Talk:Serbian proverbs

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Just wanted to say that most (if not all) proverbs listed here as Serbian are really proverbs used by all the nations of former Yugoslavia (Slovenians, Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, Macedonians, Montenegrans and Serbs), and their origin would be hard to trace to only one of this nations.

You are free to add them in those languages, arent'you? This database is also here for linguistic purposes.



  • Cyrillic: Бог је прво себи браду створио. - Latin: Bog je prvo sebi bradu stvorio.
    • Translation: God created the beard on himself first. (Meaning that everybody looks after himself first.)
  • Cyrillic: Боље врабац у руци, него голуб на грани. - Latin: Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani.
    • Translation: A sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the branch. (A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.)


  • Cyrillic: Видела жаба где се поткивају коњи па и она дигла ноге. - Latin: Videla žaba gde se potkivaju konji pa i ona digla noge.
    • Translation: A frog has seen a horse getting new shoes so she (frog) offers her foot as well. ( copy cat resulting in bad taste/outcome)
  • Cyrillic: Врана врани очи не вади. - Latin: Vrana vrani oči ne vadi.
    • Translation: A crow doesn't pick out another crow's eyes. (Birds of a feather flock together)


  • Cyrillic: Гвожђе се кује док је вруће. - Latin: Gvožđe se kuje dok je vruće.
    • Translation: Iron is worked when it's still hot. (Strike while the iron is hot.)
  • Cyrillic: Где je много бабица, килава cу деца. - Latin: Gde je mnogo babica, kilava su deca.
    • Translation: Where there are many midwives, children will be feeble. (Too many cooks spoil the broth.)
  • Cyrillic: Где ти много обећавају, малу торбу понеси. - Latin: Gde ti mnogo obećavaju, malu torbu ponesi.
    • Translation: Where people are promising much to you, bring a small bag. (Similar to There is no free lunch.)


  • Cyrillic: Да падне на леђа,разбио би нос. - Latin: Da padne na leđa,razbio bi nos.
    • Translation: If he fell onto his back, he'd break his nose. (when the person is very unlucky)
  • Cyrillic: Дала баба динар да се ухвати у коло, а два да се пусти. - Latin: Dala baba dinar da se uhvati u kolo, a dva da se pusti.
    • Translation: Grandma gave a dinar to dance, and two to stop. (Be careful what you wish for.)


  • Cyrillic: Ивер не пада далеко од кладе. - Latin: Iver ne pada daleko od klade.
    • Translation: A splinter doesn't land far from the trunk. (An apple doesn't fall far from the tree.)
  • Cyrillic: Иcпeци пa peци. - Latin: Ispeci pa reci.
    • Translation: Bake it and then say it. (Think before you speak).
  • Cyrillic: 3а добрим коњем прашина се диже. - Latin: Za dobrim konjem prašina se diže.
    • Translation: Beyond a good stallion there's a lot of dust.


  • Cyrillic: Кад мачке нема, мишеви коло воде. - Latin: Kad mačke nema, miševi kolo vode.
    • Translation: When cat is absent, mice dance. (When the cat's away, the mice will play.)
  • Cyrillic: Ко вино вечера, воду доручкује. - Latin: Ko vino večera, vodu doručkuje.
    • Translation: Who has wine for dinner, he has water for breakfast. (You can't avoid paying consequences for your deeds)
  • Cyrillic: Ко другоме јаму копа сам у њу пада. - Latin: Ko drugome jamu kopa sam u nju pada.
    • Translation: Who digs a trap for others ends up in it himself. (What goes around, comes around.)
  • Cyrillic: Ко рано рани, две среће граби. - Latin: Ko rano rani, dve sreće grabi.
    • Translation: One who gets up early is doubly lucky. (The early bird gets the worm.)
  • Cyrillic: Ко с ђаволом тикве сади, о главу му се обију. - Latin: Ko s vragom tikve sadi, o glavu mu se obiju.
    • Translation: If one sows pumpkins with the devil, they will bash onto one's head. (Similar to As you sow, so you shall reap.)
  • Cyrillic: Кo нeмa у глави, имa у нoгaмa. - Latin: Ko nema u glavi, ima u nogama.
    • Translation: Who doesn't have in his head has in his feet. (Absent-minded do the work twice)
  • Cyrillic: Ко сeје ветар, жање олују. - Latin: Ko seje vetar, žanje oluju.
    • Translation: Who sows wind will harvest storm. (Similar to As you sow, so you shall reap.)
  • Cyrillic: Ко уме, њему две. - Latin: Ko ume, njemu dve.
    • Translation: The one who can gets two. (Skilled worker is paid double.)
  • Cyrillic: Ко учи знаће, ко штеди имаће. - Latin: Ko uči znaće, ko štedi imaće.
    • Translation: Those who study will know, those who save will have.


  • Cyrilic: Лепа реч и гвоздена врата отвара. - Latin: Lepa reč i gvozdena vrata otvara.
    • Translation: A kind word opens even the iron doors. (You can succeed in anything by being polite.)


