Russian proverbs

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A soldier who doesn't dream of becoming a general is a bad one.

Russian proverbs and sayings

'Русские пословицы и поговорки'


Confirmed through Russian Proverbs and Sayings[edit]

The following phrases, sourced from the previous, unsourced version of the page, have been verified through the following book:

Mertvago, P. (1996). The comparative russian-english dictionary of russian proverbs & sayings. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books.

s ISBN: 0-7818-9424-8


While there is a differentiation in Russian between Sayings and Proverbs, this is a largely academic point, and is included only for cultural reference.


"Поговорка - цветок, пословица - ягодка.

A saying is a flower, a proverb is a berry.

Thus a saying may be any widely used metaphor, simile or the like which aptly describes a specific occurrence or concept and which is admired for its charm, while a proverb is something that can, as it were, be eaten and digested"

-Peter Mertvago


А - Б - В - Г - Д - Е - Ж - З - И - К - Л - М - Н - О - П - Р - С - Т - У - Ф - Х - Ц - Ч - Ш - Щ- Э- Ю - Я


А[edit]

  • Алты́нного во́ра ве́шают, а полти́нного че́ствуют.
  • Аппети́т прихо́дит во вре́мя еды́.
    • Transliteration: Appetit prikhodit vo vremya yedy
    • English equivalent: The appetite comes with eating
    • Arany-Makkai (1996). Russian Idioms. Barron's. p. 3. 

Б[edit]

  • Ба́ба с во́зу — кобы́ле ле́гче.
    • Transliteration: Baba s vozu — kobyle legche.
    • Translation: It is easier for the mare when a woman is off the cart..
    • Meaning: If you want to sneak away from doing this hard part of the job, go ahead, you will only make it simpler for me. — Also: Good riddance! —
    • Modern mockery: Ба́ба с во́зу — кобы́ла в ку́рсе. (When a woman gets off the cart, the horse will notice.)
  • Ба́бушка (гада́ла, да) на́двое сказа́ла ( — то ли до́ждик, то ли снег, то ли бу́дет, то ли нет).
    • Transliteraion: Babushka (gadala, da) nadvoye skazala ( — to li dozhdik, to li sneg, to li budet, to li net).
    • Translation: Granny (told fortunes and) said two things (— it will either rain or snow; it either will or will not).
    • English equivalent: We'll see what we'll see; maybe rain or maybe snow, maybe yes or maybe no.
    • Meaning: The outcome is still unknown (despite all that's been said.) — Also: You seem uncertain.
    • Compare: Ви́лами на воде́ пи́сано.
  • Беда́ (никогда́) не прихо́дит одна́.
    • Transliteration: Beda (nikogda) ne prikhodit odna.
    • Translation: Trouble never comes alone.
    • English equivalent: Misery loves company.
    • Belentschikow (2009). Russisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch (RDW): O. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 152. ISBN 3447060859. 
  • Без кота́ мыша́м раздо́лье.
    • Transliteration: Bez kota mysham razdol'ye.
    • Translation: Without a cat, mice feel free.
    • English equivalent: When the cat is away, the mice will play.
  • Без труда́ не вы́тащишь и ры́бку из пруда́.
    • Transliteration: Bez truda ne vytaschish y rybku iz pruda.
    • Translation: Without effort, you can't [even] pull a fish out of the pond.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • Meaning: "One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Armalinskiĭ (1995). Russkie besstyzhie poslovit͡s͡y i pogovorki. M.I.P. Co.. p. 63. 
  • Береги́ пла́тье сно́ву а честь смо́лоду.
    • Transliteration: Beregi plat'ye snovu, a chest' smolodu.
    • Translation: Take care of clothes from new, take care of [your] honor from when [you are] young.
    • English equivalent: Those who would be young when they are old must be old when they are young.
    • Мокиенко, Сидоренко (2005). ШколныйсловаркрылатыхвыраженииПушкина. Нева. p. 30. ISBN 5765445403. 
  • Бережёного Бог бережёт.
    • Transliteration: Berezhonogo bog berezhot.
    • Translation: God keeps those safe who keep themselves safe.
    • Closest English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves. Pray to God but keep the powder dry.
    • Modern mockery: Бережёного Бог бережёт, а небережёного конвой стережёт. (God watches over those who are careful, and the jail wardens watch over those who were not.)
    • Meaning: Blessings/luck come most to those who do not recklessly rely on them, but work for them.
    • Visson (1991). From Russian into English: an introduction to simultaneous interpretation. Ardis. p. 151. ISBN 0875010954. 
  • Бери́сь дру́жно, не бу́дет гру́зно.
    • Transliteration: Beris' druzhno, ne budet gruzno.
    • Translation: [If all of us] take hold of [it] together, it won't feel heavy.
    • English equivalent: Many hands make light work
    • See also: Арте́льный горшо́к гу́ще кипи́т.
      • Note: Mertvago translates this as "Good will and welcome are the best cheer," but the literal definition is closer to the original translation.
    • Margulis, Kholodnaya (2000). Russian-English dictionary of proverbs and sayings. McFarland. p. 22. ISBN 0786407034. 
  • Близо́к локото́к, да не уку́сишь.
    • Transliteration: Blizok lokotok, da ne ukusish.
    • Translation: [Your] elbow is close, yet [you] can't bite it.
    • Meaning: It only seems to be easy.
    • Nezhat, Nezhat, Nezhat (2008). Nezhat's Operative Gynecologic Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0521862493. 
  • Бог дал, Бог и взял.
    • Transliteration: Bog dal, bog i vzyal.
    • Translation: God gave, God took back.
    • English equivalent: The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
    • Margulis, Kholodnaya (2000). Russian-English dictionary of proverbs and sayings. McFarland. p. 24. ISBN 0786407034. 
  • Бог тро́ицу лю́бит.
    • Transliteration: Bog troitsu lyubit.
    • Translation: God likes trinity.
    • English equivalent: All good comes in threes.
    • Margulis, Kholodnaya (2000). Russian-English dictionary of proverbs and sayings. McFarland. p. 24. ISBN 0786407034. 
  • Бодли́вой коро́ве Бог рог не даёт.
    • Transliteration: Bodlivoy korove bog rog ne dayot.
    • Translation: God does not give horns to a cow that likes to gore.
    • Meaning: Overzealous people often don't have means to do what they would like to.
    • Closest English equivalent: It is better to bend than to break.
  • Болту́н — нахо́дка для шпио́на.
    • Transliteration: Boltun — nakhodka dlya shpiona.
    • Translation: A chatterbox is a treasure for a spy.
    • English equivalent: Loose lips sink ships.
  • Большо́му кораблю́ — большо́е пла́вание.
    • Transliteration: Bol'shomu korablyu — bol'shoye plavaniye.
    • Translation: For a big ship, a big voyage.
    • Modern mockery: Большо́му кораблю́ — больша́я торпе́да. (For a big ship, a big torpedo)
    • Meaning: Remarkable people make a big impact in the world.
  • Бу́дет и на на́шей у́лице пра́здник.
    • Transliteration: Budet i na nashey ulitse prazdnik.
    • Translation: There'll be a holiday in our street too.
    • Meaning: One day we will get lucky too.
  • Бума́га всё сте́рпит.
    • Transliteration: Bumaga vsyo sterpit.
    • Translation: Paper will endure anything.
    • Alt: Бумага без души - что угодно пиши.
    • Translation: Paper has no soul - you can put anything on it."
    • English equivalent: Paper is forbearing.
    • Latin version: Epistula non erubescit - A letter doesn't blush (Cicero)
    • Contrast: Что напи́сано перо́м — не вы́рубить топоро́м.
    • Раков, Юрий (1999). Сокровища античной и библейской мудрости: происхождение афоризмов и образных выражений. ОЛМА-Пресс. p. 30. ISBN 5765403697. 

