German Proverbs

The Germanic peoples (Latin: Germani; also called Teutons, Suebian, or Gothic in older literature) were a collection of ethnic groups of Northern European origin identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples, and identified in modern scholarship as speakers, at least for the most part, of early Germanic languages.

A collection of German Proverbs to inspire you. Wise German sayings in the form of proverbs that have been passed down for generations.

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German Proverbs

“It has not” doesn’t mean “it will not.” – German Proverbs

“Age before beauty,” said the devil as he threw his grandmother off’ the stairs. – German Proverbs

“All freight lightens,” said the skipper, when he threw his wife overboard. – German Proverbs

“An egg is an egg,” said the beadle, but he took the goose-egg. – German Proverbs

“Away with you, be a peddlar, a knave,” says the hangman to his man. – German Proverbs

“But” is a fence over which few leap. – German Proverbs

“Force me, and I shall commit no sin,” said the girl. – German Proverbs

“Great cry and little wool,” said the fool, when he sheared a pig. – German Proverbs

“Had I known” is a poor man. – German Proverbs

“I have had” is a poor man. – German Proverbs

“I have” is a better bird than “If I had.” – German Proverbs

“I will not bite any dog,” says the shepherd’s dog, “for I must save my teeth for the wolf.” – German Proverbs

“If I rest, I rust,” says the key. – German Proverbs

“If you have no money, turn placeman!” as the court fool said to his sovereign. – German Proverbs

“Like will to like,” as the devil said to the coal-burner. – German Proverbs

“Must” is a bitter herb. – German Proverbs

“O what we must suffer for the sake of God’s church!” said the abbot, when the roast fowl burned his fingers. – German Proverbs

“Red is Love’s colour,” said the wooer to his foxy charmer. – German Proverbs

“Success to you! God speed the craft!” as the hangman said to the judge. – German Proverbs

“With all my heart!” says the boor, when he must. – German Proverbs

“With great pleasure,” says the boor, when he must. – German Proverbs

“Your words are fair,” said the wolf, “but I will not come into the village.” – German Proverbs

“But” is a fence over which few leap. – German Proverbs

“It has not” does not mean “it will not.” – German Proverbs

A bad cause requires many words. – German Proverbs

A bad penny always comes back. – German Proverbs

A better seldom comes after. – German Proverbs

A blind horse goes straightforward. – German Proverbs

A blind leader of the blind. – German Proverbs

A blind man swallows many a fly. – German Proverbs

A bold onset is half the battle. – German Proverbs

A bolt does not always fall when it thunders. – German Proverbs

A cat has nine lives, as the onion seven skins. – German Proverbs

A cat has nine lives. – German Proverbs

A cat in gloves catches no mice. – German Proverbs

A cat is a lion to mouse. – German Proverbs

A clean mouth and honest hand, will take a man through any land. – German Proverbs

A clear conscience is a soft pillow. – German Proverbs

A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs. – German Proverbs

A dainty stomach beggars the purse. – German Proverbs

A danger foreseen is half avoided. – German Proverbs

A day after the fair. – German Proverbs

A doctor and a boor know more than a doctor alone. – German Proverbs

A dream grants what one covets when awake. – German Proverbs

A drink is shorter than a tale. – German Proverbs

A dripping June sets all in tune. – German Proverbs

A drop in the sea/bucket. – German Proverbs

A father maintains ten children better than ten children one father. – German Proverbs

A fence between makes love more keen. – German Proverbs

A fence lasts three years, a dog lasts three fences, a horse three dogs, and a man three horses. – German Proverbs

A glutton young, a beggar old. – German Proverbs

A golden hammer breaks an iron gate. – German Proverbs

A good conscience makes a good pillow. – German Proverbs

A good lie finds more believers than a bad truth. – German Proverbs

A good name is a rich inheritance. – German Proverbs

A good sermon must be brief, clear, and vigorous. – German Proverbs

A good speaker makes a good liar. – German Proverbs

A good trade will carry farther than a thousand florins. – German Proverbs

A gosling flew over the Rhine, and came home a goose. – German Proverbs

A great war leaves the country with three armies – an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves. – German Proverbs

A half doctor near is better than a whole one far away. – German Proverbs

A hedge between keeps friendship green. – German Proverbs

A huckster who cannot pass off mouse-turd for pepper, has not learned his trade. – German Proverbs

