Sicilian Proverbs

Part 1: Sicilian Proverbs

Palermo: Vucciaria food market
Palermo: Vucciaria food market.
A paisi unni chi vai, comu vidi fari fai.
English translation: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

A un povir'omu, ogni cani cci abbaja.
English translation: Every dog barks at a poor man.

Accatta caru e vinni mircatu.
English translation: Buy good quality and sell at the market price.

Accatta di quattru e vinni d'ottu.
English translation: Buy at the cost of four and sell at the cost of eight.

Ammuccia lu latinu 'gnuranza di parrinu.


English translation: Latin hides the stupidity of the priest.

Aprili fa li ciuri e le biddizzi, l'onuri l'havi lu misi di maju.
English translation: April makes the flowers and the beauty, but May gets all the credit.

Batti lu ferru mentri è càudu.
English translation: Strike while the iron is hot.

Baj vonn'essiri li cavaddi, li scecchi surci e li muli mureddi.
English translation: Horses should be bays, jackasses should be greys, and mules should be blackish.

Burrasca furiusa prestu passa.
English translation: A furious storm passes quickly.

Cani abbaia e voi pasci.
English translation: Dogs bark and oxen graze.

Cani di pagghiaru abbaia e sta luntanu.
English translation: A useless watch dog barks but stays far away.

Cu fa assai e nun ci abbada, spenni assai e 'un cogghi biada.
English translation: If you invest a lot but don't maintain it, you won't even harvest enough to re-seed.

Cu' accatta abbisogna di cent'occhi; cu' vinni d'un sulu.
English translation: Buyer beware.

Cu' vigghia, la pigghia.
English translation: The early bird catches the worm.

Cui cerca, trova; cui sècuta, vinci.
English translation: Who seeks, finds; who perseveres, wins.

Cui multi cosi accumenza, nudda nni finisci.
English translation: Who starts many things, finishes nothing.

Cui nun voli pagari, s'assuggetta ad ogni pattu.


English translation: Who doesn't intend to pay, signs any contract.

Cui scerri cerca, scerri trova.
English translation: Who looks for a quarrel, finds a quarrel.

Cui si marita, sta cuntenti un jornu, Cu' ammazza un porcu, sta cuntenti un annu.
English translation: Who gets married will be happy for a day, who butchers a pig will be happy for a year.

Cui va 'n Palermu e 'un vidi Murriali, si nni parti sceccu e torna armali.
English translation: Whoever goes to Palermo and doesn't see Monreale, goes there a jackass and returns a fool.

Di guerra, caccia e amuri, pri un gustu milli duluri.
English translation: In war, hunting, and love you suffer a thousand pains for one pleasure.

È gran pazzia lu cuntrastari cu du' nun pô vinciri né appattari.
English translation: It's insane to oppose when you can neither win nor compromise.

Fidi sarva, no lignu di varca.
English translation: Faith is salvation, not the wood of a ship.

Frivareddu è curtuliddu, ma nun c'è cchiù tintu d'iddu.
English translation: February may be short but it's the worst month.

Giugnettu, lu frummentu sutta lu lettu.
English translation: In July, store the grain under the bed.

Jiri 'n celu ognunu vò; l'armu cc'è, li forzi no.
English translation: Everyone wants to go to heaven; the desire is there but the fortitude is not.

La scarsizza fa lu prezzu.
English translation: Scarcity sets the price.

Li ricchi cchiù chi nn'hannu, cchiù nni vonnu.
English translation: The more you have, the more you want.

Lignu vecchiu megghiu adduma ma cchiù prestu si cunsuma.
English translation: Old wood lights better but burns out quicker.

Lu medicu piatusu fa la chiaja virminusa.
English translation: Too compassionate the doctor, too inadequate the treatment.

Lu pintimentu lava lu piccatu.
English translation: Repentance washes away sin.

Lu Signiuruzzu li cosi, li fici dritti, vinni lu diavulu e li sturcìu.
English translation: God made things straight, the devil came and twisted them.