В[edit]

  • Вали́ на се́рого, се́рый всё свезёт.
    • Transliteration: Vali na serogo, seryy vsyo svezyot.
    • Translation: Put [everything] onto the grey [Dicks], he'll bear anything.
  • В гостя́х хорошо́, а до́ма лу́чше.
    • Transliteration: V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe.
    • Translation: Visiting is good, but home is better.
    • English equivalent: East or West - home is best.
  • В дождь избы́ не кро́ют, а в вёдро и сама́ не ка́плет.
    • Translitration: V dozhd' izby ne kroyut, a v vyodro i sama ne kaplet
    • Translation: When it's raining one doesn't roof the cottage, and when it's not raining the roof isn't leaking .
    • Meaning: Lazy people find excuses to delay their job.
  • В до́ме пове́шенного не говоря́т о верёвке.
  • Век живи́ — век учи́сь.
    • Transliteration: Vek zhivi — vek uchis'.
    • Translation: Live for a century — learn for a century.
    • English equivalent: We are to learn as long as we live.
  • Вели́к те́лом, да мал де́лом.
    • Transliteration: Velik telom, da mal delom
    • Translation: Big in body, but small in deeds.
  • Видна́ пти́ца по полёту.
    • Transliteration: Vidna ptitsa po polyotu.
    • Translation: The bird is known by its flight.
    • English equivalent: A tree is known by its fruit.
    • Meaning: You can judge someone based on his surroundings. For instance, a person living in a messy house is messy.
    • Modern mockery: Видна́ пти́ца по помёту. (The bird is known by its droppings.)
  • Ви́дит о́ко, да зуб неймёт.
    • Transliteration: Vidit oko, da zub neymyot.
    • Translation: The eye can see it, but the tooth can't bite it.
    • English equivalent: One's reach exceeds one's grasp.
  • Вино́ вину́ твори́т.
    • Transliteration: Vino vinu tvorit.
    • Translation: Wine causes guilt.
  • В нога́х правды не́т.
    • Transliteration: V nogakh pravdy net.
    • Translation: There is no truth in feet.
    • Meaning: Take a seat, please.
  • Во́лка но́ги ко́рмят.
    • Transliteration: Volka nogi kormyat.
    • Translation: Wolf feeds on his feet.
    • Meaning: A hard time of scarce resources.
  • Надо отдать должное и дьяволу.
    • Transliteration: Nado otdat' dolzhnoje i d'javolu.
    • 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. 
  • Волко́в боя́ться — в лес не ходи́ть.
    • Transliteration: Volkov boyat'sa — v les ne khodit.
    • Literally: To fear the wolves — not to go into the woods.
    • Translation: [Just] because one fears wolves, is one not to go into the woods?
    • Translation note: Although the original proverb has the structure of a declarative sentence it is commonly understood and used in context as a rhetorical question.
    • Meaning: "Fear is no excuse from [possibly risky but] necessary undertakings."
    • [possibly inexact] English equivalent: If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
  • Во́рон во́рону глаз не вы́клюет.
    • Transliteration: Voron voronu glaz ne vyklyuyet.
    • Translation: The raven won't peck out the eye of [another] raven.
    • English equivalent: Hawks will not pick out hawk's eyes.
    • Compare: Рука́ ру́ку мо́ет.
  • Вот где соба́ка зары́та.
    • Transliteration: Vot gde sobaka zaryta
    • Translation: That's where the dog is buried
    • English equivalent: That’s where the shoe pinches; That’s the crux (the rub).
    • See also: Вот в чём загво́здка.
  • Вре́мя — лу́чший до́ктор
    • Transliteration: Vremya — luchshiy doktor.
    • Translation: Time [makes the] best healer.
    • English equivalent: Time heals all wounds.
    • Modern mockery: Время — лучший доктор, но ужасный косметолог. (Time is the best healer, but a terrible cosmetologist.)
  • В семье́ не без уро́да.
    • Transliteration: V sem'ye ne bez uroda.
    • Translation: No family has no ugly member.
    • English equivalent: There is a black sheep in every flock.
  • Всё хорошо́, что хорошо́ конча́ется.
    • Transliteration: Vsyo khorosho, chto khorosho konchayetsa.
    • Translation: All is well that ends well.
    • English equivalent: All's well that ends well.
  • Всяк кули́к своё боло́то хва́лит.
    • Transliteration: Vsyak kulik svoyo boloto khvalit.
    • Translation: Every sandpiper praises his own swamp.
    • Meaning: Everyone praises their own work (or possession), no matter how inferior it is.
    • English equivalent: Every cook praises his own broth.
  • Вся́кому о́вощу своё вре́мя.
    • Transliteration: Vsyakomu ovoshchu svoyo vremya.
    • Translation: Every vegetable has its time.
    • English equivalent: Everything is good in its season.
    • "Plans are insulted destinies. I don't have plans, I only have goals."
    • Ash Chandler, Freudian Slip, Mumbai Mirror Buzz, April (2006).
    • Compare: Пе́рвый блин (всегда́) ко́мом.
  • В тесноте́, да не в оби́де.
  • В Ту́лу со свои́м самова́ром (не е́здят)
    • Transliteration: V Tulu so svoim samovarom (ne yezdyat).
    • Translation: (Do not come) to Tula with your own samovar.
    • Swedish equivalent: Do not cross the brook for water.
    • Modern mockery: В Тулу со своим пулемётом (To Tula with your own machine gun; Tula is center of firearms design and production).
    • Meaning: Don't do things in a needlessly laborious way.
    • 實用漢俄分類詞典. 中央圖書. 1996. p. 541. 
  • В чужо́й монасты́рь со свои́м уста́вом не хо́дят.

Г[edit]

  • Где то́нко — там и рвётся.
    • Transliteration: Gde tonko — tam i rvyotsya.
    • Translation: It will snap where it's thinnest.
    • English equivalent: The chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
    • Meaning: "A weak part or member will affect the success or effectiveness of the whole."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 31 July 2013. 
  • Гла́дко бы́ло на бума́ге, да забы́ли про овра́ги (, а по ним шага́ть).
    • Transliteration: Gladko bylo na bumage, da zabyli pro ovragi (, a po nim shagat').
    • Translation: It worked on paper, but [we've] forgotten about ravines (and we'll have to march [them]).
    • Meaning: Obstacles that were overlooked/ignored during planning, turned out to be a major showstopper when executing the plan.
  • Глаза́ боя́тся, а ру́ки де́лают.
  • Говоря́т, что кур доя́т.
    • Transliteration: Govoryat, shto kur doyat.
    • Translation: They say they milk chickens.
    • Meaning: Don't believe all the rumors.
  • Го́лод не тётка (, пирожка́ не поднесёт).
    • Transliteration: Golod ne tyotka (, pirozhka nye podnesyot).
    • Translation: Hunger is not [your] aunt (, [it] will not bring you a pie).
    • Meaning: If you are in need, help yourself and don't count on the situation improving by itself. — Also: If you're in need, take what they give you, it's not time to decline offers.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • Meaning: One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort.
    • Compare: Дарёному коню́ в зу́бы не смотря́т; На безры́бье и рак — ры́ба.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Иванович Даль, Владимир (2002). Толковый словарь живого великорусского языка. В 2 тт. Т. 1: А—О. ОЛМА Медиа Групп. p. 345. ISBN 5224035848. 
  • Го́лой овцы́ не стригу́т.
    • Transliteration: Goloy ovtsy ne strigut.
    • Translation: One doesn't shear naked sheep.
    • English equivalent: A beggar can never be bankrupt.
  • Голь на вы́думку хитра́.
    • Transliteration: Gol' na vydumku khitra.
    • Translation: Poor people are crafty.
    • English equivalent: Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Горба́того моги́ла испра́вит.
  • Гром не гря́нет, мужи́к не перекре́стится.
    • Transliteration: Grom ne gryanet, muzhik ne perekrestitsya.
    • Translation: Unless thunder strikes, a man won't cross himself.
    • Cultural background: Since lightning strikes were considered acts of punishment by God, it was believed that crossing oneself would prevent one from being hit by a lightning.
    • Swedish equivalent: You don't miss the cow until the barn is empty.
    • Meaning: People tend to not take precautionary measures until trouble actually happens.
  • Гусь свинье́ не това́рищ.
    • Transliteration: Gus' svin'ye ne tovarisch.
    • Translation: A goose is not a pig's friend.
    • Meaning: Opposite of Birds of a feather flock together; — Also: I despise you.
    • Answer: Ну, тогда я полетел.(Well, I'm flying away.)
    • Compare: Тамбо́вский волк тебе́ това́рищ.

Д[edit]

