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Proverbs from all Estonian speaking parts of the world.

Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · See also · External links

AEdit

  • Aeg parandab haavad, aga jätab armid. (EVS)
  • Armastusel on kakskümmend paari silmi peas. (EVS)

EEdit

  • Ega suu sarvest ole. (EVS)
    • Mouth is not made of horn.
  • Ega vana koer valet ei haugu.
    • Translation and English equivalent: An old dog barks not in vain.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "197". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 
  • Ela ise, lase teisi ka elada. (EVS)
    • Live yourself, let others live also.
    • English equivalent: Live and let live.

HEdit

  • Hea laps kasvab vitsata. (EVS)
  • Hea laps, kes hästi tantsib, parem veel, kes paigal seisab. (EVS)
    • Good is the child who dances well, even better who's at a standstill.


  • Hirmul on suured silmad. (EVS)
  • Hommikune töö kuld, õhtune muld. (EVS)
  • Hunt hunti ei murra.
    • A wolf will not break a wolf.
    • English equivalent: Crows do not pick out crows eyes.
    • Hungarian Equivalent: Varjú nem vájja ki varjúnak a szemét.
    • "One belonging to a group having common interests is not likely to act against or find fault with another member of the same group. Solidarity may prevail over law, justice or truth."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 96. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "107". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. I. Routledge. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 
  • Hunt murrab ka loetud lambad.
    • The wolf breaks the counted sheep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). "738". Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. II. Routledge. p. 640. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 24 November 2013. 

IEdit

  • Inimene on loodud tööd tegema, lind laulma. (EVS)
    • Human is made to work, bird to sing.
    • "A man's success in business today turns upon his power of getting people to believe he has something that they want."
    • Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds (1913), Book II, Chapter IX.
  • Inimene õpib niikaua kui elab. (EVS)
    • Human learns as long as lives.
    • "Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human"
    • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead

Isa ,

  • pea kübar peas, kuni elad laste seas! (EVS)

JEdit

  • Jaan viskab kuuma kivi merre, Jaak jahe ja Mihkel külma. (EVS)
    • Jaan throws the hot stone into the sea, Jaak the cool and Mihkel the cold one.

KEdit

  • Kel püksid jalas, küll see naise saab. (EVS)
    • Who wears trousers will get a woman for sure.
  • Kes ei tööta, see ei söö. (EVS)
  • Kes viimasena naerab, naerab paremini. (EVS)
    • Who laughs last laughs better.
  • Kes võib ilmasuu ja rahva keel kinni panna? (EVS)
    • Who could shut up folks' expression and language?
    • Quand celui à qui l'on parle ne comprend pas et celui qui parle ne se comprend pas, c'est de la métaphysique.
    • "When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, this is Metaphysics."
    • Attributed to Voltaire.
  • Kotkas kärbseid ei püüä.
  • Kõik ei ole kuld, mis hiilgab.
    • Translation and English equivalent: All that glimmers is not gold.
    • "Liberality consists less in giving a great deal than in gifts well timed."
    • Jean de La Bruyère, in Les Caractères (1688), Aphorism 47 as translated in The Characters of Jean de La Bruyère (1929) by Henri van Laun
    • Variant translations:
    • Liberality consists rather in giving seasonably than much.
    • Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 89. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Kõik pilved ei anna vett. (EVS)
    • All clouds don't give water.
  • Kui kassid kodus ei ole, siis hiired tantsivad.
    • English equivalent: If the cat is away, the mice play.
    • Meaning: "In the absence of the person in authority those under his control will often neglect the duties/rules imposed on them."
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013. 
  • Kuidas ema, nõnda tütar.
    • Translation: Such mother, such daughter.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • Meaning: "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. 
  • Kus saun, seal eestlased. (EVS)

LEdit

  • Lubaja hea mees, pidaja veel parem. (EVS)
    • Promiser a good man, who keeps the promise even better.
  • Lõpeb üks töö, algab teine töö. (EVS)

MEdit

  • Ma tahan sind kiita tühjas kirikus ja kuivas kõrtsis (EVS)
  • Magaja kassi suhu hiir ei jookse.
    • Translation: No dreaming cat catches mice.
    • 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. 
  • Mida kõrtsis kõneled, seda külas kuuled. (EVS)
  • Mida varem, seda parem. (EVS)