A hundred years of wrong do not make an hour of right. – German Proverbs

A lawyer and a wagon-wheel must be well greased. – German Proverbs

A lean agreement is better than a fat lawsuit. – German Proverbs

A lie carries ten others. – German Proverbs

A light belly, heavy heart. – German Proverbs

A little too late, is much too late. – German Proverbs

A loaded wagon creaks; an empty one rattles. – German Proverbs

A lordly taste make a beggar’s purse. – German Proverbs

A lovelorn cook over-salts the porridge. – German Proverbs

A man has learned much who has learned how to die. – German Proverbs

A man has two ears and one mouth that he hears much and speaks little. – German Proverbs

A man is known by the friends he keeps. – German Proverbs

A man surprised is half beaten. – German Proverbs

A man warned is half saved. – German Proverbs

A millstone gathers no moss. – German Proverbs

A mistake is no fraud. – German Proverbs

A monk in his cloister, a fish in the water, a thief in the gallows. – German Proverbs

A nail secures the horse-shoe, the shoe the horse, the horse the man, the man the castle, and the castle the whole land. – German Proverbs

A pack of cards is the devil’s prayer-book. – German Proverbs

A penny saved is a penny gained. – German Proverbs

A penny saved is a penny got. – German Proverbs

A penny saved is twice earned. – German Proverbs

A penny saved is two-pence got. – German Proverbs

A poor person isn’t he who has little, but he who needs a lot. – German Proverbs

A prophet is not without honor save in his own country. – German Proverbs

A proverb never lies; it is only its meaning which deceives. – German Proverbs

A rich man knows not his friends. – German Proverbs

A single penny fairly got, is worth a thousand that are not. – German Proverbs

A single stroke don’t fell the oak. – German Proverbs

A slice of ham is better than a fat pig in a dream. – German Proverbs

A small gift is better than a great promise. – German Proverbs

A teacher is better than two books. – German Proverbs

A thief seldom grows rich by thieving. – German Proverbs

A thing is not bad if well understood. – German Proverbs

A used plough shines, standing water stinks. – German Proverbs

A wall between increases love. – German Proverbs

A wise man, a strong man. – German Proverbs

A woman has the form of an angel, the heart of a serpent, and the mind of an ass. – German Proverbs

A woman strong in flounces is weak in the head. – German Proverbs

A woman without a man is like a garden without a fence. – German Proverbs

A woman’s work is never done. – German Proverbs

A young doctor means a new graveyard. – German Proverbs

A young wife is an old man’s post-horse to the grave. – German Proverbs

Abroad one has a hundred eyes, at home not one. – German Proverbs

Abundance begets indifference. – German Proverbs

Adam must have an Eve, to blame for his own faults.

Adversity is the mother of wisdom. – German Proverbs

Advice is not compulsion. – German Proverbs

Advice should precede the act. – German Proverbs

Advising is easier than helping – German Proverbs

Advising is often better than fighting. – German Proverbs

After clouds comes clear weather. – German Proverbs

After dinner stand a while, or walk nearly half a mile. – German Proverbs

Age does not protect from foolishness. – German Proverbs

Agree, for the law is costly. – German Proverbs

All are not asleep who have their eyes shut. – German Proverbs

All are not cooks who carry long knives. – German Proverbs

All are not thieves whom the dog barks at. – German Proverbs

All beginning is difficult. – German Proverbs

All beginnings are hard. – German Proverbs

All freight lightens, said the skipper, when he threw his wife overboard. – German Proverbs

All goes down gutter lane. – German Proverbs

All good things must come to an end. – German Proverbs

All had rather it were well for themselves than for another. – German Proverbs

All or nothing! – German Proverbs

All skill is in vain when an angel pees in the touchhole of your musket. – German Proverbs

All wooers are rich, and all captives poor. – German Proverbs

All’s fair in love and war. – German Proverbs

All’s well that ends well. – German Proverbs

Almost never killed a fly. – German Proverbs

Always something new, seldom something good. – German Proverbs

Amendment is repentance. – German Proverbs

Among the blind, the one-eyed is king. – German Proverbs

An ass in Germany is a professor in Rome. – German Proverbs

An egg is an egg, said the beadle, but he took the goose-egg. – German Proverbs

An enemy that is surprised is already half-defeated. – German Proverbs

An old broom knows the corners of the house. – German Proverbs

An old error is always more popular than a new truth. – German Proverbs

An old lie is often more popular than a new truth. – German Proverbs

An old man loved is a winter with flowers. – German Proverbs

An ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound of school-wit. – German Proverbs