  • Дай с ногото́к - попро́сит с локото́к.
    • Transliteration: Day s nogotok - poprosit s lokotok.
    • Translation: Give [him] a fingernail, [he] will ask for the forearm.
    • English equivalent: Give him an inch and he'll take a yard/mile.
  • Дарёному коню́ в зу́бы не смо́трят.
    • Transliteration: Daryonomu konyu v zuby ne smotryat.
    • Translation: Don't look at the teeth of a horse you've been given.
    • Note: Looking at a horse's teeth is a way to determine its age, and thus its value (a practice that also gives us the English expression “long in the tooth,” meaning old.)
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Meaning: Don’t question a gift's value; be thankful, rather than judging something you received as a gift.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 54. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Compare: Го́лод не тётка(, пирожка́ не поднесёт).
    • Modern mockery: Дарёному коню́ под хвост не смо́трят. (Don't check a gift horse under the tail)
  • Даю́т - бери́, а бьют - беги́.
    • Transliteration: Dayut - beri, a b'yut - begi
    • Translation: If given - take it; if beaten - run away.
  • Де́ло ма́стера бои́тся.
    • Transliteration: Delo mastera boitsya.
    • Translation: Work is afraid of a skilled worker.
    • Meaning: Work goes well when you know what you are doing.
  • До́брое бра́тство — лу́чшее бога́тство.
    • Transliteration: Dobroye bratstvo — luchsheye bogatstvo.
    • Translation: Good brotherhood is the best wealth.
    • Compare: Не име́й сто рубле́й, а име́й сто друзе́й.
  • До́брое сло́во и ко́шке прия́тно.
    • Transliteration: Dobroye slovo i koshke priyatno.
    • Translation: Even a cat appreciates kind word[s].
  • Долг платежо́м кра́сен.
    • Transliteration: Dolg platezhom krasen.
    • Translation: Debt is beautiful [only] after [it is] repaid.
    • Meaning: Debt is a shame until it is repaid; – Also used as a hint: It's time for you to pay me back.
    • English equivalent: One good turn deserves another.
  • До́ма и сте́ны помога́ют.
    • Transliteration: Doma i steny pomogayut.
    • Translation: [When you are] at home, even the walls help [you].
  • Дорога́ ло́жка к обе́ду.
    • Transliteration: Doroga lozhka k obyedu.
    • Transalation: A spoon is valuable at dinner.
    • Meaning: Things are best in their respective time.; Proper timing is everything. — Also: Things are most expensive when in high demand.
    • Compare: До́рого яи́чко ко Христо́ву дню.
    • See also: Вся́кому о́вощу своё вре́мя.
    • English equivalent: A stitch in time saves nine.
  • До́рого яи́чко ко Христо́ву дню.
    • Transliteration: Dorogo yaichko k Khristovu dnyu.
    • Translation: A spring egg is dear at the Easter day.
    • Meaning: Things are best in their respective time.; Proper timing is everything. — Also: Things are most expensive when in high demand.
    • Compare: Дорога́ ло́жка к обе́ду.
  • Дру́жба дру́жбой, а слу́жба слу́жбой.
    • Transliteration: Druzhba druzhboy, a sluzhba sluzhboy.
    • Translation: Friendship is friendship and service is service.
    • Meaning: Friendship is one thing, business another; Nothing personal; just business.
    • Compare: Дру́жба дру́жбой, а табачо́к (де́нежки) - врозь.
  • Дру́жба дру́жбой, а табачо́к (де́нежки) - врозь.
    • Transliteration: Druzhba druzhboy, a tabachok (denezhki) — vroz'.
    • Translation: Friendship is friendship, but [keep our] tobacco (money) apart.
    • Meaning: You might be my friend, but it doesn't entitle you to using my assets (or not repaying my debts).
    • Compare: Дру́жба дру́жбой, а слу́жба слу́жбой.
  • Друг познаётся в беде́.
    • Transliteration: Drug poznayotsa v bede.
    • Translation: [You get to really] know [your] friend when trouble [comes].
    • English equivalent: A friend in need's a friend indeed.
  • Дурака́м зако́н не пи́сан (, е́сли пи́сан, то не чи́тан, е́сли чи́тан, то не по́нят, е́сли по́нят, то не так).
    • Transliteration: Durakam zakon ne pisan (, yesli pisan, to ne chitan, yesli chitan, to ne ponyat, yesly ponyat, to ne tak).
    • Translation: There is no law written for fools ( if it is written it's not read, if it is read it's not understood, if it is understood, in the wrong way).
    • English equivalent: There is no law for fools.
  • Дура́к завя́жет — и у́мный не развя́жет.
    • Transliteration: Durak zavyazhet — u umnyy ne razvyazhet.
    • Translation: [If] the fool ties [a knot], even a clever person can't untie it.
    • English equivalent: A fool may throw a stone into a well which a hundred wise men cannot pull out.
  • Дурако́в не се́ют, не жнут, са́ми родя́тся.
    • Transliteration: Durakov ne seyut, ne zhnut, sami rodyatsya.
    • Translation: Fools are not sown or reaped, they appear by themselves.
    • English equivalent: There's a sucker born every minute.

Е[edit]

  • Е́дешь на́ день, хле́ба бери́ на неде́лю.
    • Transliteration: Yedesh na den', khleba beri na nedelyu.
    • Translation: If you take a day trip, take a week's supply of bread.
    • English equivalent: Always be prepared (or "always bring more than you need")
    • Compare: Запа́с карма́н не тя́нет
  • Е́сли бы да кабы́ да во рту росли́ грибы́ (бобы́)(, это был бы не рот, а огоро́д).
    • Transliteration: Yesli by da kaby da vo rtu rosli griby (boby) (, eto byl by nye rot a ogorod)
    • Translation: If and when mushrooms (beans) grew in the mouth(, that would have been not mouth but kitchen garden).
    • English equivalent: If ifs and buts were candy and nuts; If wishes were horses, beggars might ride.; If ifs and ands were pots and pans, then we would need no tinkers.; If wishes were fishes, there'd be no room in the river for water.; If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak.
    • Modern mockery: Если бы у бабушки были яйца, то она была бы дедушкой (If only Grandma had balls, she would have been Grandpa)
  • Если бы молодость знала, если бы старость могла.
    • Transliteration: Yesli by molodost' znala, yesli by starost' mogla.
    • Translation: If only youth would know, if only old age were able.
    • Meaning: If only youth had the wisdom, and old age had the strength everything would have been much better.
    • English equivalent: Youth is wasted on the young
  • Если бы не закон, не было бы и преступника.
    • English equivalent: The more laws, the more offenders.

Ж[edit]

  • Жизнь прожи́ть — не по́ле перейти́.
    • Transliteration: Zhizn' prozhit' — ne pole pereyti.
    • Translation: Living [your] life is not like crossing a meadow.
    • English equivalent: Life was never meant to be easy.
    • Source note: this proverb originated as a line in Boris Pasternak's poem "Hamlet."

З[edit]

  • Запретный плод сладок
  • Зако́н что ды́шло, куда́ повернёшь - туда́ и вы́шло.
    • Transliteration: Zakon chto dyshlo, kuda povernyosh - tuda i vyshlo.
    • Translation: Law is like the shaft of a cart, it points wherever you turn it.
    • Alt. Translation: The law is like a shaft, no matter the way you turn it, you're shafted.
    • Meaning: Powerful, rich or smart people can make the law work for them.
  • Заста́вь дурака́ Бо́гу моли́ться - он (себе́) лоб расшибёт (и други́м но́ги поотшиба́ет).
    • Transliteration: Zastav' duraka Bogu molitsya - on (sebe) lob rasshibyot (i drugim nogi pootshibayet).
    • Translation: [If you] make a fool pray to God, he will hurt (both his) forehead (and other people's toes).
    • Meaning: When eagerness is coupled with lack of understanding of the task, one's efforts will be more of a hindrance than a help; Better not to follow instructions literally but understand their purpose.
    • English equivalent: Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse.
    • Compare: Что ни сде́лает дура́к — все он сде́лает не так; Медве́жья услу́га.
  • За что купи́л, за то и продаю́ (, не лю́бо - не слу́шай, а врать не меша́й).
    • Transliteration: Za chto kupil, za to i prodayu (, ne lyubo - ne slushay, a vrat' ne meshay).
    • Translation: I sell it for what I bought it (, if you don't like it, don't listen, but don't hamper [my] lying/telling).
    • Meaning: I don't endorse this message, I'm just telling you what I was told.
  • Зна́ет ко́шка, чьё мя́со съе́ла.

И[edit]

  • И волки сыты, и овцы целы.
    • Transliteration: I volki syty, i ovtsy tsely.
    • Translation: The wolves are sated, and the sheep are intact.
    • Meaning: Sometimes it is impossible to get two desired things at the same time.
    • English equivalent: You can't have your cake and eat it too.
    • Compare: За двумя зайцами погонишься (, ни одного не поймаешь). Двух зайцев одной пулей.
    • Belentschikow (2009). Russisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch (RDW): O. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 136. ISBN 3447060859. 
  • Из двух зол выбира́ют ме́ньшее.
    • Transliteration: Iz dvukh zol vybirayut men'sheye.
    • Translation: [They] choose lesser of two evils.
    • Meaning: If all the options are bad, choose the one that hurts the least.
    • English equivalent: Lesser of two evils
  • Из огня́ да в полымя́.
    • Transliteration: Iz ognya da v polymya.
    • Translation: From fire to flame.
    • Meaning: [Got] out of trouble just to get into another trouble.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
    • Compare: Ме́жду мо́лотом и накова́льней.
    • Offord (1996). Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 151. ISBN 0521457602. 
  • Из пе́сни сло́ва не вы́кинешь.
    • Transliteration: Iz pesni slova ne vykinesh.
    • Translation: [You] cannot throw a word out of a song.
    • Meaning: You cannot alter the information that many people know by heart. — Also: The following may contain obscene, rude or otherwise questionable content, yet it content cannot be omitted as it's an integral part of the story.
    • Compare: Сло́во – не воробе́й: вы́летит – не пойма́ешь.; Что напи́сано перо́м – не вы́рубить топоро́м.
  • Искру́ туши́ до пожа́ра, беду́ отводи́ до уда́ра.
    • Transliteration: Iskru tushi do pozhara, bedu otvodi do udara.
    • Translation: Extinguish the spark before the [the house is on] fire, deflect the trouble before [its] strike.
    • English equivalent: Prevention is better than cure.; An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Исподво́ль и ольху́ согнёшь.
    • Transliteration: Ispodvol' i ol'khu sognyosh.
    • Translation: You can bend an alder-tree, if you do it gradually.
    • English equivalent: Little strokes fell great oaks.; Time conquers all.
  • Ищи́ ве́тра в по́ле.
    • Transliteration: Ishchi vetra v pole.
    • Translation: Look for wind in a field.
    • Meaning: What's lost cannot be found.
    • English equivalent: You can't catch the wind in a net.

