Russian proverbs

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A soldier who doesn't dream of becoming a general is a bad one.

Russian proverbs and sayings

'Русские пословицы и поговорки'


Confirmed through Russian Proverbs and Sayings[edit]

The following phrases, sourced from the previous, unsourced version of the page, have been verified through the following book:

Mertvago, P. (1996). The comparative russian-english dictionary of russian proverbs & sayings. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books.

s ISBN: 0-7818-9424-8


While there is a differentiation in Russian between Sayings and Proverbs, this is a largely academic point, and is included only for cultural reference.


"Поговорка - цветок, пословица - ягодка.

A saying is a flower, a proverb is a berry.

Thus a saying may be any widely used metaphor, simile or the like which aptly describes a specific occurrence or concept and which is admired for its charm, while a proverb is something that can, as it were, be eaten and digested"

-Peter Mertvago


А - Б - В - Г - Д - Е - Ж - З - И - К - Л - М - Н - О - П - Р - С - Т - У - Ф - Х - Ц - Ч - Ш - Щ- Э- Ю - Я


А[edit]

  • Алты́нного во́ра ве́шают, а полти́нного че́ствуют.
  • Аппети́т прихо́дит во вре́мя еды́.
    • Transliteration: Appetit prikhodit vo vremya yedy
    • English equivalent: The appetite comes with eating
    • Arany-Makkai (1996). Russian Idioms. Barron's. p. 3. 

Б[edit]

  • Ба́ба с во́зу — кобы́ле ле́гче.
    • Transliteration: Baba s vozu — kobyle legche.
    • Translation: It is easier for the mare when a woman is off the cart..
    • Meaning: If you want to sneak away from doing this hard part of the job, go ahead, you will only make it simpler for me. — Also: Good riddance! —
    • Modern mockery: Ба́ба с во́зу — кобы́ла в ку́рсе. (When a woman gets off the cart, the horse will notice.)
  • Ба́бушка (гада́ла, да) на́двое сказа́ла ( — то ли до́ждик, то ли снег, то ли бу́дет, то ли нет).
    • Transliteraion: Babushka (gadala, da) nadvoye skazala ( — to li dozhdik, to li sneg, to li budet, to li net).
    • Translation: Granny (told fortunes and) said two things (— it will either rain or snow; it either will or will not).
    • English equivalent: We'll see what we'll see; maybe rain or maybe snow, maybe yes or maybe no.
    • Meaning: The outcome is still unknown (despite all that's been said.) — Also: You seem uncertain.
    • Compare: Ви́лами на воде́ пи́сано.
  • Беда́ (никогда́) не прихо́дит одна́.
    • Transliteration: Beda (nikogda) ne prikhodit odna.
    • Translation: Trouble never comes alone.
    • English equivalent: Misery loves company.
    • Belentschikow (2009). Russisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch (RDW): O. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 152. ISBN 3447060859. 
  • Без кота́ мыша́м раздо́лье.
    • Transliteration: Bez kota mysham razdol'ye.
    • Translation: Without a cat, mice feel free.
    • English equivalent: When the cat is away, the mice will play.
  • Без труда́ не вы́тащишь и ры́бку из пруда́.
    • Transliteration: Bez truda ne vytaschish y rybku iz pruda.
    • Translation: Without effort, you can't [even] pull a fish out of the pond.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • "One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Armalinskiĭ (1995). Russkie besstyzhie poslovit͡s͡y i pogovorki. M.I.P. Co.. p. 63. 
  • Береги́ пла́тье сно́ву, а честь смо́лоду.
    • Transliteration: Beregi plat'ye snovu, a chest' smolodu.
    • Translation: Take care of clothes from new, take care of [your] honor from when [you are] young.
    • English equivalent: Those who would be young when they are old must be old when they are young.
    • Мокиенко, Сидоренко (2005). Школьный словарь крылатых выражений Пушкина. Нева. p. 30. ISBN 5765445403. 
  • Бережёного Бог бережёт.
    • Transliteration: Berezhonogo bog berezhot.
    • Translation: God keeps those safe who keep themselves safe.
    • Closest English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves. Pray to God but keep the powder dry.
    • Modern mockery: Бережёного Бог бережёт, а небережёного конвой стережёт. (God watches over those who are careful, and the jail wardens watch over those who were not.)
    • Meaning: Blessings/luck come most to those who do not recklessly rely on them, but work for them.
    • Visson (1991). From Russian into English: an introduction to simultaneous interpretation. Ardis. p. 151. ISBN 0875010954. 
  • Бери́сь дру́жно, не бу́дет гру́зно.
    • Transliteration: Beris' druzhno, ne budet gruzno.
    • Translation: [If all of us] take hold of [it] together, it won't feel heavy.
    • English equivalent: Many hands make light work
    • See also: Арте́льный горшо́к гу́ще кипи́т.
      • Note: Mertvago translates this as "Good will and welcome are the best cheer," but the literal definition is closer to the original translation.
    • Margulis, Kholodnaya (2000). Russian-English dictionary of proverbs and sayings. McFarland. p. 22. ISBN 0786407034. 
  • Близо́к локото́к, да не уку́сишь.
    • Transliteration: Blizok lokotok, da ne ukusish.
    • Translation: [Your] elbow is close, yet [you] can't bite it.
    • Meaning: It only seems to be easy.
    • Nezhat, Nezhat, Nezhat (2008). Nezhat's Operative Gynecologic Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0521862493. 
  • Бог дал, Бог и взял.
    • Transliteration: Bog dal, bog i vzyal.
    • Translation: God gave, God took back.
    • English equivalent: The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
    • Margulis, Kholodnaya (2000). Russian-English dictionary of proverbs and sayings. McFarland. p. 24. ISBN 0786407034. 
  • Бог тро́ицу лю́бит.
    • Transliteration: Bog troitsu lyubit.
    • Translation: God likes trinity.
    • English equivalent: All good comes in threes.
    • Margulis, Kholodnaya (2000). Russian-English dictionary of proverbs and sayings. McFarland. p. 24. ISBN 0786407034. 
  • Бодли́вой коро́ве Бог рог не даёт.
    • Transliteration: Bodlivoy korove bog rog ne dayot.
    • English equivalent: Tomorrow comes never.
    • "It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded."
    • W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage (1915).
    • Alexander Margulis; Asya Kholodnaya (1 February 2000). Russian-English Dictionary of Proverbs and Sayings. McFarland. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-7864-3748-1. 
  • Болту́н — нахо́дка для шпио́на.
    • Transliteration: Boltun — nakhodka dlya shpiona.
    • Translation: A chatterbox is a treasure for a spy.
    • English equivalent: Loose lips sink ships.
  • Большо́му кораблю́ — большо́е пла́вание.
    • Transliteration: Bol'shomu korablyu — bol'shoye plavaniye.
    • Translation: For a big ship, a big voyage.
    • Modern mockery: Большо́му кораблю́ — больша́я торпе́да. (For a big ship, a big torpedo)
    • Meaning: Remarkable people make a big impact in the world.
  • Бу́дет и на на́шей у́лице пра́здник.
    • Transliteration: Budet i na nashey ulitse prazdnik.
    • Translation: There'll be a holiday in our street too.
    • Meaning: One day we will get lucky too.
  • Бума́га всё сте́рпит.
    • Transliteration: Bumaga vsyo sterpit.
    • Translation: Paper will endure anything.
    • Alt: Бумага без души - что угодно пиши.
    • Translation: Paper has no soul - you can put anything on it."
    • English equivalent: Paper is forbearing.
    • Latin version: Epistula non erubescit - A letter doesn't blush (Cicero)
    • Contrast: Что напи́сано перо́м — не вы́рубить топоро́м.
    • Раков, Юрий (1999). Сокровища античной и библейской мудрости: происхождение афоризмов и образных выражений. ОЛМА-Пресс. p. 30. ISBN 5765403697. 

В[edit]

