Last modified on 16 November 2014, at 07:24

Hungarian proverbs

Hungarian proverbs are short expressions of popular wisdom from Hungary.

A, ÁEdit

  • Addig nyújtózkodj, amíg a takaród ér.
    • English equivalent: Don't have too many irons in the fire.
    • Hegedüs, Rita (2005). Magyar mozaik 4: Nyelvkönyv. Akademiai Kiado. p. 126. ISBN 963058221X. 
  • Amilyen az anya, olyan a lánya.
    • 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: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "21". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 137. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Amilyen az apa, olyan a fia.
    • 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: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "28". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 170. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • A falnak is füle van.
    • English equivalent: The walls have ears.
    • "What you say may be overheard; used as a warning."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 287. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 27 September 2013. 
    • Tudományos Akadémia, Magyar (2007). Acta ethnographica Hungarica, Volym 52, Utgåva 1–2. Akadémiai Kiadó. 
  • A fösvény anélkül is szűkölködik, amije van, anélkül is, amije nincs.
    • 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. 
  • A nagy hal megeszi a kis halat.
    • 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. 
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "91". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 420. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • A nyavalya lóháton jön, gyalog megy el.
    • English equivalent: Misfortune comes on horseback and goes away on foot.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • A hazug embert hamarabb utolérik, mint a sánta kutyát.
    • English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
    • Tudományos Akadémia, Magyar (2007). Acta ethnographica Hungarica, Volym 52, Utgåva 1. Akademiai Kiado. 
  • A szép almákban is vannak savanyuk.
    • English equivalent: A fair face and a foul heart.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Ajándék lónak ne nézd a fogát|Ajándék lónak ne nézd a fogát!
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • "Gifts and donations in general, whether their value be more or less, should be accounted tokens of kindness and received with promptness and cordiality."
    • Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order .... Munroe and Company. p. 127. 
    • Zoltán, Kövecses (2006). English-Hungarian Dictionary. Akademiai Kiado. p. 126. 
  • Ki korán kel, aranyat lel|Aki korán kel, aranyat lel.
    • English equivalent: Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
    • "A lifestyle that involves neither staying up late nor sleeping late is good for body and mind and leads to financial success."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 5 September 2013. 
    • Tudományos Akadémia, Magyar (2007). Acta ethnographica Hungarica, Volym 52, Utgåva 1. Akademiai Kiado. 
  • Amelyik kutya ugat, az nem harap|Amelyik kutya ugat, az nem harap.
  • Amilyen az adjonisten, olyan a fogadjisten.
    • Translation: The way you greet someone determines how he will welcome you.
    • Tudományos Akadémia, Magyar (2007). Acta ethnographica Hungarica, Volym 52, Utgåva 1. Akademiai Kiado. p. 52. 
  • Amit ma megtehetsz, ne halaszd holnapra!
    • English equivalent: What you can do today don't put off to tomorrow.
    • Tudományos Akadémia, Magyar (2007). Acta ethnographica Hungarica, Volym 52, Utgåva 1. Akademiai Kiado. p. 142. 
  • Aki két nyulat hajt egyet se ver.
    • English equivalent: Grasp all, lose all
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 886. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Aki másnak vermet ás, maga esik bele.
    • English equivalent: Whoever digs a hole for someone else, will fall in it themselves.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 653. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Az idő pénz.
    • English equivalent: Time is money.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1008. ISBN 0415096243. 

BEdit

  • Borban az igazság.
    • English equivalent: In wine there is truth.
    • "Alcohol consumed removes the inhibition against telling the truth that occasionally one would like to keep secret."
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 272. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

CEdit

  • Csöbörből vödörbe / Cseberből vederbe.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan into the fire.
    • Kövecses (2006). English-Hungarian Dictionary. Akadémiai Kiadó. p. 253. ISBN 9630583577. 