К[edit]

  • Как ау́кнется — так и откли́кнется.
    • Transliteration: Kak auknetsya — tak i otkliknetsya.
    • Translation: How [echo] is prompted, it will bounce back.
    • Meaning: Others will treat you the way you treat them.
    • English equivalent: What goes around, comes around.
    • Compare: Что посе́ешь, то пожнёшь.
  • Ка́шу ма́слом не испо́ртишь.
    • Transliteration: Kashu maslom ne isportish.
    • Translation: One can't spoil porridge with butter.
    • Meaning: You can’t spoil a good thing with another good thing.
    • English equivalent: Plenty is no plague.
    • Compare: Мно́го — не ма́ло.
  • Клин кли́ном вышиба́ют.
    • Transliteration: Klin klinom vyshibayut.
    • Translation: They use a wedge to knock out a wedge.
    • Meaning: Pay back with the same medicine.
    • English equivalents: Fight fire with fire; Like cures like; One nail drives out another.
  • Когото́к увя́з - всей пти́чке пропа́сть.
    • Transliteration: Kogotok uvyaz — vsey ptichke propast.
    • Translation: If the claw is stuck, the whole bird is lost.
    • Meaning: Trouble begins with small mistakes.
    • Compare: Пришла́ беда́ - отворя́й ворота́, Лиха́ беда́ нача́ло.
  • Козла́ бо́йся спе́реди, коня́ — сза́ди, а лихо́го челове́ка — со всех сторо́н.
    • Transliteration: Kozla boysya speredi, konya — szadi, a likhogo cheloveka — so vsekh storon.
    • Translation: Beware of the goat from its front side, of the horse - from its back side, and the evil man - from any side.
    • Closest English equivalent: He who sups with the devil must use a long spoon.
  • Конь о четырёх нога́х, да и тот спотыка́ется.
    • Transliteration: Kon' o chetyryokh nogakh, da i tot spotykaetsya.
    • Translation: A horse has four legs, but still stumbles.
    • English equivalent: It is a good horse that never stumbles.
    • Meaning: Even most experienced (or most capable) people make mistakes sometimes.
  • Коней на переправе не меняют
    • Translation: Don't swap horses when crossing the stream.
    • Note: When in water it is arduous to mount and dismount.
    • English equivalent: Don't change horses in the midstream.
    • Meaning: Don't make major changes in the middle of a difficult/complicated process.
    • Мокиенко Валерий Михайлович (2010). Большой словарь русских пословиц. ОЛМА Медиа Групп. p. 26. ISBN 978-5-373-03250-6. Retrieved on 7 June 2013. 
  • Копе́йка рубль бережёт (, а рубль го́лову стережёт).
    • Transliteration: Kopeyka rubl' berezhot (, a rubl' golovu sterezhot).
    • Translation: A kopeck saves the rouble (, and the rouble guards your head).
    • English equivalent: Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.
  • Куда́ конь с копы́том, туда и рак с клешнёй.
    • Transliteration: Kuda kon' s kopytom, tuda i rak c kleshnyoy.
    • Translation: Where [goes] a horse with [its] hoof, there [goes] a crayfish with [its] pincer.
  • Куда́ ни кинь, везде́ (всё, всю́ду) клин.
    • Transliteration: Kuda ni kin', vezde (vsyo,vsyudu) klin.
    • English equivalent: Damned if you do, damned if you don't
    • Compare: Что в лоб, что по́ лбу; Что пнём об сову, что сово́й об пень.
  • Куй желе́зо, пока горячо́.
    • Transliteration: Kuy zhelezo, poka goryacho.
    • Translation: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Meaning: Do things while it's the best time to to them.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot; Make hay while the sun shines.
    • Modern mockery: Куй желе́зо, пока Горбачёв (Strike iron while Gorbachyov [is at power] — encouraging people to use the opportunities opened by Perestroika, as it wasn't believed at the time that they will last)

Л[edit]

  • Ла́сковый телёнок двух ма́ток сосёт.
    • Transliteration: Laskovyy telyonok dvukh matok sosyot.
    • Translation: The affectionate calf sucks [udders of] two cows.
    • Meaning: One can take advantage of both sides (in a dispute). Such behavior is often seen with disapproval.
  • Лбом сте́нку не расшибёшь.
    • Transliteration: Lbom stenku ne rasshibyosh.
    • Translation: You cannot break a wall with your forehead.
    • Meaning: Use the correct tool for the job. – Also: Don't deal with stubborn people.
    • English equivalent: Don't kick against the pricks, meaning don't try to remove a thorn by pushing it in deeper -- don't injure yourself in an attempt to use brute force to go through/past an obstacle which requires finesse in order to pass.
  • Лежа́чего не бьют.
    • Transliteration: Lezhachevo ne b'yut.
    • Translation: One shouldn't beat the one who fell.
    • English equivalent: Don't kick a man when he's down.
  • Лес ру́бят — ще́пки летя́т.
    • Transliteration: Les rubyat — schepki letyat.
    • Translation: When wood is chopped, woodchips will fly.
    • English equivalent: You can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg.
  • Лиха́ беда́ нача́ло.
  • Ло́жка дегтю по́ртит бо́чку мёда.
    • Transliteration: Lozhka dyogtya portit bochku myoda.
    • Translation: A spoonful of tar spoils a barrel of honey.
    • English equivalent: A fly in the ointment; The rotten apple spoils the barrel.
  • Лу́чшее — враг хоро́шего.
    • Transliteration: Luchsheye — vrag khoroshego.
    • English equivalent: Best is the enemy of good.
    • "By constantly striving for the best we risk destroying, or failing to produce, something good."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
  • Лу́чше оди́н раз уви́деть, чем сто раз услы́шать.
    • Transliteration: Luchshe odin raz uvidet', chem sto raz uslyshat'
    • Translation: It's better to see once than hear a hundred times.
    • English equivalent: Seeing is believing; One look is worth a thousand words.
  • Лу́чше по́здно, чем никогда́.
    • Transliteration: Luchshe pozdno, chem nikogda.
    • Translation: Better late than never.
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
  • Любо́вь зла́, полю́бишь и козла́.
    • Transliteration: Lyubov' zla, polyubish i kozla.
    • Translation: love's evil, you'll love even a goat.
    • English equivalent: Love is blind.

М[edit]

  • Муж в Тверь - жена в дверь
    • Transliteration: Muzh v Tver - zhena v dver.
    • Translation: Husband [travels to the city of] Tver - wife goes out the door
    • International version: La donna é mobile
  • Молоде́ц про́тив ове́ц, а про́тив молодца́ — и сам овца́.
    • Transliteration: Molodets protiv ovets, a protiv moldtsa — i sam ovtsa.
    • Translation: [He is] brave [when fighting] against sheep, and [when fighting] against a brave man [he's] a sheep himself.
  • Мя́гко сте́лет, да жёстко спать.
    • Transliteration: Myaghko stelet, da zhostko spat.
    • Translation: [He] makes the bed soft, yet [it's] hard to sleep [on].
    • Meaning: Iron fist in a velvet glove. — Also: Things built without effort are hard to use.
    • English equivalent: Iron fist in a velvet glove; Velvet paws hide sharp claws.

Н[edit]

