Estonian proverbs

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Estonia is a country which has been occupied by Sweden between 1558 and 1710 and the Soviet Union between 1944 and 1991. The country is known for having flat taxes and the largest economic growth out of all former Soviet economies.

A[edit]

  • Aeg parandab haavad, aga jätab armid. (EVS)

E[edit]

  • Ega suu sarvest ole. (EVS)
    • Mouth is not made of horn.
  • Ega vana koer valet ei haugu.

H[edit]

  • Hirmul on suured silmad. (EVS)
  • Hommikune töö kuld, õhtune muld. (EVS)
  • Hunt hunti ei murra.
    • Translation: A wolf will not break a wolf.
    • English equivalent: Crows do not pick out crows eyes.
    • Hungarian Equivalent: Varjú nem vájja ki varjúnak a szemét.
    • Meaning: "One belonging to a group having common interests is not likely to act against or find fault with another member of the same group. Solidarity may prevail over law, justice or truth."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 96. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "107". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 
  • Hunt murrab ka loetud lambad.
    • Translation: The wolf breaks the counted sheep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "738". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 640. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 

I[edit]

  • Inimene on loodud tööd tegema, lind laulma. (EVS)
  • Inimene õpib niikaua kui elab. (EVS)

K[edit]

  • Kes ei tööta, see ei söö. (EVS)
  • Kes viimasena naerab, naerab paremini. (EVS)
    • Who laughs last laughs better.
  • Kotkas kärbseid ei püüä.
  • Kõik ei ole kuld, mis hiilgab.
    • Translation and English equivalent: All that glimmers is not gold.
    • "Liberality consists less in giving a great deal than in gifts well timed."
    • Jean de La Bruyère, in Les Caractères (1688), Aphorism 47 as translated in The Characters of Jean de La Bruyère (1929) by Henri van Laun
    • Variant translations:
    • Liberality consists rather in giving seasonably than much.
    • Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Kõik pilved ei anna vett. (EVS)
    • All clouds don't give water.
  • Kui kassid kodus ei ole, siis hiired tantsivad.
    • English equivalent: If the cat is away, the mice play.
    • Meaning: "In the absence of the person in authority those under his control will often neglect the duties/rules imposed on them."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013. 
  • Kuidas ema, nõnda tütar.
    • Translation: Such mother, such daughter.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • Meaning: "Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily."
    • Source for meaning and proverb: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 137. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Kus saun, seal eestlased. (EVS)
    • Where's sauna, there are the Estonians.
  • Õun ei kuku iial puust kaugele.
    • Translation: The apple never falls far form the tree.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • Hungarian equivalent: Az alma nem esik messze a fájától.
    • Meaning: "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "48". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

L[edit]

  • Lõpeb üks töö, algab teine töö. (EVS)
    • When one work ends, begins another.

M[edit]

  • Magaja kassi suhu hiir ei jookse.
    • Translation: No dreaming cat catches mice.
    • 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: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 171. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mida varem, seda parem. (EVS)
    • The sooner, the better.

O[edit]

  • Oma maa maasikas, võõras maa mustikas. (EVS)
  • Oma silm on kuningas. (EVS)
  • Oma tuba, oma luba. (EVS)
    • Own house, own permission.
    • Finnish equivalent: Oma tupa, oma lupa.
  • Oras ei kasva külvamata.
    • English equivalent: What you reap is what you sow.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Õun ei kuku iial puust kaugele.
    • Translation and English equivalent: The apple does not 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. 

P[edit]

  • Parem pool muna kui tühi koor. (EVS)
    • Half an egg is better than an empty basket.
  • Pisuke kala on suurema söömaeg.
    • Translation: A little fish is supper for a large fish.
    • English equivalent: Men are like fish; the great ones devour the small.
    • Meaning: "Small organizations or insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater and more powerful."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 1 July 2013. 
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 420. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Puusepa naine tõlvata, sepa naine kirveta.
    • Translation: The carpenter's wife has no batler, the smith's wife has no hatchet.
    • English equivalent: The cobbler's wife is the worst shod.
    • Meaning: "Working hard for others one may neglect one's own needs or the needs of those closest to him."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "7". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 65. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

S[edit]

  • Seisev vesi läheb haisema. (EVS)
    • Standing water begins to smell.
  • Silm kuningas, käsi tegija. (EVS)
  • Sogases vees on hea kalu püüda.
    • Translation: It is good fishing in streamy water.
    • English equivalent: It is good fishing in troubled waters.
    • Meaning: "In taking advantage of chaotic conditions one can easily serve one's own purposes."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 391. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Suvel silmad, talvel hambad. (EVS)
  • Suvine tund enam kui talvine päev. (EVS)
    • An hour in summer is more than a day in winter.

