Italian proverbs

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search

Italian proverbs are short expressions of popular wisdom from Italy and other countries where Italian is spoken.

A[edit]

  • A chi bene crede, Dio provvede.
    • 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. 
  • A chi parla poco, gli basta la metà del cervello.
    • 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 equivalentPorter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. pp. 125. 
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). "1383". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1053. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • A mali estremi, estremi rimedi.
    • Translation: Extreme disease, extreme treatment.
    • English equivalent: Desperate times call for desperate measures.
    • 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). "797". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 687. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 27 November 2013. 
  • A goccia a goccia s'incava la pietra.
    • English equivalent: Constant dropping wears away the stone.
    • "A drop hollows out the stone by falling not twice, but many times; so too is a person made wise by reading not two, but many books."
    • (Giordano Bruno, Il Candelaio)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ad ogni pazzo piace il suon del suo sonaglio.
    • 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. 
  • Ad ogni uccello il proprio nido è bello.
    • 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. 
  • Al piu potente ceda il più prudente.
    • 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. 
  • Alla buona derrata, pensaci su.
    • Translation: The good stuff – think about it.
    • English equivalent: The best goods are cheapest in the end.
    • Meaning: It is often the expensive product which ultimately costs the least, because of the pleasure and usefulness it brings us.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 116. 
  • Anche il pazzo dice talvolta parole da savio.
    • 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. 
  • Anche il sole passa sopra il fango, e non s'imbratta.
    • Translation: The sun passes over filth and is not defiled.
    • Italian proverb, quoted in Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages : Classified Subjectively and Arranged Alphabetically (1887) by Robert Christy, p. 322.
  • Anche in paradiso non è bello essere soli.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1106. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Amare e non essere amato, quanto risponde sens esser chiamato.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 676. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Amicizia di signore non è retaggio; chi troppo se ne fida non è saggio.
    • English equivalent: A king's favour is no inheritance.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Amor, tosse e fumo, malemente si nascondono.
    • 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. 
  • Amor tutti eguaglia.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Love makes all equal.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 767. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Anche la legna storta dà fuoco diritto.
    • English equivalent: Crooked logs make straight fires.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 683. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A caval donato non si guarda in bocca.
    • Translation: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • English equivalent: Look not a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Meaning: "And so with respect to gifts and donations in general, whether their value be more or less, they should be accounted tokens of kindness and received with promptness and cordiality."
    • Source for meaning: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 127. 
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • A carne di lupo, zanne di cane.
    • English equivalent: You must meet roughness with roughness.
    • Example: If someone treats you poorly, you should treat him equally poorly.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • A chi dai il dito si prende anche il braccio.
    • Translation: Give them a finger and they'll take an arm.
    • English equivalent: Give an inch and they'll take a mile.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 828. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A chi Dio vuol castigare leva il cervello.
    • 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. 
  • A torto si lagna del mare chi due volte ci vuol tornare.
    • English equivalent: He complains wrongfully at the sea that suffer shipwreck twice.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 898. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aiutati che Dio ti aiuta.
    • Translation: Help yourself and God will help you.
    • English equivalent: Heaven helps those who help themselves.
    • Meaning: "When in trouble first of all every one himself should do his best to improve his condition."
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 150. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Maurus (2002). Nella sofferenza aiutati che Dio ti aiuta. Segno. ISBN 8872826551. 
  • Al confessore, medico e avvocato, non tenere il ver celato.
    • English equivalent: Conceal not the truth from thy physcian and lawyer.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 666. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Assai pampini e poca uva.
    • English equivalent: He that promises too much means nothing.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Aspetta, caval, che l'erba cresca.
    • English equivalent: While the grass grows the steed starves.
    • Meaning: Dreams or expectations may be realized too late.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1228. ISBN 0415096243. 