  • Вали́ на се́рого, се́рый всё свезёт.
    • Transliteration: Vali na serogo, seryy vsyo svezyot.
    • Translation: Put [everything] onto the grey [Dicks], he'll bear anything.
  • В гостя́х хорошо́, а до́ма лу́чше.
    • Transliteration: V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe.
    • Translation: Visiting is good, but home is better.
    • English equivalent: East or West - home is best.
  • В дождь избы́ не кро́ют, а в вёдро и сама́ не ка́плет.
    • Translitration: V dozhd' izby ne kroyut, a v vyodro i sama ne kaplet
    • Translation: When it's raining one doesn't roof the cottage, and when it's not raining the roof isn't leaking .
    • Meaning: Lazy people find excuses to delay their job.
  • Век живи́ — век учи́сь.
    • Transliteration: Vek zhivi — vek uchis'.
    • Translation: Live for a century — learn for a century.
    • English equivalent: We are to learn as long as we live.
    • "Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider."
    • Francis Bacon, Essays (1625)
  • Вели́к те́лом, да мал де́лом.
    • Transliteration: Velik telom, da mal delom
    • Translation: Big in body, but small in deeds.
  • Видна́ пти́ца по полёту.
    • Transliteration: Vidna ptitsa po polyotu.
    • Translation: The bird is known by its flight.
    • English equivalent: A tree is known by its fruit.
    • Meaning: You can judge someone based on his surroundings. For instance, a person living in a messy house is messy.
    • Modern mockery: Видна́ пти́ца по помёту. (The bird is known by its droppings.)
  • Ви́дит о́ко, да зуб неймёт.
    • Transliteration: Vidit oko, da zub neymyot.
    • Translation: The eye can see it, but the tooth can't bite it.
    • English equivalent: One's reach exceeds one's grasp.
  • Вино́ вину́ твори́т.
    • Transliteration: Vino vinu tvorit.
    • Translation: Wine causes guilt.
  • В нога́х правды не́т.
    • Transliteration: V nogakh pravdy net.
    • Translation: There is no truth in feet.
    • Meaning: Take a seat, please.
  • Во́лка но́ги ко́рмят.
    • Transliteration: Volka nogi kormyat.
    • Translation: Wolf feeds on his feet.
    • Meaning: A hard time of scarce resources.
  • Надо отдать должное и дьяволу.
    • Transliteration: Nado otdat' dolzhnoje i d'javolu.
    • Translation: Be fair to the devil.
    • English equivalent: Give the devil his due.
    • Meaning: "People deserve recognition for their skills and contributions even if they are otherwise unworthy or unlikeable."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2009). The Facts on File Dictionary of Allusions. Infobase Publishing. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-8160-7105-0. 
    • Flonta, Teodor (2002). God and the Devil: Proverbs in 9 Euorpean Languages. Teodor Flonta. p. 21. ISBN 1875943412. 
  • Волк в ове́чьей шку́ре.
  • Волко́в боя́ться — в лес не ходи́ть.
    • Transliteration: Volkov boyat'sa — v les ne khodit.
    • Literally: To fear the wolves — not to go into the woods.
    • Translation: [Just] because one fears wolves, is one not to go into the woods?
    • Translation note: Although the original proverb has the structure of a declarative sentence it is commonly understood and used in context as a rhetorical question.
    • Meaning: "Fear is no excuse from [possibly risky but] necessary undertakings."
    • [possibly inexact] English equivalent: If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
  • Во́рон во́рону глаз не вы́клюет.
    • Transliteration: Voron voronu glaz ne vyklyuyet.
    • Translation: The raven won't peck out the eye of [another] raven.
    • English equivalent: Hawks will not pick out hawk's eyes.
    • Compare: Рука́ ру́ку мо́ет.
  • Вот где соба́ка зары́та.
    • Transliteration: Vot gde sobaka zaryta
    • Translation: That's where the dog is buried
    • English equivalent: That’s where the shoe pinches; That’s the crux (the rub).
    • See also: Вот в чём загво́здка.
  • Вре́мя — лу́чший до́ктор
    • Transliteration: Vremya — luchshiy doktor.
    • Translation: Time [makes the] best healer.
    • English equivalent: Time heals all wounds.
    • Modern mockery: Время — лучший доктор, но ужасный косметолог. (Time is the best healer, but a terrible cosmetologist.)
  • В семье́ не без уро́да.
    • Transliteration: V sem'ye ne bez uroda.
    • Translation: No family has no ugly member.
    • English equivalent: There is a black sheep in every flock.
  • Всё хорошо́, что хорошо́ конча́ется.
    • Transliteration: Vsyo khorosho, chto khorosho konchayetsa.
    • Translation: All is well that ends well.
    • English equivalent: All's well that ends well.
  • Всяк кули́к своё боло́то хва́лит.
    • Transliteration: Vsyak kulik svoyo boloto khvalit.
    • Translation: Every sandpiper praises his own swamp.
    • Meaning: Everyone praises their own work (or possession), no matter how inferior it is.
    • English equivalent: Every cook praises his own broth.
  • Вся́кому о́вощу своё вре́мя.
    • Transliteration: Vsyakomu ovoshchu svoyo vremya.
    • Translation: Every vegetable has its time.
    • English equivalent: Everything is good in its season.
    • "Plans are insulted destinies. I don't have plans, I only have goals."
    • Ash Chandler, Freudian Slip, Mumbai Mirror Buzz, April (2006).
    • Compare: Пе́рвый блин (всегда́) ко́мом.
  • В тесноте́, да не в оби́де.
  • В Ту́лу со свои́м самова́ром (не е́здят)
    • Transliteration: V Tulu so svoim samovarom (ne yezdyat).
    • Translation: (Do not come) to Tula with your own samovar.
    • Swedish equivalent: Do not cross the brook for water.
    • Modern mockery: В Тулу со своим пулемётом (To Tula with your own machine gun; Tula is center of firearms design and production).
    • Meaning: Don't do things in a needlessly laborious way.
    • 實用漢俄分類詞典. 中央圖書. 1996. p. 541. 
  • В чужо́й монасты́рь со свои́м уста́вом не хо́дят.

Г[edit]

  • Где то́нко — там и рвётся.
    • Transliteration: Gde tonko — tam i rvyotsya.
    • Translation: It will snap where it's thinnest.
    • English equivalent: The chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
    • Meaning: "A weak part or member will affect the success or effectiveness of the whole."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 31 July 2013. 
  • Гла́дко бы́ло на бума́ге, да забы́ли про овра́ги (, а по ним шага́ть).
    • Transliteration: Gladko bylo na bumage, da zabyli pro ovragi (, a po nim shagat').
    • Translation: It worked on paper, but [we've] forgotten about ravines (and we'll have to march [them]).
    • Meaning: Obstacles that were overlooked/ignored during planning, turned out to be a major showstopper when executing the plan.
  • Глаза́ боя́тся, а ру́ки де́лают.
  • Говоря́т, что кур доя́т.
    • Transliteration: Govoryat, shto kur doyat.
    • Translation: They say they milk chickens.
    • Meaning: Don't believe all the rumors.
  • Го́лод не тётка (, пирожка́ не поднесёт).
    • Transliteration: Golod ne tyotka (, pirozhka nye podnesyot).
    • Translation: Hunger is not [your] aunt (, [it] will not bring you a pie).
    • Meaning: If you are in need, help yourself and don't count on the situation improving by itself. — Also: If you're in need, take what they give you, it's not time to decline offers.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • Meaning: One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort.
    • Compare: Дарёному коню́ в зу́бы не смотря́т; На безры́бье и рак — ры́ба.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Иванович Даль, Владимир (2002). Толковый словарь живого великорусского языка. В 2 тт. Т. 1: А—О. ОЛМА Медиа Групп. p. 345. ISBN 5224035848. 
  • Го́лой овцы́ не стригу́т.
    • Transliteration: Goloy ovtsy ne strigut.
    • Translation: One doesn't shear naked sheep.
    • English equivalent: A beggar can never be bankrupt.
  • Голь на вы́думку хитра́.
    • Transliteration: Gol' na vydumku khitra.
    • Translation: Poor people are crafty.
    • English equivalent: Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • Горба́того моги́ла испра́вит.
  • Гром не гря́нет, мужи́к не перекре́стится.
    • Transliteration: Grom ne gryanet, muzhik ne perekrestitsya.
    • Translation: Unless thunder strikes, a man won't cross himself.
    • Cultural background: Since lightning strikes were considered acts of punishment by God, it was believed that crossing oneself would prevent one from being hit by a lightning.
    • Swedish equivalent: You don't miss the cow until the barn is empty.
    • Meaning: People tend to not take precautionary measures until trouble actually happens.
  • Гусь свинье́ не това́рищ.
    • Transliteration: Gus' svin'ye ne tovarisch.
    • Translation: A goose is not a pig's friend.
    • Meaning: Opposite of Birds of a feather flock together; — Also: I despise you.
    • Answer: Ну, тогда я полетел.(Well, I'm flying away.)
    • Compare: Тамбо́вский волк тебе́ това́рищ.

Д[edit]