  • Cyrillic: На млађима свет остаје. - Latin: Na mlađima svet ostaje.
    • Translation: The world is left to the young.
  • Cyrillic: На муци се познају јунаци. - Latin: Na muci se poznaju junaci.
    • Translation: You can tell a fearless in times of trouble. (When the going gets tough, the tough get going.)
  • Cyrillic: Најтамније је испод свјеће. - Latin: Najtamnije je ispod svece.
    • Translation: Its the darkest underneath the candle. (What you seek could be near you yet unnoticed.)
  • Cyrillic: На невидишу нема кривице. - Latin: Na nevidišu nema krivice.
    • Translation: If it isn't seen, there's no guilt. (If you do something without being caught it isn't done.)
  • Cyrillic: Не можe и паре и јаре. - Latin: Ne može i pare i jare.
    • Translation: You cant have the goat and the money. (You cant have the cake and eat it)
  • Cyrillic: Не можe крушка да роди јабуку. - Latin: Ne može kruška da rodi jabuku.
    • Translation: A pear tree cannot bear an apple. (if you're white married to a white women and she has a black baby guess what?)
  • Cyrillic: Не сeј тикве где још нису никле! - latin: Ne sej tikve gde jos nisu nikle!
    • Translation: Don't plant pumpkins where they never sprouted! (Don't waste your time trying things which are proven won't work.)
  • Cyrillic: Нема ватре без дима. - Latin: Nema vatre bez dima.
    • Translation: There is no fire without smoke. (Where there is smoke there is fire.)
  • Cyrillic: Нема мирног детета ни младе бабе. - Latin: Nema mirnog deteta ni mlade babe.
    • Translation: There's no quiet child nor young grandmother.
  • Cyrillic: Нема хлеба без мотике! - Latin: Nema hleba bez motike!
    • Translation: There's no bread without hoe! (You cannot make omelets without eggs. Similar to Only hard work pays off.)
  • Cyrillic: Није злато све што сија. - Latin: Nije zlato sve što sija.
    • Translation: Gold is not all that shines. (All that glitters is not gold.)


  • Cyrillic: Oбeћaње лудoм рaдoвaње. - Latin: Obećanje ludom radovanje.
    • Translation: Promise makes a fool happy. (Do not be fooled by empty promises.)


  • Cyrillic: Пас који лаје не уједа. - Latin: Pas koji laje ne ujeda.
    • Translation: The dog that barks doesn't bite. (Barking dogs seldom bite; to be full of empty threats.)
  • Cyrillic: Правити од комарца магарца. - Latin: Praviti od komarca magarca.
    • Translation: To make a donkey out of a mosquito. (To make a mountain out of a molehill.)
  • Cyrillic: Прво скочи па реци хоп. - Latin: Prvo skoči pa reci hop.
    • Translation: First leap, and then say "hop"! (Do something before you brag about it.)
  • Cyrillic: Птица раноранилицa прва црва нађе. - Latin: Ptica ranoranilica prva crva nađe.
    • Translation: The early bird catches the first worm.


  • Cyrillic: Ругала се шерпа лонцу, широка му уста. - Latin: Rugala se šerpa loncu, široka mu usta.
    • Translation: A pan was mocking a pot because his mouth is big. (The pot calls the kettle black.)
  • Cyrillic: Ружној девојци огледало криво. - Latin: Ružnoj devojci ogledalo krivo.
    • Translation: An ugly girl blames the mirror. (A bad craftsman blames his tools.)


  • Cyrillic: Само слога Србина спасава - Latin: Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava
    • Translation: Only unity saves the Serbs.
  • Cyrillic: Свуда пођи, својој кући дођи. - Latin: Svuda pođi, svome domu dođi.
    • Translation: Go everywhere, but come back home. (There's no place like home).


  • Cyrillic: Тиха вода брег рони. - Latin: Tiha voda breg roni.
    • Translation: Quiet water wears down a shore. (Anything is possible with time.)
      • Note: this proverb uses an archaic word for river shore (breg), whereas today that word has changed its meaning and signifies 'mountain'.
  • Cyrillic: Трипут мери, једном сеци. - Latin: Triput meri, jednom seci.
    • Translation: Three times measure, one time cut. (Measure thrice, cut once; think first, act later.)


  • Cyrillic: У том грму чучи зец! - Latin: U tom grmu čuči zec!
    • Translation: That's the bush where the hare squats! (to find a solution to the problem)
  • Cyrillic: Уздај се у се и у своје кљусе! - Latin: Uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse!
    • Translation: Trust yourself and your horse! (If you want to get things done, do it yourself.)
  • Cyrillic: Умиљато јагње две овце сиса. - Latin: Umiljato jagnje dve ovce sisa.
    • Translation: Cuddly lamb sucks two ewes. (Similar to Flattery will get you anywhere.)


  • Cyrillic: Што можеш данас, не остављај за сутра. - Latin: Što možeš danas, ne ostavljaj za sutra.
    • Translation: What you can do today do not leave off for tomorrow. (Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.)