B[edit]

  • Batti il ferro finché è caldo.
    • Translation: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Sabopak (1997). Battere il ferro finchéècaldo. Gruppo Editoriale Tipografico. ISBN 8887189005. 
  • Bella in vista, dentro è trista.
    • English equivalent: A fair face and a foul heart.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 35. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ben finisce chi considera il fine.
    • Translation: He ends well who considers 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. 
  • Bisogna accomodarsi ai tempi.
    • English equivalent: Gnaw the bone which is fallen to thy lot.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 865. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bisogna prima pensare e poi fare.
    • English equivalent: A closed mouth catches no flies.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 751. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bisogna rischiare la scardola per avere il salmone.
    • Translation: Who wants to win a gander, you need to weigh Drake.
    • English equivalent: Set a herring to catch a whale.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1134. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bisogna saper afferrare l'occasione pei capelli.
    • English equivalent: Opportunity knocks only once.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 400. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bocca di miele, cuore di fiele.
    • English equivalent: A honey tongue and a heart of gall.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Buon principio fa buon fine.
    • English equivalent: A good beginning makes a good ending; Well begun, is half done.
    • Meaning: Starting properly ensures the speedy completion of a process. A – beginning is often blocked by one or more obstacles (potential barriers) the removal of which may ensure the smooth course of the process.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0415160502. 
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 228. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Buon seme dà buoni frutti.
    • Translation: Good tree makes good fruit.
    • English equivalent: The fruit of a good tree is also good.
    • Meaning: Good parents will make good children due to example followed closely and daily.
    • Giuseppe Catenacci (1967). L'avvocato in paradiso. Gastaldi. p. 259. Retrieved on 9 June 2013. 

C[edit]

  • E meglio qualche cosa che niente
    • English equivalent: Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Can che abbaia non morde.
    • Translation: The dog that barks doesn't bite.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
    • Meaning: People who make the most or the loudest threats are the least likely to take action.
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 20 June 2013. 
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 146. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Camminare sopra il filo di un rasoio.
    • English equivalent: Do not play with edged tools.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 716. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Carta canta.
    • English equivalent: If the beard were all, the goat might preach.
    • Meaning: Mere formal signs of being an authority does not make you one.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 117. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Cavalo riscaldato, (e garzon ritornato), non fu mai buono.
    • 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. 
  • Chi affoga s'attaccherrebbe alle funi del cielo
    • English equivalent: A drowning man plucks at a straw.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi ama me, ama il mio cane.
    • Translation: Whoever loves me, loves my dog.
    • English equivalent: Love me, love my dog.
    • Meaning: If you love someone, you will virtually like everything about him.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 953. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi aspettar suole, ha ciò che vuole.
    • English equivalent. He that can have patience can have what he will.
    • Other English equivalent: Patience is a remedy for every sorrow.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi ben commincia ha la meta de l’opra.
    • Translation: Who well begins has of his task the half.
    • Meaning. Having made the right preparations when beginning a project will save you a lot of time.
    • Giovanni Battista Guarini, Il pastor fido (1590), Act I, scene I (translation by Silvio); reported in Thomas Benfield Harbottle and Philip Hugh Dalbiac, Dictionary of Quotations (French and Italian) (1904), p. 261.
    • Chi ben commincia è alla meta dell’opra.
    • Translation: Who well begins, is half way through his task.
    • Meaning. Having made the right preparations when beginning a project will save you a lot of time.
    • Carlo Goldoni, Il filosofo di campagna (The Country Philosopher) (1752), Part II, scene I (translation by Lesbina); reported in Thomas Benfield Harbottle and Philip Hugh Dalbiac, Dictionary of Quotations (French and Italian) (1904), p. 261.
  • Chi da se stesso può fare alcuna cosa, non aspetti che altri la faccia.
    • Translation: Who by himself can do anything, do not wait for others to do.
    • 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. 
  • Chi di gallina nasce, convien che razzoli.
    • Translation: As the abbot sings, so the sacristan responds.
    • Meaning: Children will become like older generations.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi di gatta nasce, sorci piglia.
    • English equivalent: What is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh.
    • Meaning: You can seldom change human nature with the help of logic.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 985. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi disordani da giovane se ne pente da vecchio.
    • English equivalent: They who would be young when they are old must be old when they are young.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1605". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1151. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi due lepri caccia, l'una non piglia, e l'altra lascia.
    • English equivalent: You must not run after two hares at the same time.
    • Meaning: "Concentrate on one thing at a time or you will achieve nothing. - Trying to do two or more things at a time, when even one on its own needs full effort, means that none of them will be accomplished properly."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "X". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. X. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • ** Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 102. 
  • Chi ha capo di cera non vada al sole.
    • Translation: Who has a head of wax should not be in the sunshine.
    • English equivalent: He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun.
    • 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. 