An uneducated person is like an unpolished mirror. – German Proverbs

Anger without power is folly. – German Proverbs

Another man’s horse and your own spurs outrun the wind. – German Proverbs

Apes remain apes, though you cloth them in velvet. – German Proverbs

Appearances are deceptive. – German Proverbs

April weather, woman’s love, rose-leaves, dice, and card-luck, change every moment. – German Proverbs

Art holds fast when all else is lost. – German Proverbs

As a man eats, so he works. – German Proverbs

As a thing is used, so it brightens. – German Proverbs

As a tree falls, so shall it lie. – German Proverbs

As fast as laws are devised, their evasion is contrived. – German Proverbs

As good be an addled egg as an idle bird. – German Proverbs

As good eat the devil as the broth he was boiled in. – German Proverbs

As he thinketh in his heart, so is he. – German Proverbs

As soon a man is born he begins to die. – German Proverbs

As the field, so the crops; as the father, so the sons.

As the labor, so the pay. – German Proverbs

As the master, so the work. – German Proverbs

As the mistress, so the maid. – German Proverbs

As the old birds sings, the young ones twitter. – German Proverbs

As the old cock crows so crows the young. – German Proverbs

As the tree, so the fruit; as the mistress, so the maid. – German Proverbs

As won, so spent. – German Proverbs

Assertion is no proof. – German Proverbs

Asses sing badly, because they pitch their voices too high. – German Proverbs

Asses that bray most eat least. – German Proverbs

At court there are many hands, but few hearts. – German Proverbs

At evening the sluggard is busy. – German Proverbs

Attack is the best defense. – German Proverbs

Avarice hoards itself poor; charity gives itself rich. – German Proverbs

Away from the battle all are soldiers. – German Proverbs

Away with you, be a peddlar, a knave, says the hangman to his man. – German Proverbs

Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune. – German Proverbs

Bad bird, bad egg. – German Proverbs

Bad eyes never see any good. – German Proverbs

Bad money drives out good. – German Proverbs

Bargains are costly. – German Proverbs

Barking dogs don’t bite. – German Proverbs

Be as you would seem to be. – German Proverbs

Be not ashamed of your craft. – German Proverbs

Be silent, or say something better than silence. – German Proverbs

Be sparing and keep your house. – German Proverbs

Be the thing you would be called. – German Proverbs

Bear and bull catch no fox. – German Proverbs

Beauty is a good letter of introduction. – German Proverbs

Beauty is in the details. – German Proverbs

Begin to weave and God will give the thread. – German Proverbs

Beginning and ending shake hands. – German Proverbs

Better a friendly denial than an unwilling compliance. – German Proverbs

Better a lean peace than a fat victory. – German Proverbs

Better a living dog than a dead lion. – German Proverbs

Better a patch than a hole. – German Proverbs

Better alone than in bad company. – German Proverbs

Better an honest enemy than a false friend. – German Proverbs

Better an unjust peace than a just war. – German Proverbs

Better ask twice than go wrong once. – German Proverbs

Better badly mounted than proud on foot. – German Proverbs

Better envy than pity. – German Proverbs

Better free in a foreign land than a serf at home. – German Proverbs

Better give nothing than stolen alms. – German Proverbs

Better in the dust than crawl near the throne. – German Proverbs

Better is better. – German Proverbs

Better silent than stupid. – German Proverbs

Better something than nothing at all. – German Proverbs

Better the envy of enemies than the pity of friends. – German Proverbs

Better to go to bed supperless than run in debt. – German Proverbs

Better, ‘There he goes’, than ‘There he hangs’. – German Proverbs

Between a woman’s “Yes” and “No” there is no room for the point of a needle. – German Proverbs