  • Не ищи беды – беда сама тебя найдет
    • Translation: Do not look for trouble - trouble will find you itself.
    • English equivalent: Don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.
    • Советские профсоюзы. Профиздат.. 1973. p. 45. Retrieved on 7 June 2013. 
  • На безры́бье и рак — ры́ба [, на безлю́дье и си́день — челове́к].
    • Transliteration: Na bezryb'ye i rak — ryba [, na bezlyud'ye i siden' chelovek].
    • Translation: On a fishing lull, even a crayfish is fish [, at the lack people even a lazybones is a human being].
    • Meaning: Maybe this is not the best choice, but it's our only option.
    • English equivalent: Something is better than nothing.
    • See also: Из двух зол выбира́ют ме́ньшее, Го́лод не тётка (, пирожка́ не поднесёт)
    • Modern Mockery: "На безрыбье и сам раком станешь" (On a fishing lull, even you can become a crayfish.)
  • На Бо́га наде́йся, а сам не плоша́й.
    • Transliteration: Na boga nadeysya, a sam ne ploshay.
    • Translation: Hope for God, but do not be reliant.
    • English equivalent: Trust in God, but lock your car.
    • Compare: Бо́гу моли́сь, а добра́-ума́ держи́сь; Бережёного Бог бережёт.
  • На брю́хе шёлк, а в брю́хе щёлк.
    • Transliteration: Na bryukhe sholk, a v bryukhe scholk.
    • Translation: On the belly there is silk, and in the belly - just a click.
    • English equivalent: All hat and no cattle.
  • На вкус и цвет това́рищей нет.
    • Transliteration: Na vkus i tsvet tovarischey net.
    • Translation: There are no friends in tastes and colours.
    • English equivalent: There is no accounting for taste.
    • Compare: У вся́кого Па́вла своя́ пра́вда; О вку́сах не спо́рят.
    • יוסף גורי, I. Guri (2006). On the tip of the tongue: 500 Yiddish proverbs (illustrated ed.). Hebreisher Uniṿersiṭeṭ in Yerushalayim, Opṭeyl far Rusishe limudim. p. 226. ISBN 9659025033. 
  • На во́ре ша́пка гори́т.
    • Transliteration: Na vore shapka gorit.
    • Translation: A thief's hat is burning.
    • English equivalent: A guilty mind betrays itself.
  • На всех не угоди́шь
    • Transliteration: Na vsekh ne ugodish.
    • Translation: You cannot please everybody.
    • English equivalent: He who pleased everybody died before he was born.
    • Compare: О вку́сах не спо́рят.
  • На вся́кого мудреца́ дово́льно простоты́.
    • Transliteration: Na vsyakogo mudretsa dovol'no prostoty.
    • Translation: For each wise man there are plenty of fools.
  • Назва́лся гру́здем — полеза́й в ку́зов.
  • На кривой суд образца нет.
    • Translation: There is no example for an unjust court.
  • На миру́ и смерть красна́.
    • Transliteration: Na miru i smert' krasna.
    • Translation: With company, even death loses its sting.
  • На то и щу́ка [в мо́ре], что́бы кара́сь не дрема́л.
    • Transliteration: Na to i schuka v more, shtoby karas' ne dremal.
    • Translations: The pike in the sea is there to make the crucian to stay alert.
    • Meaning: There are dangers, but don't complain about them, stay alert.
  • На чужо́й карава́й рот не разева́й.
    • Transliteration: Na chuzhoy karavay rot ne razevay.
    • Translation: Don't open your mouth [to eat] other people's bread.
    • Modern Mockery (vulgar): "На чужое бухло не разевай ебло."
  • Нашла́ коса́ на ка́мень.
    • Transliteration: Nashla kosa na kamen'.
    • Translation: The scythe has hit a stone.
    • English equivalent: Diamond cut diamond, You have met your match.
  • На языке́ мёд, а на се́рдце — лёд.
    • Transliteration: Na yazyke myod, a na serdtse — lyod.
    • Translation: On the tongue [there's] honey, and on the heart [there's] ice.
    • English equivalent: A honey tongue, a heart of gall.
  • Не бо́ги горшки́ обжига́ют.
    • Transliteration: Ne bogi gorshki obzhigayut.
    • Translation: [It's] not gods [who] make pots.
    • Meaning: All arificial objects in the world, no matter how minute or astonishing, were made by people, so do not get overexcited.
  • Не бо́йся соба́ки, что ла́ет, а бо́йся той, что молчи́т и хвосто́м виля́ет.
    • Transliteration: Ne boysya sobaki, shto layet, a bosya toy, shto molchit, da khvostom vilyayet.
    • Translation: Don't be afraid of the dog who barks, but be afraid of the one, who is silent and wags its tail.
    • English equivalent: It's the quiet ones you gotta watch.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • Не́ было бы сча́стья, да несча́стье помогло́.
    • Transliteration: Ne bylo by schast'ya, da neschast'ye pomoglo
    • Translation: [I] would have had no luck, if not for misfortune.
    • Meaning: This particular misfortune in the end has led me to more gain than it made harm.
    • Compare: Нет ху́да без добра́.
  • Не́ было у ба́бы хлопо́т, так купи́ла порося́.
    • Transliteration: Ne bylo u baby khlopot, tak kupila porosya.
    • Translation: The woman had no trouble, so she bought a piglet.
    • English equivalent: You've asked for trouble.
  • Не всё коту́ ма́сленица, бу́дет и вели́кий пост.
    • Transliteration: Ne vsyo kotu maslenitsa, budet i velikiy post.
    • Translation: Not every day is a Shrovetide, in time it will be a Lent.
    • English equivalent: Life's not all beer and skittles; Life's not all wine and roses; I never promised you a bed of roses
  • Не всё то зо́лото, что блести́т.
    • Transliteration: Ne vsyo to zoloto, chto blestit.
    • Translation: Not every glittering thing is gold.
    • English equivalent: Not all that glitters is gold.
    • Modern mockery: Не всё то долото́, что блести́т.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
    • Meaning: An attractive appearance may be deceptive. It may cover or hide a much less favourable content.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 114. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • G.K. Chesterton (January 2013). Жив-человек. Издательство Pubmix.com. p. 22. ISBN 978-5-4241-1474-8. Retrieved on 18 June 2013. 
  • Не говори́ гоп, пока́ не переско́чишь (перепры́гнешь).
  • Не да́вши сло́ва — крепи́сь, а да́вши — держи́сь.
    • Transliteration: Ne davshi slova — krepis', a davshi — derzhis'.
    • Meaning: Don't give promises you can't fulfil; once given, the word must be kept.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a promise you can't keep.
    • Compare: Угово́р доро́же де́нег.
  • Не за то во́лка бьют, что сер, а за то, что овцу́ съел.
    • Transliteration: Ne za to volka b'yut, shto ser, a za to, shto ovtsy s'yel.
    • Translation: The wolf is beaten not for being grey, but for having eaten a sheep.
  • Не зна́я бро́ду, не су́йся в во́ду.
    • Transliteration: Ne znaya brodu, ne suysya v vodu.
    • Translation: Don't wade into a river without knowing a ford.
    • Meaning: Don't rush into something without throughly studying the matter first.
    • English equivalent: Wait for the cat to jump.
  • Не име́й дру́га пота́тчика, а име́й дру́га попере́чника.
    • Transliteration: Ne imey druga potatchika, a imey druga poperechnika.
    • Translation: Don't have a friend who always agrees with you, but have a friend who argues with you.
  • Не ме́сто кра́сит челове́ка, а челове́к — ме́сто.
    • Transliteration: Ne mesto krasit cheloveka, a chelovek — mesto.
    • Translations: Not the place adorns the man, but a man adorns the place.
  • Не мечи́те би́сер пе́ред сви́ньями.
    • Transliteration: Ne mechite biser pered svin'yami
    • Translation: Don't cast beads before(in front of) pigs.
    • English equivalent: Cast not your pearls before swine.
  • Не ошиба́ется тот, кто ничего́ не де́лает.
    • Transliteration: Ne oshibayetsa tot, kto nichego ne delayet.
    • Translation: Only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.
    • English equivalent: Nothing ventured, nothing gained; He that never climbed, never fell.
  • Не плюй в коло́дец — пригоди́тся [воды] напи́ться.
    • Transliteration: Ne plyuy v kolodets — prigoditsya [vody] napit'sya.
    • Translation: Do not spit into a well—it may be useful to drink water.
    • English equivalent: Actions can boomerang; Never cast dirt into that fountain of which you have sometime drunk; Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    • Vulgar: Don't sh*t where you eat.
    • Modern mockery: Не плюй в коло́дец: вы́летит — не пойма́ешь.
  • Не по́йман — не во́р.
    • Transliteration: Ne poyman — ne vor.
    • Translation: Unless caught [stealing], [one is] not a thief.
    • English equivalent: Innocent till proven guilty.
  • Не рой друго́му я́му, сам в неё попадёшь.
    • Transliteration: Ne roy drugomu yamu, sam v neyo popadyosh.
    • Translation: Don't dig a pit for somebody [to fall into], [or] you will end up in it yourself.
    • English equivalent: Curses like chickens come home to roost.
    • Modern mockery: Не рой друго́му я́му, пусть сам ро́ет (Don't dig a pit for somebody, let him dig [it] himself)
  • Не спра́шивай ста́рого, спра́шивай быва́лого.
    • Transliteration: Ne sprashivay starovo, sprashivy byvalogo.
    • Translation: Don't ask the old one, ask the experienced one.
  • Нет ды́ма без огня́.
    • Transliteration: Net dyma bez ognya.
    • Translation: There is no smoke without fire.
    • English equivalent: There is no smoke without fire.
  • Ни к селу́, ни к го́роду.
    • Transliteration: Ni k selu, ni k gorodu.
    • Translation: Not for village, not for town.
    • Meaning: Not useful for anything.
    • English equivalent: Neither here nor there
  • Ни ры́ба, ни мя́со [ни кафтан, ни ряса].
    • Transliteration: Ni ryba, ni myaso.
    • Translation: Neither fish nor meat.
    • Usage: A person without a strong character.
    • English equivalent: Neither fish nor flesh.
  • Но́вая метла по-но́вому метёт.
    • Transliteration: Novaya metla po-novomu metyot.
    • Translation: A new broom sweeps in a new way.
    • Meaning: Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • English equivalent: A new broom sweeps clean.; In with the new and out with the old.