  • Chi ha fatto il male, faccia la penitenza.
    • Translation: What you reap is what you sow.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi ha più giudizio più n'adoperi.
    • Translation: To whom much is entrusted, much is required.
    • 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. 
  • Chi ha una retta coscienza possiede un regno.
    • English equivalent: His own desire leads every man.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi he sano e da pie del Sultano.
    • English equivalent: Good health is above wealth.
    • "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world-and loses his health?"
    • Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi ha nome, ha robe
    • English equivalent: A good name is the best of all treasures.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi da giovane ha un vizio, in vecchiaia fa sempre quell'uffizio.
    • Translation: Old habits die hard.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1122. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi dorme non piglia pesci.
    • Translation: Those who sleep don't catch any fish.
    • English equivalent: Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
    • Meaning: "A lifestyle that involves neither 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. 
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 147. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi due lepri caccia, l'una non piglia e l'altra lascia.
    • English equivalent: Grasp all, lose all
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 886. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi fa da sé, fa per tre.
    • Translation: He who works by himself does the work of three (people).
    • English equivalent: If you want something done right, do it yourself.
    • Note: ironically contradicted by: "L'unione fa la forza" ("Union produces might.")
    • Boerio, Manin (1829). Dizionario del dialetto veneziano. A. Santini. p. 13. 
  • Chi lascia la via vecchia per la nuova, sa quel che lascia, ma non sa quel che trova.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 638. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi mal pensa, mal abbia.
    • 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. 
  • Chi male comincia, peggio finisce.
    • 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. 
  • Chi non fa quando può, non fa quando vuole.
    • 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."
    • 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. 
  • Chi non può fare come vuole, faccia come può.
    • 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. 
  • Chi non sa obbedir, non sa comandar.
    • Translation: He who has not obeyed, cannot command.
    • English equivalent: Who has not served cannot command.
    • Meaning: One must have been controlled in the same situation one wishes to properly control others.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 855. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi non si lascia consigliare, no si può aiutare.
    • Translation: He who can't be advised, can also not be helped.
    • English equivalent: He that will not be counseled cannot be helped.
    • Meaning: Advice often contain a genuine warning or an effective suggestion, which is unprudent not to take into consideration.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 964. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi non tura bucolia, tera bucape.
    • 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. 
  • Chi mal pensa, mal abbia.
    • 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. 
  • Chi non ha danari in borsa, abbia miel in bocca.
  • Chi presto denta, presto sdenta.
    • Translation: Those who soon inquire, soon get old.
    • English equivalent: Curiosity killed the cat.
    • Meaning: "Inquisitiveness – or a desire to find about something – can lead you into trouble."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 9 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 684. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi ruba poco, ruba assai.
    • 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. 
  • Chi ruba una volta è sempre ladro.
    • 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. 
  • Chi si pasce di speranza, fa la fresca danza
    • English equivalent: He that lives on hope will die fasting.
    • Meaning: "Do not pin all your hopes on something you may not attain, because you could up with end nothing."
    • 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. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 952. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Chi sta bene non si muove.
    • English equivalent: ”Better is the enemy of good.”
    • Meaning: The aim for perfection or mastery might slow down progress.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi sta alle scolte, sente le sue colpe.
    • 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. 
  • Chi tosto giudica, tosto si pente.
    • 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. 
  • Chi vuol arricchire in un anno, è impiccato in sei mesi.
    • 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. 
  • Chi vuol dir mal d'altrui, pensi prima a sè stesso.
  • Chi vuol gastigar un villano, lo dia a gastigar ad un altro.
  • Chi vuol' mangiar col diavolo bisogna aver cucchiaio lungo.
    • Translation: He who sups with the devil must use a long spoon.
    • Meaning: Someone who treats others badly will eventually turn on you.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 920. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Chi vuol pigliare uccelli non deve trar loro dietro randelli.
    • 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. 
  • Ciò che Dio fa è ben fatto.
    • English equivalent: Each day brings it own bread.
    • Meaning: Try not to worry so much about the future.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 757. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ciò che e rimasto ha sapore piu dolce.
    • English equivalent: The sweetest flesh is near the bones.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1666". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1176. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Con la pazienza s'acquista scienza.
    • Translation: With patience you go beyond knowledge.
    • 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. 
  • Con nulla non si fa nulla.
    • English equivalent: From nothing, nothing can come.
  • If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten.
    • Neil Strauss, The Game (2005).
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 238. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Comprare una gatta nel sacco.
    • 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. 
  • Come la cosa indugia, piglia vizio.
    • Translation: As it lingers, so it rakes peril.
    • 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. 
  • Contro i difetti del vicin t'adiri, e gli stessi difetti in te non miri.
    • 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. 
  • Cuando l'amico chiede, non v'è domani.
    • Translation: When a friend asks, there is no tomorrow.
    • 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. 
  • Quel che ciondola non cade.
    • Translation: All that dangles does not fall.
    • English equivalent: All is not lost that is in danger.
    • Meaning: Alltough your undertaking is in peril, it does not necessarily mean you are failing.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 11. 

