A collection of Arabic Proverbs to inspire you. Wise Arabic sayings in the form of proverbs that have been passed down for generations. May these Arabic Proverbs inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They primarily live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, as well as in significant numbers in the Americas, Western Europe, Indonesia, Israel, Turkey and Iran.
A book is a garden carried in the pocket. – Arabic Proverbs
A book that remains shut, is but a block. – Arabic Proverbs
A borrowed cloak does not keep one warm. – Arabic Proverbs
A chameleon does not leave one tree until he is sure of another. – Arabic Proverbs
A change is as good as a rest. – Arabic Proverbs
A day lasts until it’s chased away but love lasts until the grave. – Arabic Proverbs
A fable is a bridge that leads to truth. – Arabic Proverbs
A fat woman is a blanket for the winter. – Arabic Proverbs
A foolish man may be known by six things: Anger without cause, speech without profit, change without progress, inquiry without object, putting trust in a stranger, and mistaking foes for friends. – Arabic Proverbs
A friend advises in his interest, not yours. – Arabic Proverbs
A friend is known when needed. – Arabic Proverbs
A good deed dies when it is spoken about. – Arabic Proverbs
A good man is one who rejoices in the well-being of others. – Arabic Proverbs
A good orator makes us see with our ears. – Arabic Proverbs
A grateful dog has more worth than an ungrateful man. – Arabic Proverbs
A hand that has been chopped off cannot steal any more. – Arabic Proverbs
A heart free from care is better than a full purse. – Arabic Proverbs
A horse of good breed is not dishonored by his saddle. – Arabic Proverbs
A horse that will not carry a saddle must have no oats. – Arabic Proverbs
A house divided cannot stand. – Arabic Proverbs
A kind speech and forgiveness is better than alms followed by injury. – Arabic Proverbs
A kind word can attract even the snake from his nest. – Arabic Proverbs
A known mistake is better than an unknown truth. – Arabic Proverbs
A lazy man will be an astrologer. – Arabic Proverbs
A learned man without work is a cloud without rain. – Arabic Proverbs
A little and a little, collected together, becomes a great deal; the heap in the barn consists of single grains, and drop and rop makes an inundation. – Arabic Proverbs
A little bird wants but a little nest. – Arabic Proverbs
A little body doth often harbour a great soul. – Arabic Proverbs
A little debt makes a debtor, a great one an enemy. – Arabic Proverbs
A little spark can kindle a great fire. – Syria Proverbs
A man cannot be a good physician if he has never been sick himself. – Arabic Proverbs
A man profits more by the sight of an idiot than by the orations of the learned. – Arabic Proverbs
A man who was always complaining was quite rightly sent to hell. A man who was always complaining was quite rightly sent to hell. “Why are you burning damp wood?” was his first comment. – Arabic Proverbs
A man’s worth depends on his two smallest organs: his heart and his tongue. – Arabic Proverbs
A mouth that praises and a hand that kills. – Arabic Proverbs
A mule can go to Mecca, but it will not come back as a pilgrim. – Arabic Proverbs
A poor man would like to have some fun, but he cannot find the right place. – Arabic Proverbs
A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is the rain. – Arabic Proverbs
A scholar’s ink is worth as much as the blood of the martyr. – Arabic Proverbs
A secret is like a dove: when it leaves my hand it takes wing. – Arabic Proverbs
A sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to our steps as we walk the tightrope of life. – Arabic Proverbs
A small house is enough room for a thousand friends. – Syria Proverbs
A small tumbledown house is better than a communal palace. – Arabic Proverbs
A sponge to wipe away the past; a rose to sweeten the present; a kiss to greet the future. – Arabic Proverbs
A thousand curses never tore a shirt. – Arabic Proverbs
A tree that affords thee shade, do not order it to be cut down. – Arabic Proverb
A wise man associating with the vicious becomes an idiot; a dog traveling with good men becomes a rational being. – Arabic Proverbs
A wise man’s day is worth a fool’s life. – Arabic Proverbs
A woman’s belly is a garden with many kinds of fruit. – Arabic Proverbs
A woman’s mosque is her home. – Arabic Proverbs
Act like you are an idiot and everyone will respect you. – Arabic Proverbs
Advice given in the midst of a crowd is loathsome. – Arabic Proverbs
After dinner, rest; after supper walk a mile. – Arabic Proverbs
After lunch, rest; after dinner take a walk. – Arabic Proverbs
All authors should prepare to encounter criticism. – Iraqi Proverbs
All earthly goods we have only on loan. – Arabic Proverbs
All kinds of fame belong partly to others. – Arabic Proverbs
All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immoveable, those that are moveable, and those that move. – Arabic Proverbs
All sunshine makes the desert. – Arabic Proverbs
Allah does not love the aggressors. – Arabic Proverbs
An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep. – Arabic Proverbs
An eloquent cock crows as soon as it comes out of the egg. – Arabic Proverbs
An imbecile can manage his own affairs better than a wise man the affairs of other people. – Arabic Proverbs
An insult is but a short garment: it reveals the one who wears it. – Arabic Proverbs
An old lion will be mocked by the dogs. – Arabic Proverbs
An unjust king is like a river without water. – Arabic Proverbs
Another man’s bread will not fill your belly. – Arabic Proverbs
Any water in the desert will do. – Arabic Proverbs
Arrogance diminishes wisdom. – Arabic Proverbs
Arrogance is a weed that grows mostly on a dunghill. – Arabic Proverbs
Ask advice of an ignorant man and he will think you are his enemy. – Arabic Proverbs
Ask for your wife’s advice and then do the opposite. – Arabic Proverbs
Ask me what are my virtues, not about the color of my skin. – Arabic Proverbs
Ask the experienced rather than the learned. – Arabic Proverbs
Ask thy purse what thou should’st buy. – Arabic Proverbs
Ask your purse what you should buy. – Arabic Proverbs
At the narrow passage there is no brother and no friend. – Arabic Proverbs
Attend funerals avoid weddings. – Arabic Proverbs
Avoid that which requires an apology. – Arabic Proverbs
Avoid the company of a liar. And if you can’t avoid him, don’t believe him. – Arabic Proverbs
Avoiding mistakes is better than apologizing after. – Arabic Proverbs
Be sure to have a controversial opinion, and men will talk about you. – Arabic Proverbs
Beauty doesn’t exist, men only dream it. – Arabic Proverbs
Beauty is power. – Arabic Proverbs
Beauty never travels in a group. – Arabic Proverbs
Believe what you see and lay aside what you hear. – Arabic Proverbs
Benefits make a man a slave. – Arabic Proverb
Better a handful of dry dates and content therewith than to own the Gate of Peacocks and be kicked in the eye by a broody camel. – Arabic Proverbs
Better a thousand enemies outside the tent than one within. – Arabic Proverbs
Better make profit out of manure than losses with musk. – Arabic Proverbs
Better to be a free dog than a caged lion. – Arabic Proverbs
Better to have bread and an onion with peace than stuffed fowl with strife. – Arabic Proverbs
Beware of one who flatters unduly; he will also censure unjustly. – Arabic Proverbs
Beware the man who lavishes too much praise on you, he will later run you down. – Arabic Proverbs
Beware: some liars tell the truth. – Arabic Proverbs
Birds align with grain, but not with the stick. – Oman Proverbs
Blind eyes see better than blind hearts. – Arabic Proverbs
Blindness of the eye is better than blindness of the heart. – Arabic Proverbs
Both the fast and the slow will meet each other on the ferry boat. – Arabic Proverbs
Bravery without intelligence is not bravery. – Arabic Proverbs
Build with silver and cover with gold. – Oman Proverbs
By his own mouth does the liar expose himself. – Arabic Proverbs
Call someone your lord and he’ll sell you in the slave market. – Arabic Proverbs
Children are buttonholes that hold their parents together. – Arabic Proverbs
Choose the neighbor before the house. – Syria Proverbs
Choose your neighbor before your house and your companion before the road. – Arabic Proverbs
Compete, don’t envy. – Arabic Proverbs
Conversation is like making love; the man is the question, the woman the answer, and the union of both will bear fruit. – Arabic Proverbs
Curses are like young chickens, And still come home to roost. – Arabic Proverbs
Dawn does not come twice to awaken a man. – Arabic Proverbs
