Last modified on 10 October 2014, at 10:51

German proverbs

Proverbs from all German speaking areas in the world.

AEdit

  • Allein ist besser als mit Schlechten im Verein: mit Guten im Verein, ist besser als allein.
    • English equivalent: Better be alone than in bad company.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 572. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aller guten Dinge sind drei.
    • English equivalent: All good things come in threes.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Alles ist seinen Preis wert.
    • English equivalent: Everything is worth its price.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 800. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Alles zu seiner Zeit.
    • 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.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 29. 
  • Alte Füchse gehen schwer in die Falle.
    • English equivalent: An old fox understands a trap.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Prodverbs. Routledge. p. 42. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Am vielen Lachen erkennt man den Narren.
    • English equivalent: A fool is ever laughing.
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). "137". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • An den Früchten erkennt man den Baum.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 488. ISBN 0415096243. 
    • Source for 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. 
  • Andere Länder, andere Sitten.
    • English equivalent: So many countries, so many customs.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 218. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Arzt, hilf dir selber!
  • Außerordentliche Übel erfordern außerordentliche Mittel.
    • English equivalent: Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies.
    • "Drastic action is called for – and justified – when you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). "812". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 552. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
  • Auch der kleinste Feind ist nicht zu verachten.
    • English equivalent: There is no little enemy.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 718. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Auf einen großen Klotz gehört ein großer Keil.'’
    • English equivalent: You must meet roughness with roughness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn.
    • English equivalent: Out of sight, out of mind
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Aus einem Stein ist schwer Öl pressen.
    • English equivalent: You can't milk a bull.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1040. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aus Schaden wird man klug.
    • English equivalent: Adversity is the mother of wisdom.
    • "Most of us seldom take the trouble to think. Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think."
    • Jawaharlal Nehru The Unity of India : Collected Writings, 1937-1940 (1942), p. 94
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 225. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Aufgewärmter Kohl war niemals gut.
    • English equivalent: Take heed of enemies reconciled and of meat twice boiled.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Aufschub bringt Gefahr.
    • English equivalent: Delays are dangerous.
    • "Hesitation or procastination may lead to trouble or disaster."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 58. 

BEdit

  • Bald reif hält nicht steif.
    • English equivalent: Early ripe, early rotten.
    • "Precocious talent or premature succes is often shortlived."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 758. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bedenke das Ende.
    • English equivalent: Whatever you do, act wisely, and consider the end.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 600. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Bedenke, dass du sterben musst.
    • Translation: Remember that you are going to die.
    • Latin equivalent: Memento mori.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1151. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Behüte mich Gott vor meinen Freunden, mit den Feinden will ich schon fertig werden.
    • Translation: God preserve me from my friends, I can deal with my enemies.
    • English equivalent: A man's worst enemies are often those of his own house.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Berühre nicht alte Wunden.
  • Besser allein als in schlechter Gesellschaft.
    • Translation: It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.
    • English equivalent: It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Besser arm in Ehren als reich in Schanden
    • Translation: Better poor and respected than rich and despised.
    • English equivalent: A good name is the best of all treasures.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Besser spät als nie.
    • Translation: Better late than never.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Beispiele tun oft mehr als viel Wort' und Lehr'.
    • Translation: Examples often do much more than words and teachers
    • English equivalent: Precepts teach, but examples move.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Beiß nicht in die Hand, die dich füttert.
    • Translation: Do not bite into the hand that feeds you.
    • Dick, René (2010). Sprichwörter zumMitnehmen. BoD – Books on Demand. pp. 40. ISBN 3839171369. 
  • Bellende Hunde beißen nicht.
    • Translation: Barking dogs don't bite.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
    • "People who make the most or the loudest threats are the least likely to take action."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 20 June 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • ‘’Beurtheile nicht jeden nach deinem eigen Mass.’’
    • English equivalent: Do not judge others by your own yardstick.
    • "l often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason fish prefer worms."
    • Dale Carnegie, How to win friends and influence people (1933)
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 22. 
  • Besser ein Spatz in der Hand, als eine Taube auf dem Dach.
    • Translation: A sparrow in the hand is better than a pigeon on the roof.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • "Something you have for certain now is of more value than something better you may get, especially if you risk losing what you have in order to get it."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 29 July 2013. 
    • Kazimiera, Myczko (2010). Reflexion als Schlüsselphänomen der gegenwärtigen Fremdsprachendidaktik. Peter Lang. p. 25. ISBN 3631612133. 
  • Blut ist dicker als Wasser
    • Translation: Blood is thicker than water.
    • Origin: Kaiser Wilhelm II. to the British and Americans
    • "In case of need relatives usually help each other more than strangers. The bonds of relationship are more binding than other bonds."
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "X". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 233. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Blödes Herz buhlt keine schöne Frau.
    • English equivalent: Faint heart never won fair lady.
    • "Our lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from our lack of confidence."
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium (65)
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 30. 
  • Böses mit Gutem vergelten.
    • Translation: Return good for evil.
    • English equivalent: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    • Make something good out of bad things that has happened to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243. 