D[edit]

  • Da chi mi fido, mi guardi Dio, da chi non mi fido guarderò io.
    • English equivalent: A mans worst enemies are often those of his own house.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Da colpa nasce colpa
    • 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. 
  • Dai cattivi costumi nascono le buone leggi.
    • English equivalent: Good laws have sprung from bad customs.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dal frutto si conosce l'albero.
    • 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 meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 488. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dal riso molto conosci lo stolto.
    • 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. 
  • Dare il diavolo ciò che gli spetta.
    • Translation: Be fair to the devil.
    • 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. 
    • Flonta, Teodor (2002). God and the Devil: Proverbs in 9 Euorpean Languages. Teodor Flonta. p. 21. ISBN 1875943412. 
  • Di buona volontà sta pieno l'inferno.
    • Translation: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 257. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Dio mi guardi da chi studia un libro solo.
    • English equivalent: Fear the man of one book.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 851. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dolor comunicato è subito scemato.
    • English equivalent: A problem shared is a problem halved.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 351. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Doni di nemici non sono doni.
    • Translation: Gifts of enemies are no gifts.
    • Note: "This advice has its root in the story of the Trojan Horse, the treacherous subterfuge by which the Greeks finally overcame their trojan adversaries at the end of the Trojan War."
    • English equivalent: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
    • Meaning: "Do not trust gifts or favors if they come from an enemy."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser; David H. Pickering (2003). The Facts On File Dictionary of Classical and Biblical Allusions. Infobase Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8160-4868-7. Retrieved on 1 July 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 855. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Du stagione tutto.
    • 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. 

E[edit]

  • È il tono che fa la musica.
    • 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). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 802. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • E meglio cader dalla finestra che dal tetto.
    • Translation: Of two evils choose the least.
    • English equivalent: Choose the lesser of two evils.
    • Meaning: "If you are forced to choose between two options, both of which are undesirable, all you can do is choose the one that is less undesirable than the other."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: {Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 3 August 2013. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 5. 
  • È meglio che si dica 'qui il tale fuggi' che 'qui il tale mori'.
    • Translation: It is better to say "here he ran" than "here he died".
    • 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. 
  • È meglio un presente che due futuri.
    • 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. 
  • È meglio star solo che mal accompagnato.
    • 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. 
  • È sempre buono avere due corde per un arco.
    • English equivalent: Good riding at two anchors, men have told, for if the one fails, the other may hold.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Egli e mal sordo che non vuol udire.
    • 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. 
  • Esperienza, madre di scienza.
    • English equivalent: Experience is the mother of wisdom.
    • "Experience is what you get when you did not get what you wanted."
    • Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture (2007)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 808. ISBN 0415096243. 