Death is a black camel that lies down at every door. Sooner or later you must ride the camel. – Arabic Proverbs
Death is a black camel which kneels at every man’s gate. – Arabic Proverbs
Death rides a fast camel. – Arabic Proverbs
Death was afraid of him because he had the heart of a lion. – Arabic Proverbs
Diligence is a great teacher. – Arabic Proverbs
Diligence is the mother of good luck. – Arabic Proverbs
Discord between the powerful is a fortune for the poor. – Arabic Proverbs
Do not buy either the moon or the news, for in the end they will both come out. – Arabic Proverbs
Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade. – Arabic Proverbs
Do not drink poison to quench a thirst. – Palestine Proverbs
Do not ridicule the thin-bearded when you yourself have no beard. – Arabic Proverbs
Do not stand in a dangerous place trusting in miracles. – Arabic Proverbs
Do not tell a friend anything you would conceal from an enemy. – Arabic Proverbs
Do not tell secrets in front of servants. – Arabic Proverbs
Don’t celebrate someone’s departing unless you know who will succeed him. – Arabic Proverbs
Don’t pour away your water on the strength of a mirage. – Arabic Proverbs
Don’t think you are eloquent just because a fool applauds you. – Arabic Proverbs
Doubt is the key to all knowledge. – Arabic Proverbs
Dwell among people for forty days. You will either become one of them or flee them. – Arabic Proverbs
Dwell not upon thy weariness, thy strength shall be according to the measure of thy desire. – Arabic Proverbs
Eat whatever you like, but dress as others do. – Arabic Proverbs
Even the one-eyed man winks to women. – Arabic Proverbs
Every age has its book. – Arabic Proverbs
Every ambitious man is a captive and every covetous one a pauper. – Arabic Proverbs
Every day of your life is a page of your history. – Arabic Proverbs
Every dog is a great barker at the door of his own house. – Arabic Proverbs
Every future is not far away. – Arabic Proverbs
Every head has its own kind of headache. – Arabic Proverbs
Every sun has to set. – Arabic Proverbs
Every village has certain drawbacks to it. – Oman Proverbs
Everything forbidden is desirable. – Arabic Proverbs
Everything is small at the beginning and then grows; except trouble, which is big at the beginning and still grows. – Arabic Proverbs
Evil people know one another. – Arabic Proverbs
Examine what is said, not him who speaks. – Arabic Proverbs
Example is better than precept. – Arabic Proverbs
Excuses are always mixed with lies. – Arabic Proverbs
Experiences are the spectacles of intellect. – Arabic Proverbs
Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. – Arabic Proverbs
Fate loves a rebel. – Arabic Proverbs
Fear not the man who fears God. – Arabic Proverbs
Fear the person who fears you. – Arabic Proverbs
Fire will burn itself out if it did not find anything to burn. – Arabic Proverbs
Follow the advice of the one who makes you cry, not from the one who makes you laugh. – Arabic Proverbs
Forgiveness is more satisfying than revenge. – Arabic Proverbs
Four things come not back – the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity. – Arabic Proverbs
Give a man some cloth and he’ll ask for some lining. – Arabic Proverbs
Give me wool and tomorrow you will have a sheep. – Arabic Proverbs
Go and wake up your cook. – Arabic Proverbs
God bless him who pays visits – short visits. – Arabic Proverbs
God gave the giraffe a long neck so that He would not have to bend the palm tree. – Arabic Proverbs
God grant us no neighbor with two eyes. – Arabic Proverbs
God has spared the naked man from washing his clothes with soap. – Arabic Proverbs
God sells knowledge for labor – honor for risk. – Arabic Proverbs
Good deeds banish bad ones. – Arabic Proverbs
Good qualities never cancel out the bad, just as sugar is no antidote for poison. – Arabic Proverbs
Great care is no defense against Fate. – Arabic Proverbs
Habit is the sixth sense that dominates the other five. – Arabic Proverbs
Haste is the invention of the devil. – Arabic Proverbs
Have faith in a stone and you will be healed by it. – Lebanese Proverbs
He fasted for a whole year and then broke his fast with an onion. – Arabic Proverbs
He fled from the rain and sat down under the waterspout. – Arabic Proverbs
He gets his passage for nothing and then winks at the captain’s wife. – Arabic Proverbs
He hit me, started to cry, and went straight to the judge to sue me – Arabic Proverbs
He left us and we rejoiced; then an even more unbearable person came. – Arabic Proverbs
He makes a dome out of a grain. – Arabic Proverbs
He promised me earrings, but then only pierced my ears. – Arabic Proverbs
He that counts his friend’s mistakes will be abandoned by him. – Arabic Proverbs
He that has long legs will go far. – Arabic Proverbs
He that has no money has no friends. – Arabic Proverbs
He that plants thorns must never expect to gather roses. – Arabic Proverbs
He who does not shield himself from vilification receives it. – Arabic Proverb
He who eats alone chokes alone. – Arabic Proverbs
He who foretells the future lies, even if he tells the truth. – Arabic Proverbs
He who has approved of wrongdoing is as guilty as he who has committed it. – Arabic Proverbs
He who has been bitten by a snake is scared of a rope on the ground. – Arabic Proverbs
He who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything. – Arabic Proverbs
He who is a slave of truth is a free man. – Arabic Proverbs
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him. He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child. Teach him. He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep. Wake him. He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man. Follow him. – Arabic Proverbs
He who lies for you will lie about you. – Arabic Proverbs
He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones. – Arabic Proverbs
He who looks up too much gets a pain in the neck. – Arabic Proverbs
He who loves thinks that the others are blind; the others think that he is crazy. – Arabic Proverbs
He who only thinks about what is in his belly is worth less than what comes out of it. – Arabic Proverbs
He who peeps at the neighbor’s window may chance to lose his eyes. – Arabic Proverbs
He who plants thorns must never expect to gather roses. – Arabic Proverbs
He who predicts the future lies, even if he tells the truth. – Arabic Proverbs
He who sees the calamity of other people finds his own calamity light. – Arabic Proverbs
He who starts a lawsuit makes a hole in the dike. – Arabic Proverbs
He who steals an egg will steal a camel. – Arabic Proverbs
He who uses bad incense must be careful not to burn his sleeves. – Arabic Proverbs
He who walks alone shall surely arrive first. – Arabic Proverbs
He who walks through a field of onions, will smell like an onion. – Arabic Proverbs
He who wants to sell his honor will always find a buyer. – Arabic Proverbs
He who would visit a vice, never has far to travel. – Arabic Proverbs
Heaven on earth is to be found on horseback, reading books and between a woman’s breasts. – Arabic Proverbs
Hit the iron while it’s still hot. – Palestine Proverbs
How can the person who is eating dates prohibit the eating of dates?– Arabic Proverb
I am a prince and you are a prince; who will lead the donkeys?. – Arabic Proverbs
I came to the place of my birth and cried, I came to the place of my birth and cried, “The friends of my youth, where are they?” And echo answered, “Where are they?” – Arabic Proverbs
If a dog offers to help you across the river, don’t ask if he is suffering from the mange. – Arabic Proverbs
If a man believes in a stone, that stone will serve him well. – Arabic Proverbs
If a man’s mouth were silent, then another part would speak. – Arabic Proverbs
If a poor man ate it, they would say it was because of his stupidity. – Arabic Proverbs
If a rich man ate a snake, they would say it was because of his wisdom; if a poor man ate it, they would say it was because of his stupidity. – Arabic Proverbs
If a rich man eats a snake, people call it wisdom; if a poor man does the same thing, people call it derangement. – Lebanese Proverbs
If a wife is unfaithful then the husband is partly to blame. – Arabic Proverbs
If anyone is not willing to accept your point of view, try to see his point of view. – Lebanese Proverbs
If begging should unfortunately be your lot, knock at the large gates only. – Arabic Proverbs
If I had two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy hyacinths, for they would feed my soul. – Arabic Proverbs
If man be a river, then woman will be a bridge. – Arabic Proverbs
If man’s mouth was silent, then another part would speak. – Arabic Proverbs
