que no es envidiado, es que no es afortunado.
    • Translation: He which no one envies, has no fortune.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1008. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El que se ahoga, se agarra a un perlo
    • English equivalent: A drowning man plucks at a straw.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • El que súbito se determina, súbito se arrepiente.
    • Translation: Who judges soon, soon repents.
    • English equivalent: Hasty judgment leads to repentance.
    • Meaning: A quick evaluation is a terrible evaluation.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 196. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El tiempo perdido los santos lo lloran.
    • Translation: Wasted time is cried for by saints.
    • English equivalent: Time is precious.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "858". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Taylor & Francis. p. 723. ISBN 978-0-415-10381-7. 
  • El tiempo y la marea no esperan al rey.
    • English equivalent: Time and tide wait for no man.
    • Meaning: "Take, for illustration, the case of the negligent and unreflecting man. He resolves to accomplish a certain important object at some future period; but in the intervening time, some preparatory, though in itself comparatively trifling business, is indispensable. He defers this business; [...] At length the period for accomplishing the ultimate object arrives: but, alas! the prerequisite, so absolutely connected and essential, is neglected And then, vain man!"
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 169. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1743". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1210. ISBN 978-0-203-00905-5. 
  • El trabajo según la paga.
    • Translation: What pay, such work.
    • English equivalent: You get what you pay for.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 494. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • En boca cerrada ni moscas ni nada.
    • Translation: Into a closed mouth no flies ever entered.
    • English equivalent: A close mouth catches no flies.
    • Meaning: It is wise not to speak when it is not necessary.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • En casa del ahorcado, no se ha de mentar la soga.
    • Translation: In the house of the hanged man, mention not the rope.
    • English equivalent: Name not a rope in his house who hanged himself.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 86. 
  • En casa del herrero, cuchillo de palo.
    • Translation: In the house of the blacksmith, there is a wooden knife.
    • English equivalents: Cobblers' children are worst shod; The shoemaker goes barefoot. The cobbler's wife is the worst shod.
    • Meaning: "Working hard for others one may neglect one's own needs or the needs of those closest to him."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 65. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 661. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • En la duda, abstente.
    • Translation: When in doubt, abstain.
    • English equivalent: When in doubt, leave it out.
    • Meaning: "If you are unsure what to do, it is best to do nothing at all."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1223. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • En la tardanza suele estar el peligroso.
    • Translation: Delays are dangerous.
    • English equivalent: There is danger in delay.
    • Meaning: "Hesitation or procastination may lead to trouble or disaster."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • En toda cosa hay que considerar el fin.
    • Translation: In all cases you must reflect the end.
    • English equivalent: Whatever you do, act wisely, and consider the end.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 600. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Entre dos muelas cordales nunca pongas tus pulgares.
    • English equivalent: Don't go between the tree and the bark.
    • Meaning: Do not interfere when two parts are having an argument.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 729. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Es más fácil ver la paja en ojo ajeno que la viga en el propio (taken from the Bible, Matthew, 7:3-5)
    • Translation: It's easier to see the straw in someone else than the beam in oneself
    • Interpretation:
      • Normally you see defects on other people easier than in yourself.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1995). Las Condiciones de Vida de la Población Pobre de la Provincia de Albacete. Cáritas Española. p. 113. ISBN 8489397058. 
  • Es un hombre sin honor, el que piense mal de esta acción.
    • English equivalent: Shame take him that shame thinketh.
    • Meaning: Don't think evil of others since they most likely act the way they do because of situational factors: Never attribute something to malice which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. entry 806. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • El mal escribano le echa la culpa a la pluma
    • Translation: The poor writer blames the pen.
    • English equivalent: It is a poor workman who complains about his tools.
    • Pérez Martínez, Herón (1993). Refrán viejo nunca miente: refranero mexicano Colección Tradiciones. Colegio de Michoacán. p. 113. ISBN 9686959068. 
  • El saber es fuerza.
    • Translation: Knowledge is strength.
    • English equivalent: Learning is the eye of the mind.
    • Meaning: Learning about a subject such as psychology will increase your overall competence.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • El que no oye consejo no llega a viejo.
    • English equivalent: Advice most needed is the least heeded.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 112. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • El que tiene frio sopla el fuego.
    • English equivalent: Let him that is cold blow the coals.
    • "My definition of success is doing what you love. I feel many people do things because they feel they have to, and are hesitant to risk following their passion."
    • Tony Hawk, American businessman, entrepreneur, skateboard pro. Interviewed by Gary Cohn for Entrepreneur Magazine (October 2009)
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 77. 
  • Es cosa de dos.
    • Translation: It takes two.
    • English equivalent: It takes two to tango.
    • Författare Cambridge University Press (2008). Titel Diccionario Bilingue Cambridge Spanish-English Paperback Compact edition. Cambridge University Press. p. 576. ISBN 8483234823. 
  • Es el tono que hace la música.
    • English equivalent: It is not what you do, but the way that you do it; Halls don't grace men, it's men that grace halls.
    • "Everybody wants something, but they don't know how to ask for it."
    • Tony Gayon, Murder by Numbers (2002)
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). "1341". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 802. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Es mejor tostón asegurado que dime apostado.
    • Translation: Secured 10 cents are better than 20 cents in the betting pot.
    • Meaning: "Something you have for certain now is of more value than something better you may get, especially if you risk losing what you have in order to get it."
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 29 July 2013. 
  • Es muy frecuente la risa en la boca del necio.
    • English equivalent: A fool is ever laughing.
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). "137". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Es peor el remedio que la enfermedad.
    • Translation: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it off the mouse.
    • Meaning: The effect of a treatment or bodily enhancement – whether pharmaceutical or not, whether a household remedy or professional-ordained – is often worse than what it was intended to cure or alleviate.
    • Urbina (2005). Refranero Latino. Ediciones Akal. p. 306. ISBN 8446012960. 
  • Excusa no pedida, la culpa manifesta.
    • Translation: He who unrequested excuses himself, shows his guilt.
    • English equivalent: A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
    • Meaning: "People who know they have done wrong reveal their guilt by the things they say or the way they interpret what other people say."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "243". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 