F[edit]

  • Far d'una mosca 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. 
  • Finché c'è vita c'è speranza.
    • Translation: "Where there's life, there's hope."
    • Soriano (2010). Finchéc'èvita non c'èsperanza. Diario aforistico 2003-2009. Kimerik. pp. 102. ISBN 8860965586. 
  • Fare il passo più lungo della gamba.
    • English equivalent: Don't have too many irons in the fire.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Fate quello che dico e non quel che faccio.
    • English equivalent: Preachers say: do as I say, not as i do.
    • Possible interpretation: One should not reprimand those who are younger than himself, when they are merely doing what he does or has done.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 706. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Fortuna i forti aiuta, e i timidi rifiuta.
  • Tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare.
    • Translation: "An ocean lies between what is said and what is done."
    • English equivalent: "Easier said than done."
    • Kinder, Savini (2004). Using Italian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 186. ISBN 0521485568. 
  • Fuggi il piacer presente, che accena dolor futuro.
    • Translation: Skip the enjoyment that you will regret.
    • English equivalent: Avoid the pleasure which will bite tomorrow.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 11. 

G[edit]

  • Granata nuova scopa bene tre giorni.
    • English equivalent: New brooms sweep clean.
    • Meaning: Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1103. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Guarda innanzi che tu salti.
    • 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. 1069. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Guardatevi dai falsi profeti.
    • English equivalent: Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves.
    • Meaning: The seemingly most respectable people are quiet often scoundrels; Evil people often act innocently.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 170. ISBN 0415160502. 

I[edit]

  • I buoni nuotatori al fin si affogano.
    • English equivalent: Good swimmers are often drowned.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • I fatti son maschi, e le parole femmine.
    • English equivalent: Deeds are fruits, words are but leaves.
    • "Mere words have no value unless they are followed by positive action."
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 26. 
    • 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 9 August 2013. 
  • I fratelli uniti tra loro formano un fascio che pùo resistere agli sforzi più robusti.
    • 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. 
  • I ladri grandi fanno impiccare i piccolo.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1086. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • I pensieri fanno mettere i peli canuti.
    • Translation: Sorrow makes gray hairs before the time.
    • English equivalent: Fretting cares make grey hairs.
    • Meaning: Worrying is a negative activity that can age you prematurely.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 631. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • I primi saranno gli ultimi.
    • 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. 
  • I topi abbandonano la nave che affonda.
    • 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. 
  • Il bugiardo deve avere buona memoria .
    • 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. 
  • Il dolce far niente.
    • Translation: The sweet do nothing.
    • Reported as "a well known Italian proverb" in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Il cane abbaia, ma la carovana passa.
    • Translation: The dogs bark but the caravan passes on.
    • Meaning: Let the world say what it will.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Il castigo puo differirsi ma si toglie.
    • English equivalent: Punishment is lame but it comes.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 682. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Il cuor non spaglia.
    • English equivalent: The heart sees farther than the head.
    • "Trust your instincts."
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, How She Broke the Seinfeld Curse, Redbook Magazine (2010)
  • Il denaro è fatto per spendere.
    • 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. 
  • Il denaro non fa la felicità.
    • Translation: Wealth does not bring happiness.
    • Note: Another way to phrase this is by this quote:

"No one – not a single person out of a thousand [elderly interviewed because of their wisdom expertise] – said that to be happy you should try and work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want.

No one – not a single person –– said it's important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it's real success.

No one – not a single person –– said you should choose your work based on your desired future earning power.”

  • From, Brody, Jane (2011). 30 Lessons for Living. Penguin Group. p. 57. ISBN 1594630844. 
    • English equivalent: Wealth rarely brings happiness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 670. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • ‘’Il faut prendre le bénéfice avec les charges.’’
    • English equivalent: Beggars can’t be choosers.
    • We must accept with gratitude and without complaint what we are given when we do not have the means or opportunity to provide

ourselves with something better.”