Between neighbors’ gardens a hedge is not amiss. – German Proverbs

Between the hand and the lip the soup may be spilt. – German Proverbs

Between wording and working is a long road. – German Proverbs

Between wrangling and disputing truth is lost. – German Proverbs

Betwixt two stools the doup fas down. – German Proverbs

Beware of a silent dog and still water. – German Proverbs

Beware of laughing hosts and weeping priests. – German Proverbs

Beware of men who flourish hereditary honors. – German Proverbs

Birds of prey do not sing. – German Proverbs

Black cows give white milk. – German Proverbs

Blaming is easy; doing better is more difficult. – German Proverbs

Blind zeal only does harm. – German Proverbs

Blood is thicker than water. – German Proverbs

Boldly ventured is half won. – German Proverbs

Borrowing does well only once. – German Proverbs

Both legs in the stocks or only one, ’tis all the same. – German Proverbs

Bought wisdom is best. – German Proverbs

Boys avoid the bees that stung ’em. – German Proverbs

Bread in one hand, a stone in the other. – German Proverbs

Build golden bridges for the flying foe. – German Proverbs

Building castles in the air. – German Proverbs

Business before pleasure. – German Proverbs

But is a fence over which few leap. – German Proverbs

Buyers want a hundred eyes, sellers only one. – German Proverbs

Buying is cheaper than asking. – German Proverbs

By night all cats are grey. – German Proverbs

Care brings on grey hairs, and age without years. – German Proverbs

Care killed the cat. – German Proverbs

Caution is the mother of the porcellain chest. – German Proverbs

Character, Health, Nothing, Wealth, wealth, health, character – German Proverbs

Charity gives itself rich; covetousness hoards itself poor. – German Proverbs

Charity looks at the need, not at the cause. – German Proverbs

Charity sees the need not the cause. – German Proverbs

Cheating is more honorable than stealing. – German Proverbs

Cheating is the chapman’s cart and plough. – German Proverbs

Cheats never prosper. – German Proverbs

Cheese is gold in the morning, silver at noon, and lead at night. – German Proverbs

Coffee and love are best when they are hot. – German Proverbs

Cold hands, warm heart. – German Proverbs

Common fame is seldom to blame. – German Proverbs

Compliments cost nothing, yet many pay dear for them. – German Proverbs

Confidence begets confidence. – German Proverbs

Constant dropping wears the stone. – German Proverbs

Constant occupation prevents temptation. – German Proverbs

Consult with your pillow. – German Proverbs

Contentment is worth more than riches. – German Proverbs

Could everything be done twice, everything would be done better. – German Proverbs

Councils of war never fight. – German Proverbs

Crazy wheels run longest. – German Proverbs

Credit is better than ready money. – German Proverbs

Crooked wood burns quite as well as straight. – German Proverbs

Cunning surpasses strength. – German Proverbs

Curiosity killed the cat. – German Proverbs

Daughter-in-law hates mother-in-law. – German Proverbs

Daughters are easy to rear, but hard to marry. – German Proverbs

Dear physic always does good, if not to the patient, at least to the apothecary. – German Proverbs

Deferred is not annulled. – German Proverbs

Devils must be driven out with devils. – German Proverbs

Diligence is the parent of fortune. – German Proverbs

Divide and rule. – German Proverbs

Do not divide the spoil till the victory is won. – German Proverbs

Do not hang all at one nail. – German Proverbs

Do not ship all in one bottom. – German Proverbs

Do what you should and let the people talk. – German Proverbs

Doctor Luther’s shoes do not fit every parish priest. – German Proverbs

Dogs that bark much don’t bite. – German Proverbs

Doing nothing is doing ill. – German Proverbs

Doing nothing teaches doing ill. – German Proverbs

Don’t cry hurrah till you’re over the hill. – German Proverbs

Don’t throw away your old shoes before you have new shoes. – German Proverbs

Don’t budge, if you sit at ease. – German Proverbs

Don’t carry your head too high, the door is low. – German Proverbs

Don’t cast your pearls before swine. – German Proverbs

Don’t cry hurra! till your are over the hedge (till you are out of the wood). – German Proverbs

Don’t divide the spoil before the victory is won. – German Proverbs

Don’t fly till your wings are feathered. – German Proverbs

Don’t get mad, get even. – German Proverbs

Don’t learn too much, Jack, else you must do a great deal. – German Proverbs

Don’t make a mouse of yourself, or else you will be eaten by cats. – German Proverbs