T[edit]

  • Täna kuld, homme muld (EVS)
  • Täna kümme paari härgi, homme ei ühtki. (EVS)
    • Ten pairs of oxen today, not a single one tomorrow.
  • Täna mulle, homme sulle. (EVS)
    • For me today , for you tomorrow.

V[edit]

  • Vana arm ei kustu.
    • English equivalent: Old love does not rust.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 825. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Vana hobune, varsa mõtted.
    • English equivalent: Wisdom goes not always by years.
    • "I think opinions should be judged of by their influences and effects; and if a man holds none that tend to make him less virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded that he holds none that are dangerous, which I hope is the case with me."
    • Benjamin Franklin, Letter to his father, 13 April 1738, printed in Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia, 1834), volume 1, p. 233. Also quoted in Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) by Walter Isaacson
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 39. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Valel on lühikesed jalad.
    • Translation: A lie has short legs.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Valgus naerab pimeduse tööd. (EVS)
  • Vanasõnad on kuldsed sõnad. (EVS)

Ä[edit]

  • Ära enne solgivett maha viska, kui puhas käes on.
    • English equivalent: Cast no dirt into the well that gives you water.
    • "People who can put themselves in the place of other people – who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them."
    • Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People (1934)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 634. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ära kanna vett merre! (EVS)
    • Don't carry water to the sea!
  • Ära karu nahka enne ära müü, kui karu käes on.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Don't sell the skin till you have caught the bear.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 641. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ära tee sääsest härga.
    • Translation: Don't make an ox out of a fly.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • "Towards the end of his second term Woodrow Wilson had a couple of semi-debilitating strokes. Because of that, and in effect because in effect his wife was more or less running the country in the last year os his presidency. And there was very little actively done domestically, very little was done by the government to arrest economic decline. And the time march 1921, the econony started turning around, and by the summer the econony turned around and recovery was on its way. And so because Wilson was not able physically to 'help us out' and 'solve the problem' the problem went away. That seems a little crude to me to think of a mans physical misfortune as the good fortune of the country. I hereby rebuke that terrible, insensitive statement. However, it is nevertheless instructive, becausewe are told today routeline that if you experience an economic meltdown or a recession, or whatever the term they are using, you can't get out of there without some type of government countercyclical policy. Without some type of physical policy, monetary policy. Yea, they will conceide that in 50 years it might turn around but a lot of us will be dead basically so we need the government to intervene. It seems to me that I can point at one historical episode in which that wasnot the case, then we win. So it turns out this is such an episode. In 1920 to 1921, the first year of what was about to be an 18 month downturn. The first year of that was actually worse than the depression of 1929 when you look at it at the way of statistics involving unemployment and production. You had production falling by 21 %, GDP figures a 24 % production. There is unemployment going up about 4 %, 12 % very rapidly, so terrible decisions. And as I say, the president who succed Woodrow Wilson was Warren Harding. Now we are told to hate Warren Harding because, in some wqays he was actually a mild type of progressive. He favoured a kind of world court, but by and large we are supposed to hate harding because he was not an activist president. He wasn't trying to run people lives, he wasn't killing people. You know what a big bore this guy is. Also he turned out to be corrupt. Most of the corruption involved his subordinates, and in two cases he rebuked subordinates so severely for their misdeeds that they went out and commited suicide afterwards. What could he have said? Unbelievable in fact if you look at the scandals. There is somebody selling hospital supplies. That is why we are supposed to detest Warren Harding. My belief is that he was succesful in doing nothing that was a rebuke to everything historian were believeing. They don't know what to do with this guy. He is not supposed to have been this succesful according to the textbooks. So let's just smear hhim out of existence. [...] We have this indicator that the economy is turning down. What does Warren Harding do? Federal spending starts to come down. There is actually a cut in the US government budget. So instead of a so called stimulus package they actually cut the budget. And that is the opposite of what the textbooks tell you because that is going to compromise aggregate demand. One might hope that a silver lining to the crisis is that some of these textbooks will wind up in a bonfire somewhere, but that is just a side notation. But there must have been some monetary stimulus? To the contrary, the fed does not start open market operations until 1922."
    • Thomas Woods, Why You've Never heard of the Great Depression of 1920 (2009)
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 409. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

Ö[edit]

  • Öö ees, surm selja taga. (EVS)
    • Night ahead, death behind back.
  • Öö ei ole kellegi sõber. (EVS)
    • Night is nobody's friend.

EVS = Eesti Vanasõnad, Suurest korjandusest kokku põiminud M. J. Eisen, Eesti kirjanduse Seltsi kirjastus Tartus 1929

External links[edit]

Estonian world - how Estonians see it