If power is for sale, sell your mother to buy it. You can always buy her back again. – Arabic Proverbs
If someone says “There is a wedding ceremony in the clouds,” then the women would soon arrive with their ladders. – Arabic Proverbs
If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow. – Arabic Proverbs
If the king says that it is night in the middle of the day, look up at the stars. – Arabic Proverbs
If the wind blows, ride it. – Arabic Proverbs
If there were no tears, our ribs would burn. – Arabic Proverbs
If we are both masters, then who shall lead the mules? – Arabic Proverbs
If you are a friend of the captain, you can wipe your hands on the sail. – Arabic Proverbs
If you are offered a bull, do not ask how much milk he will give. – Arabic Proverbs
If you buy cheap meat, you’ll smell what you have saved when it boils. – Arabic Proverbs
If you cannot take things by the head, then take them by the tail. – Arabic Proverbs
If you conduct yourself properly, then fear no one. – Iraqi Proverbs
If you count your friend’s mistakes, he will desert you. – Arabic Proverbs
If you do charity, your house will be always rich. – Arabic Proverbs
If you don’t know where you are going, look back to where you’ve come from. – Arabic Proverbs
If you give in to a fool, he will say, “This is because they are afraid of me.” – Arabic Proverbs
If you have an opinion, you better be determined. – Arabic Proverbs
If you have given away much of your wealth, then you have given a little of your heart. – Arabic Proverbs
If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart. – Arabic Proverbs
If you have never seen evil, look closely at yourself some time. – Arabic Proverbs
If you hear that a mountain has moved, believe; but if you hear that a man has changed his character, believe it not. – Arabic Proverbs
If you stop every time a dog barks, your road will never end. – Arabic Proverbs
If you want to hit your mother-in-law, be sure to split her head. – Arabic Proverbs
If you want to kill a snake, chop off its head. – Arabic Proverbs
If you want to take revenge on a man, send him a really beautiful woman. – Arabic Proverbs
If you’re a liar, you better have a good memory. – Arabic Proverbs
If your motive is good, a farting donkey won’t harm you. – Oman Proverbs
If your neighbor visits Mecca once, watch out for him. If he makes a second visit, you had better avoid him. After the third visit you had better move to another street. – Arabic Proverbs
In every village, there is a path that leads to the mill. – Syria Proverbs
In order to really love someone you must love him as though he was going to die tomorrow. – Arabic Proverbs
In the desert of life the wise travel by caravan, while the fool prefers to travel alone. – Arabic Proverbs
In the presence of Fate, the physician becomes a fool. – Arabic Proverbs
In the small lanes there are no brothers or friends. – Arabic Proverbs
Insults must be written in sand and compliments carved in stone. – Arabic Proverbs
Insults should be written in the sand, and praises carved in stone. – Arabic Proverb
It is a sign of weakness just to let things happen. – Arabic Proverbs
It is better to cut off the head that has no pride. – Arabic Proverbs
It is better to die in revenge than to live on in shame. – Arabic Proverbs
It is easier not to commit a sin than to repent it. – Arabic Proverbs
It is good to know the truth, but it is better to speak of palm trees. – Arabic Proverbs
It is not the bullet that kills you, it is fate. – Arabic Proverbs
It makes no sense to try to forge the iron whilst it is still cold. – Arabic Proverbs
It may be a fire today – tomorrow it will be ashes. – Arabic Proverbs
It’s all fate and chance. – Arabic Proverbs
It’s better to be a free dog than a caged lion. – Arabic Proverbs
It’s better to have a thousand enemies outside of the tent than one inside the tent. – Arabic Proverbs
Judge a man by the reputation of his enemies. – Arabic Proverbs
Judge not of a ship as she lies on the stocks. – Arabic Proverbs
Keep away from trouble and sing to it. – Syria Proverbs
Keeping a secret is a commitment. – Arabic Proverbs
Kiss the hand of your enemy if you cannot chop it off: Envy has no rest. – Arabic Proverbs
Know each other as if your were brothers; negotiate deals as if you were strangers to each other. – Arabic Proverbs
Knowledge acquired as a child is more lasting than an engraving on stone. – Arabic Proverbs
Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it. – Arabic Proverbs
Lack of intelligence is the greatest poverty. – Arabic Proverbs
Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone. – Arabic Proverbs
Leading by example is better than commandments. – Arabic Proverbs
Lending nourishes bad feeling. – Arabic Proverbs
Let the sword decide only after the plan has failed. – Arabic Proverbs
Lies are accepted once, not twice. – Arabic Proverbs
Lies are the plague of speech. – Arabic Proverbs
Life, like a fire, begins in smoke and ends in ashes. – Arabic Proverbs
Light your lamp first at home and afterwards at the mosque. – Arabic Proverbs
Live near water, and ask not about sustenance. – Oman Proverbs
Live together like brothers and do business like strangers. – Arabic Proverbs
Look and keep silent, and if you are eating meat, tell the world it’s fish. – Arabic Proverbs
Love lasts as long as does the reproach. – Arabic Proverbs
Love makes a man both blind and deaf. – Arabic Proverbs
Love overlooks defects; hatred magnifies them. – Lebanese Proverbs
Love sees clearly, hate even more so, but jealousy sees the most clear, because it is equal to love plus hate. – Arabic Proverbs
Lower your voice and strengthen your argument. – Lebanese Proverbs
Lying and stealing are next door neighbors. – Arabic Proverbs
Lying is a disease, and truth is a cure. – Arabic Proverbs
Make do with bread and butter until God can bring you jam. – Arabic Proverbs
Make your bargain before beginning to plow. – Arabic Proverbs
Man is like a palm on the beach; moving with the wind of life. – Arabic Proverbs
Man was created in a hurry. – Arabic Proverbs
Mankind is made out of forgetfulness. – Arabic Proverbs
Many are the roads that do not lead to the heart. – Arabic Proverbs
Many wars have been caused by a single word. – Arabic Proverbs
Marriage is like a besieged castle; those who are on the outside wish to get in; and those who are on the inside wish to get out. – Arabic Proverbs
Meaningless laughter is a sign of ill-breeding. – Arabic Proverbs
Measure your guilt, then stretch your legs. – Arabic Proverbs
Meat and mass never hindered man. – Arabic Proverbs
Meeting death is better than escaping from it. – Arabic Proverbs
Men fear, but time fears the pyramids. – Arabic Proverbs
Men laugh with their heart, women only with their mouth. – Arabic Proverbs
Men learn little from success, but much from failure. – Arabic Proverbs
Men must sew up tears with gentleness. – Arabic Proverbs
Misfortune is easier to bear if you share it with many others. – Arabic Proverbs
Mistrust before you trust. – Arabic Proverbs
Money can build roads in the sea. – Arabic Proverbs
More than one war has been caused by a single word. – Arabic Proverbs
Most people forget everything except being ungrateful. – Arabic Proverbs
Mustaches hide the imperfections of the mouth. – Arabic Proverbs
My debtor is a worse payer even than I am. – Arabic Proverbs
My family is my strength and my weakness. – Arabic Proverbs
Never celebrate someone’s leaving, until you know who will succeed him. – Arabic Proverbs
Never give advice in a crowd. – Arabic Proverbs
Never sit in the place of a man who can say to you, Never sit in the place of a man who can say to you, “Rise.”. – Arabic Proverbs
Never speak ill of the dead. – Arabic Proverbs
Never tell your friends what your enemy may not hear. – Arabic Proverbs
Never trust a fool with a sword. – Arabic Proverbs
No crowd ever waited at the gates of patience. – Arabic Proverbs
No cure, no pay. – Arabic Proverbs
No good can come of one who has never kept a friendship. – Arabic Proverbs
No man is a good physician who has never been sick. – Arabic Proverbs
Nobody is perfect. – Palestine Proverbs
None but a mule denies his family. – Arabic Proverbs
Not to use trickery is also trickery. – Arabic Proverbs
Nothing but a handful of dust will fill the eyes of man. – Arabic Proverbs
Obedience to a woman leads to hell. – Arabic Proverbs
Older than you by a day, wiser than you by a year. – Arabic Proverbs
On the day of victory no one is tired. – Arabic Proverbs
On the first of March, the crows begin to search. – Arabic Proverbs
Once you have decided to hit someone, then hit them hard because the retribution will be the same whether you hit hard or not. – Arabic Proverbs
Once you have found your rhythm, you will then know your God. – Arabic Proverbs