  • Дай с ногото́к - попро́сит с локото́к.
    • Transliteration: Day s nogotok - poprosit s lokotok.
    • Translation: Give [him] a fingernail, [he] will ask for the forearm.
    • English equivalent: Give him an inch and he'll take a yard/mile.
  • Дарёному коню́ в зу́бы не смо́трят.
    • Transliteration: Daryonomu konyu v zuby ne smotryat.
    • Translation: Don't look at the teeth of a horse you've been given.
    • Note: Looking at a horse's teeth is a way to determine its age, and thus its value (a practice that also gives us the English expression “long in the tooth,” meaning old.)
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Meaning: Don’t question a gift's value; be thankful, rather than judging something you received as a gift.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 54. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Compare: Го́лод не тётка(, пирожка́ не поднесёт).
    • Modern mockery: Дарёному коню́ под хвост не смо́трят. (Don't check a gift horse under the tail)
  • Даю́т - бери́, а бьют - беги́.
    • Transliteration: Dayut - beri, a b'yut - begi
    • Translation: If given - take it; if beaten - run away.
  • Де́ло ма́стера бои́тся.
    • Transliteration: Delo mastera boitsya.
    • Translation: Work is afraid of a skilled worker.
    • Meaning: Work goes well when you know what you are doing.
  • До́брое бра́тство — лу́чшее бога́тство.
    • Transliteration: Dobroye bratstvo — luchsheye bogatstvo.
    • Translation: Good brotherhood is the best wealth.
    • Compare: Не име́й сто рубле́й, а име́й сто друзе́й.
  • До́брое сло́во и ко́шке прия́тно.
    • Transliteration: Dobroye slovo i koshke priyatno.
    • Translation: Even a cat appreciates kind word[s].
  • Долг платежо́м кра́сен.
    • Transliteration: Dolg platezhom krasen.
    • Translation: Debt is beautiful [only] after [it is] repaid.
    • Meaning: Debt is a shame until it is repaid; – Also used as a hint: It's time for you to pay me back.
    • English equivalent: One good turn deserves another.
  • До́ма и сте́ны помога́ют.
    • Transliteration: Doma i steny pomogayut.
    • Translation: [When you are] at home, even the walls help [you].
  • Дорога́ ло́жка к обе́ду.
    • Transliteration: Doroga lozhka k obyedu.
    • Transalation: A spoon is valuable at dinner.
    • Meaning: Things are best in their respective time.; Proper timing is everything. — Also: Things are most expensive when in high demand.
    • Compare: До́рого яи́чко ко Христо́ву дню.
    • See also: Вся́кому о́вощу своё вре́мя.
    • English equivalent: A stitch in time saves nine.
  • До́рого яи́чко ко Христо́ву дню.
    • Transliteration: Dorogo yaichko k Khristovu dnyu.
    • Translation: A spring egg is dear at the Easter day.
    • Meaning: Things are best in their respective time.; Proper timing is everything. — Also: Things are most expensive when in high demand.
    • Compare: Дорога́ ло́жка к обе́ду.
  • Дру́жба дру́жбой, а слу́жба слу́жбой.
    • Transliteration: Druzhba druzhboy, a sluzhba sluzhboy.
    • Translation: Friendship is friendship but service is service.
    • Meaning: Friendship is one thing, business another; Nothing personal; just business.
    • Compare: Дру́жба дру́жбой, а табачо́к (де́нежки) - врозь.
  • Дру́жба дру́жбой, а табачо́к (де́нежки) - врозь.
    • Transliteration: Druzhba druzhboy, a tabachok (denezhki) — vroz'.
    • Translation: Friendship is friendship, but [keep our] tobacco (money) apart.
    • Meaning: You might be my friend, but it doesn't entitle you to using my assets (or not repaying my debts).
    • Compare: Дру́жба дру́жбой, а слу́жба слу́жбой.
  • Друг познаётся в беде́.
    • Transliteration: Drug poznayotsa v bede.
    • Translation: [You get to really] know [your] friend when trouble [comes].
    • English equivalent: A friend in need's a friend indeed.
  • Дурака́м зако́н не пи́сан (, е́сли пи́сан, то не чи́тан, е́сли чи́тан, то не по́нят, е́сли по́нят, то не так).
    • Transliteration: Durakam zakon ne pisan (, yesli pisan, to ne chitan, yesli chitan, to ne ponyat, yesly ponyat, to ne tak).
    • Translation: There is no law written for fools ( if it is written it's not read, if it is read it's not understood, if it is understood, in the wrong way).
    • English equivalent: There is no law for fools.
  • Дура́к завя́жет — и у́мный не развя́жет.
    • Transliteration: Durak zavyazhet — u umnyy ne razvyazhet.
    • Translation: [If] the fool ties [a knot], even a clever person can't untie it.
    • English equivalent: A fool may throw a stone into a well which a hundred wise men cannot pull out.
  • Дурако́в не се́ют, не жнут, са́ми родя́тся.
    • Transliteration: Durakov ne seyut, ne zhnut, sami rodyatsya.
    • Translation: Fools are not sown or reaped, they appear by themselves.
    • English equivalent: There's a sucker born every minute.

Е[edit]

  • Е́дешь на́ день, хле́ба бери́ на неде́лю.
    • Transliteration: Yedesh na den', khleba beri na nedelyu.
    • Translation: If you take a day trip, take a week's supply of bread.
    • English equivalent: Always be prepared (or "always bring more than you need")
    • Compare: Запа́с карма́н не тя́нет
  • Е́сли бы да кабы́ да во рту росли́ грибы́ (бобы́)(, это был бы не рот, а огоро́д).
    • Transliteration: Yesli by da kaby da vo rtu rosli griby (boby) (, eto byl by nye rot a ogorod)
    • Translation: If and when mushrooms (beans) grew in the mouth(, that would have been not mouth but kitchen garden).
    • English equivalent: If ifs and buts were candy and nuts; If wishes were horses, beggars might ride.; If ifs and ands were pots and pans, then we would need no tinkers.; If wishes were fishes, there'd be no room in the river for water.; If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak.
    • Modern mockery: Если бы у бабушки были яйца, то она была бы дедушкой (If only Grandma had balls, she would have been Grandpa)
  • Если бы молодость знала, если бы старость могла.
    • Transliteration: Yesli by molodost' znala, yesli by starost' mogla.
    • Translation: If only youth would know, if only old age were able.
    • Meaning: If only youth had the wisdom, and old age had the strength everything would have been much better.
    • English equivalent: Youth is wasted on the young
  • Если бы не закон, не было бы и преступника.
    • English equivalent: The more laws, the more offenders.

Ж[edit]

  • Жизнь прожи́ть — не по́ле перейти́.
    • Transliteration: Zhizn' prozhit' — ne pole pereyti.
    • Translation: Living [your] life is not like crossing a meadow.
    • English equivalent: Life was never meant to be easy.
    • Source note: this proverb originated as a line in Boris Pasternak's poem "Hamlet."

З[edit]

  • Запретный плод сладок
  • Зако́н что ды́шло, куда́ повернёшь - туда́ и вы́шло.
    • Transliteration: Zakon chto dyshlo, kuda povernyosh - tuda i vyshlo.
    • Translation: Law is like the shaft of a cart, it points wherever you turn it.
    • Alt. Translation: The law is like a shaft, no matter the way you turn it, you're shafted.
    • Meaning: Powerful, rich or smart people can make the law work for them.
  • Заста́вь дурака́ Бо́гу моли́ться - он (себе́) лоб расшибёт (и други́м но́ги поотшиба́ет).
    • Transliteration: Zastav' duraka Bogu molitsya - on (sebe) lob rasshibyot (i drugim nogi pootshibayet).
    • Translation: [If you] make a fool pray to God, he will hurt (both his) forehead (and other people's toes).
    • Meaning: When eagerness is coupled with lack of understanding of the task, one's efforts will be more of a hindrance than a help; Better not to follow instructions literally but understand their purpose.
    • English equivalent: Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse.
    • Compare: Что ни сде́лает дура́к — все он сде́лает не так; Медве́жья услу́га.
  • За что боро́лись, на то и напоро́лись.
    • Transliteration: Za chto borolis', na to i naporolis'.
    • Translation: Whatever [we, they] fought for is what [we, they] impaled [ourselves, themselves] upon.
    • English equivalents: To be hoisted by one's own petard; to shoot oneself in the foot; to slit one's own throat.
    • Meaning: One can suffer for his/her activity or initiative; result is sometimes an oposite of expected.
  • За что купи́л, за то и продаю́ (, не лю́бо - не слу́шай, а врать не меша́й).
    • Transliteration: Za chto kupil, za to i prodayu (, ne lyubo - ne slushay, a vrat' ne meshay).
    • Translation: I sell it for what I bought it (, if you don't like it, don't listen, but don't hamper [my] lying/telling).
    • Meaning: I don't endorse this message, I'm just telling you what I was told.
  • Зна́ет ко́шка, чьё мя́со съе́ла.

И[edit]

  • И волки сыты, и овцы целы.
    • Transliteration: I volki syty, i ovtsy tsely.
    • Translation: The wolves are sated, and the sheep are intact.
    • Meaning: Sometimes it is impossible to get two desired things at the same time.
    • English equivalent: You can't have your cake and eat it too.
    • Compare: За двумя зайцами погонишься (, ни одного не поймаешь). Двух зайцев одной пулей.
    • Belentschikow (2009). Russisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch (RDW): O. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 136. ISBN 3447060859. 
  • Из двух зол выбира́ют ме́ньшее.
    • Transliteration: Iz dvukh zol vybirayut men'sheye.
    • Translation: [They] choose lesser of two evils.
    • Meaning: If all the options are bad, choose the one that hurts the least.
    • English equivalent: Lesser of two evils
  • Из огня́ да в полымя́.
    • Transliteration: Iz ognya da v polymya.
    • Translation: From fire to flame.
    • Meaning: [Got] out of trouble just to get into another trouble.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
    • Compare: Ме́жду мо́лотом и накова́льней.
    • Offord (1996). Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 151. ISBN 0521457602. 
  • Из пе́сни сло́ва не вы́кинешь.
    • Transliteration: Iz pesni slova ne vykinesh.
    • Translation: [You] cannot throw a word out of a song.
    • Meaning: You cannot alter the information that many people know by heart. — Also: The following may contain obscene, rude or otherwise questionable content, yet it content cannot be omitted as it's an integral part of the story.
    • Compare: Сло́во – не воробе́й: вы́летит – не пойма́ешь.; Что напи́сано перо́м – не вы́рубить топоро́м.
  • Искру́ туши́ до пожа́ра, беду́ отводи́ до уда́ра.
    • Transliteration: Iskru tushi do pozhara, bedu otvodi do udara.
    • Translation: Extinguish the spark before the [the house is on] fire, deflect the trouble before [its] strike.
    • English equivalent: Prevention is better than cure.; An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Исподво́ль и ольху́ согнёшь.
    • Transliteration: Ispodvol' i ol'khu sognyosh.
    • Translation: You can bend an alder-tree, if you do it gradually.
    • English equivalent: Little strokes fell great oaks.; Time conquers all.
  • Ищи́ ве́тра в по́ле.
    • Transliteration: Ishchi vetra v pole.
    • Translation: Look for wind in a field.
    • Meaning: What's lost cannot be found.
    • English equivalent: You can't catch the wind in a net.