F[edit]

  • Fue por lana y salió trasquilado.
    • (He/She) went looking for wool and came back shorn.
    • Interpretations:
      • If you go for something it might end up biting you
      • you woo someone but end up heartbroken.
      • you try to cheat someone but get cheated yourself.
      • Chasing glamour will get you fleeced.
      • All that glitters isn't gold.
        • Muñoz Borrero, Eduardo (1981). En el Palacio de Carondelet: gobernantes ecuatorianos del Presidente Flores al Presidente Hurtado. Artes Gráficas Señal. p. 507. ISBN 0415160502. 

G[edit]

  • Gobernar es prever.
    • Translation: It is better to prevent than to cure.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of preventions is better than a pound of cure.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 332. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Guarda mozo, y hallarás viejo.
    • English equivalent: Diligent youth makes easy age.
    • Meaning: If you live your youth years diligently, it will save you from regret when you are old. That is, you take care of your health and do things you like that virtually only young people can do.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 701. ISBN 0415096243. 

H[edit]

  • Hay gato encerrado.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1070. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Haz lo que dice el fraile, y no lo que hace.
    • English equivalent: Preachers say: do as I say, not as i do.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 706. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Hacer de una pulga un elefante.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 58. 
  • Hechos dan testimonio, que no las palabras.
    • Translation: Bear witness to facts, not words.
    • English equivalent: No need of words, trust deeds.
    • Meaning: "Actions may be, and indeed sometimes are deceptive in a measure though not as much so as words; and accordingly are received in general as more full and satisfactory proofs of the real disposition and character of persons than verbal expressions."
    • Source for meaning:Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 10. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Hijo de gato, caza ratón
    • Translation: Son of a cat, catches rats.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • Howard, Christopher. Official Guide to Cuban Spanish. Costa Rica Books. p. 113. ISBN 1881233901. 
  • Hombre prevenido vale por dos.
    • Translation: The man who is prepared is worth two men.
    • English equivalent: Forewarned is forearmed.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 162. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • Hoy por mí y mañana por tí.
    • Translation: Today for me, and tomorrow for you.
    • English equivalent: Today me, tomorrow thee.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1038. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien con el diablo haya de comer, larga cuchara ha menester.
    • Translation: He who eats with the devil, must have a long spoon.
    • Meaning: Someone who treats others badly will eventually turn on you.
    • English equivalent: He who sups with the devil must use a long spoon.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 920. ISBN 0415160502. 