One coin in the money box makes more noise than when it is full. – Arabic Proverbs
One day in perfect health is a lot. – Arabic Proverbs
One hand cannot applaud. – Arabic Proverbs
One hand for oneself and one for the ship. – Arabic Proverbs
One is not born a warrior, you become one. – Arabic Proverbs
Only a mother can understand the suffering of a son. – Arabic Proverbs
Only death itself can end our hope. – Arabic Proverbs
Only he who understands is really sad. – Arabic Proverbs
Only the tent pitched by your own hands will stand. – Arabic Proverbs
Only three things in life are certain birth, death and change. – Arabic Proverbs
Oppose your affection to find rationality. – Arabic Proverbs
Pardon is the choicest flower of victory. – Arabic Proverbs
Patience is beautiful. – Arabic Proverbs
Peace is only possible after war. – Arabic Proverbs
Play alone and you’re bound to win. – Arabic Proverbs
Proverbs are the lamp of speech. – Arabic Proverbs
Put things into their places, and they will put you into your place. – Arabic Proverbs
Rather a slip of the foot than a slip of the pen. – Arabic Proverbs
Rather the cruelty of the Turks than the justice of the Bedouins. – Arabic Proverbs
Reproaches are the soap of the heart. – Arabic Proverbs
Righteousness is half of religion. – Arabic Proverbs
Salt will never be worm-eaten. – Arabic Proverbs
Search knowledge though it be in China. – Arabic Proverbs
Seek counsel of him who makes you weep, and not of him who makes you laugh. – Arabic Proverbs
Setting the conditions before you make an agreement is better than having an argument in the middle of the work. – Yemen Proverbs
Seven days king, seven days minister, slave for the rest of your life. – Arabic Proverbs
Seven trades but no luck. – Arabic Proverbs
Shall the gosling teach the goose to swim?. – Arabic Proverbs
Shallow waters mak’ maist din. – Arabic Proverbs
Show no fear to the man who picks up a big stone. – Arabic Proverbs
Silence is a brother of delight. – Arabic Proverbs
Silence is a cure for grief. – Arabic Proverbs
Silence is the best answer to the stupid. – Arabic Proverbs
Silence is the interpreter of happiness. – Arabic Proverbs
Silence is the sign of approval. – Arabic Proverbs
Sinning is the best part of repentance. – Arabic Proverbs
Sins of omission are seldom fun. – Arabic Proverbs
So long as I can keep a secret it is my prisoner. If I let it slip then I am its prisoner. – Arabic Proverbs
So long as the pot is boiling, friendship will stay warm. – Arabic Proverbs
Some men build a wine cellar after only finding one grape. – Lebanese Proverbs
Sometimes even the intestine and the stomach disagree. – Arabic Proverbs
Sometimes you need to sacrifice your beard in order to save your head. – Iraqi Proverbs
Spirit is the sword and experience the sharpening stone. – Arabic Proverbs
Spurs that are too sharp make even the mule rear. – Arabic Proverbs
Start seeking knowledge from the cradle up to the grave. – Arabic Proverbs
Sunshine all the time makes a desert. – Arabic Proverbs
Take wisdom from the wise – not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey. – Arabic Proverb
Talent without skill is like a desert without an oasis. – Arabic Proverbs
The angry hammer works off his fury on the steel. – Arabic Proverbs
The ass went seeking for horns and lost his ears. – Arabic Proverbs
The awakening of a giant shakes the world. – Arabic Proverbs
The barber learns to shave on the orphan’s face. – Arabic Proverbs
The benefits you get become the debts you owe to others. – Arabic Proverbs
The best act of generosity is that which is quickly done. – Arabic Proverbs
The best gift comes from the heart. – Arabic Proverbs
The best part of repentance is a little sinning. – Arabic Proverbs
The chameleon does not leave one tree until he is sure of another. – Arabic Proverbs
The corn will bend but it still ends up in the mill. – Arabic Proverbs
The cure for bad times is patience. – Arabic Proverbs
The dawn does not come twice to awaken a man. – Arabic Proverbs
The devil tempts all men, but idle men tempt the devil. – Arabic Proverbs
The different sorts of madness are innumerable. – Arabic Proverbs
The difficult is done at once, the impossible takes a little longer. – Arabic Proverbs
The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on. – Arabic Proverbs
The doorstep weeps for forty days whenever a girl is born. – Arabic Proverbs
The dreams of a cat are full of mice. – Arabic Proverbs
The dry reed does not seek the company of fire. – Arabic Proverbs
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. – Arabic Proverbs
The English are a nation of shopkeepers. – Arabic Proverbs
The envious person is the least happy. – Arabic Proverbs
The excess of one is the shortage of another. – Arabic Proverbs
The eyes are of little use if the mind be blind. – Arabic Proverbs
The fire is winter’s fruit. – Arabic Proverbs
The first will get the credit, even if the second is better. – Arabic Proverbs
The fool has his answer on the tip of his tongue. – Arabic Proverbs
The fruit of silence is tranquility. – Arabic Proverbs
The fruit of timidity is neither gain nor loss. – Arabic Proverbs
The frying-pan says to the kettle, “Avaunt, black brows!” – Arabic Proverbs
The garlic complained to the onion, “You stink!” – Arabic Proverbs
The grave is our mother. – Arabic Proverbs
The greatest tranquility is when we desire nothing. – Arabic Proverbs
The hand of God is with the group. – Arabic Proverbs
The hasty and the tardy meet at the ferry. – Arabic Proverbs
The hasty angler loses the fish. – Arabic Proverbs
The hasty hand catches frogs for fish. – Arabic Proverbs
The house of danger is built upon the borders of safety. – Arabic Proverbs
The ideal phrase is that which is short and to the point. – Arabic Proverbs
The ink of a scholar is worth as much as the martyr’s blood. – Arabic Proverbs
The key to everything is determination. – Arabic Proverbs
The knife of the family does not cut. – Arabic Proverbs
The liar’s mother is a virgin. – Arabic Proverbs
The lion said: I am the best one to take care of my business. – Arabic Proverbs
The man with no patience waits for daylight, and when it comes he’ll be blind. – Arabic Proverbs
The men are the wool of the tribe, but the women are the ones who weave the pattern. – Arabic Proverbs
The mind is for seeing, the heart is for hearing. – Arabic Proverbs
The monkey looks into the mirror and sees a gazelle. – Arabic Proverbs
The most useful holy war is the one fought against your own passions. – Arabic Proverbs
The mother of someone who is killed can sleep; the mother of the murderer cannot. – Arabic Proverbs
The mouth of a canon is less dangerous than that of a scandalmonger. – Arabic Proverbs
The nail supports the hoof, the hoof the horse, the horse the man, the man the world. – Arabic Proverbs
The one who should be forgiven, is the one who’s able to punish. – Arabic Proverbs
The one-eyed person is a beauty in the country of the blind. – Arabic Proverbs
The person who deals in camels should make the doors high. – Syria Proverbs
The person who knew you when you were young will seldom respect you as an adult. – Lebanese Proverbs
The person who predicts the future is lying, even when he is right. – Arabic Proverbs
The poor always smell. – Arabic Proverbs
The rope of a lie is short. – Arabic Proverbs
The sinning is the best part of repentance. – Arabic Proverbs
The slave must be content with the joys of his master. – Arabic Proverbs
The soul of a fool is always dancing on the tip of his tongue. – Arabic Proverbs
The soul will only be at rest when it stops hoping. – Arabic Proverbs
The strength of the heart comes from the soundness of the faith. – Arabic Proverbs
The tongue of experience utters the most truth. – Arabic Proverbs
The tree of silence bears the fruits of peace. – Arabic Proverbs
The whisper of a pretty girl can be heard further off than the roar of a lion. – Arabic Proverbs
The word of the king is the king of words. – Arabic Proverbs
The words of the elderly are as sweet as honey, but if you do not listen they become as sour as bile. – Arabic Proverbs
The words of tongue should have three gate keepers. – Arabic Proverbs
The world is like carrion; those who love and eat from it are dogs. – Arabic Proverbs
The worst things in life are: To be in bed and sleep not, To want for one who comes not, To try to please and please not. – Arabic Proverbs
The wound of words is worse than the wound of swords. – Arabic Proverbs
The wound that bleedeth inwardly is the most dangerous. – Arabic Proverbs
The wrath of brothers is fierce and devilish. – Arabic Proverbs
The young goose is a good swimmer. – Arabic Proverbs