DEdit

  • Das Auge sieht weit, der Verstand noch weiter.
    • English equivalent: The eye looks but it is the mind that sees.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1175. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Das beste Kommt selten hernach.
    • English equivalent: Bad is the best choice.
    • "I always search good in bad. l also search bad in good."
    • Vennu Malesh, It's My Life (2012)
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 17. 
  • Das Billige ist immer das Teuerste.
    • Translation: What is cheap is always the most costly.
    • English equivalent: If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Das böse Gewissen verrät sich selbst.
    • English equivalent: A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
    • "People who know they have done wrong reveal their guilt by the things they say or the way they interpret what other people say."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "243". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Das Eisen schmieden, solange es heiß ist.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Das Glück hilft dem Kühnen.
    • Translation: Luck helps the audacious.
    • English equivalent: Fortune favours the bold.
    • "Those who act boldly or courageously are most likely to succeed."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Das Herz leugt nicht.
    • English equivalent: The heart sees farther than the head.
    • "Trust your instincts."
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, How She Broke the Seinfeld Curse, Redbook Magazine (2010)
  • Das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten.
    • Translation: To throw out the child with the bath water.
    • English equivalent: Don't throw out the child with the bath water.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Das Pferd stirbt oft, ehe das Gras wächst.
    • English equivalent: While the grass grows the steed starves.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1228. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Das Weib ist des Mannes größtes Glück oder Unglück.
    • English equivalent: Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye; A man's best fortune or his worst is a wife.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 65. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Das Word verhallt, die Schrift bleibt.
    • English equivalent: Paper is forbearing.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1160. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Deine Wäsche wasche zu Hause.
    • Translation: Wash your laundry at home.
    • English equivalent: It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest; Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
    • "Why wantonly proclaim one's own disgrace, or expose the faults or weaknesses of one's kindred or people?"
    • Second meaning: "It is considered contemptible to defy the rule of solidarity by revealing facts harmful to the group one belongs to."
    • Source for first meaning: Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 109. 
    • Source for second meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "106". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 466. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 702. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Der Geizige ist keinem gut, ihm selbst der Ärgste.
    • English equivalent: The covetous man is good to none and worst to himself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 83. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Der Stärkere hat immer Recht.
    • English equivalent: Might is always right.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Der Ton macht die Musik.
    • English equivalent: It is not what you do, but the way that you do it; Halls don't grace men, it's men that grace halls.
    • "Everybody wants something, but they don't know how to ask for it."
    • Tony Gayon, Murder by Numbers (2002)
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). "1341". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 802. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Die Arznei ist oft ärger als das Übel.
    • English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it off the mouse.
    • "Action taken to put something right is often more unpleasant or damaging than the original problem."
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. entry 646. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Die besten Schwimmer ertrinken.
    • English equivalent: Take heed if you find what you do not seek.
    • "You'd be surprised by the number of people who keep putting more work into something even though their results stay the same. Make sure you are not only increasing your knowledge but also your results."
    • Strauss, Niel Rules of the Game 2007
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Die beste Verteidigung ist der Angriff.
    • Translation: Attack is the best form of defence.
    • English equivalent: The best defence is a good offense.
    • "You are more likely to win if you take the initiative and make an attack rather than preparing to defend yourself."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 30 June 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 518. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Die Ochsen hinter dem Wagen spannen.
    • Translation: To tighten the ox behind the cart.
    • English equivalent: Don't put the cart before the horse.
    • "It is important to do things in the right or natural order."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 18 August 2013. 
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 106. 
  • Dem Trinker kommt der Durst.
    • Translation: Thirst comes to the drinker.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 771. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm.
    • Translation and English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents.", or: "Children can be similar, if not identical, to their parents in many aspects"
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Der Ertrinkende greift nach einem Strohhalm.
    • Translation and English equivalent: A drowning man reaches for a straw.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der Horcher an der Wand hört seine eigene Schand.
    • Translation: The Listener at the wall hears his own shame.
    • English equivalent: Eavesdroppers hear no good of themselves.
    • "People who eavesdrop on the conversations of others risk hearing unfavorable comments about themselves; used as a warning or reprimand."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "250". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Der Hund bellt und die Karawane geht vorüber.
    • Translation: The dogs bark and the caravan moves on.
    • Let the world say what it will.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der liebe Gott ist immer mit den stärksten Bataillonen.
    • Translation: Our beloved God is always with the strongest batallions.
    • English equivalent: God is on the side of the strongest batallions.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 871. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Der gerade Weg ist der beste.
    • Translation: The straight path is the best one.
    • Straightforward approach is the best approach.", recommending to abstain from tricks, lies and the like, for such are not only unethical, but would even aggravate achieving one's goal.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der Schuster hat die schlechtesten Schuhe.
    • Translation: The cobbler has the worst shoes.
    • English equivalent: The shoemaker goes barefoot.
    • "Working hard for others one may neglect one's own needs or the needs of those closest to him."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 65. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 661. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Der Weg zur Hölle ist mit guten Vorsätzen gepflastert.
    • Translation: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der muss einen langen Löffel haben, der mit dem Teufel essen will.
    • Translation: He who eats with the devil must have a long spoon.
    • English equivalent: He who sups with the devil needs a long spoon.
    • Someone who treats others badly will eventually turn on you.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 920. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der Mensch denkt, Gott lenkt.
    • Translation: Man thinks, God governs.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes but God disposes.
    • Things often don't turn out as you would have planned.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 103. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der Schein trügt.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Appearances deceive.
    • Things are not always as they look like.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Des Menschen Wille ist sein Himmelreich.
    • Translation: Man's will is his kingdom of heaven.
    • English equivalent: His own desire leads every man.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Doppelt genählt hält besser.
    • Translation: Double stiched keeps better.
    • English equivalent: Good riding at two anchors, men have told, for if the one fails, the other may hold.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Du siehst den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.
    • Translation: You fail to see the forest because of all the trees.
    • Said when somebody fails to see the obvious solution to a problem.
    • Equivalent: You can't see the wood for the trees.
    • Equivalent: You can't see the forest for the trees.
    • You only see the details, but not the big picture.
    • Tolksdorf, Frederika (1998). Der Verrat der Schwester. epubli. p. 76. ISBN 3844210342. 
  • Den Teufel nicht an die Wand malen.
    • Translation: Not to paint the devil on the wall.
    • Don't assume something will go wrong when it is not certain.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Der Eider dünket seine Ente ein Falk.
    • English equivalent: Every man thinks his own geese swans.
    • "This proverb imitates that an inbred Philauty runs through the whole Race of Flefh and Blood. It blinds the Underftanding, perverts the Judgment and depraves the Reafon of the Diftinguishers of Truth and Falfity."
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 42. 
  • Die Ersten werden die Letzten sein.
    • Translation: The first will be last.
    • English equivalent: The last will be first, and the first last.
    • Those who are humble will be rewarded, and those who are arrogant will be humbled; Humbleness is a virtue, pride is a sin.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1085. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Die großen Fische fressen die kleinen.
    • Translation: The big fish eat the small ones
    • English equivalent: Men are like fish; the great ones devour the small.
    • "Small organizations or insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater and more powerful."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 1 July 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1086. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Die Ratten verlassen das sinkende Schiff.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Rats desert a sinking ship.
    • A leader or organization in trouble will quickly be abandoned.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Draußen hat man hundert Augen, daheim kaum eins.
    • Translation: Outside one has a hundred eyes, at home, hardly one.
    • English equivalent: Forget other faults remembering your own; Forgive and forget.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Durch Völlerei kommen mehr um denn durchs Schwert
    • Translation: More die from gluttony than by the sword.
    • English equivalent: Gluttony kills more than the sword.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243. 