J[edit]

  • Jugar con fuego es peligroso.
    • Translation: Playing with fire is dangerous.
    • English equivalent: Do not play with edged tools.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 716. ISBN 0415096243. 

L[edit]

  • La carne más sabrosa es la que está junta al hueso.
    • English equivalent: The sweetest flesh is near the bones.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1666". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1176. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La dicha de la fea, la linda de la desea .
    • Translation: The fortune of the ugly is something the beautiful wants.
    • English equivalent: Handsome is that handsome does.
    • Meaning: "People should be valued for their good deeds, not their good looks, also occasionally used of things, or as a warning not to be misled by an attractive appearance."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La envidia es la sombra de la gloria.
    • Translation: Envy is the shadow of glory.
    • English equivalent: Envy always shooteth at a high mark.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 766. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La envidia no muere jamás.
    • English equivalent: Envy takes no holiday.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 767. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La historia se repite.
    • English equivalent: Something that has happened once can happen again.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La mayoría es razón.
    • English equivalent: What everybody says must be true.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La mayor dicha o desdicha del hombre es la mujer.
    • Translation: The fortune or misfortune of a man comes from the woman.
    • English equivalent: A cheerful wife is the spice of life.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 20. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • La mejor defensa es el ataque.
    • Translation: Attack is the best form of defence.
    • English equivalent: The best defence is a good offense.
    • Meaning: "You are more likely to win if you take the initiative and make an attack rather than preparing to defend yourself."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 30 June 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 518. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La necesidad hace a la vieja trotar.
    • Translation: Need makes the old woman jog.
    • English equivalent: Necessity has no law.
    • Meaning: It is acceptable to break rules in times of need.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 60. 
  • La ropa sucia se lava en casa.
    • English equivalent: Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
    • Meaning: Don't bring your private matters into the open.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 702. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La salud ante todo.
  • Translation: Health before everything.
    • English equivalent: Good health is above wealth.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La serpiente se oculta en la hierba.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1070. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La voz del pueblo es voz de Dios.
    • English equivalent: The voice of the people is the voice of god.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1164. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La segunda idea suele ser mejor.
  • Las parablas no cuentan.
    • Translation: Words do not count.
    • English equivalent: Eggs and oaths are soon broken.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La unión hace la fuerza.
    • English equivalent: United we stand, divided we fall; Union is strength.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Las ratas abandonan el barco que se hunde.
    • Translation: The rats abandon the sinking ship.
    • English equivalent: Rats desert a sinking ship.
    • Meaning: An organization or leader in trouble will quickly be abandoned.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ladroncillo de agujeta, después sube a barjuleta.
    • English equivalent: He that steals an egg will steal an ox.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 962. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Lavandera mala no encuentra jamás buena piedra.
  • Translation: A bad washer doesn't ever find a good rock.
    • English equivalent: A bad craftsman blames his tools.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Las aguas quietas calan hondo.
    • Translation: Still waters run deep.
    • English equivalent: Still waters run deep.
    • Meaning: Those who are taciturn might be that because their heads are filled with ambitious thoughts!
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 598. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Las aparencias engañan.
    • English equivalent: Appearances deceive.
    • Meaning: Things are not always as they look like.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • En la variedad está el gusto.
    • English equivalent: Variety is the spice of life.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 225. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Lo barato cuesta caro.
    • Translation: What is cheap is the most costly.
    • English equivalent: If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 53. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Lo que mal empieza, mal termina.
    • English equivalent: A bad beginning makes a bad ending.
    • Meaning: "It is as impossible that a system radically erroneous, once commenced, should end well, as it is that a mathematical problem, commenced wrong, should come out right."
    • Source for meaning: William Henry Porter (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 202. 
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). "1". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Lo que no mata, engorda.
  • Alt: Mugre (mierda) que no mata, engorda.
  • Alt: Veneno que no mata, engorda. (Peru)
    • Translation: What does not kill, fattens.
    • Interpretation: What doesn't kill me, strengthens me. (Nietzsche)
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 162. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • Lo que puedes sólo, no esperes a otro.
    • Translation: What you can do alone, do not wait for others.
    • English equivalent: For what thou canst do thyself, rely not on another.
    • Latin equivalent: Ne quid expectes amicos, quod tute agere possis.
      • Translation: Expect nothing from friends, do what you can do yourself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 600. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Los grandes ingenios se encuentran.
    • Translation: The ingenious will meet.
    • English equivalent: Great minds agree.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 882. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Los primeros serán postreros.
    • Translation: The first will be last.
    • English equivalent: The last will be first, and the first last.
    • Meaning: Those who humbly serve the Lord will be rewarded, and those who are arrogant will be humbled.; Humbleness is a virtue; pride is a sin.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1085. ISBN 0415096243. 