Don’t reckon without your host. – German Proverbs

Don’t sell the bear-skin before you have killed the bear. – German Proverbs

Don’t throw away your dirty water till you have got clean. – German Proverbs

Don’t throw away your old shoes before you have new shoes. – German Proverbs

Dreams are froth. – German Proverbs

Drink upon salad costs the doctor a ducat; drink upon eggs costs him two. – German Proverbs

Ducats are clipped, pence are not. – German Proverbs

Ducks quack loudly before a rain. – German Proverbs

Dumb dogs and still water are dangerous. – German Proverbs

Dutch: Don’t throw away your old shoes till you have got new ones. – German Proverbs

Each one holds his own religion for the best. – German Proverbs

Eagles do not breed doves. – German Proverbs

Early marriage, long love. – German Proverbs

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. – German Proverbs

Early to rise and late to bed, lifts again the debtor’s head. – German Proverbs

Easier said than done. – German Proverbs

Eating and drinking holds body and soul together. – German Proverbs

Either fight not with priests or beat them to death.

Empty casks make the most sound. – German Proverbs

Enough is better than a sackful. – German Proverbs

Enough is better than too much. – German Proverbs

Even a hair casts its shadow. – German Proverbs

Even the best hack stumbles once. – German Proverbs

Even the lion must defend himself against the flies. – German Proverbs

Ever one hair, only one, and the man is bald at last. – German Proverbs

Every beginning is hard, said the thief, when he began by stealing an anvil. – German Proverbs

Every clown can find fault, though it would puzzle him to do better. – German Proverbs

Every cock crows best on his own dunghill. – German Proverbs

Every fool is different. – German Proverbs

Every hare may pluck the dead lion’s mane. – German Proverbs

Every herring must hang by its own gill. – German Proverbs

Every laborer is worthy of his hire. – German Proverbs

Every land has its own law. – German Proverbs

Every lion has to defend himself against flies. – German Proverbs

Every man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost. – German Proverbs

Every man is dearest to himself. – German Proverbs

Every man is the best interpreter of his own words. – German Proverbs

Every one basteth the fat hog, while the lean one burneth. – German Proverbs

Every one counts for as much as he has. – German Proverbs

Everybody is the architect oh is own fortune. – German Proverbs

Everybody knows best where his own shoe pinches. – German Proverbs

Everybody knows good counsel except him who has need of it. – German Proverbs

Everybody must wear out one pair of fool’s shoes, if he wear no more. – German Proverbs

Everybody says it, nobody knows it. – German Proverbs

Everybody thinks his own cuckoo sings better than another’s nightingale. – German Proverbs

