Estonian proverbs

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Estonia is a country which has been occupied by Denmark between 1219 and 1346, Sweden between 1558 and 1710, Nazi Germany between 1941-1944 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. The Estonian people revolted peacefully by together singing forbidden Estonian folk songs. They gained their independence in 199X and elected a government which decisions were based in theories of modern economics.

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
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A[edit]

E[edit]

  • Ega suu sarvest ole. (EVS)
    • Mouth is not made of horn.
  • Ega vana koer valet ei haugu.
  • Ema pilli tantsib pere. (EVS)
    • The family dances to the mother's tune.
    • "Free trade consists simply in letting people buy and sell as they want to buy and sell. It is protection that requires force, for it consists in preventing people from doing what they want to do. Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same—to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protection teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war."
    • Henry George Protection or Free Trade? (1886)

H[edit]

  • Hea laps kasvab vitsata. (EVS)
    • Good child grows up without caning.
    • "I've never set out to teach anyone anything. It's been more of an expression of my views and feelings than sitting down and deciding "What is today's message?" And I do think that, although I never, again, sat down consciously and thought about this, I do think judging, even for my own daughter, that children respond to that than to 'thought for the day'."
    • Interview by Lizo Mzimba (February 2003) [specific citation needed]
  • Hea laps, kes hästi tantsib, parem veel, kes paigal seisab. (EVS)
    • Good is the child who dances well, even better who's at a standstill.
    • "If you desire ease, forsake learning.
If you desire learning, forsake ease.
How can the man at his ease acquire knowledge,
And how can the earnest student enjoy ease?"
  • Hirmul on suured silmad. (EVS)
    • Fear has big eyes.
    • "Our definition for fear, from now on,is fear is my personal guide into freedom. Fear is my personal guide into freedom. Make sense? Let's further define fear a little bit. Fear only exists in situations that count. Do you agree or disagree? Anybody disagrees with that? Everybody agrees? Hands up. You agree that fear only exists. In situations that count, right? You're afraid before an exam, 'cause the exam's probably important. You're afraid in front of a big speech for a crowd of people that paid to see you. You're afraid when the girl is extra attractive, right? You've ever had that, where you're like, oh, I could talk to a random girl, no problem. I can vibe, I can be funny, but once I talk to the ten, to the model, to the Instagram girl, right? That's where I'm afraid. So actually fear only exists in situations that count. So, let me ask you. If you would feel fear ten times a day, you're in ten situations that count. Just imagine all ten of these situations in one day, you master them How cool is that? You take the outcome of that situation that could potentially count,and you drag it towards a positive outcome for you. Be that, you're afraid before a speech, you fucking nail it. You're afraid before talking to that ten, she fucking loves you. You're afraid before that big game, you fucking 3-0 the other team. You're afraid before, shit, it could be something as silly as you're afraid before-- - [Audience Member] Cold shower. - Yeah, cold shower. You could be afraid to tell your mom and dad that you love them, because you have ego, right? Because you want to maintain your identity of the cool guy who doesn't need love. But every time you overcome that, and you get a positive outcome from those situations, it's fucking good, right? Feels fucking good. So actually the more fear you're feeling per day, the better it is, because the more chances to an epic life you're getting. So fear only exists in situations that count. That makes fear our friend, doesn't it? So if I'm living a life absence of fear, that can mean two things. That can mean that I mastered fear. But it could also mean that I'm hiding from fear, that I'm sitting in my bed all day, I'm playing video games all day, I smoke some weed all day, I have a nice little 9-5 job, nothing that challenges me the most, a lot, nothing where I'm afraid. I don't expose myself in a situation where I could potentially meet a very attractive, very awesome girl. But in exchange, I don't feel fear. Feels pretty good too, right? Just chillin' man. You're fucking chilling. And we need that at some point, but that's not where freedom happens. How free are you when you're sitting at home playing video games, doing a little 9-5 jobs, how free are you really? You think you're fucking free? You think you could do anything you want? No, you can't do shit. 'Cause you're imprisoning yourself, because your fear of going outside is holding you back from talking to girls. Your fear of sacrificing the safety and security of a 9-5 job is holding you back of creating a business that maybe be doomed to fail. Your fear of better maintain my ego than telling people that mean a lot to me that they mean a lot to me because if I tell them that I love them and they don't reply withlove, I'm fucked, right?I get hurt. So all this fear is actually imprisoning you. If you, however, say fear only exists in situations that count, fear is my friend, and fear is my personalguide into freedom, that sounds a lot better. Because now you're reframing fear from this thing you need to avoid to wait a minute, there's fear, I need to go through that. I need to tap into fear. I need to open the door to the unknown, to the pressure, right? I need to go through the resistance that fear goes along with, and when I'm through that, I'm in freedom. You've seen that in the natural too, where I talk about whenever I feel pressure, I gotta do it. Do you guys remember that part? Where I'm like, it's a rule of mine whenever I have excuses, whenever I'm about to bail out, whenever I don't want to do something, I gotta do it. Alright, because I feel fear, whenever there's fear, woah, I'm afraid! That's a situation that counts! Holy shit! It's my personal guide into freedom, I have to follow the guide, follow the trail of fear, follow the path into freedom. That's what freedom is defined as. Fear and freedom are almost the same thing."
    • Max Berger, What Mainstream Media Won't Tell You About FEAR, SHAME & PAIN + INFIELD (2017)
  • 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)
    • Human is made to work, bird to sing.
    • "A man's success in business today turns upon his power of getting people to believe he has something that they want."
    • Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book II, Chapter IX.
  • Inimene õpib niikaua kui elab. (EVS)
    • Human learns as long as lives.
  • Isa, pea kübar peas, kuni elad laste seas! (EVS)