M[edit]

  • Manos besa el hombre, que querria ver cortadas.
    • English equivalent: Many kiss the hand they wish cut off.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1084. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Más lejos ven los sesos que los ojos.
    • Translation: Brains are farther than the eye.
    • English equivalent: The eye looks but it is the mind that sees.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1175. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mas vale algo que nada
    • Translation: Something is worth more than nothing.
    • English equivalent: Better a lean jade than an empty halter.
    • Meaning: It is better to have an insufficient version of something inherently desirable than nothing at all.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Más vale andarse soltero que con mal compañero.
    • Translation: It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.
    • English equivalent: Better be alone than in bad company.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 572. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando.
    • Translation: A bird in the hand is worth more than a hundred flying.
    • English proverb: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • Dutch proverb: Better one bird in the hand than ten in the air
    • German proverb: Lieber den Spatz in der Hand als die Taube auf dem Dach. (Better the sparrow in the hand than the pigeon on the roof.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 224. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • Más vale un presente que dos después.
    • Translation: Better one now, than two in the future.
    • English equivalent: One today is worth two tomorrows.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1137. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mas valé punada de natural que almorzada de ciencia.
    • English equivalent: Nature is beyond all teaching.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 764. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mas vale rodear que no ahogar.
    • Translation: It is better to change path than to drown.
    • English equivalent: Better go about than fall into the ditch.
    • Meaning: Cut your losses.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 11. 
  • Mas vale saber que hablar (haber).
    • Translation: Knowing is better than speaking (of having).
    • English equivalent: A good mind possess a kingdom.
    • Meaning: Material assets are fleeting, but intellectual assets will basically stay with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, intellectual assets are much more worth than material ones.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.
    • Alt: Sabe más el diablo por viejo que por diablo.
    • Translation: The devil knows more because he's old, than because he is devil.
    • Interpretations:
      • With age comes wisdom.
      • Swedish equivalent: Old is the oldest.
      • A person with age, acquires a certain prudence and knowledge from life's experiences.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 78. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • ¡Médico, cúrate a ti mismo!
    • English equivalent: Physician, heal yourself!
    • Meaning: Don't correct other's faults; correct your own faults instead.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1142. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mejor es doblar que quebrar.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Better bow than break.
    • Meaning: "It is better to make some confession, or pay a little deference to others, our neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and especially our superiors, rather than lose our credit or break friendship."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 46. 
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 20. 
  • Mejor es el fin que los medios.
    • English equivalent: Crooked logs make straight fires.
    • Meaning: If nothing better is available, anything flawed is also useful; Instead of being frustrated by a bad situation, try to find ways to improve it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 683. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Menea la cola el can, no por ti, sino por el pan.
    • English equivalent: He who acts friendly does not seek your affection, but a specific thing from you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 710. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Meted las manos en vuestro seno, veréis vuestro mal y no el ajeno.
    • English equivalent: Forget other faults remembering your own; Forgive and forget.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mientras la hierba crece el caballo muere.
    • English equivalent: While the grass grows the steed starves.
    • Meaning: Dreams or expectations may be realized too late.
    • Meaning: "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1228. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mirar antes de saltar.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap.
    • "The man who thinks before he acts, is most likely to act with discretion, and have no future cause to repent of his conduct; but he who acts blindly, without any foresight, will probably suffer for his rashness."
    • Trusler, John (1790). Proverbs exemplified, and illustrated by pictures from real life. p. 115. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 751. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mucha paya y poco grano; es por vicio del verano.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Great cry and little wool.
    • Meaning: "Much ado about nothing."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Keating, Walter (1859). Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). p. 128. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "178". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Muchos golpes derriban un roble.
    • English equivalent: Little strokes fell great oaks.
    • Meaning: "A difficult task, e. g. removing a person/group from a strong position, or changing established ideas cannot be done quickly. It can be achieved gradually, by small steps, a little at a time."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 252. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