Everybody thinks of his copper as gold. – German Proverbs

Everybody’s busy is nobody’s business. – German Proverbs

Everybody’s companion is nobody’s friend. – German Proverbs

Everyone is emperor on his own ground. – German Proverbs

Everyone is glad to see a knave caught in his own trap. – German Proverbs

Everyone must pay his debt to nature. – German Proverbs

Everyone’s companion is no one’s friend. – German Proverbs

Everything would be well were there not a “but.” – German Proverbs

Except for the night, we could never know the stars. – German Proverbs

Exchange is no robbery. – German Proverbs

Experience is the best teacher. – German Proverbs

Experience is the mother of wisdom. – German Proverbs

Fair flowers to not remain long by the wayside. – German Proverbs

Fair hair may have foul roots. – German Proverbs

Fair words don’t fatten the cabbage. – German Proverbs

Fair words don’t fill the pocket. – German Proverbs

Fear lends wings. – German Proverbs

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. – German Proverbs

Fire is a good servant but a bad master. – German Proverbs

First food, then moral. – German Proverbs

First look at home, then censure me. – German Proverbs

First weigh, then venture. – German Proverbs

Fish begin to stink at the head. – German Proverbs

Five fingers hold more than two forks. – German Proverbs

Flatterers are cats that lick before and scratch behind. – German Proverbs

Flatterers haunt not cottages. – German Proverbs

Flatters, like cats, lick and then scratch. – German Proverbs

Fools must not be set on eggs. – German Proverbs

Fools refuse favors. – German Proverbs

For the upright there are no laws. – German Proverbs

Forbearance is no acquaintance. – German Proverbs

Forbidden fruit is sweet. – German Proverbs

Force me, and I shall commit no sin, said the girl. – German Proverbs

Fore-talk spares after-talk. – German Proverbs

Forgive and forget. – German Proverbs

Forgive thyself nothing and others much. – German Proverbs

Forgiven is not forgotten. – German Proverbs

Fortune give many too much, but no one enough. – German Proverbs

Fortune gives her hand to a bold man. – German Proverbs

Full vessels give the least sound. – German Proverbs

Funeral sermon, lying sermon. – German Proverbs

Gifts are according to the giver. – German Proverbs

Give neither salt nor counsel till you are asked for it. – German Proverbs

Give unto the king what is the king’s, and unto God what is God’s. – German Proverbs

Give up the smallest part of a secret, and the rest is no longer in your power. – German Proverbs

Gluttony kills more than the sword. – German Proverbs

Go to law for a sheep and lose your cow. – German Proverbs

Go to the law for a sheep and lose your cow. – German Proverbs

God cures the sick, and the doctor gets the money. – German Proverbs

God gives the nuts, but he doesn’t crack them. – German Proverbs

God is everywhere, except where he has a delegate. – German Proverbs

God’s friends, the priest’s foe. – German Proverbs

Gold may be bought too dear. – German Proverbs

Good counsel comes over night. – German Proverbs

Good counsel never comes too late. – German Proverbs

Good faith is a seldom guest, when you have him, hold him fast. – German Proverbs

Good faith stole the cow. – German Proverbs

Good luck, with good looking after! – German Proverbs

Good people listen to the other party’s version too. – German Proverbs

Good people live far asunder. – German Proverbs

Good wine is milk for the aged. – German Proverbs

Good wine ruins the purse, and bad the stomach. – German Proverbs

Got with the fife, spent with the drum. – German Proverbs

Great men may jest with saints. – German Proverbs

Great men’s servants don’t think little of themselves. – German Proverbs

Great men’s vices are accounted sacred. – German Proverbs

Great minds think alike. – German Proverbs

Great oaks from little acorns grow. – German Proverbs

Great pains cause us to forget the small ones. – German Proverbs

Great say-masters, bad pay-masters. – German Proverbs

Great talkers are commonly liars. – German Proverbs

Great talkers/speakers are commonly/usually liars. – German Proverbs

Great things are done more through courage than through wisdom. – German Proverbs

Great trees give more shade than fruit. – German Proverbs

Guard your mouth as well as you guard your chest. – German Proverbs

Had I known is a poor man. – German Proverbs

Half a house is half a hell. – German Proverbs

Half a loaf is better than no bread. – German Proverbs

Happy is the one who forgets that which cannot be changed. – German Proverbs

Hard against hard never was good. – German Proverbs

Hares are caught with hounds, fools with praise, and women with gold. – German Proverbs

Hasten at leisure. – German Proverbs

Hat in hand goes through the land. – German Proverbs

Having is haying, come whence it may. – German Proverbs

He goes about it like a cat round hot milk. – German Proverbs

He goes as willingly as a thief to the gallows. – German Proverbs

He has beans in his ears. – German Proverbs

He is a bad shot who cannot find an excuse. – German Proverbs

He is a bad smith who cannot bear smoke. – German Proverbs

He is a bad workman who cannot talk of work. – German Proverbs

He is rich enough who is contented. – German Proverbs

He laughs at scars who never felt a wound. – German Proverbs

He laughs best who laughs last. – German Proverbs

He laughs ill that laughs himself to death. – German Proverbs

He must have keen eyes that would know a maid at sight. – German Proverbs

He plays best, who wins. – German Proverbs

He sticks his nose in everything. – German Proverbs

He that always thinks it is too soon is sure to come too late. – German Proverbs

He that asketh faintly beggeth a denial. – German Proverbs

He that has good legs, has often bad boots. – German Proverbs

He that has lost his credit is dead to the world. – German Proverbs

He that may not as he wad, maun do as he may. – German Proverbs

He that peeps into every bush will hardly get into the wood. – German Proverbs

He that pelts every barking dog must pick up a great many stones. – German Proverbs