К[edit]

  • Как ау́кнется — так и откли́кнется.
    • Transliteration: Kak auknetsya — tak i otkliknetsya.
    • Translation: How [echo] is prompted, it will bounce back.
    • Meaning: Others will treat you the way you treat them.
    • English equivalent: What goes around, comes around.
    • Compare: Что посе́ешь, то пожнёшь.
  • Ка́шу ма́слом не испо́ртишь.
    • Transliteration: Kashu maslom ne isportish.
    • Translation: One can't spoil porridge with butter.
    • Meaning: You can’t spoil a good thing with another good thing.
    • English equivalent: Plenty is no plague.
    • Compare: Мно́го — не ма́ло.
  • Клин кли́ном вышиба́ют.
    • Transliteration: Klin klinom vyshibayut.
    • Translation: They use a wedge to knock out a wedge.
    • Meaning: Pay back with the same medicine.
    • English equivalents: Fight fire with fire; Like cures like; One nail drives out another.
  • Когото́к увя́з - всей пти́чке пропа́сть.
    • Transliteration: Kogotok uvyaz — vsey ptichke propast.
    • Translation: If the claw is stuck, the whole bird is lost.
    • Meaning: Trouble begins with small mistakes.
    • Compare: Пришла́ беда́ - отворя́й ворота́, Лиха́ беда́ нача́ло.
  • Козла́ бо́йся спе́реди, коня́ — сза́ди, а лихо́го челове́ка — со всех сторо́н.
    • Transliteration: Kozla boysya speredi, konya — szadi, a likhogo cheloveka — so vsekh storon.
    • Translation: Beware of the goat from its front side, of the horse - from its back side, and the evil man - from any side.
    • Closest English equivalent: He who sups with the devil must use a long spoon.
  • Конь о четырёх нога́х, да и тот спотыка́ется.
    • Transliteration: Kon' o chetyryokh nogakh, da i tot spotykaetsya.
    • Translation: A horse has four legs, but still stumbles.
    • English equivalent: It is a good horse that never stumbles.
    • Meaning: Even most experienced (or most capable) people make mistakes sometimes.
  • Коней на переправе не меняют
    • Translation: Don't swap horses when crossing the stream.
    • Note: When in water it is arduous to mount and dismount.
    • English equivalent: Don't change horses in the midstream.
    • Meaning: Don't make major changes in the middle of a difficult/complicated process.
    • Мокиенко Валерий Михайлович (2010). Большой словарь русских пословиц. ОЛМА Медиа Групп. p. 26. ISBN 978-5-373-03250-6. Retrieved on 7 June 2013. 
  • Копе́йка рубль бережёт (, а рубль го́лову стережёт).
    • Transliteration: Kopeyka rubl' berezhot (, a rubl' golovu sterezhot).
    • Translation: A kopeck saves the rouble (, and the rouble guards your head).
    • English equivalent: Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.
  • Куда́ конь с копы́том, туда и рак с клешнёй.
    • Transliteration: Kuda kon' s kopytom, tuda i rak c kleshnyoy.
    • Translation: Where [goes] a horse with [its] hoof, there [goes] a crayfish with [its] pincer.
  • Куда́ ни кинь, везде́ (всё, всю́ду) клин.
    • Transliteration: Kuda ni kin', vezde (vsyo,vsyudu) klin.
    • English equivalent: Damned if you do, damned if you don't
    • Compare: Что в лоб, что по́ лбу; Что пнём об сову, что сово́й об пень.
  • Куй желе́зо, пока горячо́.
    • Transliteration: Kuy zhelezo, poka goryacho.
    • Translation: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Meaning: Do things while it's the best time to to them.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot; Make hay while the sun shines.
    • Modern mockery: Куй желе́зо, пока Горбачёв (Strike iron while Gorbachyov [is at power] — encouraging people to use the opportunities opened by Perestroika, as it wasn't believed at the time that they will last)

Л[edit]

  • Ла́сковый телёнок двух ма́ток сосёт.
    • Transliteration: Laskovyy telyonok dvukh matok sosyot.
    • Translation: The affectionate calf sucks [udders of] two cows.
    • Meaning: One can take advantage of both sides (in a dispute). Such behavior is often seen with disapproval.
  • Лбом сте́нку не расшибёшь.
    • Transliteration: Lbom stenku ne rasshibyosh.
    • Translation: You cannot break a wall with your forehead.
    • Meaning: Use the correct tool for the job. – Also: Don't deal with stubborn people.
    • English equivalent: Don't kick against the pricks, meaning don't try to remove a thorn by pushing it in deeper -- don't injure yourself in an attempt to use brute force to go through/past an obstacle which requires finesse in order to pass.
  • Лежа́чего не бьют.
    • Transliteration: Lezhachevo ne b'yut.
    • Translation: One shouldn't beat the one who fell.
    • English equivalent: Don't kick a man when he's down.
  • Лес ру́бят — ще́пки летя́т.
    • Transliteration: Les rubyat — schepki letyat.
    • Translation: When wood is chopped, woodchips will fly.
    • English equivalent: You can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg.
  • Лиха́ беда́ нача́ло.
  • Ло́жка дегтю по́ртит бо́чку мёда.
    • Transliteration: Lozhka dyogtya portit bochku myoda.
    • Translation: A spoonful of tar spoils a barrel of honey.
    • English equivalent: A fly in the ointment; The rotten apple spoils the barrel.
  • Лу́чше оди́н раз уви́деть, чем сто раз услы́шать.
    • Transliteration: Luchshe odin raz uvidet', chem sto raz uslyshat'
    • Translation: It's better to see once than hear a hundred times.
    • English equivalent: Seeing is believing; One look is worth a thousand words.
  • Лу́чше по́здно, чем никогда́.
    • Transliteration: Luchshe pozdno, chem nikogda.
    • Translation: Better late than never.
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
  • Любо́вь зла́, полю́бишь и козла́.
    • Transliteration: Lyubov' zla, polyubish i kozla.
    • Translation: love's evil, you'll love even a goat.
    • English equivalent: Love is blind.

М[edit]

  • Муж в Тверь - жена в дверь
    • Transliteration: Muzh v Tver - zhena v dver.
    • Translation: Husband [travels to the city of] Tver - wife goes out the door
    • International version: La donna é mobile
  • Молоде́ц про́тив ове́ц, а про́тив молодца́ — и сам овца́.
    • Transliteration: Molodets protiv ovets, a protiv moldtsa — i sam ovtsa.
    • Translation: [He is] brave [when fighting] against sheep, and [when fighting] against a brave man [he's] a sheep himself.
  • Мя́гко сте́лет, да жёстко спать.
    • Transliteration: Myaghko stelet, da zhostko spat.
    • Translation: [He] makes the bed soft, yet [it's] hard to sleep [on].
    • Meaning: Iron fist in a velvet glove. — Also: Things built without effort are hard to use.
    • English equivalent: Iron fist in a velvet glove; Velvet paws hide sharp claws.

Н[edit]