There are five ways in which to become wise: be silent, listen, remember, grow older and study. – Arabic Proverbs
There are four things Allah cannot do: lie, deny himself, die or look favorably on sin. – Arabic Proverbs
There are some words that look like salted jam. – Arabic Proverbs
There are two kinds of men: those who could be happy and are not, and those who search for happiness and find it not. – Arabic Proverbs
There has to be a first time for everything – even our most natural habits. – Arabic Proverbs
There is no fire without smoke. – Arabic Proverbs
There is no greater misfortune than your own. – Arabic Proverbs
They have sowed the seed of the word They have sowed the seed of the word “tomorrow” and it has not germinated. – Arabic Proverbs
They planted so we ate, and we plant so they would eat. – Arabic Proverbs
Think of the going out before you enter. – Arabic Proverbs
Those who argue with each other on the highway will often make up in the lane. – Arabic Proverbs
Those who foretell the future lies, even if he tells the truth. – Arabic Proverbs
Throw a lucky man into the sea, and he will come up with a fish in his mouth. – Arabic Proverb
Throw a resourceful person into a river, and he will probably come out with a fish in his hand. – Arabic Proverbs
Throw dirt enough, and some will stick. – Arabic Proverbs
Throw him into the river and he will come up with a fish in his mouth. – Arabic Proverbs
Time is like a sword. If you do not cut it, it will cut you. – Arabic Proverbs
Time is made of gold. – Arabic Proverbs
Time is the master of him who has no master. – Arabic Proverbs
To the pure, all things are pure. – Arabic Proverb
To threaten the brave with death is like promising water to a duck. – Arabic Proverbs
To you your religion and to me my religion. – Arabic Proverbs
Trees often transplanted never prosper. – Arabic Proverbs
Trust God, but tie up your camel. – Arabic Proverbs
Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel. – Arabic Proverbs
Trust makes way for treachery. – Arabic Proverbs
Two scorpions living in the same hole will get along better than two sisters in the same house. – Arabic Proverbs
Two weaklings conquered the fort. – Arabic Proverbs
Unfortunate is the man who has no fingernails to scratch his head with. – Arabic Proverbs
Unity is power. – Arabic Proverbs
Unwrapping a gift wraps up enmity. – Arabic Proverbs
Visit infrequently, and you will get closer. – Arabic Proverbs
Visit rarely, and you will be more loved. – Arabic Proverbs
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. – Arabic Proverbs
Walls are the notebooks of fools. – Arabic Proverbs
War is a disaster for winner and loser alike. – Arabic Proverbs
What is learned in youth is carved in stone. – Arabic Proverbs
What is learnt in the cradle lasts to the grave. – Arabic Proverbs
What the wolf mourns is food for the fox. – Arabic Proverbs
What wise men suppose is worth more than the certainties of fools. – Arabic Proverbs
When a door opens not to your knock, consider your reputation. – Arabic Proverbs
When a rich man wants children, he gets dollars, when a poor man wants dollars, he gets children. – Arabic Proverbs
When danger approaches, sing to it. – Arabic Proverbs
When God shuts one door, He opens another. – Arabic Proverbs
When God wishes a man well, He gives him insight into his faults. – Arabic Proverbs
When the judge’s mule dies, everyone goes to the funeral; when the judge himself dies, no one does. – Arabic Proverbs
When what you want doesn’t happen, learn to want what does. – Arabic Proverbs
When you die, your sister’s tears will dry as time goes on, your widow’s tears will end in another’s arms, but your mother will mourn you until the day she dies. – Arabic Proverbs
When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. When it is unspoken you reign over it. – Arabic Proverbs
When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be. – Arabic Proverbs
When you return from a trip, bring back something for your family—even if it is only a stone. – Lebanese Proverbs
When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey. – Arabic Proverbs
When your enemies attack, bathe in their blood. – Arabic Proverbs
Where there are poor, there are rich. But where there is justice, they are all brothers. – Arabic Proverbs
Where there is a will there is a way. Where there is no will there is an excuse. – Arabic Proverbs
Who does not choose dies of hunger. – Arabic Proverbs
Who does not go with you, go with him. – Arabic Proverbs
Whoever knew you when you were small will not respect you when you’re big. – Arabic Proverbs
Whoever lives within himself is burning with love. – Arabic Proverbs
Wisdom consists of ten parts – nine parts of silence and one part with few words. – Arabic Proverbs
Wishing does not make a poor man rich. – Arabic Proverbs
Wit is folly unless a wise man hath the keeping of it. – Arabic Proverbs
Without the companionship even paradise would be boring. – Arabic Proverbs
Words from the heart reach the heart, words from the mouth reach the ear. – Arabic Proverbs
Words of wisdom comes out of simple people mouths. – Arabic Proverbs
Wrath begins in madness and ends in repentance. – Arabic Proverbs
Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble. – Arabic Proverbs
You are like a tree, giving your shade to the outside. – Arabic Proverbs
You can always find good elements in the misfortune that strikes you. – Arabic Proverbs
You can’t clap with one hand. – Arabic Proverbs
You cannot carry two watermelons in one hand. – Arabic Proverbs
You know a man by the sweat of his brow and the strength of his word. – Arabic Proverbs
You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget with whom you wept. – Arabic Proverbs
You only own that which you have earned. – Arabic Proverbs
You will discover your true friends in moments of crisis. – Iraqi Proverbs
You will get no nourishment from the flesh of a woman. – Arabic Proverbs
You won’t gain knowledge by drinking ink. – Arabic Proverbs
Your friend will swallow your mistakes, your enemy will present them on a plate. – Arabic Proverbs
Your tongue is like a horse – if you take care of it, it takes care of you; if you treat it badly, it treats you badly. – Arabic Proverbs
Youths are like waves of the sea, the elderly have strength instead of tide. – Arabic Proverbs
- أباد الله خضراءهم ابذل لصديقك دمك ومالك
“Give your friends your money and your blood, but don’t justify yourself. Your enemies won’t believe it and your friends won’t need it.” This saying is about altruism, and how you should never explain why you’re doing good to anyone, because the explanation is not needed.
2. اتَّكَلْنا منه على خُصٍّ الاتحاد قوة
“Unity is power.”
3. اتق شر الحليم اذا غضب
“Beware the levelheaded person if they’re angry.” Levelheaded people are usually calm and collected, and don’t anger easily. This saying refers to the fact that if something set off a levelheaded person, you should be more worried!
4. اجتنب مصاحبة الكذاب فإن اضطررت إليه فلا تُصَدِّقْهُ
“Avoid the company of liars, but if you can’t, don’t believe them.” This one is pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
5. احذر عدوك مرة وصديقك ألف مرة فإن انقلب الصديق فهو أعلم بالمضرة
“Be wary around your enemy once, and your friend a thousand times. A double crossing friend knows more about what harms you.”
6. أحضر الناس جوابا من لم يغضب
“The best answer will come from the person who is not angry.”
7. اختر أهون الشرين
“Go with the lesser of two evils.”
8. إذا تم العقل نقص الكلام
“The smarter you are, the less you speak.”
9. إذا قصرت يدك عن المكافأة فليصل لسانك بالشكر
“If you’re unable to reward, then make sure to thank.”
10. أرسل حكيما ولا توصه
“Send a wise man; don’t advise him.”
11. أرى كل إنسان يرى عيب غيره ويعمى عن العيب الذي هو فيه
“Everyone is critical of the flaws of others, but blind to their own.”
12. أشد الفاقة عدم العقل
“Lack of intelligence is the greatest poverty.”
13. إصلاح الموجود خير من انتظار المفقود
“It’s better to fix what you have than wait to get what you don’t have.”
14. اصبر تنل
“Be patient and you’ll get what you want.”
15. الأفعال أبلغ من الأقوال
“Actions speak louder than words.”
16. أقل الناس سروراً الحسود
“An envious person is the unhappiest.”
17. الصحة تاج على رؤوس الأصحاء لا يراه إلا المرضى
“Good health is a crown worn by the healthy than only the ill can see.”
18. إن مع اليوم غدا يا مسعدة
“There’s always tomorrow.”
19. أول الشجرة بذرة
“A tree begins with a seed.”
20. أول الغضب جنون وآخره ندم
“Anger begins with madness, but ends in regret.”
- الرأي قبل شجاعة الشجعان
“Opinion comes before the bravery of the braves.”
ربما أراد الأحمق نفعك فضرك
“The stupid might want to help you, but they just ended up hurting you.”