He that picks up all sorts of wood, soon gets an armful. – German Proverbs

He that says A, must also say B. – German Proverbs

He that sits among reeds, cuts pipes when he pleases. – German Proverbs

He that wants the kernel must crack the nut. – German Proverbs

He that will not be saved needs no preacher. – German Proverbs

He that won’t listen, must feel. – German Proverbs

He that would stop everybody’s mouth needs plenty of flour. – German Proverbs

He who always thinks it is too soon, is sure to come too late. – German Proverbs

He who borrows sells his freedom. – German Proverbs

He who brings bad tidings, comes soon enough. – German Proverbs

He who buys a house gets many a plank and nail for nothing. – German Proverbs

He who buys what he don’t want, will soon sell what he does want. – German Proverbs

He who can does, he who cannot, teaches. – German Proverbs

He who cannot doubt, is a stupid man. – German Proverbs

He who cannot help, may hinder. – German Proverbs

He who cannot paint must grind the colors. – German Proverbs

He who cannot pay with his purse must pay with his hide. – German Proverbs

He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none. – German Proverbs

He who cheats a cheat and robs a thief, earns a dispensation for 100 years. – German Proverbs

He who dies for the truth finds holy ground everywhere for his grave. – German Proverbs

He who digs a pit for others falls into it himself. – German Proverbs

He who does not bait his hook catches nothing. – German Proverbs

He who does not respect himself, will not be respected from others. – German Proverbs

He who envies, suffers. – German Proverbs

He who fain would marry, in choice should not tarry. – German Proverbs

He who finds what has not been lost, will chance to die before he is ill. – German Proverbs

He who follows the crowd has many companions. – German Proverbs

He who forces love when none is found, remains a fool the whole year round. – German Proverbs

He who gives quickly, gives doubly. – German Proverbs

He who gives to the poor, lends to the Lord. – German Proverbs

He who grasps too much lets much fall. – German Proverbs

He who handles pitch, besmears himself. – German Proverbs

He who has lost his freedom has nothing else to lose. – German Proverbs

He who has no enemies also has no friends. – German Proverbs

He who has not tasted bitter, knows not what sweet is. – German Proverbs

He who has once burnt his mouth always blows his soup. – German Proverbs

He who has once invited the devil into his house, will never be rid of him. – German Proverbs

He who has one foot in a brothel, has the other in a hospital. – German Proverbs

He who has the fortune brings home the bride. – German Proverbs

He who has the Pope for his cousin may soon be a Cardinal. – German Proverbs

He who has three enemies must agree with two. – German Proverbs

He who heeds not the lost shoe-nail, will soon lose the horse. – German Proverbs

He who holds the ladder is as bad as the thief. – German Proverbs

He who is afraid of doing too much, always does too little. – German Proverbs

He who is always drinking and stuffing will in time become a ragamuffin. – German Proverbs

He who is born to misfortunate stumbles as he goes, and though he fall on his back will fracture his nose. – German Proverbs

He who is feared by many, fears many. – German Proverbs

He who is his own teacher has a fool for his pupil. – German Proverbs

He who is judge between two friends, loses one of them. – German Proverbs

He who is not for me, is against me. – German Proverbs

He who is of no use to himself is of no use to anyone else. – German Proverbs

He who lies on the ground must expect to be trodden on. – German Proverbs

He who likes cherries soon learns to climb. – German Proverbs

He who lives in a glass house should be the last to throw stones. – German Proverbs

He who lives on hope, dies of hunger. – German Proverbs

He who looks on know more of the game than he who plays. – German Proverbs

He who makes a mouse of himself will be eaten by the cats. – German Proverbs

He who makes friends of all keeps none. – German Proverbs

He who makes himself honey, will be eaten by the flies. – German Proverbs

He who makes himself nothing, is nothing. – German Proverbs

He who marries does well, but who remains single does better. – German Proverbs

He who plants a garden plants happiness. – German Proverbs

He who ploughs with young oxen, makes crooked furrows. – German Proverbs

He who praises himself must have bad neighbors. – German Proverbs

He who prates much lies much. – German Proverbs

He who prizes little things is worthy of great ones – German Proverbs

He who saves in little things, can be liberal in great ones. – German Proverbs

He who serves small masters, is himself one of them. – German Proverbs

He who serves the people has a bad master. – German Proverbs

He who shoots often, hits at last. – German Proverbs

He who sleeps along keeps long cold, two soon warm each other. – German Proverbs

He who stands godfather to a wolf should have a dog under his cloak. – German Proverbs