  • Не ищи беды – беда сама тебя найдет
    • Translation: Do not look for trouble - trouble will find you itself.
    • English equivalent: Don't trouble trouble until trouble troubles you.
    • Советские профсоюзы. Профиздат.. 1973. p. 45. Retrieved on 7 June 2013. 
  • На безры́бье и рак — ры́ба [, на безлю́дье и си́день — челове́к].
    • Transliteration: Na bezryb'ye i rak — ryba [, na bezlyud'ye i siden' chelovek].
    • Translation: On a fishing lull, even a crayfish is fish [, at the lack people even a lazybones is a human being].
    • Meaning: Maybe this is not the best choice, but it's our only option.
    • English equivalent: Something is better than nothing.
    • See also: Из двух зол выбира́ют ме́ньшее, Го́лод не тётка (, пирожка́ не поднесёт)
    • Modern Mockery: "На безрыбье и сам раком станешь" (On a fishing lull, even you can become a crayfish.)
  • На Бо́га наде́йся, а сам не плоша́й.
    • Transliteration: Na boga nadeysya, a sam ne ploshay.
    • Translation: Hope for God, but do not be reliant.
    • English equivalent: Trust in God, but lock your car.
    • Compare: Бо́гу моли́сь, а добра́-ума́ держи́сь; Бережёного Бог бережёт.
  • На брю́хе шёлк, а в брю́хе щёлк.
    • Transliteration: Na bryukhe sholk, a v bryukhe scholk.
    • Translation: On the belly there is silk, and in the belly - just a click.
    • English equivalent: All hat and no cattle.
  • На вкус и цвет това́рищей нет.
    • Transliteration: Na vkus i tsvet tovarischey net.
    • Translation: There are no friends in tastes and colours.
    • English equivalent: There is no accounting for taste.
    • Compare: У вся́кого Па́вла своя́ пра́вда; О вку́сах не спо́рят.
    • יוסף גורי, I. Guri (2006). On the tip of the tongue: 500 Yiddish proverbs (illustrated ed.). Hebreisher Uniṿersiṭeṭ in Yerushalayim, Opṭeyl far Rusishe limudim. p. 226. ISBN 9659025033. 
  • На во́ре ша́пка гори́т.
    • Transliteration: Na vore shapka gorit.
    • Translation: A thief's hat burns.
    • English equivalent: A guilty mind betrays itself.
  • На всех не угоди́шь
    • Transliteration: Na vsekh ne ugodish.
    • Translation: You cannot please everybody.
    • English equivalent: He who pleased everybody died before he was born.
    • Compare: О вку́сах не спо́рят.
  • На вся́кого мудреца́ дово́льно простоты́.
    • Transliteration: Na vsyakogo mudretsa dovol'no prostoty.
    • Translation: Any wise man has enough of simplicity.
    • Meaning: Any experience person can be fooled.
    • Compare: И на старуху бывает проруха. Конь о четырёх ногах, а спотыкается.
  • Назва́лся гру́здем — полеза́й в ку́зов.
  • На кривой суд образца нет.
    • Translation: There is no example for an unjust court.
  • На миру́ и смерть красна́.
    • Transliteration: Na miru i smert' krasna.
    • Translation: With company, even death loses its sting.
  • На то и щу́ка [в мо́ре], что́бы кара́сь не дрема́л.
    • Transliteration: Na to i schuka v more, shtoby karas' ne dremal.
    • Translations: The pike in the sea is there to make the crucian to stay alert.
    • Meaning: There are dangers, but don't complain about them, stay alert.
  • На чужо́й карава́й рот не разева́й.
    • Transliteration: Na chuzhoy karavay rot ne razevay.
    • Translation: Don't open your mouth [to eat] other people's bread.
    • Modern Mockery (vulgar): "На чужое бухло не разевай ебло."
  • Нашла́ коса́ на ка́мень.
    • Transliteration: Nashla kosa na kamen'.
    • Translation: The scythe has hit a stone.
    • English equivalent: Diamond cut diamond, You have met your match.
  • На языке́ мёд, а на се́рдце — лёд.
    • Transliteration: Na yazyke myod, a na serdtse — lyod.
    • Translation: On the tongue [there's] honey, and on the heart [there's] ice.
    • English equivalent: A honey tongue, a heart of gall.
  • Не бо́ги горшки́ обжига́ют.
    • Transliteration: Ne bogi gorshki obzhigayut.
    • Translation: [It's] not gods [who] make pots.
    • Meaning: All arificial objects in the world, no matter how minute or astonishing, were made by people, so do not get overexcited.
  • Не бо́йся соба́ки, что ла́ет, а бо́йся той, что молчи́т и хвосто́м виля́ет.
    • Transliteration: Ne boysya sobaki, shto layet, a bosya toy, shto molchit, da khvostom vilyayet.
    • Translation: Don't be afraid of the dog who barks, but be afraid of the one, who is silent and wags its tail.
    • English equivalent: It's the quiet ones you gotta watch.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
  • Не́ было бы сча́стья, да несча́стье помогло́.
    • Transliteration: Ne bylo by schast'ya, da neschast'ye pomoglo
    • Translation: [I] would have had no luck, if not for misfortune.
    • Meaning: This particular misfortune in the end has led me to more gain than it made harm.
    • Compare: Нет ху́да без добра́.
  • Не́ было у ба́бы хлопо́т, так купи́ла порося́.
    • Transliteration: Ne bylo u baby khlopot, tak kupila porosya.
    • Translation: The woman had no trouble, so she bought a piglet.
    • English equivalent: You've asked for trouble.
  • Не всё коту́ ма́сленица, бу́дет и вели́кий пост.
    • Transliteration: Ne vsyo kotu maslenitsa, budet i velikiy post.
    • Translation: Not every day is a Shrovetide, in time it will be a Lent.
    • English equivalent: Life's not all beer and skittles; Life's not all wine and roses; I never promised you a bed of roses
  • Не всё то зо́лото, что блести́т.
    • Transliteration: Ne vsyo to zoloto, chto blestit.
    • Translation: Not every glittering thing is gold.
    • English equivalent: Not all that glitters is gold.
    • Modern mockery: Не всё то долото́, что блести́т.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
    • Meaning: An attractive appearance may be deceptive. It may cover or hide a much less favourable content.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 114. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • G.K. Chesterton (January 2013). Жив-человек. Издательство Pubmix.com. p. 22. ISBN 978-5-4241-1474-8. Retrieved on 18 June 2013. 
  • Не говори́ гоп, пока́ не переско́чишь (перепры́гнешь).
  • Не да́вши сло́ва — крепи́сь, а да́вши — держи́сь.
    • Transliteration: Ne davshi slova — krepis', a davshi — derzhis'.
    • Meaning: Don't give promises you can't fulfil; once given, the word must be kept.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a promise you can't keep.
    • Compare: Угово́р доро́же де́нег.
  • Не за то во́лка бьют, что сер, а за то, что овцу́ съел.
    • Transliteration: Ne za to volka b'yut, shto ser, a za to, shto ovtsy s'yel.
    • Translation: The wolf is beaten not for being grey, but for having eaten a sheep.
  • Не зна́я бро́ду, не су́йся в во́ду.
    • Transliteration: Ne znaya brodu, ne suysya v vodu.
    • Translation: Don't wade into a river without knowing a ford.
    • Meaning: Don't rush into something without throughly studying the matter first.
    • English equivalent: Wait for the cat to jump.
  • Не име́й дру́га пота́тчика, а име́й дру́га попере́чника.
    • Transliteration: Ne imey druga potatchika, a imey druga poperechnika.
    • Translation: Don't have a friend who always agrees with you, but have a friend who argues with you.
  • Не ме́сто кра́сит челове́ка, а челове́к — ме́сто.
    • Transliteration: Ne mesto krasit cheloveka, a chelovek — mesto.
    • Translations: Not the place adorns the man, but a man adorns the place.
  • Не мечи́те би́сер пе́ред сви́ньями.
    • Transliteration: Ne mechite biser pered svin'yami
    • Translation: Don't cast beads before(in front of) pigs.
    • English equivalent: Cast not your pearls before swine.
  • Не ошиба́ется тот, кто ничего́ не де́лает.
    • Transliteration: Ne oshibayetsa tot, kto nichego ne delayet.
    • Translation: Only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.
    • English equivalent: Nothing ventured, nothing gained; He that never climbed, never fell.
  • Не плюй в коло́дец — пригоди́тся [воды] напи́ться.
    • Transliteration: Ne plyuy v kolodets — prigoditsya [vody] napit'sya.
    • Translation: Do not spit into a well—it may be useful to drink water.
    • English equivalent: Actions can boomerang; Never cast dirt into that fountain of which you have sometime drunk; Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    • Vulgar: Don't sh*t where you eat.
    • Modern mockery: Не плюй в коло́дец: вы́летит — не пойма́ешь.
  • Не по́йман — не во́р.
    • Transliteration: Ne poyman — ne vor.
    • Translation: Unless caught [stealing], [one is] not a thief.
    • English equivalent: Innocent till proven guilty.
  • Не рой друго́му я́му, сам в неё попадёшь.
    • Transliteration: Ne roy drugomu yamu, sam v neyo popadyosh.
    • Translation: Don't dig a pit for somebody [to fall into], [or] you will end up in it yourself.
    • English equivalent: Curses like chickens come home to roost.
    • Modern mockery: Не рой друго́му я́му, пусть сам ро́ет (Don't dig a pit for somebody, let him dig [it] himself)
  • Не спра́шивай ста́рого, спра́шивай быва́лого.
    • Transliteration: Ne sprashivay starovo, sprashivy byvalogo.
    • Translation: Don't ask the old one, ask the experienced one.
  • Нет ды́ма без огня́.
    • Transliteration: Net dyma bez ognya.
    • Translation: There is no smoke without fire.
    • English equivalent: There is no smoke without fire.
  • Ни к селу́, ни к го́роду.
    • Transliteration: Ni k selu, ni k gorodu.
    • Translation: Not for village, not for town.
    • Meaning: Not useful for anything.
    • English equivalent: Neither here nor there
  • Ни ры́ба, ни мя́со [ни кафтан, ни ряса].
    • Transliteration: Ni ryba, ni myaso.
    • Translation: Neither fish nor meat.
    • Usage: A person without a strong character.
    • English equivalent: Neither fish nor flesh.
  • Но́вая метла по-но́вому метёт.
    • Transliteration: Novaya metla po-novomu metyot.
    • Translation: A new broom sweeps in a new way.
    • Meaning: Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • English equivalent: A new broom sweeps clean.; In with the new and out with the old.

