Talk:Greek proverbs

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Α[edit]

  • "Άγιος που δε θαυματουργεί, μηδέ δοξολογιέται."
    • "The saint who works no miracles isn't glorified."


  • "Αγάλι-αγάλι γίνεται η αγουρίδα μέλι."
    • 'A green fruit gets ripe slowly.
    • Patience.



  • "Ακαμάτης νέος, γέρος διακονιάρης."
    • Lazy youth, begging old age.
    • Laziness.


  • "Άλλα λέει η γιαγιά μου, άλλα ακούνε τα αυτιά μου."
    • "My grandmother says something, my ears hear something else."
    • The real meaning is deeper. It means that the young do not listen to the old.


  • "Αν δεν παινέσεις το σπίτι σου, θα πέσει να σε πλακώσει"
    • "If you do not praise your own home, it will fall on you and squash you."'
    • You do not speak badly about your own family.


  • "Αλλοι τα γένια πεθυμούν, κι άλλοι που τα 'χουνε τα φτυούν."
    • "Some wish they had a beard and the ones that do, are spitting on it."
    • The young wish to be old, and the old wish to be young again.


  • "Άλλος σπέρνει και τρυγάει, κι άλλος πίνει και μεθάει."
    • "One seeds and harvests and another drinks and gets drunk."



  • "Aν πιαστείς στο χορό θα χορέψεις."
    • "If you join the dance-circle, you must dance."
    • On getting swept along by events.


  • "Άνθρωπος αγράμματος, ξύλο απελέκητο."
    • "The illiterate person is like an uncarved piece of wood."
    • Literacy.


  • "Απ' αγκάθι βγαίνει ρόδο κι από ρόδο βγαίνει αγκάθι."
    • "From a thorn a rose emerges and from a rose a thorn."
    • Atavism, or one doesn't know what their offspring will become in life. Example: An honest, respected man's son may turn out to be a criminal and vice versa.


  • "Απ' έξω κούκλα κι από μέσα πανούκλα."
    • "Outside a doll, inside the plague."
    • Duality. Used to describe a beautiful woman with a terrible character.


  • "Απο μακρυά και αγαπημένοι παρά απο κοντά και μαλωμένοι."
    • "From far away and beloved rather than close by and arguing."
    • Better to live apart and get along than to live together and argue.




  • "Απού 'χασε το χοίρο του, όλο μουγκρές εγροίκα"
    • "He who lost his pig, kept hearing grunts"


  • "Από την πόλη έρχομαι, και στην κορφή Kανέλα."
    • "I'm coming from town, and you are talking about the peak of Salamina island."
    • A surrealist turn of phrase used to describe lack of communication.


  • "Αργία μήτηρ πάσης κακίας." (αρχαιοελληνικό ρητό)
    • "Laziness, mother of all evil." (ancient Greek saying)
    • Laziness.


  • "'Ας με λενε Βοϊβοντίνα κι'άς ψοφώ από την πείνα."
    • "Let me be called 'Voivoidina' even if I'm dying of hunger."
    • Prestige (being the wife of a high official; a Voivod) is worth it even if you live miserably.


  • "Αυτά που θες ξενέρωτος, τα κάνεις μεθυσμένος."
    • "What you wish for when you're sober, you act-out when drunk."
    • Drunkenness and loss of inhibitions.

Β[edit]

  • "Βοήθα με να σε βοηθώ ν' ανεβούμε το βουνό."
    • "Help me, so that I can help you, so that we can climb the mountain."
    • Cooperation.

Γ[edit]

  • "Γεννήθηκε ξεβράκωτος, και ντρέπεται ντυμένος."
    • "He was born without pants and is ashamed to be dressed."
    • When one person is not raised properly and is accustomed to poor manners or a poor way of life, they are uncomfortable doing things properly.


  • "Γλύφει, εκεί που έφτυνε."
    • "He licks, where he used to spit."
    • Submission. Refers to being wildly inconsistent and/or sucking up to someone.


  • "Γουρούνι στο σακί"
    • "A pig in a sack."
    • A warning not to buy blindly, like buying a pig in a sack.


  • "Γέρος γάτος, τρυφερά ποντίκια θέλει."
    • "An old cat wants young mice."
    • Old-age sex. Also: "a Dirty Old Man".



  • "Για τον εχθρό που φεύγει, φτιάξε χρυσό γεφύρι."
    • "For the enemy that leaves, build a golden bridge."
    • Enemy.


  • "Γυναίκα που δε θέλει να ζυμώσει, πέντε μέρες κοσκινίζει."
    • "The woman who doesn't wish to bake bread, spends five days sifting."
    • Procrastination.