  • Il frutto cade non lontano dall'albero.
    • 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. 
  • Il male vien a cavallo e se ne va a piedi.
    • English equivalent: "Misfortune comes on horseback and goes away on foot.”
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 65. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Il meglio ricolga il peggio.
    • 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. 
  • Il mondo è ingrato
    • Translation: Ingratitude is the world's reward.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • In bocca chiusa non entrò mai mosca.
    • 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. 
  • In cento anni o cento mesi, l'acqua torna a' suoi paesi.
    • Translation: In a hundred years we will be dead anyway.
    • English equivalent: It will all be the same a hundred years hence.
    • Meaning: So what if you embarrass yourself?
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 48. 
  • In gioventù devi acquistare, quel che in vecchiaia può giovare.
    • 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. 
  • Il più forte ha sempre ragione.
    • 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. 
  • Il piu povero che sia in terra è l'avaro.
    • English equivalent: The covetous man is good to none and worst to himself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 83. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Il primo amore non si scorda mai.
    • English equivalent: True love never grows old.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1107. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Il remedio e peggio del male
    • English equivalent: 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.
    • Hulme, F. Edward (2003). Proverb Lore (Reimpresa ed.). Kessinger Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 0766146529. 
  • Il serpe tra' fiori e l'erba giace.
    • 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. 
  • Il tuo nemico è quello dell'area tua.
    • Translation: Those are bad dogs who bite their own people.
    • 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. 
  • In casa di calzolaio non si hanno scarpe.
    • Translation: In the house of the shoemaker there are no shoes.
    • English equivalents: Cobblers' children are worst shod; The shoemaker goes barefoot. The shoemaker's wife and the smith's horse have not shoes.
    • 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. 
  • Intendere è potere.
    • English equivalent: Learning is the eye of the mind.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 0415160502. 

L[edit]

  • La pigrizia è la chiave della povertà.
    • English equivalent: Poverty is the reward of idleness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1146. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • L'onestà è la migliore politica.
    • English equivalent: Honesty is the best policy.
    • Meaning: "Being honest or telling the truth is always the wisest course of action."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. X. 
  • L'invidia è annessa alla felicità.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1292". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1008. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • L'invidia non morÌ mai.
    • English equivalent: Envy takes no holiday.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 767. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • L'uomo si giudica mal alla cerca.
    • 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. 
  • La galline fanno l'uova dal becco.
    • English equivalent: It's by the head that the cow gives the milk.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1039. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La gatta frettolosa ha fatto i gattini ciechi.
    • English equivalent: The hasty bitch bringeth forth blind whelps.
    • Meaning_ "Things done in haste tend to produce poor results."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1080. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La maggior' sventura o ventura dell'uomo è la moglie.
    • 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. 
  • La lepre mal si prende al suono di tamburo.
    • English equivalent: Drumming is not the way to catch a hare.
    • "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. 754. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La maggior' sventura o ventura dell'uomo è la moglie.
    • 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 miglior difesa è l'attacco.
    • Translation: The best defense is attack.
    • English equivalent: The best defence is a good offence.
    • 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 roba di mal acquisto se la porta il vento.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 762. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La più lunga strada è la più prossima a casa.
    • English equivalent: The highway is never about.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • La storia si ripete.
    • 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 superbia viene davanti alla rovina.
    • Translation: Pride comes before fall.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1148. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • La varietà piace.
    • English equivalent: Variety is the spice of life.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • La volpe in vicinato non fa mai danno
    • English equivalent: A crafty fox never preys near his den.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Loda il mare e tienti alla terra.
    • English equivalent: Praise the sea, but keep on land.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 661. ISBN 0415096243. 

M[edit]

  • Mal comune, mezzo gaudio.
    • English equivalent: "Misery loves company."
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Mal si mangia le lepre, se prima non si piglia.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 683. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Male prevede chi non provvede.
    • English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 732. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Medico, cura te stesso!
    • 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. 
  • Meglio è tornar indietro, che correr male avanti.
    • Translation: Better to turn back, than to painfully move forward.
    • 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. 
  • Meglio tardi che mai.
    • Translation: Delayed is preferable to never.
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
    • Meaning: "It is better that somebody arrives or something happens later than expected or desired, than not at all."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 30 June 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 584. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Meglio prevedere che provvedere.
    • 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. 
  • Mettere il carro innanzi ai buoi.
    • 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. 
  • Molta paglia, poco grano.
    • 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. 
  • Muove la coda il cane, non per te, ma per il pane.
    • 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. 