EEdit

  • Ein Feind ist zuviel, und hundert Freunde nicht genug.
    • English equivalent: Do not think that one enemy is insignificant, or that a thousand friends are too many.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 718. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ein gewiß[sic, Gewiss] ist better als zehn Unghewiß[sic, Ungewiss].
    • One certainty is better than ten uncertainties.
    • English equivalent: He that leave a certainity and sticks to chance, when fools pipe he may dance.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 638. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ein Heute ist besser denn zehn Morgen.
    • One today is better than ten tomorrow.
    • English equivalent: One today is worth two tomorrows.
    • "Compared with larger competitors, small companies are more capable of making quick, sweeping changes. Big companies just can’t move that fast."
    • Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, Rework (2009)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1137. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Erst denken, dann lenken.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap.
    • "The man who thinks before he acts, is most likely to act with discretion, and have no future cause to repent of his conduct; but he who acts blindly, without any foresight, will probably suffer for his rashness."
    • Trusler, John (1790). Proverbs exemplified, and illustrated by pictures from real life. p. 115. 
    • (1980). Erst denken- dann lenken!, Bund gegen Alkohol im Stra√üenverkehr.
  • Erst denken, dann handeln
    • Translation: First think, then act.
    • English equivalent: A closed mouth catches no flies.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 751. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Nicht alle sind Diebe, die der Hund anbellt.
    • Translation: Not all are thieves that the the dog barks at.
    • English equivalent: All are not thieves that dogs bark at.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ein jeder habe das fröhliche, gesunde Mißtrauen.
    • Translation: Everyone should have the happy, healthy distrust.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ein Scheit allein brennt nicht.’’
    • English equivalent: It takes two to tango.
    • '"The reason that there are so few good conversationalists is that most people are thinking about what they are going to say and not about what the others are saying."
    • François de La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions diverses, IV: De la conversation. (1731)
    • Ruef, Hans (1995). Titel Sprichwort und Sprache. Walter de Gruyter. p. 158. ISBN 3110144948. 
  • Einer allein ist nicht einmal gut im Paradies.
    • Translation: Being alone is not even good in paradise.
    • English equivalent: There is no greater torment than to be alone in paradise.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1106. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Es ist keiner so blind, wie der, der nicht sehen will.
    • Translation: No one is as blind as the one who does not want to see.
    • English equivalent: There are none so blind as they who will not see.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 320. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt.
    • Translation: Not all that shines is gold.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
    • 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. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 76. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ein Unglück kommt selten allein.
    • Translation: A disaster seldom comes alone.
    • English equivalent: Misery loves company.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 110. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Eile mit Weile.
    • Translation: Hurry with leisure.
    • Slower is faster.
    • Equivalent: More haste, less speed.
    • English equivalent: Make haste slowly.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 113. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Eine Schwalbe macht noch keinen Sommer!
    • Translation: One swallow doesn't make summer.
    • English equivalent: A single swallow doth not the summer make.
    • "Do not feel sure or rejoice noticing a favourable sign. The appearance of a single sign of a favourable event is not yet a definite indication of its coming. It may be an unrelated, sporadic appearance."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 49. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1030. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Eulen nach Athen tragen
    • Translation: To carry owls to Athens.
    • English Equivalent: To carry coals to Newcastle. (UK)
    • Hörl (2005). Eulen nach Athen tragen: Eine Dokumentation zu der GroßskulpturEulen nach Athen tragen. Maisenbacher Artist Agent. 
  • Erst wägen, dann wagen.
    • English equivalnt: Diffidence is the right eye of prudence.
  • Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 701. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Es ist übel, Hasen mit Trommeln fangen.
    • English equivalent: Drumming is not the way to catch a hare.
    • "Rather than criticizing workers for not wearing helmets, tell them them pleasantly they are there to protect them from injury."
    • Dale Carnegie, How to Win How to Win friends and influence people. (1936)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 753. ISBN 0415096243. 

FEdit

  • Faulheit ist der Schlüssel zur Armut.
    • Translation: Laziness is the key to poverty.
    • English equivalent: Poverty is the reward of idleness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "267". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 

GEdit

  • Galle im Herzen, Honig im Mund.
    • English equivalent: A honey tongue and a heart of gall.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "248". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. ?. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Gelernt ist gelernt.
    • English equivalent: What is learnt in the cradle lasts to the tomb.
    • Schnurre, Wolfdietrich (1984). Gelernt ist gelernt. Ullstein. pp. 239. ISBN 3548261027. 
  • Gebranntes Kind scheut das Feuer.
    • English equivalent: Once bitten, twice shy.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 42. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Geklagtes Leid ist halbes Leid.
    • English equivalent: A problem shared is a problem halved.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 351. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Geld macht nicht glücklich.
    • Translation: Wealth does not make happy.
    • No one – not a single person out of a thousand [elderls interviewed because of their sagacity] – said that to be happy you should try and work as hard as you can to make money to buy the things you want. No one – not a single person –– said it's important to be at least as wealthy as the people around you, and if you have more than they do it's real success.
  • From, Brody, Jane (2011). 30 Lessons for Living. Penguin Group. p. 57. ISBN 1594630844. 
    • English equivalent: Wealth rarely brings happiness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 670. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Gemein Gerücht ist selten erlogen.
  • Geschenk vom Feind ist nicht gut gemeint.
    • Translation: A gift from an enemy is not well-intentioned.
    • Note: "This advice has its root in the story of the Trojan Horse, the treacherous subterfuge by which the Greeks finally overcame their trojan adversaries at the end of the Trojan War."
    • English equivalent: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
    • "Do not trust gifts or favors if they come from an enemy."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser; David H. Pickering (2003). The Facts On File Dictionary of Classical and Biblical Allusions. Infobase Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8160-4868-7. Retrieved on 1 July 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 855. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Geschichte wiederholt sich.
    • English equivalent: Something that has happened once can happen again.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Gesunder Mann, reicher Mann.
    • English equivalent: Good health is above wealth.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude, geteilter Schmerz ist halber Schmerz.
    • English equivalent: Joy shared, joy doubled: sorrow shared, sorrow halved.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 249. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Gleiche Gemüter suchen sich.
    • English equivalent: Great minds agree.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 882. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Gleiches muß durch Gleiches geheilt werden.
    • English equivalent: Fight fire with fire. Like QRS
like.
  • Gleich sucht sich, Gleich findet sich.
    • Translation: Similar ones seek each other, similar ones find each other.
    • English equivalent: Like will to like.
    • "Every man loves well what is like to himself."
    • Folk-Etymology. Ardent Media. 1886. p. 216. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 51. 
  • Glück bringt Neider.
    • English equivalent: Envy always shooteth at a high mark.
    • "Envy among other ingredients has a mixture of the love of justice in it. We are more angry at undeserved than at deserved good-fortune."
    • William Hazlitt, Characteristics, in the manner of Rochefoucauld's Maxims, No. 19 (1823).
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 766. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Gott bewahre mich vor jemand, der nur ein Büchlein gelesen hat.
    • Translation: May God save me from one who has read only one little book.
    • English equivalent: Fear the man of one book.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 851. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Gut verloren, etwas verloren; Ehre verloren, viel verloren; Mut verloren, alles verloren.
    • English equivalent: Courage lost, all lost.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 675. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Guter Willen gilt für die Tat.
    • English equivalent: Take the will for the deed.
    • Judge by the well intentioned effort, and not its effects.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243. 