    • "Γιά το καρφί έχασε το πέταλο."
    • "For (because of) the nail he lost the horseshoe."
    • If you don't take care of small problems, they eventually get bigger.




  • Δρυός πεσούσης, πάς ανήρ ξυλεύεται.
    • Out of a fallen tree, every man jumps wood.
    • When the oak tree falls, everyone its timber claims.


Ε[edit]

  • "Έβαλαν το λύκο να φυλάξει τα πρόβατα."
    • "They got the wolf to guard the sheep"
    • They asked someone corrupt to have a task of civil importance.


  • "Εκύλισε ο τέτζερης και βρήκε το καπάκι."
    • "The kettle rolled down and found the lid."
    • A person of a certain character always finds another of the same.


  • "Ένας κούκος δε φέρνει την Άνοιξη."
    • "One cuckoo bird does not bring the spring."
    • If one good thing happens in your life, it is not an indication that everything will get better.


  • "Έξω απ' το χορό λες πολλά τραγούδια."
    • "From outside the dance-circle, you sing a lot of songs."
    • Someone who's not doing, does a lot of talking. Akin to "Easier said than done".


  • "Είπε ο γάιδαρος τον πετεινό κεφάλα."
    • "The donkey called the rooster bigheaded."
    • Similar to "The pot calling the kettle black" or "Look who's talking".


  • "Έχασε η Βενετιά βελόνι."
    • "Venice lost a needle."
    • It's no big matter if you lose something you have aplenty. Referring to Venice's riches.


  • "Έχει ο καιρός γυρίσματα, κι ο χρόνος εβδομάδες."
    • "Time has turns, and the year has weeks."
    • Patience.


  • "Εχει του πουλιού το γάλα."
    • "He has (even) the bird's milk."
    • A person who has a lot, even something that is rare and unavailble to most.

Η[edit]

  • "Η πείνα κάστρα πολεμάει και κάστρα παραδίνει."
    • "Hunger fights castles and hunger surrenders castles."
    • Hunger/Need. A hungry person will do anything to survive, from fighting for a cause to betraying it.


  • "Η τρέλα δεν πάει στα βουνά."
    • "Madness doesn't visit the mountains."
    • Madness is manifested towards something you are conversing/thinking about.
    • There is another clause to this proverb that is generally omitted. The second clause is "πάει στούς ανθρώπους" (it goes to people). The entire proverb is as follows: Η τρέλα δεν πάει στα βουνά, πάει στους ανθρώπους". So, what one says is "Madness does not go to the mountains, it goes to people".


  • "Η γριά κότα έχει το ζουμί."
    • "It's the old chicken that has the juice."
    • Don't discredit elder people/ideas (also used ironically). It often refers to sexual relations, with older women having more sexual experience and being able satisfy a man more than a younger woman can.



  • "Η πάστρα είναι αρετή."
    • "Cleanliness is a virtue."


  • "H γριά δεν είχε δαίμονα κι'αγόραζε λαχτέντα."
    • "The old woman didn't have a demon (i.e., problem) and she was buying piglets."
    • When someone goes looking for trouble or creates problems where there were none (since raising piglets is a lot of trouble).


  • "Η γλώσσα τιμάει το πρόσωπο."
    • "The way of speaking honors the face/person." ("πρόσωπο" in Greek means "person" as well as face).
    • Eloquence.


  • "Ή μικρός παντρέψου, ή μικρός καλογερέψου."
    • "Either get married early, or become a monk early."
    • Used to convince people to marry young.


  • "Η βιβλιοθήκη είναι το φαρμακείο του μυαλού."
    • "A library is a repository of medicine for the mind."
    • Used to convey importance of books.


  • "Η τιμή τιμή δεν έχει και χαρά σ'τον που την έχει."
    • "Honor is priceless and glad be he who has it."
    • Honor.


  • "Η περιέργεια είναι η αρχή της σοφίας"
    • "Curiosity is the beginning of wisdom."


Θ[edit]

  • "Η θάλασσα τα δίνει κι η θάλασσα τα παίρνει."
    • "The sea gives them and the sea takes them back."


  • "Λαός 'ξαγριεμένος, φουρτουνιασμένη θάλασσα."
    • "Angry mob, raging sea."


  • "Παίναε τη θάλασσα, αλλά να περπατείς στην ξέρα."
    • "Flatter the sea, but stand on earth when you do so."


  • "Η θάλασσα 'ναι γαλανή μα ο αέρας τη μαυρίζει."
    • "The sea is blue but the wind turns her black."


  • "Πιστόν γη, άπιστον θάλασσα." (αρχαιοελληνικό ρητό)
    • "Faithful earth, unfaithful sea." (ancient Greek saying)


  • " Θα του βάλει τα δυό πόδια σ'ένα παπούτσι."
    • "She will put both his feet in one shoe."
    • On discipline.