О[edit]

  • Обе́щанного три го́да ждут.
    • Transliteration: Obeschannovo tri goda zhdut.
    • Translation: [They] wait three years for [what was] promised.
    • Meaning: Promises aren't usually carried out immediately.
  • Обже́гшись на молоке́, ду́ют на́ воду.
    • Transliteration:
    • Translation: He who got burned by hot milk, blows on water.
    • English equivalent: Once bitten, twice shy.
    • Mockery: На молоке обжёгся, а водку дует (He got burned by hot milk, but drinks vodka)
  • Овчи́нка вы́делки не сто́ит.
    • Transliteration: Ovchinka vydelki ne stoit.
    • Translation: Lambskin is not worth currying.
    • English equivalent: The game isn’t worth the candle.
  • Оди́н в по́ле [—] не во́ин.
    • Transliteration: Odin v pole ne voin.
    • Translation: A single [man] in a field is not a warrior.
    • English equivalent: One man, no man
  • Оди́н с со́шкой — се́меро с ло́жкой.
    • Transliteration: Odin s soshkoy — semero s lozhkoy.
    • Translation: [For every] one with a plow — [there's] seven with a spoon.
    • Meaning: There's a lot of slackers for each productive worker.
  • Оди́н сын – не сын, два сы́на – по́лсына, три сы́на – сын.
    • Transliteration: Odin syn - ne syn, dva syna - polsyna, tri syna - syn.
    • Translation: One son is not a son, two sons are half a son, three sons are a son.
  • Одна́ ча́рка - на здоро́вье, друга́я - на весе́лье, тре́тья – на вздор.
    • Transliteration: Odna charka na zdorov'e, drugaya na vesel'e, tret'a na vzdor.
    • Translation: One cup (of alcohol) is for health, second one is for fun, third one is for nothing.
  • От во́лка бежа́л, да на медве́дя попа́л.
    • Transliteration: Ot volka bezhal, da na medvedya popal.
    • Translation: I ran from the wolf but ran into a bear.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.'
    • See also: Из огня́ да в полымя́.
  • От добра́ добра́ не и́щут.
    • Transliteration: Ot dobra dobra ne ishchut.
    • Translation: Do not look for [further] good from good.
    • English equivalent: Leave well enough alone; Enough is as good as a feast.
    • Meaning: "Do not try to change or improve something that is satisfactory as it stands."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
  • От трудо́в пра́ведных не наживёшь пала́т ка́менных.
    • Transliteration: Ot trudov pravednykh he hazhivyosh palat kamennykh.
    • Translation: Honest work won't let you live in a stone palace.
    • Meaning: Great wealth stems from illegal activities more often than not.
  • Охо́та пу́ще нево́ли.
    • Transliteration: Okhota pusche nevoli.
    • Translation: Desire is worse then compulsion.
    • English equivalent: A burden of one's own choice is not felt.
    • Meaning: Work you enjoy never feels too hard.

П[edit]

  • Пей, да де́ло разуме́й.
    • Transliteration: Pey, da delo razumey.
    • Translation: Drink (alcohol), but be an expert in your business
  • Пе́рвый блин (всегда́) ко́мом.
    • Transliteration: Pervyy blin (vsegda) komom.
    • Translation: The first pancake is (always) a blob.
    • English equivalent: You have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk.
    • Swedish equivalent: We are children in the beginning.
    • Compare: Лиха́ беда́ нача́ло.
  • Пло́х тот солда́т, кото́рый не мечта́ет стать генера́лом.
    • Translation: A soldier who doesn't dream of becoming a general is a bad one.
  • Пова́дился кувши́н по́ воду ходи́ть, тут ему́ и го́лову сломи́ть.
    • Transliteration: Povadilsya kuvshin po vodu kxodit', tut yemu i golovu slomit'.
    • English equivalent: The pitcher goes often to the well but is broken eventually.
  • Пови́нную го́лову и меч не сечёт.
    • Transliteration: Povinnuyu golovu i mech ne sechot.
    • Translation: Even the sword doesn't cut the head of the one who confesses.
    • English equivalent: A fault confessed is half redressed.
  • Повторе́нье - мать уче́нья.
    • Transliteration: Povtoren'ye — mat' uchen'ya.
    • Translation: Repetition is the mother of learning.
    • English equivalent: Practice makes perfect.
    • Meaning: The more often you repeat your lesson, the more likely you are to memorize it.
    • Mockery: Повторе́нье - мать пита́нья (Repetition is a mother of feeding).
  • Пожале́л волк кобы́лу, оста́вил хвост да гри́ву.
    • Transliteration: Pozhalel volk kobylu, ostavil khvost da grivu
    • Translation: The wolf spared the mare, left a tail and mane.
  • По одёжке встреча́ют, по уму́ провожа́ют.
    • Transliteration: Po odyozhke vstrechayut, po umu provozhayut.
    • Translation: One meets/greets [people] by their clothes, and says farewell by their mind.
    • English equivalent: Beauty may open the door, but only virtue enters.
  • По́сле дра́ки кулака́ми не ма́шут.
    • Transliteration: Posle draki kulakami ne mashut.
    • Translation: They don't swing fists when the fight is over.
    • English equivalent: What’s done is done; Don't lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.
  • Поспеши́шь – люде́й насмеши́шь.
    • Transliteration: Pospeshish' – lyudey nasmeshish'.
    • Translation: If you rush things, you'll only make others laugh.
    • English equivalent: Haste makes waste.
  • Привы́чка — втора́я нату́ра.
    • Transliteration: Privychka — vtoraya natura.
    • Translation: Habit is second nature.
    • English equivalent: Old habits die hard.
  • Простота́ ху́же воровства́.
    • Transliteration: Prostota khuzhe vorovstva.
    • Translation: Simplicity is worse than thievery (crime).
    • Meaning: A fool can do more damage than an enemy/a criminal.
  • Пу́ганая воро́на куста́ (теле́жного скри́па/со́бственной те́ни) бои́тся.
  • Пья́ному мо́ре по коле́но (, а лу́жа — по́ уши).
    • Transliteration: P'yanomu more po koleno (, a luzha - po ushi).
    • Translation: For a drunk, the sea is knee-deep (, and a puddle ear-deep).
    • Meaning: Drunk people brag a lot, yet are capable of very little.

Р[edit]

  • Работа не волк - в лес не убежит.
    • Transliteration: Rabota ne volk - v les ne ubezhit.
    • Translation: Work is not a wolf, it's not going away to the forest.
    • English equivalent: You can do any job later.
    • Krylov, Konstantin Arkadʹevich (1973). Russian-English Dictionary of Russian Sayings and Proverbs. C.A. Krylov. p. VII. 
  • Раз на раз не прихо́дится.
    • Transliteration: Raz na raz ne prikhoditsya.
    • Translation: Each time it's different.
    • English equivalent: You can’t expect perfection every time.
  • Рука́ ру́ку мо́ет [, вор во́ра кр́оет].
    • Transliteration: Ruka ruku moyet[, vor vora kroyet].
    • Translation: Hands wash each other[, a thief covers another thief].
    • English equivalent: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. ; One hand washes the other.
  • Ры́ба и́щет, где глу́бже, а челове́к — где лу́чше.
    • Transliteration: Ryba ischet gde glubzhe, a chelovek — gde luchshe.
    • Translation: Fish seek a deep place, men seek a better place.
    • Modern mockery: Ры́ба и́щет, где глу́бже, а челове́к — где ры́ба. (Fish seek for a deep place, men seek for a fishing place.)
  • Рыба́к рыбака́ ви́дит издалека́.
    • Transliteration: Rybak rybaka vidit izdaleka.
    • Translation: A fisherman can tell another fisherman from afar.
    • English equivalent: It takes one to know one.
    • Mockery: Дурак дурака видит издалека. (A fool can tell another fool from afar.)

С[edit]

  • С волка́ми жить, по-во́лчьи выть.
    • Transliteration: S volkami zhit', po-volch'i vyt'.
    • Translation: To live with wolves, you have to howl like a wolf.
    • English equivalent: Who keeps company with the wolves, will learn to howl; You are like the company you keep; When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
    • Compare: С кем поведёшься, от того́ и наберёшься.
  • Своя́ но́ша не тя́нет.
    • Transliteration: Svoya nosha ne tyanet.
    • Translation: [One's] own burden doesn't encumber.
    • English equivalent: A burden of one's own choice is not felt
  • Своя́ руба́шка бли́же к те́лу.
  • Свя́то ме́сто пу́сто не быва́ет.
    • Transliteration: Svyato mesto pusto ne byvayet.
    • Translation: A holy place is never empty.
    • English equivalent: Nature abhors a vacuum; The throne is never vacant
  • Седина́ в бо́роду, бес в ребро́.
    • Transliteration: Sedina v borodu, bes v rebro.
    • Translation: Grey hair into beard, devil into rib.
    • Meaning: When a man gets elderly, he often becomes a womanizer.
  • Се́меро одного́ не ждут.
    • Transliteration: Semero odnogo ne zhdut.
    • Translation: Seven [people] don't wait for one.
    • English equivalent: For one that is missing there's no spoiling a wedding.
    • Meaning: If you severely hinder others, don't be surprised when you get left behind.
  • Семь бед — оди́н отве́т.
    • Transliteration: Sem' bed — odin otvet.
    • Translation: Seven troubles - one responce.
    • English equivalent: As well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.
  • Семь вёрст до небе́с и всё ле́сом.
    • Transliteration: Sem' vyorst do nebes, i vcyo lesom.
    • Translation: Seven versts# to heaven, and all the way through the forest.
  • Семь раз отме́рь, оди́н отре́жь.
    • Transliteration: Sem' raz otmer', odin otrezh.
    • Translation: Measure seven times, cut once.
    • English equivalent: Measure thrice, cut once.
    • Howlett, Colin (1997). The Oxford Russian dictionary (2, revised ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 1252. 