О[edit]

  • Обе́щанного три го́да ждут.
    • Transliteration: Obeschannovo tri goda zhdut.
    • Translation: [They] wait three years for [what was] promised.
    • Meaning: Promises aren't usually carried out immediately.
  • Обже́гшись на молоке́, ду́ют на́ воду.
    • Transliteration:
    • Translation: He who got burned by hot milk, blows on water.
    • English equivalent: Once bitten, twice shy.
    • Mockery: На молоке обжёгся, а водку дует (He got burned by hot milk, but drinks vodka)
  • Овчи́нка вы́делки не сто́ит.
    • Transliteration: Ovchinka vydelki ne stoit.
    • Translation: Lambskin is not worth currying.
    • English equivalent: The game isn’t worth the candle.
  • Оди́н в по́ле [—] не во́ин.
    • Transliteration: Odin v pole ne voin.
    • Translation: A single [man] in a field is not a warrior.
    • English equivalent: One man, no man
  • Оди́н с со́шкой — се́меро с ло́жкой.
    • Transliteration: Odin s soshkoy — semero s lozhkoy.
    • Translation: [For every] one with a plow — [there's] seven with a spoon.
    • Meaning: There's a lot of slackers for each productive worker.
  • Оди́н сын – не сын, два сы́на – по́лсына, три сы́на – сын.
    • Transliteration: Odin syn - ne syn, dva syna - polsyna, tri syna - syn.
    • Translation: One son is not a son, two sons are half a son, three sons are a son.
  • Одна́ ча́рка - на здоро́вье, друга́я - на весе́лье, тре́тья – на вздор.
    • Transliteration: Odna charka na zdorov'e, drugaya na vesel'e, tret'a na vzdor.
    • Translation: One cup (of liquor) is for health, second one is for fun, third one is for nothing.
  • От во́лка бежа́л, да на медве́дя попа́л.
    • Transliteration: Ot volka bezhal, da na medvedya popal.
    • Translation: I ran from the wolf but ran into a bear.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.'
    • See also: Из огня́ да в полымя́.
  • От добра́ добра́ не и́щут.
    • Transliteration: Ot dobra dobra ne ishchut.
    • Translation: Do not look for [further] good from good.
    • English equivalent: Leave well enough alone; Enough is as good as a feast.
    • Meaning: "Do not try to change or improve something that is satisfactory as it stands."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
  • От трудо́в пра́ведных не наживёшь пала́т ка́менных.
    • Transliteration: Ot trudov pravednykh he hazhivyosh palat kamennykh.
    • Translation: Honest work won't let you live in a stone palace.
    • Meaning: Great wealth stems from illegal activities more often than not.
  • Охо́та пу́ще нево́ли.
    • Transliteration: Okhota pusche nevoli.
    • Translation: Desire is worse then compulsion.
    • English equivalent: A burden of one's own choice is not felt.
    • Meaning: Work you enjoy never feels too hard.

П[edit]

  • Пей, да де́ло разуме́й.
    • Transliteration: Pey, da delo razumey.
    • Translation: Drink (alcohol), but be an expert in your business
  • Пе́рвый блин (всегда́) ко́мом.
    • Transliteration: Pervyy blin (vsegda) komom.
    • Translation: The first pancake is (always) a blob.
    • English equivalent: You have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk.
    • Swedish equivalent: We are children in the beginning.
    • Compare: Лиха́ беда́ нача́ло.
  • Пло́х тот солда́т, кото́рый не мечта́ет стать генера́лом.
    • Translation: A soldier who doesn't dream of becoming a general is a bad one.
    • "A-players hire a-players. B-players hire c-players, c-players hire d-players, and d-players hire e-players."
    • Guy Kawasaki, Silicon Valley Bank's CEO Summit (2011)
  • Пова́дился кувши́н по́ воду ходи́ть, тут ему́ и го́лову сломи́ть.
    • Transliteration: Povadilsya kuvshin po vodu kxodit', tut yemu i golovu slomit'.
    • English equivalent: The pitcher goes often to the well but is broken eventually.
  • Пови́нную го́лову и меч не сечёт.
    • Transliteration: Povinnuyu golovu i mech ne sechot.
    • Translation: Even the sword doesn't cut the head of the one who confesses.
    • English equivalent: A fault confessed is half redressed.
  • Повторе́нье - мать уче́нья.
    • Transliteration: Povtoren'ye — mat' uchen'ya.
    • Translation: Repetition is the mother of learning.
    • English equivalent: Practice makes perfect.
    • Meaning: The more often you repeat your lesson, the more likely you are to memorize it.
    • Mockery: Повторе́нье - мать пита́нья (Repetition is a mother of feeding).
  • Пожале́л волк кобы́лу, оста́вил хвост да гри́ву.
    • Transliteration: Pozhalel volk kobylu, ostavil khvost da grivu
    • Translation: The wolf spared the mare, left a tail and mane.
  • Поживём - увидим.
    • Transliteration: Pozhivom - uvidim.
    • Translation: Wait and see.
  • По одёжке встреча́ют, по уму́ провожа́ют.
    • Transliteration: Po odyozhke vstrechayut, po umu provozhayut.
    • Translation: One meets/greets [people] by their clothes, and says farewell by their mind.
    • English equivalent: Beauty may open the door, but only virtue enters.
  • По́сле дра́ки кулака́ми не ма́шут.
    • Transliteration: Posle draki kulakami ne mashut.
    • Translation: They don't swing fists when the fight is over.
    • English equivalent: What’s done is done; Don't lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.
  • Поспеши́шь – люде́й насмеши́шь.
    • Transliteration: Pospeshish' – lyudey nasmeshish'.
    • Translation: If you rush things, you'll only make others laugh.
    • English equivalent: Haste makes waste.
  • Простота́ ху́же воровства́.
    • Transliteration: Prostota khuzhe vorovstva.
    • Translation: Simplicity is worse than thievery (crime).
    • Meaning: A fool can do more damage than an enemy/a criminal.
  • Пу́ганая воро́на куста́ (теле́жного скри́па/со́бственной те́ни) бои́тся.
  • Пья́ному мо́ре по коле́но (, а лу́жа — по́ уши).
    • Transliteration: P'yanomu more po koleno (, a luzha - po ushi).
    • Translation: For a drunk, the sea is knee-deep (, and a puddle ear-deep).
    • Meaning: Drunk people brag a lot, yet are capable of very little.

Р[edit]

  • Работа не волк - в лес не убежит.
    • Transliteration: Rabota ne volk - v les ne ubezhit.
    • Translation: Work is not a wolf, it's not going away to the forest.
    • English equivalent: You can do any job later.
    • Krylov, Konstantin Arkadʹevich (1973). Russian-English Dictionary of Russian Sayings and Proverbs. C.A. Krylov. p. VII. 
  • Раз на раз не прихо́дится.
    • Transliteration: Raz na raz ne prikhoditsya.
    • Translation: Each time it's different.
    • English equivalent: You can’t expect perfection every time.
  • Рука́ ру́ку мо́ет [, вор во́ра кр́оет].
    • Transliteration: Ruka ruku moyet[, vor vora kroyet].
    • Translation: Hands wash each other[, a thief covers another thief].
    • English equivalent: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. ; One hand washes the other.
  • Ры́ба и́щет, где глу́бже, а челове́к — где лу́чше.
    • Transliteration: Ryba ischet gde glubzhe, a chelovek — gde luchshe.
    • Translation: Fish seek a deep place, men seek a better place.
    • Modern mockery: Ры́ба и́щет, где глу́бже, а челове́к — где ры́ба. (Fish seek for a deep place, men seek for a fishing place.)
  • Рыба́к рыбака́ ви́дит издалека́.
    • Transliteration: Rybak rybaka vidit izdaleka.
    • Translation: A fisherman can tell another fisherman from afar.
    • English equivalent: It takes one to know one.
    • Mockery: Дурак дурака видит издалека. (A fool can tell another fool from afar.)

С[edit]