  • "Θύμωσε ο καλόγερος κι έκαψε τα ράσα του."
    • "The monk got angry and burned his cassock."
    • Anger. This is equivalent to "He cut off his nose to spite his face".


Use all available resources when needed!

Ι[edit]

  • "Iσον εστίν οργή και θάλασσα και γυνή."
    • "A woman and the sea are the same in anger."

Κ[edit]

  • "Κάθε θαύμα τρείς μέρες, το μεγάλο τέσσερις."
    • "Each miracle three days, a great one four."
    • The effects or the joy from every miracle last only three days, except for the great ones, for which it could be four.


  • "Κάθε πράγμα στον καιρό του, κι ο κολιός τον Αύγουστο."
    • "Everything in its time and mackerel in August."
    • Things must be done in their proper time, not before.


  • "Καινούργιο μου κόσκινο, πού να σε κρεμάσω;"
    • "My new flour-sifter, where shall I hang you?"
    • When something is new, you take care of it and show it off.


  • "Κακό σκυλί ψόφο δεν έχει."
    • "A bad dog dies hard."
    • Can also mean "It is difficult to get rid of a bad person."


  • "Καλημέρα, Γιάννη." "Κουκιά σπέρνω."
    • "Good morning, John." "I'm planting beans."
    • Miscommunication. One says one thing, the other gives an unrelated response."


  • "Κι αν είσαι και παπάς, με την αράδα σου θα πας."
    • "Even if you are a priest, you get in line."
    • The implication is that even if you are a person of high position you do not get priority, you must wait your turn as all the others.


  • "Κάλλιο αργά, παρά ποτέ."
    • "Better late than never."
      • Do things on time




  • "Κάλλιο να σου βγει το μάτι παρά το όνομα."
    • "It's better to lose an eye than to get a bad name."
    • If one gets the reputation (name) of being something, it is very hard to lose it.



  • "Κάλλιο 'ν τα γράμματα από τ' άρματα."
    • "It's better to take up studying than take up arms."
    • Reflects the adaptation during the last centuries of mainland Greek society from a hostile environment favouring martial prowess to a benign one rewarding intellectual achievement.



  • "Κάλλιο να ζείς με το διάολο παρά με κακιά γυναίκα."
    • "Better to live with the devil than with a mean woman."


  • "Κατά μάνα και πατέρα, κατά γιό και θυγατέρα."
    • "By mother and father, by son and daughter."


  • "Κατά το μαστρο-Γιάννη και τα κοπέλια του."
    • "According to mastro-Yannis and his sons."
    • Mastro-Yannis and his sons are identical.


  • "Κι ο άγιος φοβέρα θέλει."
    • "Even a saint needs to be 'threatened'."





Λ[edit]

Μ[edit]

  • "Μάθε τέχνη κι άσ'τηνε κι αν πεινάσεις πιάσ'τηνε."
    • "Learn a craft and quit it, and when you get poor, use it to earn a living."


  • "Μάτια που δε βλέπονται, γρήγορα λησμονιούνται."
    • "Eyes that don't see each other, soon forget about each other."


  • "Μάχαιρα έδωσες, μάχαιρα θα λάβεις."
    • Literally: "You gave a knife, you'll take a knife."
    • Equivalent to: "You live by the sword, you die by the sword." This is quoted in the New Testament (the original Bible written in Greek). When the Roman soldiers appeared to arrest Jesus, one of Christ's companions pulled out a knife to protect him. Jesus stopped him and told that quote verbatim.


  • "Μ'ένα σμπάρο, δυο τρυγώνια."
    • "One shot, two birds"
    • Like saying "Killing two birds with one stone". "Σμπάρος" in Greek is a shotgun shot, but the meaning is the same.


  • "Μια του κλέφτη, δυό του κλέφτη, τρεις και την κακή του μέρα."
    • "Once for the thief, twice for the thief, three and it's his bad day."
    • If you commit a crime you will eventually get caught.


  • "Με πορδές αυγά δε βάφονται."
    • "You can't dye eggs with farts."
    • On stinginess. Akin to "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs."


  • "Μ' ευγενικόν κουβέντιαζε, και ξόδευε το βιος σου." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "With polite discussion, you spend your life." (Kefalonian proverb)



  • "Μια ζωή χρωστάμε όλοι μας."
    • "All we owe to us is just our life."


  • "Μονάχος, μήτε στον παράδεισο."
    • "Alone, not even in heaven."


  • "Μοναχός σου χόρευε, κι' όσο θέλεις πήδα."
    • "Dance by yourself and you can jump as much as you want."
    • If you are alone you can do as you wish, but in a group you have to take others into consideration; Compromise.