DEdit

  • Sokat hallgass keveset szólj.
    • Idiomatic translation: Keep your mouth shut and your ears open; God gave us two ears and one mouth.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 0415160502. 

EEdit

  • Egy fecske nem csinál nyarat.
    • Translation: One swallow does not make a summer.
    • Meaning: "One person alone is too little to change things."
    • Source for meaning: Hungarian sayings retrieved 2013-07-10
    • Forgács, Tamás (2003). Magyar szólások és közmondások szótára: mai nyelvünk állandósult szókapcsolatai példákkal szemléltetve. Tinta Könyvkiadó. p. 175. ISBN 9639372668. 
  • Elássa a csatabárdot.
    • Translation: Bury the hatchet.
    • Meaning: Forgive the enemy and cease the fight.
    • English equivalent: Forgive and forget.
    • Zoltán, Kövecses (2006). English-Hungarian Dictionary. Akademiai Kiado. p. 284. 

FEdit

  • Fejétől bűzlik a hal.
    • English equivalent: When the head is sick, the whole body is sick.
    • "A man's enemies have no power to harm him, if he is true to himself and loyal to God."
    • John Bartholomew Gough, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 208.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1117. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ne fesd az ördögöt a falra!
    • Translation: Don't paint the devil on the wall!
    • Meaning: Don't assume something will go wrong when it is not certain.
    • Example use of this imagery: "You'll be the death of me"
    • English nautical analog: "Don't bring the devil aboard!"
    • Forgács, Tamás (2003). Magyar szólások és közmondások szótára: mai nyelvünk állandósult szókapcsolatai példákkal szemléltetve Volym 6 of Magyar nyelv kézikönyvei. Tinta Könyvkiadó. p. 170. 

GEdit

  • Gyermëk, részëg, bolond mondják az igazat.
    • English equivalent: Children, fools and drunken men tell the truth.
    • Meaning: Children and fools have no inhibition, and alcohol consumed removes the inhibition against telling the truth that occasionally one would like to keep secret.
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 272. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Gyümölcséről lëhet megismerni a fát.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • Meaning: Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 488. ISBN 0415096243. 
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

HEdit

  • A hazug embert hamarabb utolérik, mint a sánta kutyát.
    • Translation: The liar and the lame dog are quickly caught.
    • The original goes more like this: "A hazug embert hamarabb utolérik, mint a sánta kutyát"
      • Translation: A liar is caught quicker (easier/sooner) than a lame dog.
    • Forgács, Tamás (2003). Magyar szólások és közmondások szótára: mai nyelvünk állandósult szókapcsolatai példákkal szemléltetve Volym 6 of Magyar nyelv kézikönyvei. Tinta Könyvkiadó. p. 151. 

IEdit

JEdit

  • Jó a vén eb ugatására kitekinteni.
    • English equivalent: An old dog barks not in vain.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Jó bornak nem kell cégér.
    • Translation: Good wine needs no label.
    • Note: Originally It was customary since early times to hang a grapevine, ivy or other greenery over the door of a tavern or way stop to advertise the availability of drink within.
    • English equivalent: Good wine needs no bush.
    • Meaning: "A good product does not need advertising."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. 
    • Margalits, Ede (1897). Magyar közmondások és közmondásszerü szólások. Kókai L.. p. 77. 
  • Jobb ma egy veréb, mint holnap egy túzok.
    • Translation: Rather today a sparrow than a bustard tomorrow.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • Meaning: "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. 
    • András Dugonics (1820). Magyar példa beszédek és jeles mondások. Grünn Orbán. p. 23. Retrieved on 29 July 2013. 