NEdit

  • Naine on maja lukk. (EVS)
  • Naist ära vali silmadega, vaid kõrvadega! (EVS)


  • Neli silma näevad rohkem kui kaks. (EVS)
    • Four eyes see more than two.
  • Nälg on kõige parem kokk. (EVS)

OEdit

  • Oma maa maasikas, võõras maa mustikas. (EVS)
  • Oma silm on kuningas. (EVS)
    • Own eye is king.
    • English equivalent: Seeing is believing.
  • Oma tuba, oma luba. (EVS)
    • Own house, own permission.
    • Finnish equivalent: Oma tupa, oma lupa.
  • Oras ei kasva külvamata.
    • English equivalent: What you reap is what you sow.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Õun ei kuku iial puust kaugele.
    • The apple never falls far form the tree.
    • 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). "48". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

PEdit

  • Paha mees, parem õnn. (EVS)
  • Parem elav väeti laps kui surnud kuningas. (EVS)


  • Parem pool muna kui tühi koor. (EVS)
    • Half an egg is better than an empty shell.
  • Parem päeva kuumus kui vihma vilu. (EVS)
  • Parem sõna hammaste taga kui keele peal. (EVS)
  • Piip ligem kui naine. (EVS)
  • Puhas suu, puhas käsi käib kõige maailma läbi. (EVS)
    • The clean mouth, the clean hand travel through all the world.
    • "Many admire, few know."
    • Attributed to the philosopher of medicine Hippocrates
  • Puusepa naine tõlvata, sepa naine kirveta.
    • Translation: The carpenter's wife has no batler, the smith's wife has no hatchet.
    • English equivalent: The cobbler's wife is the worst shod.
    • Meaning: "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. 

SEdit

  • Seisev vesi läheb haisema. (EVS)
    • Standing water begins to smell.
  • Silm kuningas, käsi tegija. (EVS)
  • Silmad näevad enam kui silm. (EVS)
    • Eyes see more than an eye.
  • Sogases vees on hea kalu püüda.
    • Translation: It is good fishing in streamy water.
    • English equivalent: It is good fishing in troubled waters.
    • Meaning: "In taking advantage of chaotic conditions one can easily serve one's own purposes."
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 391. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Surm jala all iga päev. (EVS)
  • Suu on südame tulk (mõõt). (EVS)
  • Suu suurem kui mees ise. (EVS)
    • The mouth is bigger than the man himself.
  • Suvel silmad, talvel hambad. (EVS)
  • Suvine tund enam kui talvine päev. (EVS)
    • An hour in summer is more than a day in winter.

TEdit

  • Täna kuld, homme muld. (EVS)
  • Täna kümme paari härgi, homme ei ühtki. (EVS)
    • Ten pairs of oxen today, not a single one tomorrow.
  • Täna mulle, homme sulle. (EVS)
    • For me today , for you tomorrow.

UEdit

  • Unustamine parem kui kättemaksmine. (EVS)
    • To forget is better than to seek revenge.

VEdit

  • Vana arm ei kustu.
    • English equivalent: Old love does not rust.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 825. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Vana hobune, varsa mõtted.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 39. ISBN 0415160502. 
  • Valel on lühikesed jalad.
    • Translation: A lie has short legs.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415160502. 

ÜEdit

  • Üks käsi ei pese üksi. (EVS)

ÄEdit

  • Ära enne solgivett maha viska, kui puhas käes on.
    • English equivalent: Cast no dirt into the well that gives you water.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 634. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ära kanna vett merre! (EVS)
    • Don't carry water to the sea!
  • Ära karu nahka enne ära müü, kui karu käes on.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Don't sell the skin until you have caught the bear.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 641. ISBN 0415096243. 
  • Ära tee sääsest härga.
    • Translation: Don't make an ox out of a fly.
    • English equivalent: Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 409. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 

ÖEdit

  • Öö ees, surm selja taga. (EVS)
  • Öö ei ole kellegi sõber. (EVS)
  • Öö on varga vari. (EVS)

EVS = Eesti Vanasõnad, Suurest korjandusest kokku põiminud M. J. Eisen, Eesti kirjanduse Seltsi kirjastus Tartus 1929

External linksEdit