Ν[edit]

  • "Να τρώει η μάνα και του παιδιού να μη δίνει."
    • "To have a mother eat and not give her child."
    • Referring to how tasty something is, that it prevails even over maternal love.


  • "Νηστικό αρκούδι δεν χορεύει."
    • "A hungry bear does not dance."
    • If you don't eat (get paid), you cannot function.


  • "Νηστεύει ο δούλος του Θεού, γιατί ψωμί δεν έχει."
    • "A servant of God fasts, because he doesn't have any food."

Ξ[edit]

Στις πούστης μπύρα ποτό επίκλιση

a Gay can't be "one of the guys" even if he tries.

Ο[edit]

  • "Οι αιώνες αντιγράφουν αλλήλους." (αρχαιοελληνικό ρητό)
    • "The centuries copy each other." (ancient Greek saying)
    • Equivalent to "History repeats itself."


  • "Ο ανήφορος φέρνει κατήφορο."
    • "The uphill is followed by a downhill."
    • The equivalent of "What goes up, must come down."


  • "Ο άρρωστος που όρισε ως κληρονόμο του το γιατρό, ποτέ δε θα γίνει καλά."
    • "The patient who set his doctor as his heir, will never get better."


  • "Ο άρρωστος θέλει γιατρό κι ο πεθαμένος κλάμα."
    • "The sick needs a doctor and the dead, mourning."


  • "Ο γιατρός είναι ο χειρότερος άρρωστος."
    • "The doctor is the worst patient."



  • "Ο κακός το πρωί, το βράδυ χειρότερος."
    • "The bad of the morning, becomes worse by the night."


  • "Ότι θυμάται χαίρεται."
    • "He rejoices at whatever he remembers."
    • When a person remembers something in that moment and want it, even though they wouldn't have if they hadn't thought of it.


  • "Ότι του φανεί, του λολοΣτεφανή."
    • "Gays will have equality one day."


  • "Ο κανατάς όπου θέλει κολλάει τα χερούλια." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "The potter puts the handles wherever he wishes." (Kefalonian proverb)


  • "Οταν η φτώχια μπαίνει μέσα από την πόρτα, η αγάπη βγαίνει έξω απ' το παράθυρο."
    • "When poverty comes in through the door, love goes out through the window."
    • Financial problems in a home affect loving relationships.


  • "Οταν λείπει ο γάτος, τα ποντίκια χορεύουν."
    • "When the cat is absent, the mice dance."
    • Akin to "When the cat's away, the mice will play". In the absence of authority, anarchy reigns.


  • "Ολα του γάμου δύσκολα κι η νύφη γκαστρωμένη."
    • "Everything about the wedding is difficult (obstacles or objections) and the bride is pregnant."
    • When people make excuses or place obstacles about a task that has to be done.


  • "Ο λύκος σαν γεράσει, μασκαράς των σκυλιών γίνεται."
    • When the wolf gets old, he becomes the clown of dogs."


  • "Ο λύκος κι αν εγέρασε κι άσπρισε το μαλί του, ούτε την γούνα του άλλαξε, ούτε την κεφαλή του."
    • "Even though the wolf got old and his fur is white, he neither changed his skin or his head."
    • When a person is bad to begin with, this doesn't change in old age.



  • "Ο ξυπόλυτος είδε τον κουτσό και παρηγορήθηκε."
    • "A shoeless man saw a one-legged man and felt better."
    • Someone will always be in a worst situation than someone in a bad situation.


  • "Ο χειρότερος κουφός είν' αυτός που δε θέλει ν' ακούσει."
    • "The worst deaf is the one who doesn't want to hear."
    • Being stubborn.


  • "Oι πολλές γνώμες βουλιάζουν το καράβι."
    • "Too many opinions sink the boat.
    • Equivalent to the English "Too many cooks spoil the broth". On the perils of democratic indecisiveness.


  • "Όποιος γίνεται πρόβατο τον τρώει ο λύκος."
    • "He who becomes a sheep is eaten by the wolf."
    • follow the wrong people, and you will fail with them


  • "Όποιος δεν επερπάτησε τη νύχτα με φεγγάρι, και το πρωί με τη δροσιά, τον κόσμο δεν εχάρη."
    • "Whoever did not walk in a moonlit night, and in the morning with the dew, did not enjoy the world."


  • "Όποιος έχει τα γένεια, έχει και τα χτένια."
    • "Whoever has the beard, has the combs."
    • One must have the appropriate tools in a circumstance or situation.


  • "Όποιος έχει πολύ πιπέρι, βάζει και στα λάχανα."
    • "Whoever has a lot of pepper even puts it on cabbage."
    • Those who have plenty of something find ways to waste it.