جزاء سنمار جزاء مُجيرِ أُمِّ عامِرٍ الجزاء من جنس العمل
“You reap what you sow.”
جنت على نفسها براقش الجهل شر الأصحاب
“Ignorance is the most terrible acquaintance.”
البياض نصف الحسن بيت الظالم خراب
“The house of a tyrant is a ruin.”
بيت المحسن عمار
“If you are charitable, you are rich.”
“Distance equals disaffection.”
باب النجار مخَلَّع
“The carpenter’s door is loose.” This might refer to the idea that people who make a profession or a habit of one thing might not have the time to even use that skill in their own life. They take care of everyone except for themselves.
بالأرض ولدتك أمك بالتأني تُدْرَكُ الفُرَصُ
“With care do you realize your opportunities.”
البخيل عظيم الرواق صغير الأخلاق
“The stingy have large porches and little morality.”
الباب الذي يأتيك بالريح سده واسترح
“Close the door that brings in the wind and relax.” This means that sometimes, rather than taking a beating, you should just shut off the source of the noise, distraction, problem – that is, if you can – and take a break.
التجربة العلم الكبير
“Experimentation is the greatest science.”-
أول الشجرة بذرة
“A tree begins with a seed.”
أكرم نفسك عن كل دنيء
“Make distance between you and every dirtiness.”
إن غدا لناظره قريب
“Tomorrow is close if you have patience,” or, “Tomorrow is another day.”
أقلل طعامك تجد منامك
“Eat less to sleep more.”
أقسى من الحجر
“Tougher than a stone.”
آفة العِلْم النسيان
“Forgetting is the plague of knowledge.”
اعف عما أغضبك لما أرضاك أَعقَلُ الناس أَعْذَرُهُمْ للناس
“The wisest is the one who can forgive.”
أصنع من دود القز
“More skillful than a silk worm.”
إن مفاتيح الأمور العزائم
“Determination is the key to everything.”
إنك تضرب في حديد بارد
“You are striking cold iron.” This means you’re trying to change something that you can’t.
في العجلة الندامة و في التاني السلامة
“In haste there is regret, but in patience and care there is peace and safety.” This means you shouldn’t rush things, because if you rush something you’ll end up doing a poor job and regretting the results. If you take your time, you’re ensuring a good end result and can feel peace in knowing that.
“Days are like countries.” This means that a country might be great today, but not tomorrow. This applies to people as well.
إياك وصاحب السوء فإنه يحسن منظره ويقبح أثره إياك وما يعتذر منه
“Avoid things that will require an apology.” This means if you want to do something that you know you’ll have to apologize for, you should probably just not do it!
كأن الحاسد إنما خلق ليغتاظ
“The envious were created just to be infuriated.” This means that there’s no end result to envy other than fury. If you’re feeling envious, you’re only leading yourself down a path to anger.
لا تأكل خبزك على مائدة غيرك
“Do not eat your bread on somebody else’s table.” This means that you shouldn’t benefit off of someone else’s expense; as in, you shouldn’t dirty someone else’s table if you’re just going to be eating your bread.
لا بد دون الشهد من إبر النحل لا بد للمصدور من أن ينفث لا تؤجل عمل اليوم إلى الغد
“Do not delay today’s work for tomorrow.” Don’t procrastinate!
الضامن غارم الضحك بلا سبب من قلة الأدب
“Laughing without a reason is rude.”
سماعك بالْمُعَيْدِيِّ خير من أن تراه سمك في ماء
“Like a fish in water.” Another way to say that someone is a natural.
الثروة تأتي كالسلحفاة وتذهب كالغزال
“Wealth comes like a turtle, and runs away like a gazelle.” This means it can take ages for you to find wealth, but spending it all is far too easy – it can disappear before you know it!
تجوع الحرة ولا تأكل بثدييها التخطيط نصف المعيشة
“Planning is half of living.”
التدبير يثمر اليسير والتبذير يبدد الكثير ترك الذنب أيسر من الاعتذار
“It’s better to avoid mistakes altogether than do something that you should apologize for after.”
تجري الرياح بما لا تشتهي السفن
“Winds blow counter to what the ship wants.” You don’t always get everything your way.
التجارب ليست لها نهاية والمرء منها في زيادة
“There is always something to learn from experimentation.”
تعاشروا كالإخوان وتعاملوا كالأغراب
“Get together like brothers, but work together like strangers.”
حبل الكذب قصير
“The rope of lies is short.” There is only so much leeway you have when you lie. Once that very short rope runs out, you’ll have to face the consequences.
جولة الباطل ساعة وجولة الحق إلى قيام الساعة
“Falseness lasts an hour, the truth lasts until the end of time.”
التكرار يعلّم الحمار
“Repetition teaches the donkey.” Practice makes perfect.
القرد في عين أمه غزال
“The monkey is as beautiful as a gazelle in his mother’s eyes.” When you love someone, you will always see them perfect.
للي يتلسع من الشوربة ينفخ في الزبادي
“He who burns his tongue from soup will blow in yogurt.” If you had a bad experience once, you will be extra cautious next time.
لبس البوصة، تبقى عروسة
“Dressing up a stick turns it into a doll.” Anyone can look good with the right clothes.
ابن الوزّ عوّام
“The son of a goose is a swimmer.” Like father, like son.
نقول طور يقولو احلبوه
“We say it’s a bull, they say milk it.” When you talk to someone who can’t understand you and can’t see your logic.
دخول الحمّام مش زي خروجه
“Entering a bathroom isn’t like leaving it.” It’s not easy getting out of tricky situations.
حاجة تحرق الدم
” Something that burns the blood.” Used to express something that is really frustrating or someone who is being very difficult.
اذا كان حبيبك عسل، ماتلحسوش كله
“If your lover is honey, don’t lick it all.
Don’t take advantage of someone who loves you or someone who is being nice to you.
ديل الكلب عمره مايتعدل
“The dog’s tail will never be straight.” A leopard doesn’t change its spots.
“The mind is decoration.” Your mind is what makes you beautiful.
الكذب ملوش رجلين
“Lying has no legs.” The truth always comes out.
يصوم يصوم و يفطر على بصلة
“He fasts and fasts and then feasts on an onion.” Used to express disappointment in something that was expected to be great.
تموت الراقصة ووسطها بيلعب
“The dancer dies and her waist is still moving.” Old habits never die or some people will never change
مافيش حلاوة من غير نار
“There is no sweetness without fire.” Nothing good comes easy.
الباب اليجيلك منو الريح سدو وستريح
“Close the door that brings the wind and relax.” Block whatever is causing you stress in your life and don’t deal with it.
“Your face is jinx.” When someone brings bad fortune to you every time you see them.
التكرار يعلّم الحمار
“Repetition teaches the donkey.” Practice makes perfect.
القرد في عين أمه غزال
“The monkey is a gazelle in its mother’s eyes.” Mothers always see the best in their children. Mother knows best
78. دخول الحمام مش زي خروجه
“Going into the bathroom is not like leaving it.” Getting into tricky situations is easier than getting out of them.
79. علمناهم الشحاته سبقونا على البواب
“We taught them how to beg, they beat us to the doors.” When the student becomes the master.
- تیتي تیتي زي ما رحتي جیتي
“Ti ti ti ti, you came just as you left.” You wasted your time.
81. في الهوا سوا
“We are in the wind together.” We’re all in the same boat.
82. اللي استحوا ماتوا
“Those who are shy are dead.” No morals.
83. في الوجه مراية وفي القفا صرماية
“Mirror in the face, a shoe in the back.” Double-faced.
84. على قد بساطك مد رجليك
“You can only lay your feet within the length of your carpet.” Live within your capabilities.
85. اعمل منيح وارميه فى البحر
“Do good and throw in the sea.” Do good without expecting anything in return.
- الف دقدق ولا سلام عليك
“A thousand raps at the door, but no salute or invitation from within.”
This is said of a person’s fruitless endeavours to become intimate with another.
الف قفا ولا قفاي
“(Let them strike or slap) a thousand necks, but not mine.”
Among the Arabs it is usual to strike the neck (US) and not the ears. A blow on the neck is considered a much greater affront than a slap on the face. Not only the neck, but a blow struck upon the neck, is expressed in the Egyptian dialect by qafan. Thus ” I struck him a blow on his neck” (ضربته قفا Darabtuhu qafan) is exactly equivalent in its meaning to the English phrase, ” I boxed his ears.”
