Norwegian proverbs

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Proverbs reflective of conventional wisdom in Norway.

A[edit]

  • Aldren er laak Lensmann.
    • English equivalent: Age and poverty are ill to bear.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 0415096243. 

B[edit]

  • Bedre med en fugl i hånden enn ti på taket.
    • Better to have one bird in hand than ten on the roof.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • "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."
    • 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. 
    • (Firm), Nordmanns-forbundet (1999). The Norseman. p. 140. 
  • Blind hǿne kann og finna eit konn.
    • English equivalent: Even a blind pig may occasionally pick up an acorn.
    • Meaning: "An incompetent person or an unsystematic approach is bound to succeed every now and then by chance."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: 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. 36. ISBN 0415096243. 

D[edit]

  • D'er inkje greidt aa gripa aalen um sporden.
    • English equivalent: You might as well try to hold an eel by the tail.

̽** ̇"A wise man hears one word and understands two." ̇** Fred Kogos (June 1970). 1001 Yiddish proverbs. Citadel Press. p. 17. 

    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 480. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • D'er lettast aa laera av annan manns skade.
    • English equivalent: Wise men learn by other men's mistakes, fools by their own.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 619. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • D'er låk fugl som skjemmer sitt eige reir.
    • English equivalent: It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest; Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
    • "Why wantonly proclaim one's own disgrace, or expose the faults or weaknesses of one's kindred or people?" "It is considered contemptible to defy the rule of solidarity by revealing facts harmful to the group one belongs to."
    • Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 109. 
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "106". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 466. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 466. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • D'er mange ǿksarhogg, som eiki skal fella.
    • English equivalent: Little strokes fell great oaks.
    • "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. 
  • De gamle er eldst.
    • The old are the oldest.

̽** English equivalentː The older the flute, the sweeter the tune. ̽** Lund (1977). De Gamle er eldst: 11 samtaler i dur og moll. Norsk kunstforl.. pp. 140. ISBN 8290069812. 

  • Dei er inkje alle tjuvar, som hunden gjoyr paa.
    • English equivalent: All are not thieves that dogs bark at.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Dei er inkje nytt under solen.
    • English equivalent: There is nothing new under the sun.
    • "It turns out very often that something 'never seen/experienced before' especially in human relationships - has, in fact, in some way or another, happened before. - Human nature and the basic human aspirations did not change."
    • (Paczolay, 1997 p. 461)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1114. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Dei store fiskane eta dei små — dei liger under som minst förmå.
    • Engilsh equivalent: Men are like fish; the great ones devour the small.
    • "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. 
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 420. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Der gror ikke muse på rullande stein.
    • Translation and English equivalent: A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • "There are a Set of People in the World of fo unfettled and reftleis a Temper, and such Admirers of Novelty, that they can never be long pleafed with one way of’ living, no more than to continue long in one Habitation; but before they are well enter’d upon one Bufinefs, dip into another, and before they are well fettled in one Habitation, remove to another; fo that they are always bufily beginning to live, but by reafon of Ficklenefs and Impatience, never arrive at a way of living: fuch Perfons fall under the Doom of this Proverb, which is delign’d to fix the Volatility of their Tempers, by laying before them the ill Confequences of fuch Ficklenefs and Inconltancy."
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "14". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 100. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Det kjem inkte steikte fuglar flugjande i mun.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • "One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 171. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Det kan ingen tena tvo herrar (samstundes).
    • English equivalent: Nobody can serve two masters.
    • "One cannot serve two conflicting causes simultaneously. If this is attempted neither will be served properly."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 283. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

E[edit]

  • En svale gjør ingen sommer.
    • Translation: One swallow creates no summer.
    • English equivalent: One swallow does not make a summer.
    • "Do not feel sure or rejoice noticing a favourable sign. The appearance of a single sign of a favourable event is not yet a definite indication of its coming. It may be an unrelated, sporadic appearance."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 49. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Vanberg (1992). Of Norwegian Ways. Harpercollins (P). p. 211. ISBN 0060923474. 
  • Ein skal lyda ut, nr gamle hunden gjøyr.
    • English equivalent: An old dog barks not in vain.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ein må lære seg å krype før ein lærer å gå.
  • Eple faller ikke langt fra stammen.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • "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. 

G[edit]

  • Gamall kjaerlik rustar inkje.
    • Old love does not rust.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 825. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Godt upplag gjerer godt nedlag.
    • English equivalent: A good beginning makes a good ending.
    • "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 meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "40". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 228. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "190". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 

I[edit]

  • I nød skal du lære dine venner å kenne.
    • English equivalent: A friend is known in need, like gold is known in fire.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 159. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

K[edit]

  • Kast ikke barnet ut med badevannet.
    • 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. 
    • Skogindustri (Volume 44 ed.). K/S Selvig Publishing. 1990. p. 150. 

L[edit]

  • Liten tue kan velte stort lass.
    • A small (grass) tuft can topple a big (cart) load.
    • English equivalent: The straw that broke the camels back. (idiom)
    • Council (1970). Nordisk kontakt. Statens reproduktionsanstalt. p. 284. ISBN 1. 

N[edit]

  • Naar alle skal vera storfolk, kan ingen binda baaten
    • 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. 
  • Naar leiken er best, skal ein helst halda upp.
    • English equivalent: Leave a jest when it pleases you best.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 863. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Når folk er burte, ser ein best kvat dei dugde.
    • English equivalent: In life you love me not, in death you bewail me.
    • "It is true, indeed, of all just and good men, that they are praised more after they have left the world than before, since envy does not long survive them, and some even see it die before them."
    • Plutarch, The Life of Numa
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Taylor & Francis. pp. 1013–. ISBN 978-0-415-10381-7. 
  • Når katten er borte, danser musene på bordet.
    • English equivalent: If the cat is away, the mice play.
    • "In the absence of the person in authority those under his control will often neglect the duties/rules imposed on them."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). "17". The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013. 

R[edit]

  • Raude eple kan og vera rotne.
    • English equivalent: A fair face and a foul heart.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 0415160502. 

S[edit]

  • Skomakar-borni hava stundom verste skoerrne.
    • English equivalent: Cobblers' children are worst shod.
    • "Working hard for others one may neglect one's own needs or the needs of those closest to him."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "7". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 65. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Smi mens jernet er varmt.
    • Translation: Forge while the iron is hot.
    • Schottmann (2012). Vergleichende Idiomatik des Schwedischen. Lit Verlag. p. 145. ISBN 3643117337. 
  • Som faren går fyre, kjem sonen etter.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • "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. 
  • Som mora er, so er dottera.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • "Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. 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. 
  • Store fuglar fanga ingi flugor.
    • English equivalent: Eagles don't catch flies.
    • "People of high rank are considered – or consider themselves – too important to deal with trivial things or lowly folk."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: 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). "230". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 216. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 

T[edit]

  • Tid er penger.
    • English equivalent: Time is money.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1008. ISBN 0415096243. 

See also[edit]