N[edit]

  • Ne uccide più la gola che la spada.
    • English equivalent: Gluttony kills more than the sword.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Neccessità non ha legge.
    • Translation: Necessity knows no law.
    • 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. 
  • Nel dubbio, astieniti.
    • 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 (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 54. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Nella felicità ragione; nell'infelicità pazienza.
    • 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. 
  • Nemico diviso, mezzo vinto.
    • Translation: Enemy divided, half won.
    • 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. 
  • Nessun sente da che parte preme la scarpa, se non chi se la calza.
    • English equivalent: Needs must when the devil drives.
    • Meaning: It is acceptable to break rules in times of need.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 60. 
  • Nessun sente da che parte preme la scarpa, se non chi se la calza.
  • Nessuno è indispensable.
    • English equivalent: No man is indispensable.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 319. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Niente di nuovo sotto il sole.
    • 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. 
  • Night is the mother of thoughts.
    • English equivalent: Take counsel of one's pillow.
    • Note: Specified as an Italian proverb in the source.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 63. 
  • Non bisogna fare le cose a metà.
    • English equivalent: If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well.
    • Runge, Martin (2000). Geriatrische Rehabilitation im Therapeutischen Team (2 ed.). Georg Thieme Verlag. p. 282. ISBN 3131023821. 
  • Non bisogna puntare tutto sulla stessa carta.
    • English equivalent: "Don't put all your eggs in the same basket."
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non c’è avere che voglia sapere.
    • 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. 
  • Non c'è due senza tre.
    • English equivalent: All good things are three.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non dare consigli a chi non li chiede.
    • 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. 
  • Non doe seguir amor chi non ha valore.
  • Non fu mai gloria senza invidia.
    • English equivalent: Envy always shooteth at a high mark.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 766. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non ha il dolce a caro, chi provato non ha l'amaro.
    • Translation: To taste the sweet, you must taste the bitter.
    • English equivalent: No pain, no gain; Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    • Meaning: Where there is no adversity of some sort there is seldom anything to win; No or little adversity is a sign that fortune has forgotten you.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 33. 
  • Non ricordar il capestro, in casa dell'impiccato.
    • 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. 
  • Non si dice mai tanto una cosa che non sia qualche cosa
    • 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. 
  • Non si è mai troppo prudenti.
    • English equivalent: Better safe than sorry.
    • Meaning: Things that has happened will happen again. Religious myths for example, which are allegorical, will per definition reoccur.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non si è mai troppo prudenti.
    • Translation: One can never be too careful.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1087. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non si puo fare stringhe della propria pelle.
    • 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. 
  • Non si può cavar sangue dalla rapa.
    • English equivalent: You can't milk a bull.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1040. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non si serra mai una porta che non se n'apra un'altra.
    • 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 of English equivalent: Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 67. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 845. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non si può aver il miele senza la pecchie.
    • English equivalent: Honey is sweet, but the bees sting.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 837. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non si tosto si fa un tempio a Dio come il diavolo ci fabrica una capella appresso.
    • English equivalent: Where god has a church the devil will have his chapel.
    • "Very seldom does any good thing arise but there comes an ugly phantom of a caricature of it."
    • Source for meaning: Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 130. 
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 874. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco.
    • English equivalent: Not all truths are proper to be told.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1111. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Non v'ha libro sí cattivo che non abbia qualcosa di buono.
    • English equivalent: No book was so bad, but some good might be got out of it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1104. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • ‘’Nu mesura pe altii cu palma ta.’’
    • English equivalent: Do not judge others by your own yardstick.
    • "l often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason fish prefer worms."
    • Dale Carnegie, How to win friends and influence people (1933)
    • {{cite book | last1 = Mawr | first = E.B. | year = 1885 | title = Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages |url=http://editura.mttlc.ro/carti/mawr-analogous-proverbs.pdf | page
  • Nutritura passa natura.
    • English equivalent: Nature is beyond all teaching.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 764. ISBN 0415096243. 

O[edit]

  • Odi, veti et tace, se voi vivir in pace.
    • English equivalent: Keep your mouth shut and your ears open.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Oggi a me, domani a te.
    • 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. 
  • Ogni cosa ha cagione.
    • Translation: Everything has a reason.
    • English equivalent: Every why has a 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. 
  • Ogni cosa si compra a prezzo.
    • Translation: Everything you buy at the price.
    • English equivalent: You don't get anything for nothing.
    • 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. 
  • Ogni paese al valent'uomo è patria.
    • English equivalent: Great minds agree.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 882. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ogni regola ha la sua eccezione.
    • Translation: No rules 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. 
  • Ogni verità non è a dire.
    • English equivalent: All truths are not to be told.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 282. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ognun si pari le mosche con la sua coda.
    • English equivalent: Every bird must hatch its own eggs.
    • Meaning: We must depend on ourselves: financially and otherwhise.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 777. ISBN 0415096243. 