N[edit]

  • Nada hay nuevo debajo del sol.
    • Translation: There is nothing new under the Sun.
    • English equivalent: Nothing is new.
    • Meaning: Absolutely everything has been done before.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1114. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Nadie da palos de balde.
    • Translation: Nobody gives clubs for nothing.
    • English equivalent: You don't get nothing for nothing; The only free cheese is in the mouse trap.
    • Meaning: "Everything has to be paid for, directly or indirectly, in money or in kind."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 314. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 799. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Nadie es indispensable.
    • Translate: No one is indispensable.
    • English equivalent: No man is indispensable.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 319. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Nadie puede ser juez en causa propia.
    • Translation: No one can be the judge in his own trial.
    • English equivalent: No one can be the judge in his own case.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1038. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Necio es quien piensa que otros no piensan.
    • Translation: He is a fool that thinks not another thinks.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ni de amigo reconcilado, ni de manjar dos veces guisado.
    • English equivalent: Take heed of enemies reconciled and of meat twice boiled.
    • Meaning: Your former enemies might cunningly take revenge on you just out of spite; Trust not a reconciled enemy more than an open foe.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • No dejes camino viejo por sendero nuevo.
    • Translation: A short cut is often a long cut.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • No dejes para mañana lo que puedas hacer hoy.
    • Translation: Don't wait for tomorrow to do something you can do today.
    • Interpretation: If you want to do something, then do it today; don't put it aside for tomorrow.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • No fies mujer de fraile, ni barajes con alcade.
    • English equivalent: A king's favour is no inheritance.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • No hay cerrudura, si es de oro la ganzua.
  • No hay enemigo pequeño.
    • English equivalent: There is no little enemy.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 718. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No hay mal que por bien no venga.
    • Translation: There is not bad from which good doesn't come.
    • English equivalent: Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • No hay peor burla, Que la verdadera.
    • English equivalent: Many a true words are spoken in jest.
    • "A joke's a very serious thing."
    • Charles Churchill, The Ghost (1763), book iv, line 1386
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 57. 
  • No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver.
    • Translation: There are no worst blind people than one who doesn't want to see.
    • English equivalent: There are none so blind as they who will not see.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 320. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • No hay peor sordo que el que no quiere oír.
    • English equivalent: None so deaf as those who will not hear.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1110. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No hay regla sin excepción.
    • Translation: There exists no rule without exceptions.
    • English equivalent: There is no rule without an exception.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1174. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No hay que dejar lo segur por lo dudoso
    • Translation: You shouldn't leave the secure for something doubtful.
    • English equivalent: He that leaves certainty and sticks to chance,
      When fools pipe, he may dance.
    • Meaning: It is foolish to abandon a certain choice for an uncertain one.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 638. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • No hay que jugar con le salud.
    • English equivalent: Don't burn the candles at both ends.
    • Meaning: Don't wake up early in the morning and stay up late into the evening as well.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1137. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No hay tal ciencia como tener paciencia.
    • Translation: There is no such science as patience.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains.
    • Meaning: Patience can often do more than your wits.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 415. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No hay tal razón como la del bastón.
    • Translation: There is no such reason as the Cane.
    • English equivalent: Accusing is proving, when malice and force sit judges; The wolf finds a reason for taking the lamb.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No pidas perdon antes de ser acusado.
    • Translation: Do not ask for forgiveness before being charged.
    • English equivalent: Never ask pardon before you are accused.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 87. 
  • No te arrepientas nunca de haber comida.
    • Translation: Don't regret never having food.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 763. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No todas las verdades son para dichas.
    • English equivalent: All truths are not to be told.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 282. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No todo es vero lo que suena el pandero.
    • Translation: Not all is true that is played on the tamborine.
    • English equivalent: A story never loses in the telling.
    • Meaning: Lying a little might make the story better.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 7. 
  • No todo lo que brilla es oro.
    • Translation: Not everything that shines is gold.
    • Source: Glazer, Mark (1987). A Dictionary of Mexican American Proverbs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 292. ISBN 0313253854. 
  • No se cazan liebres al son del tambor.
    • English equivalent: Drumming is not the way to catch a hare.
    • Meaning: Don't expect anyone to change his ways by scolding him.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 754. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No se puede sacar agua de una piedre.
    • Translation: You cannot get water from a stone.
    • English equivalent: You can't milk a bull.
    • Meaning: It is impossible to sway a hostile minded person.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1040. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • No vendas la piel del oso antes de cazarlo.
    • Translation: Don't sell the bear's fur before you hunt it.
    • English equivalent: Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 708. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Non hay libro tan malo, que no tenga algo bueno.
    • Translation: There is no book so bad, that it does not have anything good.
    • English equivalent: No book was so bad, but some good might be got out of it.
    • Meaning: You might typically get something good out of an overall faulty book, especially a non fictional one, such as sound advice or anecdotes to tell others.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1104. ISBN 0415096243. 