HEdit

  • Halt's Maul, so fliegt dir keine Mücke hinein.
    • Translation: Shut your mouth, then no mosquito flies into it.
    • English equivalent: A close mouth catches no flies.
    • It is wise not to speak when it is not necessary.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Heute mir, morgen dir.
    • Translation: Today for me, and tomorrow for you.
    • English equivalent: Today me, tomorrow thee.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1038. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall.
    • Literal Translation: Arrogance comes before the fall.
    • Correct meaning: People tend to be arrogant until they fall
    • Equivalent: Pride cometh before the fall.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 332. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Hoffen und harren macht manchen zum Narren.
    • Translation: Hoping and waiting makes many a person become a fool.
    • English equivalent: He that lives on hope will die fasting.
    • "Do not pin all your hopes on something you may not attain, because you could up with end nothing."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent:Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 952. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Hurtig zum Imbiß, hurtig zur Arbeit.
    • English equivalent: Quick at meat, quick at work.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Hütet euch vor den falschen Propheten.
    • English equivalent: Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, and inwardly are ravening wolves.
    • The seemingly most respectable people are quiet often scoundrels; Evil people often act innocently.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 170. ISBN 0415160502. 

IEdit

  • In der Furt soll man die Pferde nicht wechseln.
    • Translation: Don't switch horses in the water.
    • Note: When in water it is ardous to mount and dismount.
    • English equivalent: Don't change horses in midstream.
    • It is often wise not to quit an undertaking already begun.
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 18 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "857". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • In eigener Sache kann niemand Richter sein.
    • Translation: No one can judge his own cases.
    • English equivalent: No one can be the judge in his own case.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1038. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Im Becher ersaufen mehr als im Meer.
    • Translation: More drown in the cup than in the sea.
    • English equivalent: Wine has drowned more than the sea.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Im Hause des Gehenkten rede nicht vom Stricke.
    • Translation: In the house of the hanged man, speak not of ropes.
    • English equivalent: Name not a rope in his house who hanged himself.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 86. 
  • Im Glück nicht jubeln, im Sturm nicht zagen.
    • Translation: Do not rejoice in luck, do not hesitate in the storm.
    • English equivalent: If fortune favours, beware of being exalted; if fortune thunders, beware of being overwhelmed.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1001. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Im scherz klopft man oft, und im Ernst wird auf.
    • English equivalent: Many a true words are spoken in jest.
    • "A joke's a very serious thing."
    • Charles Churchill, The Ghost (1763), book iv, line 1386
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 57. 
  • In Zweifelsfalle draußen bleiben
    • Translation: In doubt, keep out.
    • English equivalent: When in doubt, leave it out.
    • "If you are unsure what to do, it is best to do nothing at all."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1223. ISBN 0415096243. 

JEdit

  • Je mehr man die Katze streichelt, desto höher trägt sie den Schwanz.
    • Translation: The more one pets the cat, the higher it holds its tail.
    • English equivalent: The more you stroke the cat's tail, the more he raises his back.
    • Displaying too much affection or desperation repels your friends and love interests.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1184. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Je näher dem Bein, desto süßer das Fleisch.
    • English equivalent: The sweetest flesh is near the bones.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1666". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1176. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Je toller, desto besser.
    • English equivalent: The more the merrier.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1094. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Jedem gefällt das Seine.
    • Translation: Each one likes his own things.
    • English equivalent: The bird loves her own nest.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "923". Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 776. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Jedem Narren gefällt seine Kappe.
    • English equivalentː Every fool is pleased with his own folly.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "147". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Jedes Warum hat seinen Darum.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Every why has a wherefore.
    • "Everything has an underlying reason."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 22 September 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Jung getollt, alt gezollt.
    • English equivalent: Reckless youth makes rueful age.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "1605". Dictionary of European proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 1151. ISBN 0415096243. 

KEdit

  • Kehre vor Deiner eigenen Tür.
    • English equivalent: Sweep your own doorstep clean.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 774. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Kein Buch so sclecht, es steckt was Guten drin.
    • English equivalent: No book was so bad, but some good might be got out of it.
    • You might typically get something good out of an overall faulty book, especially a non fictional one, such as sound advice or anecdotes to tell others.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1104. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Keing Ding ist so gering, es ist einer Bitte werth.
    • Translation: No thing is so little, that it is not worth a "please".
    • English equivalent: Lose nothing for want of asking.
    • Asking is no sin, and being refused is no tragedy.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 116. 
  • Kleine Kessel haben große Ohren.
    • English equivalent: Little pitchers have big ears.
    • (Small) children observes and understands more than one might think.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 653. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Krummes Holz gibt auch gerades Feuer.
    • English equivalent: Crooked logs make straight fires.
    • If nothing better is available, anything flawed is also useful; Instead of being frustrated by a bad situation, try to find ways to improve it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 683. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Sich nicht um ungelegte Eier kümmern.
    • Literally: Don't worry about eggs that haven't been laid.
    • Don't cross your bridges until you come to them.
    • English proverb: Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
    • Strutz, Henry (2010). German Idioms. Barron's snippet. p. 52. ISBN 0764143832. 