  • С волка́ми жить, по-во́лчьи выть.
    • Transliteration: S volkami zhit', po-volch'i vyt'.
    • Translation: To live with wolves, you have to howl like a wolf.
    • English equivalent: Who keeps company with the wolves, will learn to howl; You are like the company you keep; When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
    • Compare: С кем поведёшься, от того́ и наберёшься.
  • Своя́ но́ша не тя́нет.
    • Transliteration: Svoya nosha ne tyanet.
    • Translation: [One's] own burden doesn't encumber.
    • English equivalent: A burden of one's own choice is not felt
  • Своя́ руба́шка бли́же к те́лу.
  • Свя́то ме́сто пу́сто не быва́ет.
    • Transliteration: Svyato mesto pusto ne byvayet.
    • Translation: A holy place is never empty.
    • English equivalent: Nature abhors a vacuum; The throne is never vacant
  • Седина́ в бо́роду, бес в ребро́.
    • Transliteration: Sedina v borodu, bes v rebro.
    • Translation: Grey hair into beard, devil into rib.
    • Meaning: When a man gets elderly, he often becomes a womanizer.
  • Се́меро одного́ не ждут.
    • Transliteration: Semero odnogo ne zhdut.
    • Translation: Seven [people] don't wait for one.
    • English equivalent: For one that is missing there's no spoiling a wedding.
    • Meaning: If you severely hinder others, don't be surprised when you get left behind.
  • Семь бед — оди́н отве́т.
    • Transliteration: Sem' bed — odin otvet.
    • Translation: Seven troubles - one responce.
    • English equivalent: As well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.
  • Семь вёрст до небе́с и всё ле́сом.
    • Transliteration: Sem' vyorst do nebes, i vcyo lesom.
    • Translation: Seven versts# to heaven, and all the way through the forest.
    • Meaning: A lot of fables or promises.
  • Семь раз отме́рь, оди́н отре́жь.
    • Transliteration: Sem' raz otmer', odin otrezh.
    • Translation: Measure seven times, cut once.
    • English equivalent: Measure thrice, cut once.
    • Howlett, Colin (1997). The Oxford Russian dictionary (2, revised ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 1252. 
  • Семь топоро́в вме́сте лежа́т, а две пря́лки врозь.
    • Transliteration: Sem toporov vmeste lezhat, a dve pryalki vroz.
    • Translation: Seven axes lie together, two distaffs apart
    • Meaning: Men tend to co-operate, but women - to compete.
  • С кем поведёшься, от того́ и наберёшься.
    • Transliteration: S kem povedyoshsya, ot togo i naberyoshsya.
    • Translation: [You'll] learn [(in a bad way)] from those [you] hang out with.
    • English equivalent: Those who sleep with dogs will rise with fleas; You are what your friends are.
    • Modern mockery: С кем поведёшься, с тем и наберёшься. (You'll get drunk with those you hang out with.)
    • Compare: С волка́ми жить, по-во́лчьи выть.
  • Ско́лько во́лка ни корми́, он всё в лес смо́трит.
    • Transliteration: Skol'ko volka ne kormi, on vsyo v les smotrit.
    • Translation: However [much/ well] you feed the wolf, he still looks at the woods.
    • English equivalent: A leopard can't change his stripes.
    • Compare: Горбатого могила исправит.
    • Mockery: Ско́лько во́лка не корми́, он всё жрёт и жрёт (However much you feed the wolf, he still eats and eats.)
  • Ско́ро ска́зка ска́зывается, да не ско́ро де́ло де́лается.
    • Transliteration: Skoro skazka skazyvayetsya, da ne skoro delo delaetsya.
    • Translations: A tale is told quickly, but the job is done slowly.
    • English equivalent: Talk is cheap.
  • Сла́вны бу́бны за гора́ми (а к нам приду́т, как луко́шко).
    • Transliteration: Slavny bubny za gorami, (a k nam pridut, kak lukoshko).
    • Translations: Tambourines are good when they are behind mountains (, and when they come to us, they become just like a basket)
    • Meaning: Don't believe in any story or promise.
  • Сло́во — се́ребро, молча́ние — зо́лото.
    • Transliteration: Slovo — serebro, molchaniye — zoloto.
    • Translation: Words are silver, silence is gold.
    • English equivalent: Talk is cheap, silence is golden.
  • С ми́ру по ни́тке — го́лому руба́ха.
    • Transliteration: S miru po nitke — golomu rubakha.
    • Translation: One thread from [everyone in] the world — [makes a] shirt for [the] naked.
    • English equivalent: Little things make a big difference.
    • Meaning: If many people will donate even a little bit each, it will make a huge difference for the recipient.
    • See also: Я́годка по я́годке - бу́дет кузово́к.
  • Соловья́ ба́снями не ко́рмят.
    • Transliteration: Solov'ya basnyami ne kormyat.
    • Translation: The nightingale can't be fed by fables.
    • English equivalent: Fine words butter no parsnips.
    • Offord, Derek (1996). Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 156. ISBN 0521457602. 
  • Сня́вши го́лову, по волоса́м не пла́чут.
    • Transliteration: Snyavshi golovu, po volosam ne plachut.
    • Translation: After taking off the head one doesn't (shouldn't) grieve over the hair.
    • English equivalent: What's done is done.
  • Соба́ка на се́не: и сама́ не ест, и други́м не даёт.
    • Transliteration: Sobaka na sene: i sama ne yest i drugim ne dayot.
    • Translation: A dog on hay will neither eat it himself, nor let others eat it.
    • English equivalent: A dog in the manger.
  • Соро́ка на хвосте́ принесла́.
    • Transliteraton: Soroka na khvoste prinesla.
    • Translation: A magpie brought it on its tail.
    • English equivalent: A little bird told me.
  • Ста́рость - не ра́дость.
    • Transliteration: Starost' - ne radost'.
    • Translation: Old age is no fun.
    • Modern mockery: Старость не радость, маразм не оргазм (Old age is no fun, marasmus is not orgasm)
    • English equivalent: An old ape has an old eye; Old age, boy, is no joy.
  • Ста́рый друг лу́чше но́вых двух.
    • Transliteration: Staryy drug luchshe novykh dvukh.
    • Translation: An old friend is better than two new ones.
    • Compare: За одного́ би́того двух неби́тых даю́т.
  • Суженого конем не объедешь
    • Transliteration: Suzhenogo konyom ne ob"edyesh.
    • Translation: You can't escape your fate [even] with a horse.
    • Meaning: You can't change your fate.
  • Сы́тый голо́дного не разуме́ет: одному́ суп жи́дкий, друго́му - же́мчуг ме́лкий.
    • Transliteration: Sytyy golodnogo ne razumeyet: odnomy sup zhidkiy, drugomu - zhemchug melkiy.
    • Translation: The sated one doesn't understand the hungry one: for one the soup is too thin, for the other - the pearls are too small.
    • English equivalent: He that is warm thinks all so.

Т[edit]

  • Там хорошо́, где нас нет.
    • Transliteration: Tam khorosho, gde nas net.
    • Translation: It's good there, where we are not.
    • English equivalent: On the other side grass is greener.
  • Твои́ми бы уста́ми да мёд пить.
    • Transliteration: Tvoimi by ustami da myod pit'.
    • Translation: [I'd like to] drink honey with your lips.
    • Meaning: The way you describe it, this story/plan/thing sounds too good to be true.
    • Compare: Гла́дко бы́ло на бума́ге, да забы́ли про овра́ги(, а по ним шага́ть).
  • Терпе́ние и труд всё перетру́т.
    • Transliteration: Terpeniye i trud vsyo peretrut.
    • Translation: Patience and work will fray through anything.
    • Compare: Я́годка по я́годке - бу́дет кузово́к.; Исподво́ль и ольху́ согнёшь.
    • English equivalent: Time works wonders; He that can have patience can have what he wants.
    • See also: Ти́ше е́дешь — да́льше бу́дешь.
  • Терпи́, каза́к, атама́ном бу́дешь.
  • Ти́ше е́дешь — да́льше бу́дешь.
    • Transliteration: Tishe yedesh — dal'she budesh.
    • Translation: Ride slower — [you'll] get further.
    • Meaning: You will accomplish more if you do things methodically. — Also: Don't rush things.
    • Compare: Я́годка по я́годке - бу́дет кузово́к.; Исподво́ль и ольху́ согнёшь.
    • See also: Терпе́ние и труд всё перетру́т.
    • English equivalent: Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Тону́л – топо́р сули́л, а как вы́тащили – и топори́ща жаль (ста́ло).
    • Transliteration: Tonul - topor sulil, a kak vytschili - i toporoscha zhal' (stalo).
    • Translation: While [he] was sinking, [he] promised [me] an axe [if I save him], but when pulled [ashore], [he] begrudged even an axe handle.
    • Meaning: People often don't keep their promises.
    • See also: Угово́р доро́же де́нег.
  • Труд челове́ка ко́рмит, а лень — по́ртит.
    • Transliteration: Trud cheloveka kormit, a len' — portit.
    • Translation: A job feeds a man, laziness spoils him.
  • Ты бли́же к де́лу, а он про козу́ бе́лу.
    • Transliteration: Ty blizhe k delu, a on pro kozu belu.
    • Translation: You get on with business, though he [keeps telling you] about a white goat.
    • Meaning: Stop beating around the bush.

У[edit]

  • Убы́ток — уму́ прибы́ток.
    • Translitertion: Ubytok — umu pribytok.
    • Translation: A loss is a gain for the mind.
    • Meaning: Experience is worth it.
    • English equivalent: Winning is earning, losing is learning., Sadder but wiser
  • У ба́бы во́лос до́лог, да ум ко́роток.
    • Translitertion: U baby volos dolog, da um korotok.
    • Translation: A woman's hair is long, and her mind short.
  • У стрáха глазá велики́.
    • Translation: Fear has big eyes.
    • ** Жуков, В. П.; Жуков, Влас Платонович (1993). Slovarʹ russkikh poslovit︠s︡ i pogovorok. Русский язык. p. 174. ISBN 5200022371. 
  • Угово́р доро́же де́нег.
    • Translitertion: Ugovor dorozhe deneg.
    • Translation: The agreement(contract) costs more than money.
    • Meaning: You must keep your word, even if doing so costs you money.
    • Compare: Не да́вши сло́ва — крепи́сь, а да́вши — держи́сь.
    • English equivalent: A bargain is a bargain.
  • Уката́ли Си́вку круты́е го́рки.
    • Transliteration: Ukatali Sivku krutyye gorki.
    • Translation: Steep hills exhausted Sivka (ash-grey horse).
  • Укоро́тишь – не воро́тишь.
    • Transliteration: Ukorotish - ne vorotish.
    • Translations: If you cut [it], you won't get it back.
  • Ули́та е́дет, когда́-то бу́дет.
    • Translitertion: Ulita yedet, kogda-to budet.
    • Translation: The snail is coming, who knows when it arrives.
    • Compare: Когда рак на горе свистнет. Обещанного три года ждут.
  • У́мная голова́, да дураку́ доста́лась.
    • Transliteration: Umnaya golova, da duraku dostalas'.
    • Translation: A clever head, but given to foolishness.
  • У́мные ре́чи прия́тно и слу́шать.
    • Transliteration: Umnyye rechi priyatno i slushat'.
    • Translation: A clever speech (speaker) is pleasant to listen to.
  • У семи́ ня́нек дитя́ без гла́зу.
    • Transliteration: U semi nyanek ditya bez glazu.
    • Translation: Seven nannies make a kid not looked after.
    • Meaning: If too many people are working on the same project, everybody will expect that another one will do the actual job.
    • English equivalent: Everybody's business is nobody's business.
  • Ус в честь, а борода́ и у козла́ есть.
    • Transliteration: Us v chest' a boroda i u kozla yest'
    • Translation: Moustaches are respected, and beards worn even by goats.
    • English equivalent: If the beard were all, the goat might preach.
  • Услу́жливый дура́к опа́снее врага́.
    • Transliteration: Usluzhlivyy durak opasnee vraga.
    • Translation: Complacent fool harms worse than enemy.
    • English equivalent: A foolish friend is like an open enemy.
  • Уста́ми младе́нца глаго́лет и́стина.
    • Transliteration: Ustami mladentsa glagolet istina.
    • Translation: Truth is spoken from the toddler's mouth; From the mouth of babes
    • English equivalent: Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings come great truth.
    • Meaning: "Children often make suprisingly pertinent remarks or profound observations by accident."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
  • У стра́ха глаза́ велики́.
    • Transliteration: U strakha glaza veliki.
    • Translation: Fear has large eyes.
    • Meaning: People tend to overestimate the danger when scared.
    • Compare: Не так стра́шен чёрт, как его́ малю́ют; Глаза́ боя́тся, а ру́ки де́лают
  • Утопа́ющий за соло́минку хвата́ется.
    • Transliteration: Utopayuschiy i za solominku khvatayetsya.
    • Translation: A drowning man grabs even a straw.
    • English equivalent: A drowning man will cling to a straw.
  • У́тро ве́чера мудрене́е.
    • Transliteration: Utro vechera mudreneye.
    • Translation: Morning is wiser than the evening.
    • Meaning: One should make important decisions in the morning (i.e. after getting some sleep/rest) rather than in the evening.
    • English equivalent: I need to sleep on it.
  • Уче́нье свет, а неуче́нье тьма.
    • Transliteration: Uchen'ye cvet, a neuchen'ye t'ma.
    • Translation: Studying is light; not studying is darkness.
    • English equivalent: Knowledge is power.
    • Variations: "Ученье свет, а неученых тьма." (Studying is light; there are many people who don't study. It's a play on the word тьма which can mean "many" or "darkness.")