O[edit]

  • Obra de comun, obra de ningun.

P[edit]

  • Para curar no basta la intencion.
    • English equivalent: It is not wise to open old wounds.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 45. 
  • Para eurar no basta la intencion.
    • English equivalent: Least said, soonest mended.
    • Meaning: It is best not to mention anything at all about something bad that has happened.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 45. 
  • Para todo hay comentario.
    • English equivalent: Every why hath its wherefore.
    • Meaning: "Everything has an underlying reason."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 22 September 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Pato, ganso y ansarón, tres cosas suena y una son.
    • English equivalent: Goose, gander and gosling are three sounds but one thing.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Perro ladrador, poco mordedor.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite. / All bark, no bite.
    • Meaning: "Threatening does not always lead to action: Harsh words may disguise a different feeling, intention or ability."
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 0415160502. 
    • Source for meaning Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 44. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Peso y medida quitan al hombre fatiga.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. X. 
  • Piedra sin agua no aguza en la fragua.
    • English equivalent: From nothing nothing can come.
    • Meaning: If you don't do anything, nothing will come to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 238. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Poner el carro antes los bueyes.
    • Translation: To set the cart before the horse.
    • English equivalent: Don't put the cart before the horse.
    • Meaning: "It is important to do things in the right or natural order."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 18 August 2013. 
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 106. 
  • Presto hay un bastón para dar al perro.
    • Translation: If you want to beat a dog you will easily find a stick.
    • Meaning: Someone who wants to be mean will find things to be mean about no matter what.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Por un gustazo, un trancazo.
    • Translation: Pride comes before fall.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1148. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Por una parte se pierde el todo.
    • Translation: For one part you lose everything.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 70. 

Q[edit]

  • Cual es Maria, tal hija cría .
    • Mary will foster a daughter like herself.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • Similar to "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
    • "Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and rarely."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 137. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Quien á mano agena espera, mal yanta y peor cena.
    • English equivalent: He that waits on another man's trencher, makes many a late dinner.