  • "Οποιος γεννηθεί στη φυλακή, την φυλακή θυμάται."
    • "Whoever was born in prison, remembers the prison."
    • One tends to gravitate to the places and conditions that he was raised, regardless of how bad the manners were.



  • "Όποιος κάηκε στη σούπα φυσάει και το γιαούρτι."
    • "Whoever gets burnt by (hot) soup blows the (cool) yogurt."
    • When someone has had a bad experience they tend to be overcautious. For example, someone who has been betrayed does not trust anyone anymore. Akin to "Once bitten, twice shy."


  • "Οποιος μπλέκεται με τα πίτουρα τον τρων οι κότες."
    • "He who gets in chicken feed is eaten by the chickens."
    • On the perils of getting involved with the wrong people or with the wrong activities.


  • "Οποιος δεν έχει μυαλό έχει πόδια."
    • "He who has no brains has legs."
    • On the extra trouble one incurs when not thinking through his actions beforehand.


  • "Όπως έστρωσες θα κοιμηθείς."
    • "How you make your bed is how you are going to sleep (in it)."
    • You got yourself into this, now get yourself out of it.


  • "Όποιος διάβολο αγόρασε, διάβολο πουλάει."
    • "He who bought devil, sells devil."
    • People peddle material things, not whatever they possess.


  • "Όποιος στα είκοσι δεν έχει νου, στα τριάντα ας μην προσμένει."
    • "He who doesn't have a brain by twenty, shouldn't expect one at thirty."


  • Όπου ακούς πολλά κεράσια, βάστα μικρό καλάθι.
    • "When you hear of many cherries, hold a small basket."
    • Don't get overwhelmed, and be cautious.



  • "Όπου πεθαίνουνε πολλοί, θάνατο μη φοβάσαι."
    • "Where many die, there is no fear of death."


  • "Όπου σπέρνει η οργή, θερίζει η μετάνοια."
    • "Where rage seeds, repentance reaps."


  • "Όποιος πίνει βερεσέ, δυο φορές μεθάει."
    • "He who drinks on credit, gets twice as drunk."


  • "Όποιος κυβερνάει το σπίτι του, κυβερνάει και τη ζωή του."
    • "He who governs his home, governs his life."


  • "Όποιος στην ξέρα περπατεί και θάλασσα γυρεύει, ο διάβολος οπίσω του κουκιά του μαγειρεύει."
    • "He who walks the earth and seeks the sea, the devil behind him is cooking fava beans for him."


  • "Ο πεινασμένος καρβέλια ονειρεύεται."
    • "He who's hungry dreams of bread-loaves."


  • "Οι πεθαμένοι με τους πεθαμένους, κι οι ζωντανοί με τους ζωντανούς."
    • "The dead along the dead, and the living along the living."
    • Used for people who mourn a departed too long. It is like saying "Get on with your life."


  • "Ο θεός αγαπάει τον κλέφτη, μα σαν τον νοικοκύρη, όχι."
    • "God loves the thief, but not like the master of the house."
    • The crook may get away initially, but he will eventually get caught.


  • "Όντες θέλει να χαλάσει ο θεός το μέρμυγκα, του βάνει φτερά και πετάει." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "When God wants to destroy the ant, he puts wings on him and it flies (to its destruction)." (Kefalonian proverb)


  • "Ο θεός έφκιασε τον κόσμο κι είπε: 'Οπόχει μυαλό ας πορεύεται.'" (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "God made the world and said: "He who has a brain will go on." (Kefalonian proveb)


  • "Ου γαρ έρχεται μόνον το γήρας."
    • "Old age does not come alone."
    • Old age comes with illnesses, like sickness, loss of memory, etc.


  • "Ο θεός δε γκρεμίζει τα σπίτια των ανθρώπων, παρά χαλάει τα μυαλά τους και τα γκρεμίζουν μονάχοι τους."
    • "God does not tear down men's homes, he ruins their minds and they tear them down themselves."



  • "Ο θεός οικονομάει κι ο διάολος τα χαλάει."
    • "God profits and the devil spends it."


  • "Ο θεός βλέπει βουνά και ρίχνει χιόνι."
    • "God sees mountains and throws snow on them."


  • "Όταν κάνεις ότι μπορείς, κάνεις ότι πρέπει."
    • "When you do what you can, you do what you must."


  • "Όσο πίν' η πεθερά μας τόσο μας καλοχαιρετάει."
    • "As long as our mother in law is drinking, she'll be gentle (to us)."


  • "Όταν ο μήνας δεν έχει ρώ (ρ) το κρασί θέλει νερό." (αρχαιοελληνικό ρητό)
    • "When the month has no "R" put water in your wine."
    • In Greece, during the hot months of the summer, one must be careful with his alcohol consumption.