الف كركي في الجو ما تعوض عصفور في الكف
“A thousand cranes in the air are not worth one sparrow in the fist.”
The crane (كركيkurkii) is a bird common in the Delta, particularly about the Lake of Menzaleh.كف (kaff) properly signifies the “hand” or “palm” of the hand, but in Egypt is generally used for the ” fist.”
اذا كان القمر معك لا تبالي بالنجوم
“If the moon be with thee, thou needest not to care about the stars.”
اذا كان معك نحس لا تسيبه يجيك انحس منه
“If a worthless fellow be with thee do not let him go, or else one worse will come to thee.”
The general meaning is, that we should bear present ills rather than, by endeavouring to remove tاem, expose ourselves to greater. This saying is often quoted with respect to servants, whose dishonesty and insolence are subjects of universal complaint throughout Egypt. The word يسيب (yasiib) in common acceptation signifies “to leave a thing, to let it go out of one’s hands.” The wordنحس (naHs) is used in Egypt to express a low, disorderly, unprincipled character—a base, worthless fellow.
اذا كانت العمايم تشتكي الفسة ايش يكون حال اللأابسة
“If the turbans complain of a slight wind, what must be the state of the inner drawers?”
This proverb is quoted when the citizens of Cairo murmur at oppression, the peasants having much greater reason for being discontented.الفسة (al-fasa) flatus, ايش (eesh) in the Egyptian dialect used forأي شيء(ay shai’), أابسة (albasa) plural of لباس(libaas), drawers worn under the great trowsers.
اذا كان زوجي راضي ايش فضول القاضي
“If my husband consent, why should the Qadi’s [judge] interference be necessary?”
This means in general that when two parties who have contended agree to be reconciled, the arbitration of a third person is not requisite. But the saying more particularly alludes to divorces, which in many cases are determined by the Qadi.فضول (faDuul) in the Egyptian dialect, signifies—the meddling, officious interference of a third person.
اذا نسيت الحمد تصلي بايش
“If thou forgettest to say “Praise be to God,” in what other words wilt thou pray?”
This is addressed to persons who neglect the principal object or part of their business, and execute only that which is the least important. الحمد (al-Hamdu) means the expression الحمد لله(al-Hamdu li-lah), which commences the Fateha, or first chapter of the Koran, and should be recited in every prayer.بايش (bi-eesh) in the Egyptian dialect forباي شيء (bi ay shaii’). The Egyptians always put this after the verb in interrogations, asتصلي بايش(taSalli bi-eesh) —whilst the Syrians invariably place it before, and sayتصلي بايش .
اذا كرهك جارك غير باب دارك
“If thy neighbour dislike thee, change the gate of thy house.”
The intimacy with neighbours is much greater in the East than in Europe; and the repose of a family often depends upon the harmony subsisting between it and those who occupy the adjoining house.
اذا حلق جارك بل انت
“If thy neighbour shaves (somebody), do thou soak (the head of the person whom he shaves).”
Always endeavour to act agreeably to the wishes of thy neighbour. يبل (yabull) to wet, meaning here to wet the head with a lather of soap before the application of a razor.
اذا اراد ربنا هلاك نملة انبت لها اجنحة
“If God proposes the destruction of an ant he allows wings to grow upon her.”
The sudden elevation of persons to stations above their means or capacities, may often cause their ruin.
اذا رايت اعور عبر اقلب حجر
“If thou seest a one-eyed person pass by, turn up a stone.”
The people of Cairo turn up a stone or break a water-jar behind the back of any person whom they dislike, just on his leaving them, hoping thereby to prevent his return; this is a kind of incantation. The term one-eyed here expresses a person disagreeable on any account. The Arabs regard a one-eyed man as of bad omen, and nobody wishes to meet him.
اذا رايت حيط مايل هرول من تحتها
“If thou seest a wall inclining, run from under it.”
Fly from him whose power is tottering, or whom dangers threaten. In the Egyptian dialect حيط is used forحائط.
اذا كثرت الالوان اعرف انها من بيوت الجيوان
“If the dishes increase in number, it becomes known that they are from the houses of neighbours.”
In the East, neighbours frequently supply the wants of their friend’s kitchen on occasion of family feasts. This saying implies that when a person makes too expensive an entertainment, it is evident that he has borrowed from others. لون (lawn) in the plural means not only ” a colour,” but, among the Egyptians, a dish of dressed victuals.
اذا كترت النواتية غرقت الركب
“If the sailors become too numerous, the ship sinks.” كترت instead ofكثرت. Theثis seldom pronounced in Egypt.
اذا حبتك حية اطوّق بها
“If a serpent love thee, wear him as a necklace.”
If dangerous people show affection towards thee, court their friendship by the most polite attention.
اذا انكسر الجمل حمّل حمل حمار
“If thy camel break down, put on an ass-load.”
Suit thy business to thy circumstances.
اذا بُليت بالشحاتة دق الابواب الكبار
“If mendacity [begging] should unfortunately be thy lot, knock at the large gates only.“
Ask assistance from those only who have the power of helping thee.
اذا كان البصل يُهلّل له فالسكر ايش نقول له
“If an onion causes his loud rejoicings, what then shall we say to sugar?”
Said of people who bestow admiration upon trifling objects.
خبّ قرشك الأبيض ليومك الأسود
“Hide your white money for your black day.”
Save the bulk of your money – silver coins – for hard days, like the English expression to save money for a rainy day.
106. الساقية الجارية ولا النهر المقطوع
“The flowing brook rather than the dry river.” – Lebanese proverb
A small but constant source of income is better than a large yet unreliable one.
- أخفد صوتك وقوّي حجتك
“Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.” – Lebanese proverb
Your arguments are stronger if you don’t shout. It is similar to President Roosevelt’s saying “walk softly, and carry a big stick.”
مثل الاربعة بنص الجمعة
“Like Wednesday in the middle of the week.” – Syrian proverb
Refers to someone who sits around when there is work to be done . I think it’s similar to the English idiom “like a bump on a log”.
اللی بیشرب البحر ما بغض الساقية
“He who has drunk the sea does not choke on a brook. – Syrian proverb
Someone who has done a big thing will not fear a small thing.
ناس بيأكلوا جاج ناس بيقعوا بالسياج
“Some people eat chicken; others fall into the hedge ( while chasing chickens).” – Syrian proverb
Some people get the benefits; while others do all the work.
Egyptian Arabic Proverbs
- اعمل منيح وارميه فى البحر
“Do good and throw in the sea.” Do good without expecting anything in return.
القرد في عين أمه غزال
“The monkey is a gazelle in the eyes of his mother.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
أدعي على ولدي وأكره من يقول أمين
“I curse my own child but I hate whoever says ‘amen’.”
This proverb describes the feeling that I have the right to criticize someone close to me, but I will rush to that person’s defense if an outsider makes the same criticism.
آخرة المعروف الضرب بالكفوف
“The end result of a good deed is a slap with the palms.” No good deed goes unpunished.
اللي ايده في المية مش زي اللي ايده في النار
“The one whose hand is in fire is not like the one whose hand is in water.” Easier said than done.
لما اتفرّقت العقول كل واحد عجبه عقله، ولما اتفرّقت الأرزاق ماحدش عجبه رزقه
“Literal translation:When brains were passed out, everyone was pleased with his brains; but when fortunes were given out, no one was satisfied with his fortune.” People may be dissatisfied with their lot in life but nevertheless still believe that their way of thinking is the best.
اللي يتلسع من الشوربة ينفخ في الزبادي
“Whoever gets burned by soup, blows on yogurt.” Once bitten, twice shy.
إمشي في الجنازة، ولا تمشي في جوازة
“Walk in a funeral procession, not in a marriage.” Don’t play match-maker, i.e. don’t try to arrange a marriage because you will get blamed if it doesn’t work out.
الدنيا زي الغازية، ترقص لكل واحد شوية
“The world is like a belly-dancer: it dances a little while for everyone.” Every dog has its day.
اللي على راسه بطحة يحسّس عليها
“Whoever has a head-wound keeps feeling it.” A guilty person will give himself away. An (uncommon) ‘The tongue ever turns to the aching tooth’.
أقول له تور يقول إحلبه
“I say to him, ‘It’s a bull’ and he responds ‘Milk it’.” This saying refers to a situation where someone goes on repeating the same argument over and over again, even though he has been contradicted repeatedly.