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  • Qué bonito es ver la lluvia y no mojarse.
    • Translation: How nice it is to see the rain without getting wet.
    • Meaning: Often used to answer someone who's critizicing your work or actions, without doing anything themselves.
    • English closest equivalent: Criticism is easy, but art is difficult.
    • Source: Hernández, Efrén (2007). Obras Completas: Poesía, Cuento, Novela, Volym 1. Fondo de Cultura Economica. p. 204. ISBN 9681679016. 
  • Quien acheja por agujero, ve su duelo.
    • Translation: Who lurks at the hole, sees his duel.
    • English equivalent: Eavesdroppers hear no good of themselves.
    • Meaning: "People who eavesdrop on the conversations of others risk hearing unfavorable comments about themselves; used as a warning or reprimand."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "250". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Quien bien ama, tarde se olvida.
    • Translation: He who loves well, forgets the afternoon.
    • English equivalent: True love never grows old.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1107. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien en año quiere ser rico, al medio le ahorcan.
    • Translation: He who in a year wants riches, in half will be strangled.
    • English equivalent: No one gets rich quickly if he is honest.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 963. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien bien quiere a Pedro, no hace mal a su perro.
    • English equivalent: Love me, love my dog.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 953. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien da luego, da dos veces.
    • Translation: Who gives now, gives two times.
    • English equivalent: He gives twice, who gives in a trice.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 38. 
  • Quien espera, desespera
    • Translation: He who hopes, despairs.
    • English equivalent: Who lives by hope will die of hunger.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 952. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien mal siembra, mal coge.
    • Translation: Who sows poorly, evil gets.
    • English equivalent: Sow thin, shear thin.
    • Meaning: "He that sows bountifully, also reaps bountifully. [...] Open then mouth wide, and it shall be filled; lay broad and firm your foundation for a noble and permanent superstructure; raise high your standard of excellence, if you would make high and worthy attainments. And do what you attempt to do, well."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 163. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1158. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien no adoba gotera, hace casa entera.
    • English equivalent: A stitch in time saves nine.
    • "No one needs to be told that a vast deal of labor is expended unnecessarily. This is occasioned, to a great extent, by the neglect of seasonable repairs."
    • Source for meaning:Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 13. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 6. 
  • Quien no oye consejo, no llega a viejo.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 675. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien no tiene cabeza, debe tener piernas.
    • English equivalent: Who falls short in the head must be long in the heels.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "149". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Quien pájaro ha de tomar, no ha de ojear.
    • English equivalent: Deal gently with the bird you mean to catch.
    • "When people are just, they need friendship in addition."
    • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (c. 325 BC), Book VIII, 1155.a26
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 689. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien pide no escoge.
    • Translate: He who asks does not get to choose.
    • Closest English equivalent: Beggars can't be choosers.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 19. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien quiera peces, que moje el culo.
    • Translation: Whoever wants fish, must get their ass wet.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • Meaning: One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 18. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Quien saltar quiere lejos, debe medir la distancia.
    • English equivalent: One must step back to take a good leap.
    • "Information processing keeps going on even when we are not aware of it, even while we are asleep."
    • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1997)
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 62. 
  • Quien tiene cola de paja no debe arrimarse al fuego.
    • Translation: He that is made of straw should go near the fire.
    • English equivalent: He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun.
    • English equivalent: People that live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones.
    • Meaning: Know your limitations and weaknesses; Don't do something that is sure to damage you.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 54. 
  • Quien tiene hijos o ovejas, no le faltan quejas.
    • Translation: Anyone who has children or sheep, is not without complaints.
    • English equivalent: Children are uncertain comforts but certain cares.
    • Meaning: "Children are bound to cause their parents anxiety, and may or may not also bring them joy."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 2 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 654. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quien cuando puede no quiere, cuando quiere no puede.
    • Translation: Who when he can won't, will not be able to when he wants.
    • English equivalent: He that will not when he may, when he will he may have nay.
    • Meaning: "Take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself, even if you do not want or need it at the time, because it may no longer be available when you do."
    • Compare to English "Strike while the iron's hot."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent:Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 41. 

R[edit]

  • Roba bien quien a ladron roba.
    • Translation: Steal a thief who steals well.
    • English equivalent: Set a thief to catch a thief.
    • Mrs Mawr, E B (2005). Analogous Proverbs In Ten Languages (reprint ed.). Kessinger Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 1417964677. 

S[edit]