LEdit

  • Laufen ist eine Schande, aber gesund.
    • English equivalent: He that runs and flees away, might live to see another day.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 703. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Lebe wie du kannst, nicht wie du willst.
    • English equivalent: Do as you may, if you can't do as you could.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 707. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Leere Ähren stehen aufrecht.
    • French equivalent: It is not the cow that shouts the loudest that gives the most milk.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1169. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Leichter gesagt als getan.
    • English equivalent: Saying is one thing, doing is another.
    • Göring-Eckardt, Katrin (2006). Leichter gesagt als getan: Familien in Deutschland. Herder. pp. 191. ISBN 3451057689. 
  • Leicht versprochen, leicht gebrochen.
    • English equivalent: Eggs and oaths are soon broken.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Leid oder Freud', in fünfzig Jahren ist's alles eins.
  • Lieben und Husten lassen sich nicht verbergen.
    • English equivalent: Love, smoke and cough are hard to hide.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 50. 
  • Lieber ein Ende mit Schmerzen als Schmerzen ohne Ende. or Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende.
    • Better an end with pain than pain without end. or Better an end with horror than a horror without end.
    • English equivalent: Better go about than fall into the ditch.
    • Hennessy, Max (2001). Once More The Hawks. House of Stratus. p. 19. ISBN 1842328816. 
  • Lügen haben kurze Beine.
    • English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Lösche nicht, wo dich's nicht brennt.

MEdit

  • Man findet bald einen Stecken, wenn man einen Hund schlagen will.
    • Translation: You will soon find a stick, if you want to beat a dog.
    • Someone who wants to be mean will find things to be mean about no matter what.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Man kann die Natur nicht ändern.
    • Translation: One cannot change nature.
    • English equivalent: What is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh.
    • You can seldom change core human nature with the help of logic.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 985. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man muḂ die Dinge nehmnen, wie sie kommen.
    • Translation: One must accept things as they come.
    • English equivalent: Take things as you find them.
    • "We should not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. Instead we should make plans fit the circumstances."
    • George S. Patton, War as I Knew It (1947)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 865. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man muss das Eisen schmieden solange es heiß ist.
    • Translation: One has to forge the iron while it is hot.
    • You have to take advantage of immediate opportunities.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man sieht das Hirn nicht an der Stirn.
    • English equivalent: Judge not a man and things at first sight.
    • "No good Book, or good thing of any sort, shows its best face at first."
    • Thomas Carlyle, Essays, "Novalis" (1829)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man sieht am Ende wohl, Wie man es loben soll.
    • English equivalent: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
    • The worth of a thing is however it practically comes to use.
    • ** Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 77. 
  • Man sollte das Fell des Bären nicht verkaufen, bevor man ihn erlegt hat.
    • Translation: One shouldn't sell the bear's fur before one has killed him.
    • Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 639. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben.
    • Translation: One shouldn't praise the day before the evening.
    • Don't celebrate until you are 100% sure there is a reason to.
    • Example: If you lead a race, start to be happy when you crossed the finishline - not before.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man soll kein Öl ins Feuer giessen.
    • Translation: You should not add oil to the fire.
    • English equivalent: Don't add fuel to the fire.
    • One should not make a bad situation even worse by an improper remark.
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 338. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Mancher küßt die Hand, die er abbhauen möchte.
    • English equivalent: Many kiss the hand they wish cut off.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1084. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mit dem, som man ausgibt, mit demselben wird es ausgemessen.
    • English equivalent: Whatever measure you deal out to others will be dealt back to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1219. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mit den Ohren such' dir eine Frau, zieh' mehr die Ohren als die Augen zu Rate.
    • English equivalent: Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 655. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mit Honig fängt man Fliegen.
    • Translation: With honey one catches flies.
    • English equivalent: You can catch more flies with a drop of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.
    • ** Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 100. 
  • Mitgefangen, mitgehangen.
    • Translation: Caught together, hanged together.
    • Caught together, hanged together. (Accomplices to the crime will hang as well as the criminals.)
    • Example: If you go along with the crime you will be found as guilty as the criminals.
    • Schemann, Knight (1997). English-German Dictionary of Idioms: Supplement to the German-English Dictionary of Idioms. Taylor \& Francis Group. p. 75. ISBN 0415172543. 
  • Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.
    • Translation: Morning hour has gold in the mouth.
    • You will gain much by beginning early in the morning.
    • English equivalent: Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 822. ISBN 0415096243. 

NEdit

  • Narren bedürfen der Schellen nicht.
    • Translation: A fool does not need any bells.
    • English equivalent: A tongue of a fool carves a piece of his heart to all that sit near him.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 136. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Natur geht vor Lehre.
    • Translation: Nature comes before teaching.
    • English equivalent: Nature is beyond all teaching.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 764. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Neidhard ist gestorben, hat aber viele Kinder hinterlassen.
    • Translation: The envious man has died but left many children.
    • English equivalent: Envy takes no holiday.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 767. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Neue Besen kehren gut.
    • Translation: New brooms clean well.
    • Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1102. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Niemand ist unersetzlich.
    • English equivalent: No man is indispensable.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 319. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Niemand kann sich über das Meer beklagen, der zum zweiten Male Schiffbruch erlitten hat.
    • English equivalent: No one that has suffered shipwreck for the second time can complain about the sea.
    • Don't do the same thing again and expect different results.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 898. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • The night brings counsel.
    • English equivalent: Take counsel of one's pillow.
    • Note: Specified as a German proverb in the source.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 63. 
  • Nur tote Fische schwimmen mit dem Strom.
    • Translation: Only dead fish swim with the stream.
    • Think for yourself rather than unquestionably follow the group.
    • Hopfensperger, Otto (1998). Nur tote Fische schwimmen mit dem Strom: Roman. Fouqué-Literaturverl. pp. 110. ISBN 382674263X. 

OEdit

  • Öl in Feuer schütten.
    • English equivalent: (Don't) add fuel to the fire.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 78. 

QEdit

  • Quatsch keine Opern. (slang, derog, not traditional)
    • Translation: Don´t talk operas.
    • English equivalent: Few words are best.
    • "It is best to communicate meaning in as few words as possible."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 26 September 2013. 
    • Strutz, Henry (2010). 2001 German and English Idioms: 2001 Deutsche Und Englische Redewendungen. Barron's snippet. p. 164. ISBN 0764142240. 


REdit

  • Raten ist nicht zwingen.
  • Rund is die Welt, drum Brüder laßt uns reisen.
    • Translation: The world is round, so let's travel, brothers.

