Croatian proverbs

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Proverbs from all Croatian speaking parts of the world.

B[edit]

  • Berzu konju ostrogah ne tribuje.
    • English equivalent: Don't spur a willing horse.
    • Strauss (1994). "204". Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Bog govori: pomozi si sam, pomoći ću ti.
    • English equivalent: Heaven helps those who help themselves.
    • "When in trouble first of all every one himself should do his best to improve his condition."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "X". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 150. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 732. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bog zatvori jedna vrata,a otvori stotinu.
    • English equivalent: God closes one door, but opens 100.
    • "When baffled in one direction a man of energy will not despair, but will find another way to his object."
    • Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 67. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 874. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bolje spriječiti nego liječiti.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
    • Zagrebu. Centar za etnološku kartografiju, Zagrebu. Etnološki zavod (1991). Studia ethnologica. Centar. p. 153. 
  • Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • "Something you have for certain now is of more value than something better you may get, especially if you risk losing what you have in order to get it."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 29 July 2013. 
    • András Dugonics (1820). Magyar példa beszédek és jeles mondások. Grünn Orbán. p. 23. Retrieved on 29 July 2013. 
    • Gerzić (2002). English-serbian dictionary of phrases and idioms. Istar. p. 29. 
  • Brada kaza jarca ne pako mudroznanca.
    • English equivalent: If the beard were all, the goat might preach.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 117. ISBN 0415160502. 

C[edit]

  • Čega nema, ne može se ni uzeti.
    • English equivalent: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 238. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Čovjek snuje, Bog određuje.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, but God disposes.
    • Benson (1993). Englesko-srpskohrvatski rečnik. Prosveta. p. 197. 
  • Čuvaj se mačaka koji sprijeda ližu a straga udaraju.
    • English equivalent: Cats hide their claws.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 638. ISBN 0415160502. 

D[edit]

  • Djeca, budale i pijani pravdu govore.
    • English equivalent: Children, fools and drunken men tell the truth.
    • "Children and fools have no inhibition, and alcohol consumed removes the inhibition against telling the [[truth] ]that occasionally one would like to keep secret."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "X". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 272. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Dobar glas se daleko čuje, loš još dalje.
    • English equivalent: Ingratitude is the world's reward.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 

G[edit]

  • Gdje ima dima ima i vatre.
    • English equivalent: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
    • "There is no effect without some cause. or It is supposed that if there is a rumour, there must be some truth behind it."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "1". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 33. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 663. 
  • Gde je mnogo rechi, malo hasne.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 92. ISBN 0415160502. 

I[edit]

  • I brojene ovce vuk jede, kamo-li nebrojene.
    • English equivalent: Cats eat what hussies spare.
    • "What a person tries to keep back through meanness is just as likely to be wasted anyway."
    • Pickering, David (1997). "X". Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited. p. X. ISBN 978-0-304-35020-9. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 641. ISBN 0415096243. 

J[edit]

  • Jabuka ne pada daleko od stabla.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 488. ISBN 0415096243. 
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Jaja hoće biti pametnije od kokoši.'
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 207. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Jeda sam lutjak, deset drugi napravi.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1132. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Jedna lasta ne čini proljeće.
    • English equivalent: One swallow does not make a summer.
    • "All the falfe as well as fooliih Conclufions, Afrom a particular to an univerfal Truth, fall under the Cenfure of this Proverb. It teaches, that as he that guefies at the Courfe of the Year by the Flight of one fingle Bird, is very liable to be mifiaken in his Conjeéture; fo alfo a Man cannot be denominated Rich from one fingle Piece of Money in his Pocket, nor accounted univerfally good from the Practice of one fingle Virtue, nor temperate: becaufe he is flout, nor liberal becaufe he is exactly juft: that one Day cannot render a Man completely happy in point of Time, nor one Action confummate his Glory in Point of Valour. In fhort, the Moral of it is, That the right way of Judging of Things, beyond Impofition and Fallacy, is not from Particulars, but Univerfals."
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • društvo (2006). Umjetnost riječi: časopis za nauku o knjiz̆evnosti. Mladost. 