  • Saca agua de las piedras.
    • Translation: Draw water from the stones.
    • English equivalent: All is fish that comes to the net.
    • another English equivalent: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    • "Anything that comes along is accepted and turned to advantage."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007), The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs, Infobase Publishing, p. 5, ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5, retrieved on 16 June 2013 
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 11. 
    • a similar meaning: "… when we do not upbraid circumstances or indulge in self reproach, the mind is the mind and nothing untoward can occur. Chersterton rightly says 'An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly understood. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered'"
    • Blyth, R.H. (1976). Games Zen Masters Play. Mentor. p. 43. 
  • Si adelante no vas, altrasarás.
    • English equivalent: He who does not advance goes backwards.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 445. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Si cazares, no te alabes; si no cazares, no te enfades.
    • English equivalent: If fortune favours, beware of being exalted; if fortune thunders, beware of being overwhelmed.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1001. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Si el cielo se cae nos cojerá debajo.
    • English equivalent: If the sky falls, we shall catch larks.
    • "The Lark is a lofty Bird, and foars perhaps as high as any of the Inhabitants of the airy Regions; and if there be no other way of coming at them, till the Sky falling down on their Heads beats them down into our Hands, we shall be little the better for ’em. This Proverb is ufually apply’d to Such Perfons who buoy themfelves up with vain Hopes, but in Embryo, ill conceived ... to laft till their Accomplifhment." says Mr. Bailey. He somewhat unpedagogically remarks that "A lark is better than a kite" for "a little which is good, is better than a great deal of that which is good for nothing."
    • Divers Proverbs with Their Explication & Illustration, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 65. 
  • "Si el rio suena es porque piedras trae."
    • A similar English saying "where there's smoke there's fire."
    • Literal Translation: If the river makes noise it is because it is bringing stones."
    • Meaning - when you hear rumors, there usually is some truth to them.
    • {{website| woodwardspanish.com
  • Si la montaña no va a Mahoma, Mahoma íra a la montaña
    • Translation: If the mountain does not go to Muhammad, Muhammad will go to the mountain.
    • Note: From an English proverb. The earliest appearance of the phrase is from Chapter 12 of the Essays of Francis Bacon, published in 1625.
    • English equivalent: If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
    • Meaning: "If you cannot get what you want, you must adapt yourself to the circumstances or adopt a different approach."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1006. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Si no como queremos pasamos como podemos.
    • English equivalent: Do as you may, if you can't do as you could.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 707. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Sin razón se queja del mar quien otra vez navega.
    • English equivalent: He complains wrongfully at the sea that suffer shipwreck twice.
    • Meaning: Don't do the same thing again and expect different results.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 898. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Sin tentacion no hay victoria.
    • Translation: Where there is no temptation there is no glory.
    • English equivalent: Without temptation there is no victory.
    • Meaning: Not being tempted is a sign that fortune has forgotten you.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 156. 
  • Sleep upon it, and you will take counsel.
    • English equivalent: Take counsel of one's pillow.
    • Note: Specified as a Spanish proverb in the source.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 63. 
  • Sol que mucho madruga, poco dura.
    • English equivalent: Early ripe, early rotten.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 758. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Sólo se tiran piedras al árbol cargado de fruto.
    • Translation: Only rocks are being thrown at the tree which bears fruit.
    • English equivalent: if you have no enemies it is a sign that fortune has forgotten you; People throw stones only at trees with fruit on them.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1008. ISBN 0415096243. 

T[edit]

  • Tal hijo, tal padre.
    • Translation: Such father, such son.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • Meaning: "Sons may look and behave like their fathers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily."
    • Source for meaning and proverb: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 137. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

T[edit]

  • Toma las cosas como vienen.
    • English equivalent: Take things as you find them.
    • "We should not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. Instead we should make plans fit the circumstances."
    • George S. Patton, War as I Knew It (1947)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 865. ISBN 0415096243. 

U[edit]

  • Una golondrina no hace verano.
    • Dir translation: A swallow doesn't make summer.
    • Translation: The summer does not start with a single swallow.
    • German proverb: Eine Schwalbe macht noch keinen Sommer.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1030. ISBN 0415096243. 

V[edit]

  • Vale más huir, que morir.
    • Translation: Better to flee than to die.
    • English equivalent: He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
    • Meaning: "It is wiser to withdraw from a situation that you cannot win than to go on fighting and lose – by a strategic retreat you can return to the battle or argument with renewed energy at a later date."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 702. ISBN 0415096243. 

Z[edit]

  • Zapatero, a tus zapatos.
    • Translation: Shoemaker, to your shoes.
    • Interpretation: Don't talk about things you don't know anything about. It can also be interpreted as: Mind your own business.
    • English equivalent: Shoemaker, stick to your last or Cobbler, stick to thy last.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 660. ISBN 0415096243. 

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]