K[edit]

  • Kel püksid jalas, küll see naise saab. (EVS)
    • Who wears trousers will get a woman for sure.
  • Kes ei tööta, see ei söö. (EVS)
  • Kes viimasena naerab, naerab paremini. (EVS)
    • Who laughs last laughs better.
  • Kes võib ilmasuu ja rahva keel kinni panna? (EVS)
    • Who could shut up folks' expression and language?
    • Quand celui à qui l'on parle ne comprend pas et celui qui parle ne se comprend pas, c'est de la métaphysique.
    • "When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, this is Metaphysics."
    • Attributed to Voltaire.
  • 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)

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)

N[edit]

  • Naine on maja lukk. (EVS)
  • Naist ära vali silmadega, vaid kõrvadega! (EVS)
    • Don't choose a woman by eyes but ears!
    • "Here’s the advice I give everyone about marriage—is she someone you find interesting? You will spend more time with this person than anyone else for the rest of your life, and there is nothing more important than always wanting to hear what she has to say about things. Does she make you laugh? And I don’t know if you want kids, but if you do, do you think she will be a good mom? Life is long. These are the things that really matter over the longterm."
    • Barack Obama, Yes We Still Can (2018)
  • Neli silma näevad rohkem kui kaks. (EVS)
    • Four eyes see more than two.

O[edit]

  • Oma maa maasikas, võõras maa mustikas. (EVS)
    • Own land is strawberry, other land blueberry.
    • "The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic."
    • H.L Mencken, Minority Report : H.L. Mencken's Notebooks (1956)
  • Oma silm on kuningas. (EVS)
    • Own eye is king.
    • English equivalent: Seeing is believing.
    • "It is safer to try to understand the low in the light of the high than the high in the light of the low. In doing the latter one necessarily distorts the high, whereas in doing the former one does not deprive the low of the freedom to reveal itself as fully as what it is."
    • Leo Strauss, Liberalism Ancient and Modern (1968)
  • 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]

  • Paha mees, parem õnn. (EVS)
    • Bad man, better luck.
  • Parem elav väeti laps kui surnud kuningas. (EVS)
    • A living weak child is better than a dead king.
    • "It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power — power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate."
    • Quoted in War and Conflict Quotations: A Worldwide Dictionary of Pronouncements from Military Leaders, Politicians, Philosophers, Writers and Others (1997) by Michael C. Thomsett and Jean F. Thomsett
    • Paraphrased variant: "I doubt if the oppressed ever fight for freedom..."
  • Parem pool muna kui tühi koor. (EVS)
    • Half an egg is better than an empty basket.
  • Parem päeva kuumus kui vihma vilu. (EVS)
  • Piip ligem kui naine. (EVS)
  • Puhas suu, puhas käsi käib kõige maailma läbi. (EVS)
    • The clean mouth, the clean hand travel through all the world.
    • "Many admire, few know."
    • Attributed to the philosopher of medicine Hippocrates
  • 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)
  • Silmad näevad enam kui silm. (EVS)
    • Eyes see more than an eye.
  • 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. 
  • Suu on südame tulk (mõõt). (EVS)
  • Suu suurem kui mees ise. (EVS)
    • The mouth is bigger than the man himself.
    • "Bernard: I don't think Sir Humphrey understands economics, Prime Minister; he did read Classics, you know.
      Jim Hacker: What about Sir Frank? He's head of the Treasury!
      Bernard: Well I'm afraid he's at an even greater disadvantage in understanding economics: he's an economist."
    • Yes, Prime Minister series 1, "A Real Partnership".
  • 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. 

Ü[edit]