Edition Publisher, Length pages

  • Семь топоро́в вме́сте лежа́т, а две пря́лки врозь.
    • Transliteration: Sem toporov vmeste lezhat, a dve pryalki vroz.
    • Translation: Seven axes lie together, two distaffs apart
  • С кем поведёшься, от того́ и наберёшься.
    • Transliteration: S kem povedyoshsya, ot togo i naberyoshsya.
    • Translation: [You'll] learn [(in a bad way)] from those [you] hang out with.
    • English equivalent: Those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas; You are what your friends are.
    • Modern mockery: С кем поведёшься, с тем и наберёшься. (You'll get drunk with those you hang out with.)
    • Compare: С волка́ми жить, по-во́лчьи выть.
  • Ско́лько во́лка ни корми́, он всё в лес смо́трит.
    • Transliteration: Skol'ko volka ne kormi, on vsyo v les smotrit.
    • Translation: However [much/ well] you feed the wolf, he still looks at the woods.
    • English equivalent: A leopard can't change his stripes.
    • Compare: Горбатого могила исправит.
    • Mockery: Ско́лько во́лка не корми́, он всё жрёт и жрёт (However much you feed the wolf, he still eats and eats.)
  • Ско́ро ска́зка ска́зывается, да не ско́ро де́ло де́лается.
    • Transliteration: Skoro skazka skazyvayetsya, da ne skoro delo delaetsya.
    • Translations: A tale is told quickly, but the job is done slowly.
    • English equivalent: Talk is cheap.
  • Сла́вны бу́бны за гора́ми (а к нам приду́т, как луко́шко).
    • Transliteration: Slavny bubny za gorami, (a k nam pridut, kak lukoshko).
    • Translations: Tambourines are good when they are behind mountains (, and when they come to us, they become just like a basket)
  • Сло́во — се́ребро, молча́ние — зо́лото.
    • Transliteration: Slovo — serebro, molchaniye — zoloto.
    • Translation: Words are silver, silence is gold.
    • English equivalent: Talk is cheap, silence is golden.
  • С ми́ру по ни́тке — го́лому руба́ха.
    • Transliteration: S miru po nitke — golomu rubakha.
    • Translation: One thread from [everyone in] the world — [makes a] shirt for [the] naked.
    • English equivalent: Little things make a big difference.
    • Meaning: If many people will donate even a little bit each, it will make a huge difference for the recipient.
    • See also: Я́годка по я́годке - бу́дет кузово́к.
  • Соловья́ ба́снями не ко́рмят.
    • Transliteration: Solov'ya basnyami ne kormyat.
    • Translation: The nightingale can't be fed by fables.
    • English equivalent: Fine words butter no parsnips.
    • Offord, Derek (1996). Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 156. ISBN 0521457602. 
  • Сня́вши го́лову, по волоса́м не пла́чут.
    • Transliteration: Snyavshi golovu, po volosam ne plachut.
    • Translation: After taking off the head one doesn't (shouldn't) grieve over the hair.
    • English equivalent: What's done is done.
  • Соба́ка на се́не: и сама́ не ест, и други́м не даёт.
    • Transliteration: Sobaka na sene: i sama ne yest i drugim ne dayot.
    • Translation: A dog on hay will neither eat it himself, nor let others eat it.
    • English equivalent: A dog in the manger.
  • Соро́ка на хвосте́ принесла́.
    • Transliteraton: Soroka na khvoste prinesla.
    • Translation: A magpie brought it on its tail.
    • English equivalent: A little bird told me.
  • Ста́рость - не ра́дость.
    • Transliteration: Starost' - ne radost'.
    • Translation: Old age is no fun.
    • English equivalent: An old ape has an old eye; Old age, boy, is no joy.
  • Ста́рый друг - лу́чше но́вых двух.
    • Transliteration: Staryy drug - luchshe novykh dvukh.
    • Translation: An old friend is better than two new ones.
    • Compare: За одного́ би́того двух неби́тых даю́т.
  • Суженого конем не объедешь
    • Transliteration: Suzhenogo konyom ne ob"edyesh.
    • Translation: You can't escape your fate [even] with a horse.
    • Meaning: You can't change your fate.
  • Сы́тый голо́дного не разуме́ет: одному́ суп жи́дкий, друго́му - же́мчуг ме́лкий.
    • Transliteration: Sytyy golodnogo ne razumeyet: odnomy sup zhidkiy, drugomu - zhemchug melkiy.
    • Translation: The sated one doesn't understand the hungry one: for one the soup is too thin, for the other - the pearls are too small.
    • English equivalent: He that is warm thinks all so.

Т[edit]

  • Там хорошо́, где нас нет.
    • Transliteration: Tam khorosho, gde nas net.
    • Translation: It's good there, where we are not.
    • English equivalent: On the other side grass is greener.
  • Твои́ми бы уста́ми да мёд пить.
    • Transliteration: Tvoimi by ustami da myod pit'.
    • Translation: [I'd like to] drink honey with your lips.
    • Meaning: The way you describe it, this story/plan/thing sounds too good to be true.
    • Compare: Гла́дко бы́ло на бума́ге, да забы́ли про овра́ги(, а по ним шага́ть).
  • Терпе́ние и труд всё перетру́т.
    • Transliteration: Terpeniye i trud vsyo peretrut.
    • Translation: Patience and work will fray through anything.
    • Compare: Я́годка по я́годке - бу́дет кузово́к.; Исподво́ль и ольху́ согнёшь.
    • English equivalent: Time works wonders; He that can have patience can have what he wants.
    • See also: Ти́ше е́дешь — да́льше бу́дешь.
  • Терпи́, каза́к, атама́ном бу́дешь.
  • Ти́ше е́дешь — да́льше бу́дешь.
    • Transliteration: Tishe yedesh — dal'she budesh.
    • Translation: Ride slower — [you'll] get further.
    • Meaning: You will accomplish more if you do things methodically. — Also: Don't rush things.
    • Compare: Я́годка по я́годке - бу́дет кузово́к.; Исподво́ль и ольху́ согнёшь.
    • See also: Терпе́ние и труд всё перетру́т.
    • English equivalent: Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Тону́л – топо́р сули́л, а как вы́тащили – и топори́ща жаль (ста́ло).
    • Transliteration: Tonul - topor sulil, a kak vytschili - i toporoscha zhal' (stalo).
    • Translation: While [he] was sinking, [he] promised [me] an axe [if I save him], but when pulled [ashore], [he] begrudged even an axe handle.
    • Meaning: People often don't keep their promises.
    • See also: Угово́р доро́же де́нег.
  • Труд челове́ка ко́рмит, а лень — по́ртит.
    • Transliteration: Trud cheloveka kormit, a len' — portit.
    • Translation: A job feeds a man, laziness spoils him.
  • Ты бли́же к де́лу, а он про козу́ бе́лу.
    • Transliteration: Ty blizhe k delu, a on pro kozu belu.
    • Translation: You get on with business, though he [keeps telling you] about a white goat.
    • Meaning: Stop beating around the bush.

У[edit]