Mancia càudu e vivi friddu.
English translation: Eat warm and drink cold.

Mancia di sanu e vivi di malatu.
English translation: Eat with gusto but drink in moderation.

Megghiu oj l'ovu chi dumani la gaddina.
English translation: Better an egg today than the chicken tomorrow.

Megliu accordu màghiru ca sintenza grassa.
English translation: Better a lean accord than a hefty sentence.

Misi di maju, mèttiti 'n casa ligna e furmaggiu.
English translation: Use your time in May to stock up for winter.

Murriali, cità senza cunfortu, o chiovi o mina ventu o sona a mortu.
English translation: Monreale, a city without comfort, either it rains, or the wind blows, or bells toll for the dead.

Né tu letu né iu cunsulatu.
English translation: Neither you happy nor I consoled.

Non c'è megghiu sarsa di la fami.
English translation: Hunger is the best sauce.

'Ntra greci e greci nun si vinni abbraciu.
English translation: There's honor among thieves.

Nun mèttiri lu carru davanti li voi.
English translation: Don't put the cart before the horse.

Ogni mali nun veni pri nòciri.
English translation: Not every pain comes to harm you.

Ogghiu di 'n summa, vinu di 'mmenzu e meli di 'n funnu.
English translation: The choice oil is from the surface, the best wine is from the middle, and the best honey is from the bottom.

Omu dinarusu, omu pinsirusu.
English translation: A wealthy man is a pensive man.

Pasqua e Natali cu cu' vôi Carnalivari cu li toi.
English translation: Spend Easter and Christmas with whomever you want, but celebrate Mardi Gras with your own.

Petra disprizzata, cantunera di muro.
English translation: The rejected stone will become the cornerstone of the wall.

Pruvulazzu di jinnaru càrrica lu sularu.
English translation: A dry January means a filled hayloft.

Quannu amuri tuppulìa, 'un lu lassari 'nmenzu la via.
English translation: When love knocks, be sure to answer.

Quannu gatta nun c'è li surci abballanu.
English translation: When the cat's away the mice will play.

Riccu si pò diri cui campa cu lu so' aviri.
English translation: One who lives within his means can be said to be rich.

Si jinnaru 'un jinnaría, frivaru malu pensa.
English translation: If it isn't wintry in January then expect the worst in February.

Sìggiri prestamenti, pagari tardamenti; cu' sa qualchi accidenti, non si ni paga nenti.
English translation: Collect promptly, pay slowly; who knows, in case of an accident, you'll pay nothing.

Supra lu majuri si 'nsigna lu minuri.
English translation: We learn by standing on the shoulders of the wise.

Tinta dda vucca chi cci cadi lu primu denti!
English translation: Sore is the mouth that loses its first tooth.

Una bedda jurnata nun fa stati.
English translation: One beautiful day doesn't make a summer.

Unni cc'è focu, pri lu fumu pari.
English translation: Where there's smoke, there's fire.

Unni cc'è oru, cc'è stolu.
English translation: Gold attracts a crowd.

Vali cchiù un tistimonìu di visu, chi centu d'oricchia.
English translation: The testimony of one eyewitness is worth more than the hearsay of a hundred.

Vecchiu 'nnamuratu, di tutti è trizziatu.
English translation: When an old man falls in love he is teased by everyone.

Vutu nun sidisfattu è comu nun s'avissi fattu.
English translation: An unfullfilled vow is as if it had not been made.

Zicchi e dinari su' forti a scippari.
English translation: Ticks and money are difficult to pluck out.

Zoccu è datu da Diu, nun pò mancari.
English translation: What is given by God, can't be lacking.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Filippo, Michael San. "Sicilian Proverbs." ThoughtCo, Feb. 26, 2016, thoughtco.com/sicilian-proverbs-2011649. Filippo, Michael San. (2016, February 26). Sicilian Proverbs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/sicilian-proverbs-2011649 Filippo, Michael San. "Sicilian Proverbs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/sicilian-proverbs-2011649 (accessed November 17, 2017).