  • "Οσες φορές κάνει η προβατίνα 'Mπεε', τόσες μπουκιές χάνει."
    • "Every time the ewe goes 'Baa', she loses the same number of mouthfuls."
    • Do not speak while you eat.


  • "Ότι μικρομάθεις, δεν γερονταφήνεις."
    • "What you learn as a child, you cannot forget as an old person."
    • Refers to knowlegde/skills one acquires as a youngster, and continues to remember for ever.
    • Also with the meaning of "Old habits die hard."


  • "Όφις ην μη φάγη όφιν, δράκων ου γενήσεται."
    • Alternatively: "Όφις ει μη φάγοι όφιν, δράκων ου γενήσεται." (see Robert Nares)
    • "A serpent, unless it devours a serpent, will not become a dragon." (Erasmus, translated by Barker)
    • Quoted by Erasmus, Apostolius, and in Suda (according to Robert Nares)
    • Translated into Latin by Apostolius, Erasmus, and Francis Bacon.
    • Paraphrased in English by John Dryden (Oedipus III.1): "A serpent ne'er becomes a flying dragon, / Till he has eat a serpent." (see Robert Nares)
    • Sources:
      • Robert Nares, A Glossary, p. 781. (Nares's "φύγοι" emended to "φάγοι" based on Apostolius's text.)
      • Erasmus III iii 61, translated in William Watson Barker, ed. The Adages of Erasmus, p. 271.
      • Michael Apostolius, Paroemiae [Proverbs]. Ed. Daniel Heinsius. Leiden, 1619. p. 187.
      • A search of the Suda does not return this proverb.


  • "Όψιμος γιος δε θα γνωρίσει πατέρα." (Βυζαντινή παροιμία)
    • "Son of old age, won't know his father." (Byzantine proverb)


  • "Ο ψεύτης γεννάει ένα ψεύτη, ώσπου να γίνουν μια γενιά."
    • "The liar gives birth to another liar, until they become a generation (of liars)."


  • "Ο ψεύτης κι ο κλέφτης τον πρώτο χρόνο χαίρονται."
    • "Liars and thieves are happy only the first year (after the deed)."
    • The implication here is that they eventually get caught.

Π[edit]

  • "Παλιό γιατρό και γέρο καπετάνιο να γυρεύεις."
    • "Seek an old doctor and an old captain."
    • Experience.


  • "Παλιός οχτρός φίλος δε γίνεται." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "An old enemy can't become a friend." (proverb from Cephalonia)
    • Enemies/Friends.


  • "Πάμε για μαλλί και θα βγούμε κουρεμένοι."
    • "We're going to get wool, but we'll come out shorn."
    • Akin to "Buyer beware."


  • "Παπάς, παπά καλό δε θέλει."
    • "A priest can't stand another good priest."
    • Envy.


  • "Παπάς, γιατρός και χωροφύλακας καλύτερα 'ναι να μην μπαίνουνε στο σπίτι."
    • "A priest, a doctor and a policeman is better not to enter one's house."
    • Authority. (Rather than to authority, this refers to the unfavorable circumstances of such persons visiting.)


  • "Παπούτσι από τον τόπο σου κι ας είναι μπαλωμένο."
    • "Shoe from your place, even if it is patched."
    • Take a spouse from the place you come from, even if she is not so great.



  • "Πες το, πες το, το κοπέλι, κάνει την κυρά και θέλει."
    • "By saying and saying it, the lad makes the lady want it."
    • Persistence.



  • "Πήρες πολύ ψηλά τον αμανέ."
    • "You are singing the song too high.
    • Arrogance or over-reaching. Akin to: "Bit off more than he can chew."


  • "Πολλοί συγγενείς, λίγοι λίγοι."
    • "Many relatives, little by little (on each visit)."
    • Family.


  • "Πούλαγε ακριβά και ζύγιαζε σωστα."
    • "Sell your goods expensive and weigh correctly."
    • Commerce.


  • "Που πας ξυπόλητος στ' αγκάθια;"
    • "How come you are going barefoot on the thorns?"
    • Why are you getting into this difficulty unprepared?


  • "Πρώτα βγαίνει η ψυχή του ανθρώπου και μετά το χούι του."
    • "First leaves the soul of a person and then his quirks."
    • Refers to the fact that some habits are ingrained in a person's personality.


  • "Πρώτη βοήθεια του θεού, δεύτερη του γειτόνου."
    • "First aid by God, second by neighbor."

Ρ[edit]

  • Ράβδος εν τη γωνία, άρα βρέχει.
    • "A walking stick in a corner, therefore it's raining."
    • It is said of an argument that is totally absurd; a non sequitur. This idiom is in "high" Greek language.