  • Üks käsi ei pese üksi. (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.
    • "It’s either Richard Vetter or Lowell Galloway who refers to the episode in American history 1920-1921 where we had very depressed economic conditions as a stroke of luck. What’s meant by that is that toward the end of his second term Woodrow Wilson had a couple of semi debilitating strokes. Now go find Galloway. I’m just the messenger here, I didn’t make the terrible statement up. But that because of that and because in effect his wife was more or less running the country toward in the last year of his presidency. There was there's very little activity going on domestically. Very little was done by the government to arrest the economic decline. By the time March came around, because that was you know that was the inauguration month for Warren Harding, the economy was actually starting to turn around. By summer it had turned around and the recovery was on its way. Because Wilson was not able physically to ‘help us out’ and solve the problem - the problem went away. It seems a little crude to me to think of a man's physical misfortune as the good fortune of the a country, so I hereby rebuke that terrible insensitive statement. However, it is nevertheless instructive because we're told today routinely, that if you experience an economic meltdown, or a recession - or whatever the term is they're using, you can't get out of it without some type of government counter-cyclical policy - without some type of fiscal policy monetary policy. Otherwise, yeah, I mean they'll concede that maybe in 50 years it might turn around. But, you know a lot of us will be dead by then basically so we need the government to intervene. It seems to me if I can just point to one historical episode in which that was not the case, then we win! So it turns out this is such an episode. In 1920-21 the first year of what was about an 18-month downturn, the first year of that was actually worse than the first year of the Great Depression of 1921 when you look at it from the point of view of the statistics involving unemployment and production. You had production falling by 21% - GDP figures you find a 24% reduction. There is unemployment going up about from 4% to 12%. You hade very rapidly terrible conditions, and as I say the president who succeeded Woodrow Wilson was Warren Harding. Now we're all taught to hate Warren Harding because... I mean in fact in some ways he was actually a very very mild type progressive. He favored kind of a world court. He had some sort of progressive inclinations, but by and large we're supposed to hate Harding basically, because he wasn't an activist president - you know he wasn't trying to run people's lives - he wasn't killing people, you know what a big bore this guy is. And also he was corrupt, well it turns out that the corruption more or less... okay, morally he had some problems. No one is going to dispute that. But at the same time most of the corruption involved his subordinates. And in two cases he rebuked subordinates so severely for their misdeeds that they went out and committed suicide afterward! What could he have said to them for goodness sake! I mean it's unbelievable in fact when you think of the scale of some of the scandals, yeah, okay, yeah, their scandals there's somebody profiteering by selling off government hospital supplies! Well, if only that were the problems we were dealing with now, right, hospital supplies! people profiteering on them. I think we would all kill to have that be the scandal these days, but that's why we're supposed to detest Warren Harding. My secret suspicion is the reason they detest him is that by doing nothing he was so successful that he's a rebuke to everything that historians believe in! They don't know what to do with this guy! What he achieved is not opposed to be possible according to the textbooks. He's not supposed to have been this successful! So let's just smear him out of existence! Well I've actually become, I've kind of warmed up to Warren Harding, just on the general principle that anyone the establishment hates I'm at least going to give the benefit of the doubt to! Now sometimes they hate the right

people. Once in a blue moon, so it’s not an appadictively certain law. But I have become kind of warm to this guy. I have read some of his speeches and thought, hey, I mean, he kind of kind of gets it. And I'm actually going to share some of this with you in a couple of minutes. But don't worry that I'm going soft like Woods has been I think studying the Year 1921 a a little bit too long here. If he's getting carried away with the speeches of a US presidents, don't worry okay this is all relative. As in terms of presidents I relatively like this guy but don't worry I'm still as pure as ever. Well as I say we have these indicators telling us the economy's turning down. Well what does Warren Harding do, well first, we have what happens on starting with Wilson and then, Harding, we see that federal spending starts to come down! There's actually a cut in the US government budget. Now I talk about this to some degree in my book ‘’Meltdown’’ but I want to elaborate on that here and give some additional information, so the gut [SIC!] the budget is cut so in other words instead of a stimulus, they actually cut the budget. And this is the opposite of what the textbooks today tell you! They all know it's the worst you can do! in a depression. No, no because that's going to compromise ‘’aggregate demand’’. We can't have that you've got to keep them government spending going! Yeah that's what we're told, so they cut the government budget. They did the opposite of what the textbooks tell you. One might hope that a silver lining to the crisis would be that some of these textbooks will wind up in a bonfire somewhere. But that's just a side observation. So secondly okay, well okay, so they cut the government budget but surely the Fed must have been pumping money into the the economy, right? They must have been something! There must have been some monetary stimulus going on, right? To the contrary! The Fed does not actually begin engaging in open market operations until 1922, ever in its history, it starts in 1922! So that's not happening! The fed is largely passive during this crisis. During this crisis so we got spending going down six point three billion dollars down to five billion in 1921 down to three point two billion in 1922 and the result is by the summer of 1921 we already see the indications of a turnaround and a robust recovery beginning!"

    • 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.
    • "Why do men feel threatened by women?" I asked a male friend of mine. (I love that wonderful rhetorical device, "a male friend of mine." It's often used by female journalists when they want to say something particularly bitchy but don't want to be held responsible for it themselves. It also lets people know that you do have male friends, that you aren't one of those fire-breathing mythical monsters, The Radical Feminists, who walk around with little pairs of scissors and kick men in the shins if they open doors for you. "A male friend of mine" also gives — let us admit it — a certain weight to the opinions expressed.) So this male friend of mine, who does by the way exist, conveniently entered into the following dialogue. "I mean," I said, "men are bigger, most of the time, they can run faster, strangle better, and they have on the average a lot more money and power." "They're afraid women will laugh at them," he said. "Undercut their world view." Then I asked some women students in a quickie poetry seminar I was giving, "Why do women feel threatened by men?" "They're afraid of being killed," they said."
  • 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