Talk:Welsh proverbs

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  • "A fo ben, bid bont."
    • Translation: "If you want to be a leader, be a bridge."
      • Possible Interpretation: To become a leader, you must help others achieve their aims. Or - To be a leader, you must mediate.
        • It means, to be a leader you have to eliminate obstacles for other people.
      • "To be a leader you must be a bridge" Means that you must bring people together with like mindedness and a common goal. Sheldon K. Bass
      • The Second Branch of the medieval text Mabinogi gives a (legendary) origin for this proverb, wherein a gigantic king lies down across a river so that his army can cross on his back; the text then explicitly claims that this incident is the origin of the phrase. "Bendigeid Vran came to land, and the fleet with him by the bank of the river. 'Lord,' said his chieftains, 'knowest thou the nature of this river, that nothing can go across it, and there is no bridge over it?' 'What,' said they, 'is thy counsel concerning a bridge?' 'There is none,' said he, 'except that he who will be chief, let him be a bridge. I will be so,' said he. And then was that saying first uttered, and it is still used as a proverb. And when he had lain down across the river, hurdles were placed upon him, and the host passed over thereby." (Lady Charlotte Guest's public domain translation) The incident is of course fictional, but that tells us that at least in the mind of the writer, the proverb was about overcoming obstacles.
  • "Allwedd arian a egyr bob clo."
    • Translation: "Money is the key that opens all locks."
      • Possible equivalent: "Money makes the world go round."
  • "Am gwymp hen y chwardd ieuanc."
    • Translation: "The young laugh when the old fall."
  • "Angel pen ffordd, diawl pen tân."
    • Translation: "An Angel on the road, a Devil at the fireplace."
      • Meaning: "Charming to outsiders, a devil in the home" or "Two-faced".


  • "Bai ar wrach dorri ei chlun."
    • Translation: "Breaking her hip is the old witches fault."
  • "Bûm gall unwaith - hynny oedd, llefain pan ym ganed."
    • Translation: "I was wise once: when I was born I cried."


  • "Caiff dyn dysg o'i grud i'w fedd."
    • Translation: "Man learns from the cradle to the grave."
  • "Canu cyn borefwyd, crio cyn swper."
    • Translation: "To sing before breakfast is to weep before supper."
  • "Cartref yw cartref, er tloted y bo."
    • Translation: "Home is home, however poor it may be."
  • "Cenedl heb iaith yw cenedl heb galon."
    • Translation: "A nation without a language is a nation without a heart."
  • "Cof a llithr, llythyrau a geidw."
    • Translation: "Memory slips, letters remain."
  • "Cyntaf i'r felin caiff falu."
    • Translation: "First to the mill will get to grind."
    • English equivalent: "First come, first served" or "The early bird catches the worm."
  • "Cyw a fegir yn uffern, yn uffern y myn fod."
    • Translation: "A chick reared in hell will want to remain in hell."


  • "Chwarae troi'n chwerw, wrth chwarae gyda thân."
    • Translation: "Playing with fire will eventually turn bitter."


  • "Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau."
    • Translation: "Starting the work is two thirds of it."
      • Possible equivalent: "Sooner started, sooner finished"
  • "Digrif gan bob aderyn ei lais ei hun."
    • Translation: "Every bird relishes his own voice."
  • "Diwedd y gân yw'r geiniog."
    • Translation: "At the end of the song comes payment."
  • "Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg."
    • Translation: "Persistent blows shatter the stone."
      • Meaning : "Perseverance pays in the end."
  • "Dywed yn dda am dy gyfaill, am dy elyn dywed ddim."
    • Translation: "Speak well of your friend; of your enemy say nothing."



  • "Eang yw'r byd i bawb."
    • Translation: "The world is wide to everyone."


  • "Fel iâr ar ben domen."
    • Translation: "Like a hen on a heap."


  • "Ffôl pawb ar brydiau."
    • Translation: "Everybody is foolish at times."


  • "Gall pechod mawr ddyfod trwy ddrws bychan."
    • Translation: "A great sin can enter by a small door."
  • "Gorau adnabod, d'adnabod dy hun."
    • Translation: "The best knowledge is to know yourself."
  • "Gorau prinder, prinder geiriau."
    • Translation: "The best shortage is a shortage of words."
  • "Gormod o bwdin dagith gi."
    • Translation: "Too much pudding will choke a dog."
      • Possible equivalent: "Curiosity killed the cat."
  • "Gwell dysg na golud."
    • Translation: "Better educated than wealthy."
  • "Gwell fy mwthyn fy hun na phlas arall."
    • Translation: "Better my own cottage than the palace of another."
  • "Gwell swllt da na sofren ddrwg."
    • Translation: "Better a good shilling than a dud sovereign."
  • "Gwna dda dros ddrwg, uffern ni'th ddwg."
    • Translation: "Repay evil with good, and hell will not claim you."
  • "Gŵr heb bwyll, llong heb angor."
    • Translation: "A man without prudence is a ship without an anchor."