K[edit]

  • Kakva majka, takva kći.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • "Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily"
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 179. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Kak dobljeno, tak zgubljeno.
    • English equivalent: Easy come, easy go.
    • "Things that are easily acquired, especially money, are just as easily loat or spent."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 7 September 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 762. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Kakvo pitanje takar odgovor.
    • English equivalent: Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.
    • English equivalent: What you give is what you get.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Koji se kamen premeće, neće se mahovinom obrasti.
    • Translation and English equivalent: A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • Meaning: "The unsettled person does not prosper."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning:Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "14". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 100. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Kratka sprava je bolši kakor dolga pravda.
    • English equivalent: A bad compromise is better than a good lawsuit.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Krava plaća gospodarevu zabavu.
    • English equivalent: It's by the head that the cow gives the milk.
    • "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."
    • Said by the Twitter handle "Notorious d.e.b" (@debihope) in 2010, later misattributed to Sigmund Freud and William Gibson.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1039. ISBN 0415096243. 

L[edit]

  • Loš je miš koji ima samo jednu rupu.
    • English equivalent: It is a poor mouse that has only one hole.
    • Meaning: It is dangerous to always depend on just one thing, because if it fails you, you will not have any alternatives.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 375. ISBN 0415096243. 

M[edit]

  • Med ima u ustima, a čemer u srcu.
    • English equivalent: A honey tongue and a heart of gall.
    • Note: A "hypo proverb" of "Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing..."
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 108. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Mi o vuku, a vuk na vrata.
    • Speak of the devil, and he shall appear
    • Bujas (2001). Croatian-English dictionary. Nakladni zavod Globus. p. 1606. ISBN 953167082X. 

N[edit]

  • Na oganj ulja ne lijevaj.
    • English equivalent: Don't add fuel to the fire.
    • "One should not make a bad situation even worse by an improper remark."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 338. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Ne trči pred rudo.
    • English equivalent: Don't jump the gun.
    • Matković, (1985). Forum. p. 16. 
  • Nesreća brzo dođe a polako ode.
    • English equivalent: Misfortune comes on horseback and goes away on foot.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 65. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Nesreća nikad ne dolazi sama.
    • English equivalent: When it rains, it pours.
    • English equivalent: Bad luck comes in threes.
    • German equivalent: Bad luck rarely comes alone. (Ein Unglück kommt selten allein.)
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 110. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Nije zlato sve što sja.
    • English equivalent: All that glistens is not gold.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Nova metla dobra mete.
    • English equivalent: New brooms sweep clean.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1103. ISBN 0415096243. 

O[edit]

  • Orah ima tvrdu ljusku.
    • English equivalent: No pain, no gain.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 680. ISBN 0415096243. 

P[edit]

  • Pas koji laje, ne grize.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
    • "People who make the most or the loudest threats are the least likely to take action."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 20 June 2013. 
    • Katičić (2002). Sintaksa hrvatskoga književnog jezika. Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti. p. 409. ISBN 1. 
  • Poklonjenom konju u zube se ne gleda.
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 54. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Kovačević (1991). Srpsko-engleski rečnik idioma, izraza i izreka. Filip Višnjić. p. 245. 
  • Pomozi si sam pa će ti i Bog pomoći.
    • English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves.
    • umjetnosti (1968). Rad Jugoslavenske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti. Jugoslavenska akademija zanosti i umjetnosti.. p. 290. ISBN 1. 
  • Prvo skoči, pa onda reci: "hop"!
    • English equivalent: Walk the walk, then talk the talk.
    • Anić, Pranjković, Samardžija (1994). Rječnik hrvatskoga jezika. Novi liber. p. 947. ISBN 1. 