SEdit

  • Schande dem, der schlecht davon denkt.
    • English equivalent: Shame take him that shame thinketh.
    • Don't think evil of others since they most likely act the way they do because of situational factors: Never attribute something to malice which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. entry 806. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Schlimme Sitten, gut Gesetz.
    • English equivalent: Good laws have sprung from bad customs.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Schmieds Pferd und Schusters Weiber gehen meistens barfuss.
    • Translation: The smith's horse and the cobbler's wife usually go barefoot.
    • English equivalent: The cobbler's wife is the worst shod.
    • "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. 
  • Schnell Urteil hat Reue feil.
    • Translation: Hasty judgments begets remorse.
    • English equivalent: Hasty judgment leads to repentance.
    • A quick evaluation is a terrible evaluation.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 196. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Schön ist, was schön lässt.
    • English equivalent: Handsome is that handsome does.
    • "People should be valued for their good deeds, not their good looks, also occasionally used of things, or as a warning not to be misled by an attractive appearance."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Selbst dem Teufel sein Recht geben.
    • Translation: to give even the devil his right.
    • English equivalent: Give the devil his due.
    • "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. 
  • Sicher ist sicher.
    • English equivalent: Better safe than sorry.
    • Things that has happened will happen again. Religious myths for example, which are allegorical, will per definition reoccur.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Steter Tropfen höhlt den Stein.
    • Translation: A steady drop will carve the stone.
    • Many small changes will make a big difference.
    • Insignificant damage accumulates.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 667. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Schuster, bleib bei deinen Leisten.
    • Translation: Shoemaker, stick to your last.
    • Don't talk about things you don't know anything about.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 660. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Man sieht das Hirn nicht an der Stirn.
    • Translation: You don't see the brain on one's forehead.
    • English equivalent: Don't judge things and a man at first sight.
    • you can't judge someone at first appearence.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 714. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Schlafende Hunde soll man nicht wecken.
    • English Equivalent: Let sleeping dogs lie.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 147. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Selbst ist der Mann.
    • English equivalent: If you want a thing done right, do it yourself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 763. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Sorge macht vor Zeiten grau.
    • English equivalent: Fretting cares make grey hairs.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 631. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Spiele nicht mit Feuer.
    • Translation: Do not play with fire.
    • English equivalent: Do not play with edged tools.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 716. ISBN 0415096243. 

TEdit

  • Taten statt Worte! or Taten sagen mehr als Wörter. or Lass Wörtern Taten folgen! or Lass Taten sprechen!
    • Translation: Actions instead of words! or Actions speak louder than words (lit. Actions say more than words.) or Let actions result from your words! or Let actions speak!
    • A little less conversation - a little more action.
    • Practise what you preach!
    • Ubbens, Jörg (2008). Weißkittel vs. Blaumann: Warum Ärzte nicht reparieren und Ingenieure nicht operieren können. BoD – Books on Demand. p. 40. ISBN 3833477024. 
  • Teile und herrsche!
    • Translation: Divide and rule.
    • English equivalent: Divide and conquer.
    • "The best way to conquer or control a group of people is by encouraging them to fight among themselves rather than allowing them to unite in opposition to the ruling authority."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 13 August 2013. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "823". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Tut nach meinen Worten und nicht mach meinen Werken.
    • English equivalent: Preachers say: do as I say, not as i do.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 706. ISBN 0415096243. 

UEdit

  • Übung macht den Meister.
    • English equivalent: Practice makes perfect.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 439. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Unter dem blṻhenden Strauch liegt oft ein giftige Schlange versteckt.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1070. ISBN 0415096243. 

VEdit

  • Verborgener Schatz ist nichts wert.
    • Translation: A hidden treasure is worth nothing.
    • English equivalent: Money is there to be spent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1013. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Verbotene Frucht schmeckt am besten.
    • Translation: Forbidden fruit tastes the best.
    • English equivalent: Forbidden fruit is sweetest.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 95. 
  • Von groḂen Blöcken haut man groḄe Stücke.
    • Translation: From big blocks one chops big pieces.
    • English equivalent: Everybody to whom much is given, much is expected.
    • "More is expected of those who have received more - that is, those who had good fortune, are naturally gifted, or have been shown special favour."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013. ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1095. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Verstand kommt mit den Jahren.
    • Translation: Reason comes with the years.
    • English equivalent: Reason does not come before years.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Vertrauen erweckt Vertrauen.
    • English equivalent: Confidence begets confidence.
    • Confidence spills over to your coworkers.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Viel stroh, wenig Korn.
    • Translation: Much straw, little grain.
    • English equivalent: Great cry and little wool.
    • "Much ado about nothing."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Keating, Walter (1859). Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). p. 128. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "178". Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. 
  • Viel Wissen macht Kopfweh.
    • Translation: Much knowledge creates headache.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 684. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • ’’Viele Handwerke verderben den Meister.
    • Translation: Many trades spoil the master.
    • English equivalent: Jack of all trades and a master of none.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Vom Regen in die Traufe.
    • Lit. translation: Out of the rain and into the eaves.
    • Going from one unpleasant situation into one that is even worse. The idea seems to be that you are coming from the rain to stand under the edge of the eaves, where the water collected from the whole roof is going to pour onto your head.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
    • Walser (1982). Luganda proverbs. Reimer. p. 428. ISBN 3496001860. 
  • Vorbeugen ist besser als heilen.
    • Translation: It is better to prevent than to cure.
    • English equivalent: An ounce of preventions is better than a pound of cure.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 332. ISBN 0415160502. 