KEdit

  • Ki korán kel, aranyat lel.
    • Translation: Who wakes early finds gold.
    • English equivalent: It is the early bird that gets the worm.
    • Meaning: "Those who are late to act, arrive, or get up tend to miss opportunities already seized by those who came earlier."
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 5 September 2013. 
    • Emanuel Strauss. "435". Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 1128. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7. Retrieved on 6 September 2013. 
  • Ki mint vet, úgy arat. also "Amit tessz, azt aratsz"
    • Translation: They way you sow is the way your reap.
    • English equivalent: As you sow, so shall you reap.
    • Halász, Előd (2006). Német-magyar kisszótár. Akademiai Kiado. p. xxiv. 
  • Kivétel erősíti a szabályt.
    • Translation: Exception strenghtens the rule.
    • English equivalent: The exception proves the rule.
    • Teichmann, Peter (2004). Kutyák. Tessloff-Babilon. p. 22. ISBN 963944653X. 

LEdit

  • Lónak négy a lába, mégis megbotlik.
    • Translation and English equivalent: The horse has four legs and still stumbles.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 57. ISBN 0415160502. 

MEdit

  • Madarat tolláról, embert barátjáról.
    • Translation: Birds (are known/recognized) from their feather, humans (are known/recognized) from their friend.
    • English equivalent: A man is known by the company he keeps..
    • Meaning: If you want to know someone, look at the friends they have.
    • Ede Margalits (1897). Magyar közmondások és közmondásszerü szólások. Kókai L.. p. 43. 
  • Más kárán tanul az okos.
    • Translation: The smart one will learn from the mistakes of others.
    • English equivalent: Wise men learn by other men's mistakes, fools by their own.
    • Margalits, Ede (1897). Magyar közmondások és közmondásszerü szólások. Kókai L. p. 389. ISBN 963944653X. 
  • Mikor az isten nyulat teremtett, a bokorról is gondoskodott.
    • English equivalent: Each day brings it own bread.
    • Meaning: As Dale Carnegie said: "Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."
    • Source for meaning: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948) , Part 8 : How I Conquered Worry, p. 237.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 757. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Mindenki a maga szerencséjének kovácsa.
    • Translation: Everyone's the blacksmith of their own fate.
    • Meaning: "In shaping one's own fortune one should not rely on the help of others, as they are also concerned mainly about their own matters."
    • Hegedüs, Rita (2005). Magyar mozaik 4: Nyelvkönyv. Akademiai Kiado. p. 173. ISBN 963058221X. 
    • Source for meaning: ** Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 388. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

NEdit

  • Ne csinálj szúnyogból elefántot.
    • Translation: Don't make an elephant out of a mosquito.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Meaning: Don't make something momentous out of a trifle.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 409. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Néha a vak is patkóra talál.
    • Translation: Sometimes the blind can see horseshoes.
    • English equivalent: Even a blind pig may occasionally pick up an acorn.
    • Meaning: "An incompetent person or an unsystematic approach is bound to succeed every now and then by chance."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: 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. 36. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Nëm esik messze az alma a fájától.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • Meaning: Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents.
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Nem látja a fától az erdőt.
    • Translation: Can't see the forest from the trees.
    • Meaning: A minor detail blinds him to see the big picture. / He misses the point.
    • English equivalent: Cannot see the wood for the trees.
    • Bizottság, Nyelvművelő (1899). Magyar nyelvőr. Akadémiai Kiadó. 
  • Nem kell belesírni a kiömlött tejbe
    • Translation: Don't cry over the spilled milk.
    • Bizottság, Nyelvművelő (1972). Hid, Utgåva 7–12. Fórum Lapkiadó Vállalat. p. 1874. 
  • Nëm këll a tűzre olajat önteni.
    • Translation: You should not add oil to the fire.
    • English equivalent: Don't add fuel to the fire.
    • Meaning: 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. 
  • Nem mind arany, ami fénylik.
    • Translation: Not all that glitters is gold.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
    • Meaning: An attractive appearance may be deceptive. It may cover or hide a much less favourable content.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 114. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Bizottság, Ferencz (1886). English-Hungarian dictionary Volume 1. Franklin-társulat. p. 1874. 
  • Nem zörög a haraszt, ha a szél nem fújja.
    • Translation: The bushes don't rattle if there's no wind.
    • English equivalent: There's no smoke without fire.
    • Meaning: There is a reason for everything that happens.
    • Other meaning: A rumour contains some truth.
    • O. Nagy, Gábor (1999). Magyar szólások és közmondások. Talentum. p. 269. ISBN 9636450811. 
  • Nem repül a sült galamb a szádba.
    • Translation: The fried dove/pigeon (or chicken) will not fly into your mouth
    • Meaning: Very few major problems are going to solve themselves. The only thing you can do is to work yourself to get rid of them.
    • O. Nagy, Gábor (1999). Magyar szólások és közmondások. Talentum. p. 230. ISBN 9636450811. 
  • Ne igyál előre a medve bőrére.
    • Translation: Don't drink ahead to the bear's hide
    • English equivalent: Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.
    • Alternate translation: Don't waste your favours before you get them (also works with money)
    • Sinor, Denis (1969). Inner Asia. Routledge. p. 10. ISBN 0700703802. 
  • Nincs drágább az idönél.
    • Translation: There is nothing more precious than time.
    • English equivalent: Time is precious.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 428. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