لولا اختلاف النظر، لبارت السلع
“Were it not for differences of opinion, goods would go unsold.” Different perspectives is what gives things value. Variety is the spice of life.
إذا كان حبيبك عسل ما تلحسوش كله
“Even if friend is honey, don’t lick them all up.” Don’t abuse the kindness of a friend.
كلّه عند العرب صابون
“For the Bedouin, it’s all soap.” People without taste can’t discern the quality of different things.
اللي ما يعرفش، يقول عدس
“He who doesn’t know, says ‘lentils’.” Those who don’t know the true story will just say anything as an explanation.
بعد ما شاب ودّوه الكتّاب
“After his hair went gray, they took him to school.” You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
صاحب بالين كدّاب وصاحب تلاتة منافق
“A person of two minds is a liar, and a person of three minds is a hypocrite.” A person who tries to do two things at once is fooling himself, and a person who tries to do three things at once is even more self-deceived. The closest English equivalent would be “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
الجنة بدون ناس ما تنداس
“A paradise without people is not worth stepping foot in.”
الحكي مش متل الشوفة
“Speaking is not like seeing.” A picture is worth a thousand words.
اللي بدو يلعب مع القط بدو يلقى خراميشه
“Whoever plays with a cat will find his claws.” If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.
ابنك هو وزغير ربّيه وهو وكبير خاويه
“Discipline your son when he’s young, and be his friend when he grows up.”
احترنا يا قرعة من وين بدنا نبوسك
“Oh bald man, we’re confused about where to kiss you.” This proverb is applied to someone who’s hard to please, sort of like saying “There’s no pleasing you” in English. The strange assumption at the heart of this expression is that a bald person has more potentially kissable spots on his head, so there is no one obvious place to plant a kiss.
الإسكافي حافي والحايك عريان
“The shoemaker is barefoot and the weaver is naked.” People tend to neglect the things closest to them. Or alternatively, they fail to apply the advice and expertise they have for others to their own life. An English equivalent is “The shoemaker’s children always go barefoot.”
طب الجرة ع تمّا بتطلع البنت لإمّا
“Flip the jar on its mouth, and the daughter comes out like her mother.” Like mother, like daughter. The Egyptian version of this proverb goes: اقلب القدرة على فمها تطلع البنت لإمها
ما تقول فول ليصير بالمكيول
“Don’t says “beans” until they are on the measuring scale.” Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
التلم الأعوج من التور الكبير
“The crooked furrow is caused by the big bull.” A fish rots from the head down.
الدم ما بيصير مي
“Blood does not become water.” Blood is thicker than water.
اللي بياكل العصي مش متل اللي بيعدّها
“Receiving (blows from) a stick is not the same as counting them.” Easier said than done.
كل ديك ع مزبلته صيّاح
“Every rooster crows on its own dunghill.” Everyone feels confident on their home turf.
“Movement is a blessing.” Action is better than inaction. In order to get things done, you need to act.
الديك بيموت وعينو بالمزبلة
“The rooster dies with his eye still on the dunghill.” Similar to the English proverb “A leopard can’t change its spots,” this proverb conveys the idea that no one can change their fundamental nature. It’s used especially in reference to negative qualities and behaviors.
البحصة بتسند خابية
“A pebble can support a barrel.” Even a small effort can go a long way.
Arabic Proverbs From Wikiquote
- If a falcon hunts mice he is worthless.
- Islam, A Way of Life by Philip K. Hitti
- Any wise enemy is better than an ignorant friend.
- Quoted in Carol Bardenstein, Translation and Transformation in Modern Arabic Literature:The Indigenous Assertions of Muḥammad ‘Uthmān Jalāl, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005, p. 66.
- The food of the lion (causes) indigestion to the wolf.
- As quoted in Arabic Proverbs: Or, The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians by John Lewis Burckhardt and William Ouseley (1830).
- The remedy may be worse than the disease.
- English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease; Burn not your house to rid it of 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.
- Atmaram Sadashiv, G. Jayakar (1900). Omani proverbs (Reimpresa ed.). Oleander Press. p. 69. ISBN 0906672120.
- He with no ears gets the earrings !
- Quoted in Bardenstein (2005), p. 66[specific citation needed]
- When suitors came asking for her hand, she played hard-to-get, when they all left her, she regretted it.
- Quoted in Bardenstein (2005), p. 66[specific citation needed]
- حبل الكذب قصير
- Translation: The rope of lying is short.
- English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
- “And, after all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but
The truth in masquerade.”
- Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto XI, Stanza 37
- Katibah, Habib Ibrahim (1940). The new spirit in Arab lands. Published privately by the author. p. 121.
- كل ساقط له لاقط
- Translation: Every faller has a catcher.
- حسن, دين، محمد علي (2011). الامثال الشعبية. دار المحجة البيضاء للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع،.
- لا يفل الحديد إلا الحديد
- Translation: Only iron strikes iron.
- English equivalent: Fight fire with fire.
- al-Kitäb. 1946.
- الوقت كالسيف إن لم تقطعه قطعك
- Translation: Time is like a sword; if you don’t cut it it’ll cut you.
- “The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present”
- Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes (1985)
- Manṣūr, ʻAbd al-Fattāḥ (1987). Mudhakkirāt kāìn maḥmūm.
- رجع بخفي حنين
- Translation: He came back empty-handed.
- رجع بخفي حنين – الحكمة (in Arabic).
I give thee flight without wings. – Bedouin Proverbs
The lightly burdened shall be saved. – Bedouin Proverb
Truth may walk through the world unarmed. – Bedouin Proverb
He who shares my bread and salt is not my enemy. – Bedouin Proverb
The broth is cooking, and now we have to act as one. – Bedouin Proverb
As the camel falls to its knees, more knives are drawn. – Bedouin Proverbs
At the narrow passage, there is no brother and no friend. – Bedouin Proverbs
Knowledge is light – and all who contribute bring light to our world. – Bedouin Proverb
Keep women far away from song, because it is a summons to adultery. – Bedouin Proverb
When the shooting starts climb on your camel and head for the mountaintops. – Bedouin Proverb
My treasures do not chink or glitter. They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night. – Bedouin Proverb
My father rode a camel, I shall ride a pick-up and my son will drive a Cadillac; however my grandson will drive a donkey. – Bedouin Proverbs
When you sleep in a house your thoughts are as high as the ceiling, when you sleep outside they are as high as the stars. – Bedouin Proverbs
I against my brother, I and my brother against our cousin, I, my brother and our cousin against the neighbors, All of us against the foreigner. – Bedouin Proverb
Bedouin Proverbs From Wikiquote
- الطول طول نخلة والعقل عقل سخلة
- Translation: [He has] The length of a palm tree but the brain of a goat.
- فوزية, دريع، (2008). الرجل الحيوان. منشورات الجمل،.
- إلى كثروا الرعيان ضاعت الغنم
- If the herders are a lot the sheep will get lost.
- English equivalent: Too many cooks spoiled the broth.
- “There may not be that natural connection and unity so essential to any production of merit.”
- Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order …. Munroe and Company. p. 173.
- انا اخبر بشمس بلديي
- I best know the sun of my own country.
- Arabic Proverbs: Or, The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians
- اللي مايعرف الصقر يشويه
- Translation: He who doesn’t know the falcon roasts it
- Nawfal, Yūsuf Ḥasan (1981). محمد عبد الحليم عبد الله: حياته وأدبه. عمادة شؤون المكتبات، جامعة الرياض،.
- لا تقول بـُر ليـن توكيــه
- Translation: Don’t say its wheat until you harvest it
- English equivalent: Sell not the bear’s skin before you have caught him.
- Meaning: “Do not plan too far ahead and do not be too optimistic. One cannot be sure of the success of a job until it is completed. Unforeseen unfavourable developments can never be excluded.”
- 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. 217. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
- Riches have disclosed in thy character the bad qualities formerly hhidden by thy poverty.
- Ouseley (1830). Arabic Proverbs: Or, The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. J. Murray. p. 163.
- I love you so I overlook your defects. I hate you so I magnify your shortcomings.
- English equivalentː Faults are thick where love is thin.
- Furayḥah, Anīs (1953). Modern Lebanese Proverbs: Collected at Râs Al-Matn, Lebanon; Collated, Annotated and Translated to English. p. 163.