  • "Ρόδα είναι και γυρίζει."
    • "A wheel it is and it turns around."
    • The obvious.


  • "Το ραγισμένο γιαλί δεν σιάχτεται."
    • "The cracked glass cannot be fixed."
    • Has to do with broken relationships, when one did or said someting that cannot be rectified.

Σ[edit]

  • "Σπίτι που δεν το βλέπει ο ήλιος, το βλεπει ο γιατρός."
    • "A house not seen by the sun is seen by the doctor."


  • "Σπίτι μου σπιτάκι μου και σπιτοκαλυβάκι μου."
    • "My home, my little home, a little house of my own."
    • Greek equivalent of "Home, sweet home".


  • "Στου κουφού την πόρτα, όσο θέλεις βρόντα."
    • "At the deaf man's door, knock as much as you like."
    • Some people ignore any advice or guidance that may be provided to them. In more modern Greek, there is a funny spoof of this proverb : "Στου κουφού την πόρτα, μπες απ'το παράθυρο" ("When at a deaf man's door, get in through the window").


  • "Στον άρρωστο το γιατρικό, στον πονεμένο ο λόγος."
    • "To the sick you give medicine, to a suffering person a good word."


  • "Στους στραβούς κυβερνάει ο μονόφθαλμος."
    • "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."


  • "Σ' τσου είκοσι μυαλό, σ'τσου τριάντα βιο και σ' τσου σαράντα γυναίκα, ειδ' αλλιώς είτε μυαλό είτε βιος είτε γυναίκα." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "At age 20 mind, at age 30 life, at age 40 a wife. Otherwise no mind no life no wife (Kefalonian proverb)
    • If you don't have good sense by 20, life(work, social life, etc.) by 30, or married by 40, then it is too late for each respectively.


  • "Στα είκοσι θα δουλέψεις, στα τριάντα θα κάμεις, στα σαράντα θα 'χεις. Δε δούλεψες, δεν έκαμες, δεν έχεις."
    • At (age) twenty you'll work, at thirty you'll make, and at forty you'll have. If you don't work, you will not make, and you won't have."


  • "Σφάλμα γιατρού, πεννιά θεού." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "A doctor's mistake is God's writing." (Kefalonian proverb)
    • God's Decision.

Τ[edit]

  • "Τα νιάτα (ή ο έρωτας) κι ο βήχας δεν κρύβονται."
    • "Youth (or love) and a cough can't be hidden."
    • "You cannot fully change yourself"


  • "Τα φόρτωσε στον κόκορα."
    • "He loaded them (dumped them) on the rooster."
    • To abdicate one's responsibilities, especially in studying. Other version: "Δεν μελετάει καθόλου στο σχολείο. Τα έχει φορτώσει στον κόκορα" ("He doesn't study at all in school. He dumps it on the rooster.")



  • "Τ' αργαστήρι θέλει κουτσό νοικοκύρη."
    • "A workshop should have a lame master."


  • "Τα παθήματα των πρώτων, γεφύρι των δεύτερων."
    • "The misfortunes of the first ones, a bridge for the second ones."
    • Learning from one's mistakes.


  • "Τα ράσα δεν κάνουν τον παπά."
    • "A cassock doesn't make someone a priest."
    • Roughly equivalent to the Εnglish: "Clothes don't make the man."


  • Της νύχτας τα καμώματα τα βλέπει η μέρα και γελά.
    • "The day sees the deeds of the night and laughs."
    • That which occurs at nighttime is the folly of the daytime.


  • "Τι κάνεις, Γιάννη." "Κουκιά σπέρνω."
    • "How are you, John?" "I'm planting beans."
    • Miscommunication. One says one thing, the other gives an unrelated response."


  • "Το μεγάλο ψάρι τρώει το μικρό."
    • "The big fish eats the little one."
    • People of wealth or high position always take advantage of the less fortunate or weak.


  • "Την προδοσία πολλοί αγάπησαν, το προδότη κανείς."
    • "Many have loved treason, none the traitor."
    • "Many people want to do things, don't have the guts, and the scorn someone who does"


  • "Το αγκάθι από μικρό αγκυλώνει."
    • "A thorn stings even if it's small."
    • "The smallest problems can hurt you"


  • "Τον αράπη κι αν τον πλένεις, το σαπούνι σου χαλάς."
    • "No matter how much you wash a black person, you are wasting your soap."
    • This proverb is mainly used to express the futility of trying to change the mentality of a headstrong person (the color of a black person cannot be washed off) and it does have racist connotations. In modern Greek, the word "αράπης" (arapis -- black man) is a lay (and at times borderline pejorative) term -- originally probably derived from the word "Άραβας" (Aravas -- Arab).