O, Ó, ÖEdit

  • Olcsó húsnak híg a leve.
    • Translation: Cheap meat produces thin broth.
    • Meaning: Usually the price of an item predicts its quality (cheap means worse materials were used)
    • English equivalent: "If you buy quality you only cry once." and "If you buy cheaply you pay dearly."
    • Tudományos Akadémia, Magyar (2000). Acta ethnographica Hungarica, Volym 45, Utgåva 3–4. Akadémiai Kiadó. p. 286. ISBN 0700703802. 

SEdit

  • Segíts magadon, (és) az Isten is megsegít.
    • Translation: Help yourself and God will help you also.
    • English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves.
    • Meaning: When in trouble first of all every one himself should do his best to improve his condition.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 150. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Tapon, Francis (2012). The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us. SonicTrek, Inc.. p. 249. ISBN 0976581221. 
  • Szëgény ëgér, melynek csak egy lyuka van.
    • English equivalent: It is a poor mouse that has only one hole.
    • Meaning: It is dangerous to always depend on just one thing, because if it fails you, you will not have any alternatives.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 375. ISBN 0415096243. 

U,ÚEdit

  • Új seprű jól seper.
    • Translation: A new broom sweeps well.
    • Meaning: Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • Zoltán, Kövecses (2006). English-Hungarian Dictionary. Akademiai Kiado. p. 80. ISBN 9630583577. 
  • Üres hasnak nem elég a szép szó, hanem a czipó.
    • Translation: Fine words are not enough for the empty stomach, it needs bread.
    • English equivalent: Fine words butter no parsnips.
    • Meaning: Merely talking about a problem will not solve it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. IOI. ISBN 0415096243. 

VEdit

  • Vak tyúk is talál szemet.
    • Translation: Even the blind chicken finds grains.
    • English equivalent: A broken watch is right two times a day.
    • Meaning: Even an incompetent person will eventually be right about something.
    • Makai, Mihály (2004). Merre vagy szellem napvilága?: a megismerés rögös útjai. Typotex Kft. p. 116. ISBN 9639548197. 
  • Vária, míg szájába repül a sült galamb.
    • English equivalent: Birds fly not into our mouth ready roasted.
    • Meaning: One cannot (or should not) expect to benefit without making some effort.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 455. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 171. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Vizet hord a Dunába.
    • Translation: He is taking water to the Danube.
    • English equivalent: It's like bringing coal to Newcastle.
    • Meaning: He is doing something pointless or superfluous; Don't do things in a needlessly laborious way.
    • Országh (1960). Angol-magyar Szótár. Akadémiai Kiadó. p. 106. 

ÖEdit

  • Ökörtül tanulá a tinó.
    • Translation: What kind of parents, such children.
    • Meaning: Children will become like older generations.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 0415160502.