S[edit]

  • Skup samo kad umre, cini dobro
    • English equivalent: A covetous man does nothing that he should till he dies.
    • "In my opinion, every rich man is a miser."
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essais (1595)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Sloga jači nesklad tlači.
    • English equivalent: United we stand, divided we fall; Union is strength.
    • "The defense of Tallinn and Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin and Paris and London."
    • Barack Obama, Remarks by President Obama to the People of Estonia (2014)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Što možeš danas, ne ostavljaj za sutra.
    • English equivalent: Better now than later.
    • Kovačević (1991). Srpsko-engleski rečnik idioma, izraza i izreka. Filip Višnjić. p. 47. ISBN 1. 
  • Starost – žalost.
    • English equivalent: Age is sorrow
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Sto se siromahu da, nije nikad izgubljeno.
    • English equivalent: If you do good, good will be done to you.
    • English equivalent: You reap what you sow.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 0415160502. 

T[edit]

  • Težak je život nas umjetnika.
    • English equivalent: Hard life of an artist.
    • Ramić, Alen (1995). Split, Croatia
  • Tiha voda brege dere.
    • English equivalent: Still waters run deep.
    • Majer, Matia (1848). Pravila kako izobraževati ilirsko narečje i u obče slavenski jezik. Natisnil Jožef Blaznik. p. 24. 
  • Tko ne važe, nema blaga.
    • English equivalent: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 955. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Tko pod drugim jamu kopa, sam u nju pada.
    • English equivalent: He who digs a hole under someone else will fall into it himself.
    • Drvodelić (1970). Hrvatskosrpsko-engleski rječnik. Školska Knjiga. p. 227. ISBN 1. 
  • Tko si ne da dokazati, ne može mu se pomoći.
    • English equivalent: He that will not be counseled cannot be helped.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 964. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Tko rano rani, dvije sreće grabi.
    • English equivalent: The early bird catches the worm.
    • Težak (1998). Teorija i praksa nastave hrvatskoga jezika. Školska Knjiga. p. 235. ISBN 1. 
  • Tko istinu gudi, dobije gudalom po prstima.
    • English equivalent: All truths are not to be told.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 282. ISBN 0415096243. 

U[edit]

  • Uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse.
    • English equivalent: Distrust is the mother of safety.
    • Hrvatska misao:. s.n.. 1903. p. 378. ISBN 1. 

V[edit]

  • Velike ribe male proždiru.
    • English equivalent: Men are like fish; the great ones devour the small.
    • "If there’s one goal of this conference, it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up."
    • Barack Obama, "Obamas focus on Antibullying Efforts" Jackie Calmes, The New York Times, March 10, 2011.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 420. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Vrana vrani oči ne kopa.
    • English equivalent: Crows will not pick out Crow's eyes.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 31. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Vrijeme je novac.
    • English equivalent and translation: Time is money.
  • Vuk dlaku mijenja, ali ćud nikada.
    • The wolf changes his fur, but never his temperament.
    • English equivalent: A fox may change its skin, but never its character.
    • Latin equivalent: Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores.

Z[edit]

  • Željezo se kuje dok je vruće.
    • English equivalent: Forge while the iron is hot.
    • Anić, Pranjković, Samardžija (1994). Rječnik hrvatskoga jezika. Novi liber. p. 385. ISBN 1. 
  • Žuri polako.
    • English equivalent: More speed, less haste.
    • * Ἄφοβον ὁ θεός,
      ἀνύποπτον ὁ θάνατος
      καὶ τἀγαθὸν μὲν εὔκτητον,
      τὸ δὲ δεινὸν εὐεκκαρτέρητον
    • "Don't fear god,
      Don't worry about death;
      What is good is easy to get, and
      What is terrible is easy to endure."
      • The "Tetrapharmakos" [τετραφάρμακος], or "The four-part cure" of Epicurus, from the "Herculaneum Papyrus", 1005, 4.9–14 of Philodemus, as translated in The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia (1994) edited by D. S. Hutchinson, p. vi
    • Horvat (1988). Besa: brodski dnevnik. Mladost. p. 25. ISBN 1.