  • Убы́ток — уму́ прибы́ток.
    • Translitertion: Ubytok — umu pribytok.
    • Translation: A loss is a gain for the mind.
    • Meaning: Experience is worth it.
    • English equivalent: Winning is earning, losing is learning., Sadder but wiser
  • У ба́бы во́лос до́лог, да ум ко́роток.
    • Translitertion: U baby volos dolog, da um korotok.
    • Translation: A woman's hair is long, and her mind short.
  • У стрáха глазá велики́.
    • Translation: Fear has big eyes.
    • ** Жуков, В. П.; Жуков, Влас Платонович (1993). Slovarʹ russkikh poslovit︠s︡ i pogovorok. Русский язык. p. 174. ISBN 5200022371. 
  • Угово́р доро́же де́нег.
    • Translitertion: Ugovor dorozhe deneg.
    • Translation: The agreement(contract) costs more than money.
    • Meaning: You must keep your word, even if doing so costs you money.
    • Compare: Не да́вши сло́ва — крепи́сь, а да́вши — держи́сь.
    • English equivalent: A bargain is a bargain.
  • Уката́ли Си́вку круты́е го́рки.
    • Transliteration: Ukatali Sivku krutyye gorki.
    • Translation: Steep hills exhausted Sivka (ash-grey horse).
  • Укоро́тишь – не воро́тишь.
    • Transliteration: Ukorotish - ne vorotish.
    • Translations: If you cut [it], you won't get it back.
  • Ули́та е́дет, когда́-то бу́дет.
    • Translitertion: Ulita yedet, kogda-to budet.
    • Translation: The snail is coming, [who knows when] it arrives.
  • У́мная голова́, да дураку́ доста́лась.
    • Transliteration: Umnaya golova, da duraku dostalas'.
    • Translation: A clever head, but given to foolishness.
  • У́мные ре́чи прия́тно и слу́шать.
    • Transliteration: Umnyye rechi priyatno i slushat'.
    • Translation: A clever speech (speaker) is pleasant to listen to.
  • У семи́ ня́нек дитя́ без гла́зу.
    • Transliteration: U semi nyanek ditya bez glazu.
    • Translation: Seven nannies make a kid not looked after.
    • Meaning: If too many people are working on the same project, everybody will expect that another one will do the actual job.
    • English equivalent: Everybody's business is nobody's business.
  • Ус в честь, а борода́ и у козла́ есть.
    • Transliteration: Us v chest' a boroda i u kozla yest'
    • Translation: Moustaches are respected, and beards worn even by goats.
    • English equivalent: If the beard were all, the goat might preach.
  • Услу́жливый дура́к опа́снее врага́.
    • Transliteration: Usluzhlivyy durak opasnee vraga.
    • Translation: Complacent fool harms worse than enemy.
    • English equivalent: A foolish friend is like an open enemy.
  • Уста́ми младе́нца глаго́лет и́стина.
    • Transliteration: Ustami mladentsa glagolet istina.
    • Translation: Truth is spoken from the toddler's mouth; From the mouth of babes
    • English equivalent: Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings come great truth.
    • Meaning: "Children often make suprisingly pertinent remarks or profound observations by accident."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
  • У стра́ха глаза́ велики́.
    • Transliteration: U strakha glaza veliki.
    • Translation: Fear has large eyes.
    • Meaning: People tend to overestimate the danger when scared.
    • Compare: Не так стра́шен чёрт, как его́ малю́ют; Глаза́ боя́тся, а ру́ки де́лают
  • Утопа́ющий за соло́минку хвата́ется.
    • Transliteration: Utopayuschiy i za solominku khvatayetsya.
    • Translation: A drowning man grabs even a straw.
    • English equivalent: A drowning man will cling to a straw.
  • У́тро ве́чера мудрене́е.
    • Transliteration: Utro vechera mudreneye.
    • Translation: Morning is wiser than the evening.
    • Meaning: One should make important decisions in the morning (i.e. after getting some sleep/rest) rather than in the evening.
    • English equivalent: I need to sleep on it.
  • Уче́нье свет, а неуче́нье тьма.
    • Transliteration: Uchen'ye cvet, a neuchen'ye t'ma.
    • Translation: Studying is light; not studying is darkness.
    • English equivalent: Knowledge is power.
    • Variations: "Ученье свет, а неученых тьма." (Studying is light; there are many people who don't study. It's a play on the word тьма which can mean "many" or "darkness.")

Ф[edit]

Х[edit]

  • Хвали́лся чёрт всем ми́ром владе́ть, а Бог ему́ и над свиньёй не дал вла́сти.
  • Хва́стать – не коси́ть, спина́ не боли́т.
    • Transliteration: Khvastat' - ne kosit', spina ne bolit.
    • Translation: Bragging is unlike mowing; it won't make your back ache.
    • Meaning: Bragging is one thing; doing the job is another.
  • Хлеб всему́ голова́.
    • Transliteration: Khleb vsemu golova.
    • Translation: Bread is the head of everything.
    • English equivalent: Bread is the staff of life.
  • Хлеб-соль ешь, а правду-матку режь.
    • Transliteration: Khleb-sol' yesh, a pravdu-matku rezh.
    • Translations: Eat bread and salt, cut the mother truth (doesn't make sense)
  • Хоро́ший това́р сам себя́ хва́лит.
    • Translitertion: Khoroshiy tovar sam sebya khvalit.
    • Translation: Quality goods advertise themselves.
  • Хорошо тому жить, кому бабушка ворожит.
    • Transliteration: Khorosho tomu zhit', komu babushka vorozhit.
    • Translation: The person whose Grandma tells fortunes is happy.
  • Хоть гол, да прав.
    • Transliteration: Khot' gol, da prav.
    • Translation: Naked, but right
  • Хоть есть не́чего, да жить ве́село.
    • Transliteration: Khot' yest' nechego, da zhit' veselo.
    • Translation: Although there's nothing to eat, life is fun.
  • Хоть кол (ему́) на голове́ теши́.
    • Transliteration: Khot' kol (yemu) na golove teshi.
    • Translation: [You could] even chop sticks on (his) head.
    • English equivalent: He is so pig-headed; Stubborn as a mule.
  • Худо́й мир лу́чше до́брой ссоры.

Ц[edit]

  • Цыпля́т по о́сени счита́ют.
    • Transliteration: Tsiplyat po oseni schitayut.
    • Translation: One [should] count chicks in autumn.
    • English equivalent: Don't count your chickens before they hatched.

Ч[edit]

  • Челове́к предполага́ет, а Бог располага́ет.
    • Transliteration: Chelovek predpolagayet, a Bog raspolagayet.
    • 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.
    • V. P. Zhukov (1991). Словарь русских пословиц и поговорок. "Русский язык". p. 468. 
  • Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, ли́шь бы не пла́кало.
    • Transliteration: Chem by ditya ni teshilos', lish by ne plakalo.
    • Translation: It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as [he] doesn't cry.
    • Modern mockery: Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы не вешалось (It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as [he] doesn't hang himself.); Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы в рот не брало; Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы по обоюдному согласию (It doesn't matter what (whom) the kid plays with as long as it's upon mutual agreement.); Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы не руками. (It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as it's not with [his] hand.).
  • Чем да́льше в лес, тем бо́льше дров.
    • Transliteration: Chem dal'she v les, tem bol'she drov.
    • Translation: The further into the woods, the more firewood [you'll encounter].
    • Meaning: The further you get into something, the greater gain you might expect (or the more obstacles you will encounter).
    • Modern mockery: Чем да́льше в лес, тем толще партизаны; Чем да́льше в лес, тем бли́же вы́лез (wordplay on similarly sounding "в лес"/"влез").
  • Чему́ быть, того́ не минова́ть.
    • Transliteration: Chemu byt', tomu ne minovat'.
    • Translation: Fate can't be avoided.
    • 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.
    • Владимир Иванович Даль (1862). Пословицы русского народа. Изд. Императорскаго общества исторіи и древностей россійских при Московском университетѣ. p. 26. 
  • Что (ни) го́род, то но́ров.
    • Transliteration: Chto (ni) gorod, to norov.
    • Translation: Another city (town) -- another temper.
  • Что име́ем — не храни́м, потеря́вши — пла́чем.
    • Transliteration: Chto imeyem — ne khranim, poteryabshi — plachem.
    • Translation: What we own, we don't [safe]keep [properly]; when [we] lose [it], [we] cry.
    • English equivalent: You never miss the water till the well runs dry.
  • Что с во́зу упа́ло, то пропа́ло.
    • Transliteration: Chto s vozu upalo, to propalo.
    • Translation: What fell off the cart is [as good as] gone.
    • Meaning: If you have lost (left behind/forgotten) something, expect to never see it again.
  • Чужа́я душа́ – потёмки.
    • Transliteration: Chuzhaya dusha - potyomki.
    • Translation: Another person's soul is [in] darkness.
    • Meaning: You can't know for sure what people think.
  • Чужу́ю беду́ рука́ми разведу́, а к свое́й ума́ не приложу́.
    • Transliteration: Chuzhuyu bedu rukami razvedyu, a s svoyey uma ne prilozhu.
    • Translation: [I can] push others' problem away with my hands, but can't put my [own] mind to my own problem.
    • Meaning: All problems seem to be easy to solve, unless they're your own.

Ш[edit]

Щ[edit]

Э[edit]

Ю[edit]

Я[edit]

  • Я́блоко от я́блони недалеко́ па́дает.
    • Transliteration: Yabloko ot yabloni nedaleko padayet.
    • Translation: The apple falls not so far away from the apple-tree.
    • Meaning: A person is in many regards like his parents.
    • English equivalent: Like father like son; The apple doesn't 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. 
  • Язы́к до Кие́ва доведёт.
    • Transliteration: 'Yazyk do Kieva dovedjot.
    • Translation: Your tongue will take you as far as Kiev.
    • Closest English equivalent: The only stupid question is the one not asked.
    • Meaning: If you want to know something, ask the people for it.
    • Offord, Derek (1996). Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. ISBN 0521457602. 
  • Я́йца ку́рицу не у́чат.
    • Transliteration: Yaytsa kuritsu ne uchat.
    • Literally: Eggs don't teach a hen.
    • Meaning: Do not give advice to somebody more experienced than you.
    • English equivalent: Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
    • Modern mockery: Не учи папу трахаться. (Don't teach your own Dad how to make sex.)
  • Я не я, и ло́шадь не моя́ (, и я не изво́зчик).
    • Transliteration: Ya ne ya, i loshad' ne moya (, i ya ne izvozchik) .
    • Translation: I'm not me, and [this] horse isn't mine (, and I'm not a cabman)
    • Meaning: I'm denying your accusations. — Also (used in "O RLY" fashion): What you're telling me, contradicts obvious facts; You must be lying.
    • Compare: Мели́, Еме́ля — твоя́ неде́ля.

Cold War[edit]

  • Доверя́й, но проверя́й.
    • Transliteration: Doveryay, no proveryay.
    • Translation: 'Trust, but verify.'
    • See also: Обже́гшись на молоке́, ду́ют на́ воду.

President Ronald Reagan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify

See also[edit]

External links[edit]