WEdit

  • Wahrheit gibt kurzen Bescheid, Luege macht viel Redens.
    • Translation: Truth gives one reason, the lie gives many.
    • English equivalent: Truth gives a short answer, lies go round about.
    • Latin equivalent: Obscuris vera involvens.
      • Translation: Obscurity envelops truth.
    • Bohu, Henry G. (1857). A polyglot of foreign proverbs. H. G. Bohu. p. 174. 
  • Was du allein wissen willst, das sage niemand.
    • Translation: What you want to keep a secret, tell no one.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 74. 
  • Was Gutes kommt wieder.
    • Translation: What is good returns.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 845. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wem das Ferkel geboten wird, soll den Sack bereit haben.
    • Translation: The one whom the piglet is offered must keep the sack ready.
    • English equivalent: When the pig is proffered, hold up the poke.
    • We should accept the offers that has been given us.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1226. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wem der Rock paßt, mag ihn anziehen.
    • Translation: To whom the skirt fits, may wear it.
    • English equivalent: If the shoe fits, wear it.
    • Accept an unflattering, yet accurate, description of yourself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 996. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wem nicht zu raten ist, dem ist auch nicht zu helfen.
    • Translation: He who can't be advised, can also not be helped.
    • English equivalent: He that will not be counseled cannot be helped.
    • Advice often contain a genuine warning or an effective suggestion, which is unprudent not to take into consideration.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 964. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn alle dir sagen, du seiest betrunken, geh' schlafen.
    • Translation: When everyone tells you that you are drunk, go to sleep.
    • English equivalent: When all men say you are an ass it is time to bray.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1221. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn das Haupt krank ist, trauern alle Glieder.
    • Translation: When the head is sick, all members mourn.
    • English equivalent: When the head is sick, the whole body is sick.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1117. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn der Berg nicht zum Propheten kommt, muß der Prophet zum Berge gehen.
    • Translation: If the mountain will not go to the prophet, the prophet must go to the Mountain.
    • English equivalent: If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
    • "If you cannot get what you want, you must adapt yourself to the circumstances or adopt a different approach."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1006. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn der Himmel einfällt bleibt nirgend ein stehen.
    • English equivalent: If the sky falls, we shall catch larks.
    • "The Lark is a lofty Bird, and foars perhaps as high as any of the Inhabitants of the airy Regions; and if there be no other way of coming at them, till the Sky falling down on their Heads beats them down into our Hands, we shall be little the better for ’em. This Proverb is ufually apply’d to Such Perfons who buoy themfelves up with vain Hopes, but in Embryo, ill conceived ... to laft till their Accomplifhment." says Mr. Bailey. He somewhat unpedagogically remarks that "A lark is better than a kite" for "a little which is good, is better than a great deal of that which is good for nothing."
    • Divers Proverbs with Their Explication & Illustration, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [2]
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 65. 
  • Wenn du dich nicht selber kitzelst, ein and'rer wird nicht für dich lachen.
    • Translation: If you do not tickle yourself, there is no one else who will laugh for you.
    • English equivalent: For what thou canst do thyself, rely not on another.
    • Latin equivalent: Ne quid expectes amicos, quod tute agere possis.
      • Translation: Expect nothing from friends, do what you can do yourself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 600. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wem Gott gibt ein Amt, dem gibt er auch Verstand.
    • English equivalent: Where God bestows an office, he gives brains to fill it.
    • Aversion: Every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 878. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn ein Freund bittet, so gilt nicht morgen.
    • Translation: When a friend asks, tomorrow does not count.
    • English equivalent: When thy friend asks, let there be no to-morrow.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 151. 
  • Wenn jeder Herr ist, wer bringt aus dem Stalle den Mist?
    • Translation: When everyone is a lord, who brings the dung out of the stable?
    • English equivalent: There are too many chiefs and not enough indians.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 991. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn strafen will die Gotteshand, so nimmt sie einem den Verstand.
    • Translation: When God's hand wants to punish, it first takes the sanity.
    • English equivalent: Whom God will destroy, he first make mad.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 841. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer auf Gott vertraut, hat gut gebaut.
    • Translation: Who trusts in God has built well.
    • English equivalent: He who serves God has a good master.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 873. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer befehlen will, muß gehorchen lernen.
    • Translation: Who wants to command must learn to obey.
    • English equivalent: Who has not served cannot command.
    • One must have been controlled in the same situation one wishes to properly control others.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 758. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer den Acker nicht will graben, der wird nicht als Unkraut haben.
    • Translation: Who does not want to dig the land shall have nothing but weed.
    • English equivalent: Sow thin, shear thin.
    • "He that sows bountifully, also reaps bountifully. [...] Open then mouth wide, and it shall be filled; lay broad and firm your foundation for a noble and permanent superstructure; raise high your standard of excellence, if you would make high and worthy attainments. And do what you attempt to do, well."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 163. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1158. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer durch Fliehen sich mag retten, kann wieder vor die Luke treten.
    • Translation: Who by fleeing might save himself, may again come before the hatch.
    • English equivalent: He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
    • "It is wiser to withdraw from a situation that you cannot win than to go on fighting and lose – by a strategic retreat you can return to the battle or argument with renewed energy at a later date."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 702. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer Eier unter den Füßen hat, muss leise auftreten.
    • Translation: He who has eggs under his feet must tread lightly.
    • English equivalent: He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun.
    • Know your limitations and weaknesses; Don't do something that is sure to damage you.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 54. 
  • Wer ein Kalb stiehlt, stiehlt eine Kuh.
    • Translation: He that steals a calf steals a cow.
    • English equivalent: He that steals an egg will steal an ox.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 962. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer einen grossen Sprung thun will, geht vorher zuruck.
    • English equivalent: One must step back to take a good leap.
    • "Information processing keeps going on even when we are not aware of it, even while we are asleep."
    • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1997)
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 62. 
  • Wer Feuer bedarf, sucht es in der Asche.
    • English equivalent: Let him that is cold blow the coals.
    • "My definition of success is doing what you love. I feel many people do things because they feel they have to, and are hesitant to risk following their passion."
    • Tony Hawk, American businessman, entrepreneur, skateboard pro. Interviewed by Gary Cohn for Entrepreneur Magazine (October 2009)
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 77. 
  • Wer Honig lecken will, darf die Bienen nicht scheuen.
  • Who wants to lick honey must not shy away from bees.
    • English equivalent: Honey is sweet, but the bees sting.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 837. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer keine Neider hat, hat auch klein Glück.
    • He absent envy, is also absent luck.
    • English equivalent: if you have no enemies it is a sign that fortune has forgotten you; People throw stones only at trees with fruit on them.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1008. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer mich liebt, der libt auch meinen Hund.
    • English equivalent: Love me, love my dog.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 953. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer nicht mit mir ist, der ist wider mich.
    • English equivalent: He who is not with me is against me.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 974. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer nicht vorwärts kommt, kommt rückwärts.
    • English equivalent: He who does not advance goes backwards.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 445. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer sich unter die Kleie mischt, den fressen die Schweine.
    • English equivalent: He that makes himself an ass must not take it ill if men ride him.
    • "Being fearful and weak-minded is not being nice."
    • Neil Strauss, Rules Of The Game (2007)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 676. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer Vögel fangen will, muß nicht mit Knutteln dreinwerfen.
    • English equivalent: Deal gently with the bird you mean to catch.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 689. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst.
    • Translation: Who comes first grinds first.
    • English equivalent: First come, first served.
    • "Those who arrive or apply earliest are most likely to get what they w'ant from a limited supply of things, such as tickets, discounted goods or refreshments."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). "991". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 647. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. 
  • Wer zwei Hasen auf einmal jagt bekommt keinen.
    • English equivalent: You must not run after two hares at the same time.
    • "Concentrate on one thing at a time or you will achieve nothing. - Trying to do two or more things at a time, when even one on its own needs full effort, means that none of them will be accomplished properly."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "X". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. X. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 102. 
  • Wie du dein Bett macht, so magst Du darauf schlagen.
  • Wie du dein Bett macht, so magst Du darauf schlagen.
    • English equivalent: As you make your bed, so you must lie.
    • "You must put up with the unpleasant results of a foolish action or decision."
    • {{cite book|author=Martin H. Manser|title=The Facts on File Dictionary
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 7. 