Ф[edit]

Х[edit]

  • Хвали́лся чёрт всем ми́ром владе́ть, а Бог ему́ и над свиньёй не дал вла́сти.
  • Хва́стать – не коси́ть, спина́ не боли́т.
    • Transliteration: Khvastat' - ne kosit', spina ne bolit.
    • Translation: Bragging is unlike mowing; it won't make your back ache.
    • Meaning: Bragging is one thing; doing the job is another.
  • Хлеб всему́ голова́.
    • Transliteration: Khleb vsemu golova.
    • Translation: Bread is the head of everything.
    • English equivalent: Bread is the staff of life.
  • Хлеб-соль ешь, а правду-матку режь.
    • Transliteration: Khleb-sol' yesh, a pravdu-matku rezh.
    • Translations: Eat bread and salt, cut the mother truth
    • Meaning: Tell truth in any circumstances
  • Хоро́ший това́р сам себя́ хва́лит.
    • Translitertion: Khoroshiy tovar sam sebya khvalit.
    • Translation: Quality goods advertise themselves.
  • Хорошо тому жить, кому бабушка ворожит.
    • Transliteration: Khorosho tomu zhit', komu babushka vorozhit.
    • Translation: The person whose Grandma tells fortunes is happy.
  • Хоть гол, да прав.
    • Transliteration: Khot' gol, da prav.
    • Translation: Naked, but right
  • Хоть есть не́чего, да жить ве́село.
    • Transliteration: Khot' yest' nechego, da zhit' veselo.
    • Translation: Although there's nothing to eat, life is fun.
  • Хоть кол (ему́) на голове́ теши́.
    • Transliteration: Khot' kol (yemu) na golove teshi.
    • Translation: [You could] even chop sticks on (his) head.
    • English equivalent: He is so pig-headed; Stubborn as a mule.

Ц[edit]

  • Цыпля́т по о́сени счита́ют.
    • Transliteration: Tsiplyat po oseni schitayut.
    • Translation: One [should] count chicks in autumn.
    • English equivalent: Don't count your chickens before they hatched.

Ч[edit]

  • Челове́к предполага́ет, а Бог располага́ет.
    • Transliteration: Chelovek predpolagayet, a Bog raspolagayet.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, God disposes.
    • "Plans are insulted destinies. I don't have plans, I only have goals."
    • Ash Chandler, Freudian Slip, Mumbai Mirror Buzz, April 2006.
    • V. P. Zhukov (1991). Словарь русских пословиц и поговорок. "Русский язык". p. 468. 
  • Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, ли́шь бы не пла́кало.
    • Transliteration: Chem by ditya ni teshilos', lish by ne plakalo.
    • Translation: It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as [he] doesn't cry.
    • Modern mockery: Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы не вешалось (It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as [he] doesn't hang himself.); Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы в рот не брало (It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as it's not with oral sex.); Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы по обоюдному согласию (It doesn't matter what (whom) the kid plays with as long as it's upon mutual agreement.); Чем бы дит́я ни те́шилось, лишь бы не руками. (It doesn't matter what the kid plays with as long as it's not with [his] hand.).
  • Чем да́льше в лес, тем бо́льше дров.
    • Transliteration: Chem dal'she v les, tem bol'she drov.
    • Translation: The further into the woods, the more firewood [you'll encounter].
    • Meaning: The further you get into something, the greater gain you might expect (or the more obstacles you will encounter).
    • Modern mockery: Чем да́льше в лес, тем толще партизаны; Чем да́льше в лес, тем бли́же вы́лез (wordplay on similarly sounding "в лес"/"влез").
  • Чему́ быть, того́ не минова́ть.
    • Transliteration: Chemu byt', tomu ne minovat'.
    • Translation: Fate can't be avoided.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, God disposes.
    • "Plans are insulted destinies. I don't have plans, I only have goals."
    • Ash Chandler, Freudian Slip, Mumbai Mirror Buzz, April 2006.
    • Владимир Иванович Даль (1862). Пословицы русского народа. Изд. Императорскаго общества исторіи и древностей россійских при Московском университетѣ. p. 26. 
  • Что (ни) го́род, то но́ров.
    • Transliteration: Chto (ni) gorod, to norov.
    • Translation: Another city (town) - another temper.
    • Meaming: People are different.
  • Что име́ем — не храни́м, потеря́вши — пла́чем.
    • Transliteration: Chto imeyem — ne khranim, poteryabshi — plachem.
    • Translation: What we own, we don't [safe]keep [properly]; when [we] lose [it], [we] cry.
    • English equivalent: You never miss the water till the well runs dry.
  • Что с во́зу упа́ло, то пропа́ло.
    • Transliteration: Chto s vozu upalo, to propalo.
    • Translation: What fell off the cart is [as good as] gone.
    • Meaning: If you have lost (left behind/forgotten) something, expect to never see it again.
  • Чужа́я душа́ – потёмки.
    • Transliteration: Chuzhaya dusha - potyomki.
    • Translation: Another person's soul is [in] darkness.
    • Meaning: You can't know for sure what people think.
  • Чужу́ю беду́ рука́ми разведу́, а к свое́й ума́ не приложу́.
    • Transliteration: Chuzhuyu bedu rukami razvedyu, a k svoyey uma ne prilozhu.
    • Translation: [I can] push others' problem away with my hands, but can't put my [own] mind to my own problem.
    • Meaning: All problems seem to be easy to solve, unless they're your own.

Ш[edit]

Щ[edit]

Э[edit]

Ю[edit]

Я[edit]

  • Я́блоко от я́блони недалеко́ па́дает.
    • Transliteration: Yabloko ot yabloni nedaleko padayet.
    • Translation: The apple falls not so far away from the apple-tree.
    • Meaning: A person is in many regards like his parents.
    • English equivalent: Like father like son; The apple doesn't 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. 
  • Язы́к до Кие́ва доведёт.
    • Transliteration: 'Yazyk do Kieva dovedjot.
    • Translation: Your tongue will take you as far as Kiev.
    • Closest English equivalent: The only stupid question is the one not asked.
    • Meaning: If you want to know something, ask the people for it.
    • Offord, Derek (1996). Using Russian: A Guide to Contemporary Usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. ISBN 0521457602. 
  • Я́йца ку́рицу не у́чат.
    • Transliteration: Yaytsa kuritsu ne uchat.
    • Literally: Eggs don't teach a hen.
    • Meaning: Do not give advice to somebody more experienced than you.
    • English equivalent: Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
    • Modern mockery: Не учи папу трахаться. (Don't teach your own Dad how to make sex.)
  • Я не я, и ло́шадь не моя́ (, и я не изво́зчик).
    • Transliteration: Ya ne ya, i loshad' ne moya (, i ya ne izvozchik) .
    • Translation: I'm not me, and [this] horse isn't mine (, and I'm not a cabman)
    • Meaning: I'm denying your accusations. — Also (used in "O RLY" fashion): What you're telling me, contradicts obvious facts; You must be lying.
    • Compare: Мели́, Еме́ля — твоя́ неде́ля.

Cold War[edit]

  • Доверя́й, но проверя́й.
    • Transliteration: Doveryay, no proveryay.
    • Translation: 'Trust, but verify.'
    • See also: Обже́гшись на молоке́, ду́ют на́ воду.

President Ronald Reagan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify

See also[edit]

External links[edit]