  • "Τον καβαλλάρη μην τον λυπάσαι που κρέμονται τα ποδάρια του."
    • "Don't feel pity for the rider's hanging legs."
    • The implication being that at least he has a horse, while you don't.


  • "Το αίμα νερό δε γίνεται."
    • "Blood doesn't turn to water."
    • Family will always be family. (i.e. "Blood is thicker than water")


  • "Τι δε σε νοιάζει μη ρωτάς, ποτέ κακό δεν έχεις."
    • "What doesn't concern you, don't ask about, and you'll never have bad (things in your life)."
    • About curiosity.


  • "Το καλό το παλικάρι ξέρει κι'άλλο μονοπάτι."
    • "The good (wise) lad always knows of an alternate path."
    • Used when an effort goes wrong or not as expected, but still you manage to find another solution.


  • "Το μήλο κάτω απ` τη μηλιά θα πέσει."
    • "The apple will fall under the apple-tree."
    • The offspring will be like his parents, usually derogatory. Akin to, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree".


  • "Το 'να χέρι νήβει τ' άλλο, και τα δυο το πρόσωπο."
    • "The one hand washes the other, and both wash the face."
    • Used when referring to cooperation and mutual dependency. Also possibly exchanging illicit favours.


  • "Το παιδί σου και το σκυλί σου όπως τα μάθεις."
    • "Your child and your dog (behave) the way you teach them."
    • When you set up rules early, the behaviour that follows adheres to these rules.


  • "Το χωριό καίγεται και η πουτάνα λούζεται."
    • "The village is burning and the village prostitute is washing her hair."
    • English equivalent to "Rome burned and Nero fiddled."


  • "Το φθηνό το κρέας τα σκυλιά το τρώνε."
    • "Cheap meat is eaten by dogs."
    • Cheap items are thrown away.


  • "Το σκοινί το μαλακό, τρώει την πέτρα την ξερή."
    • "The soft rope corrodes the dry stone."
    • Using persuasion, one can change strong opinions.


  • "Το στανιό και τη βία ο θεός τα 'δωσε."
    • "Force and violence were given by God."
    • "Even the best of people have thier faults"


  • "Τώρα έφαγες το βόδι, θ'αφήσεις την ουρά;"
    • "Now you've eaten the bull, will you leave the tail?"
    • On seeing a task through to completion.


  • "Τώρα που ζω, θέλω να γδω τα πιθυμάω κι ορίζω, κι άμα, σα φύγω να με κλαίς, χάρη δε στο γνωρίζω."
    • "This one is in "peasant" Greek and it says: "Now that I live , I want to see, to wish and own, and when I'm gone i want you to cry for me, but I won't acknowledge it."


  • "Το καλό αρνί δυο μάνες βυζαίνει." (Βυζαντινή παροιμία)
    • "A gentle sheep is being breastfed by two mothers." (Byzantine proverb)
    • "Many a person will side with somebody when they are in the right"


  • "Τροχός τ' ανθρώπινα." (αρχαιοελληνικό ρητό)
    • "Human things are a wheel." (ancient Greek saying)


  • "Το καινούργιο σπίτι, τον πρώτο χρόνο τ' οχτρού σου, τον δεύτερο του δικού σου και τον τρίτο του λόγου σου." (Κεφαλονίτικη παροιμία)
    • "For the new house, the first year is your enemy's, the second is your own, and the third your reason/logic's."


  • "Το γινάτι βγάζει μάτι."
    • "Anger takes out your eyes."
    • About the blindness of anger; being unreasonable.


  • "Των φρονίμων τα παιδιά, πρίν πεινάσουν μαγειρεύουν."
    • "The wise children are cooking before they get hungry."
    • "Wise people take precautions"

Υ[edit]

Φ[edit]

  • "Φασούλι το φασούλι γεμίζει το σακούλι."
    • "Bean by bean, the sack gets full."
    • On the merits of saving.


  • "Φίλοι μου στην ανάγκη μου, κι εχθροί μου στη χαρά μου."
    • "They are my friends when I am in need, and my enemies when I am happy."


  • "Φύλαγε τα ρούχα σου να έχεις τα μισά."
    • "Mind your clothes so that you can keep half of them."
    • Refers to the fact that you can never be too careful, and even if you are very careful, there is still going to be some losses.

Χ[edit]

  • "Χεστήκαμε και η βάρκα γέρνει."
    • "We shit ourselves and the boat is leaning."
    • There is no significant difference in a situation after the occurrence of a minor incident.

Ψ[edit]

  • "Ψάχνεις ψύλλους στ' άχυρα."
    • "You are looking for fleas in the straw."
    • You are looking for something impossible to find. Akin to "A needle in a haystack."

Ω[edit]

References[edit]