  • Wiederholung ist die Mutter der Weisheit.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Repetition is the mother of knowledge.
    • Runge, Martin (2000). Geriatrische Rehabilitation im Therapeutischen Team (2 ed.). Georg Thieme Verlag. p. 474. ISBN 3131023821. 
  • Wie der Vater, so der Sohn.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • "Sons may look and behave like their fathers. 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. 
  • Wie die Mutter, so die Tochter.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • "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. 
  • Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus.
    • Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.
    • Lautenbach, Ernst (2002). Latein-Deutsch: Zitaten-Lexikon: Quellennachweise. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 646. ISBN 3825856526. 
  • Was nicht ist, kann noch werden.
    • Translation: What isn't yet can still become.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 946. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wenn das Wörtchen wenn nicht wär, wär mein Vater Millionär.
    • If there wasn't the little word if, my father would be a millionaire.
    • English equivalent: How many ifs fill a bushel?
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 986. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wer nicht hören will, muss fühlen.
    • Translation: He who doesn't want to listen will have to experience.
    • English equivalent: He that will not be ruled by the rudder must be ruled by the rock.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1004. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wie der Lohn, so die Arbeit.
    • Translation: What pay, such work.
    • English equivalent: You get what you pay for.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 494. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wie die Alten singen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen.
    • Translation: As the old ones sing, so does the young ones chirp.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es zurück.
    • Lit.: Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.
    • Do not expect friendly reply when being obnoxious.
    • Bad language may have other causes than innate bad character.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wissen ist Macht.
    • Translation: Knowledge is power.
    • English equivalent: Learning is the eye of the mind.
    • Learning about a subject such as psychology will increase your overall competence.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 0415160502. 
    • Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst.
    • Translation: Who comes first, grinds (his grain) first.
    • First come, first served.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 822. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt.
    • Translation: Who wagers nothing, he wins nothing.
    • English equivalent: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    • It is necessary to take risks in order to achieve something.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 955. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wer anderen eine Grube gräbt, fällt selbst hinein.
    • Translation: Who digs a pit for others falls into it himself.
    • Harm set, harm get.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 644. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen. (Plattdeutsche Variante: De A seggt, mut ok B seggen)
    • Translation: If you say A, you have to say B as well.
    • No half-assed evading or cherry picking.
    • If you want or assert A and it turns out to involve B, you have to put up with B too.
    • Follow through [don't wimp out]
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 957. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wenn der Reiter nichts taugt, ist das Pferd schuld.
    • Translation: If the horseman is bad, it's the horse's fault.
    • English equivalent: A poor craftsman blames his tools.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wo der Zaun am niedrigsten is, springt jeder über.
    • Translation: Where the fence is lowest, everyone jumps over.
    • English equivalent: Men leap over where the hedge is lower.
    • Note: Also knows as the Law of least effort.
    • Always do things in a way that requires the absolut least amount of labor.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1087. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wo Rauch ist, da ist auch Feuer.
    • Translation: Where there is smoke, there is fire.
    • Everything happens for a reason.
    • Other meaning: A rumour contains some truth.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 830. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Wo der liebe Gott eine Kirche baut, da baut der Teufel eine Kapelle daneben.
    • Translation: Wherever God buys a church, the devil builds a chapel alongside.
    • English equivalent: Also: Where god has a church the devil will have his chapel.
    • Very seldom does any good thing arise but there comes an ugly phantom of a caricature of it.
    • Source for meaning: Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 130. 
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 874. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Wo keine Versuchung, da ist kein Ehre.
    • Translation: Where there is no temptation there is no glory.
    • English equivalent: Without temptation there is no victory.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 156. 
  • Worte sind gut, wenn Werke folgen.
    • Translation: Words are good, when work follows.
    • English equivalent: Deeds are fruits, words are but leaves.
    • "Mere words have no value unless they are followed by positive action."
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 26. 
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 9 August 2013. 
  • Wächst die Ehre spannenlang wächst die Thorheit ellenlang.
    • English equivalent: He that swells in prosperity will shrink in adversity.
    • "Some are elated with the feeling of vanity and the swelling sensation of pride, as soon as any prosperous gales waft over them; and when adversity approaches, in return, there is a corresponding depression of spirit, and the world seems only a frown upon them.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 90. 
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 61. 
  • Wähle von zwei Übeln das Kleinste.
  • Wärme bringt Leben, Kälte Tod.
    • Translation: Warmth brings life, coldness death.
    • English equivalent: Hard words break no bones.
    • Telling the harsh truth to someone is often far less hurtful than to stay silent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 17. ISBN 0415160502. 

ZEdit

  • Zeit ist das teuerste Kleinod.
    • English equivalent: Time is precious.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 428. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Zum Dichter muß man geboren sein, Redner kann man werden.
    • English equivalent: Poets are born, but orators are trained.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 331. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Zur rechten Zeit ein Nadelsstich erspart sicherlich neun.
    • English equivalent: A stitch in time saves nine.
    • "No one needs to be told that a vast deal of labor is expended unnecessarily. This is occasioned, to a great extent, by the neglect of seasonable repairs."
    • Source for meaning:Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 13. 
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 6. 

ÄEdit