  • "Hawdd yw hi i fod yn ddewr o'r tu ôl i fur."
    • Translation: "It is easy to be brave behind a wall."
  • "Haws twyllo baban na gwrachen."
    • Translation: "A boy is easier cheated than a witch."
  • "Heb ddwr, heb ddim."
    • Translation: "Water is everything."
      • Meaning: "You need water to survive."
  • "Heb ei fai, heb ei eni."
    • Translation: "He who has no faults is not born."
      • Eniglishy equivalent: "Nobody's perfect"
  • "Hedyn pob drwg yw diogi."
    • Translation: "The seed of all evil is laziness."
  • "Henaint ni ddaw ei hunan."
    • Translation: "Old age comes not on its own."
  • "Hen y teimlir ergydion a gaed yn ifanc."
    • Translation: "The old feel the blows that were acquired when younger."
  • "Hir yw pob ymaros."
    • Translation: "All waiting is long."
      • English equivalent: "A watched pot never boils."



  • "Llaeth i blentyn, cig i ŵr, cwrw i'r hen."
    • Translation: "Milk for a child, meat for a man, beer for the old."


  • "Mae'r hwch wedi mynd drwy'r siop."
    • Translation: "The sow has gone through the shop."
      • Meaning: "They have gone bankrupt."
  • "Meistr pob gwaith yw ymarfer."
    • Translation: "The master of all work is practice."
  • Menyn hir, menyn drwg.
    • Long butter, bad butter
      • The longer it takes to agree a bargain, the worse the bargain. (Sir Fon,ymgylch 1965)
  • " 'Mor ddrud â phupur.'"
    • As dear as pepper.
      • Expensive.(pepper formerly being almost unaffordable to country folk)(Sir Fon,ymgylch 1965)


  • "Nâd fi'n angof."
    • Translation: "Forget me not."
  • "Nâd i'th dafod dorri dy wddf."
    • Translation: "Let not your tongue break your neck."
  • "Nerth gwlad, ei gwybodaeth."
    • Translation: "The strength of a nation is its knowledge."
  • "Nerth hen, ei gyngor parod."
    • Translation: "The strength of the old is their ready counsel."
  • "Ni cheir da o hir gysgu."
    • Translation: "No good comes of a long sleep."
  • "Nid ar rhedeg mae aredig."
    • Translation: "One should not run while ploughing."
  • "Ni edrych angau pwy decaf ei dalcen."
    • Translation: "Death considers not the fairest forehead."


  • "O bob trwm, trymaf henaint."
    • Translation: "Of all weights, old age is the heaviest."


  • "Pan fo llawer yn llywio fe sudda'r llong."
    • Translation: "When the steersmen are many the ship will sink."
      • English equivalent: "Too many cooks spoil the broth."
  • "Po callaf y dyn, anamlaf ei eiriau."
    • Translation: "The wiser the man, the fewer his words."
  • "Po hynaf fo'r dyn, gadwaethaf fydd ei bwyll."
    • Translation: "The older the man, the weaker his mind."




  • "Rhoi'r ffidil yn y to."
    • Translation: "Put the fiddle in the roof." - To give up


  • "Segurdod yw clod y cledd."
    • Translation: "A sword's honour (literally 'credit') is its idleness."


  • "Teg yw edrych tuag adref."
    • Translation: "It is good to look homewards."
      • Equivalent: "North, south, east, west - home's best."
  • "Tri chynnig i Gymro."
    • Translation: "Three attempts for a Welshman."
      • Equivalent: "Third time lucky."
  • "Tri chysur henaint: tân, te a thybaco."
    • Translation: "Three comforts of old age: fire, tea and tobacco."
  • "Troi'r dŵr at ei felin ei hun."
    • Translation: "Turning the water to his own mill."
      • Possible Interpretation: "Spoken of someone arranging something for his own benefit."
  • "Tyfid baban, ni thyf ei gadachau."
    • Translation: "The child will grow, his clothes will not."


U Un Wennol ni 'wna 'wanwyn.


  • "Wrth gicio a brathu, mae cariad yn magu."
    • Translation: "Whilst kicking and biting, love develops."


  • "Y cyntaf i'r felin gaiff falu."
    • Translation: "The first to the mill grinds."
      • English Equivalent: "First come, first served" or "The early bird catches the worm".
  • "Y mae dafad ddu ym mhob praidd."
    • Translation: "Every flock has its black sheep."
  • "Y mae mwy nag un ffordd i gael Wil i'w wely."
    • Translation: "There is more than one way to get Wil to bed."
      • English Equivalent: "There's more than one way to skin a cat"
  • "Y mae taten ddrwg ym mhob sach."
    • Translation: "There is a bad potato in every sack."
      • English Equivalent: "One bad apple spoils the barrel"
  • "Yr hen a ŵyr a'r ieuanc a dybia."
    • Translation: "The old one knows and the young suppose."