P[edit]

  • Pazzo chi perde il volo per lo sbalzo.
    • 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. 
  • Per gnente l'orbo no canta.
    • English equivalent: You can't get something for nothing.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 799. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Paese che vai, usanze che trovi.
    • Translation: "The countries you visit, the customs you find."
    • English equivalent: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
    • Dahlke (2008). Cibo, peso e psiche. Interpretazione psicosomatica dei disturbi alimentari. Tecniche Nuove. p. 15. ISBN 8848118119. 
  • Più grande la compagna, più ci si diverte.
    • English equivalent: The more the merrier.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1094. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Poeta si nasce, oratore si diventa.
    • 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. 
  • Presto matura, presto marcio.
    • English equivalent: Early ripe, early rotten.
    • Meaning: Precocious children will mean much trouble later on.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 758. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Prudenza è madre di sicurezza.
    • Translation: Caution is the mother of safety.
    • English equivalent: Caution is the parent of safety.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "741". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 645. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 

R[edit]

Q[edit]

  • Quale il padre tale il figlio.
    • 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. 
  • Quand' un è per terra, ognun grida: dagli, dagli!.
    • English equivalent: Don't hit a man when he is down.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 730. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Quando la testa duole tutte le membra languono.
    • Translation: When the head aches all the members languish.
    • 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. 
  • Quando tutti dicono ubriaco, va a dormire (letto).
    • 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. 
  • Quel che pare burla, ben sovente è vero.
    • 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. 

S[edit]

  • Scusa non richiesta, accusa manifesta.
    • 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. 
  • Se la montagna non va a Maometto, Maometto viene alla montagna.
    • Translation: If the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed must come to the mountain.
    • 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. 
  • Se piovesse maccheroni, Che bel tempo pei ghiottoni.
    • 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. 
  • Secondo la misura che farai, misurator ancor sarai.
    • 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. 
  • Secondo la paga, il lavoro.
    • 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. 
  • Senza tentazioni, senza onore.
    • 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. 
  • Si dice sempre il lupo più grande che non è.
    • Translation: The wolf is made bigger than it is.
    • 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. 
  • Si mira piu dell'affetto che all'effetto.
    • Translation: The aim is more to the effect of affection.
    • English equivalent: Take the will for the deed.
    • Meaning: Look at the well intended effort, and not its effects.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 158. 
  • Spazzatoio nuovo spazza ben la caza. (Italian)
    • Translation: A new broom sweeps well the house.
    • English equivalent: A new broome sweepeth cleane.
    • Meaning: "We should never use an old tool when the extra labor in consequence costs more than a new one. Thousands wear out their lives and waste their time merely by the use of dull and unsuitable instruments."
    • Alternate meaning: "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."
    • Source for meaning: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 38. 
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "12". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 92. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

T[edit]

  • Tal madre, tal figlio.
    • Translation: Such mother, such daughter.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • Meaning: Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and rarely.
    • Source for meaning and proverb: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 137. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Tal mano si bacia che si vorrebbe veder tagliata.
    • English equivalent: Many kiss the hand they wish to cut off.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1084. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Tal sonata, tal ballata.
    • English equivalent: Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.
    • Meaning: Do not expect friendly reply when being obnoxious.
    • Meaning: Bad language may have other causes than innate bad character.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Tra/fra moglie e marito non ci mettere il dito.
    • Translation: Between wife and husband don't put a finger.
    • English equivalent: Don't go between the tree and the bark.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 728. ISBN 0415096243. 

U[edit]

  • Un nemico e troppo o cento amici non bastano.
    • English equivalent: Do not think that one enemy is insignificant, or that a thousand friends are too many.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 718. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Uno semina, l'altro raccoglie.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1134. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Uomo avvisato, è mezzo salvato.
    • English equivalent: Forewarned, forearmed.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "401". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 364. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 

V[edit]

  • Val meglio essere matti in compagnia che savi da soli.
    • English equivalent: What everybody says must be true.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415096243. 

See also[edit]