He who stops half way is only half in error. – German Proverbs

He who tickles himself, laughs when he likes. – German Proverbs

He who travels with hope, has poverty for his coachman. – German Proverbs

He who treads on eggs, must tread lightly. – German Proverbs

He who will not go to Heaven needs no preaching. – German Proverbs

He who wipes the child’s nose, means to kiss the mother’s cheek. – German Proverbs

He who won’t be advised, can’t be helped. – German Proverbs

He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom. – German Proverbs

He who would eat in Spain must bring his kitchen along. – German Proverbs

He who would go further than his horse, must alight and go on foot. – German Proverbs

He who would prosper in peace, must suffer in silence. – German Proverbs

He who would rule must hear and be deaf, see and be blind. – German Proverbs

He who would succeed at court, must lie sometimes low, sometimes high. – German Proverbs

He who would the daughter win, with the mother must begin. – German Proverbs

High houses are mostly empty in the upper story. – German Proverbs

High regions are never without storms. – German Proverbs

His hens lay eggs with two yolks. – German Proverbs

Honesty lasts longest. – German Proverbs

Honesty maketh rich, but she works slowly. – German Proverbs

How easily a hair gets into the butter! – German Proverbs

How many daily read the Bible, and yet pursue their course of evil. – German Proverbs

How many daily read the Word, and yet from vice are not deterred. – German Proverbs

How we use a thing (often) determines its shine. – German Proverbs

Hunger is the best cook. – German Proverbs

Hungry flies sting sore. – German Proverbs

I have had is a poor man. – German Proverbs

I have is a better bird than If I had. – German Proverbs

I rest, therefore I rust. – German Proverbs

I will not bite any dog, says the shepherd’s dog, for I must save my teeth for the wolf. – German Proverbs

I will not change a cottage in possession for a kingdom in reversion. – German Proverbs

I will win the horse, or lose the saddle. – German Proverbs

I would rather have a dog my friend than enemy. – German Proverbs

Idleness has poverty for wages. – German Proverbs

Idleness is the beginning of all sin. – German Proverbs

Idleness is the devil’s workshop. – German Proverbs

Idleness is the root of all evil. – German Proverbs

If everyone were wise, a fool would be the prize. – German Proverbs

If fools were to eat no bread, corn would be cheap. – German Proverbs

If I am seen, I am joking; if I am not seen, I steal. – German Proverbs

If I am to be drowned, it shall be in clean water. – German Proverbs

If I canna do’t by might, I’ll do’t by sleight. – German Proverbs

If I cannot move the powers above, Acheron itself shall be appealed to. [If fair means cannot, foul shall.] – German Proverbs

If I rest, I rust, says the key. – German Proverbs

If the shoe fits, wear it. – German Proverbs

If the wolf had stayed in the wood there would have been no hue and cry after him. – German Proverbs

If the wolf would cease his running, the people would cease their shouting. – German Proverbs

If there be a hell, Rome is built over it. – German Proverbs

If we pay for the music we will take part in the dance. – German Proverbs

If wood-hewing were an order, there would be fewer monks. – German Proverbs

If you are an anvil, be patient; if you are a hammer, strike hard. – German Proverbs

If you can’t get it in bushels, take it in spoonfuls. – German Proverbs

If you want to be strong, conquer yourself. – German Proverbs

If you want to perform a good jump, sometimes you need to start by taking a step back.

If you wish to be valued, make yourself scarce. – German Proverbs

If you would have the lamp burn, you must pour oil into it. – German Proverbs

If you’ve money, take a seat; it you’ve none, take to your feet. – German Proverbs

Ill got, ill spent. – German Proverbs

Ill-gotten goods never thrive. – German Proverbs

Ill-gotten goods seldom prosper. – German Proverbs

In a calm sea, every man is a pilot. – German Proverbs

In America half an hour is forty minutes. – German Proverbs

In time of war the devil makes more room in hell. – German Proverbs

Industry is the parent of fortune. – German Proverbs

Ingratitude is the world’s reward. – German Proverbs

Ingratitude sickens benevolence. – German Proverbs

Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses. – German Proverbs

Intemperance is the doctor’s wet-nurse. – German Proverbs

Invalids live longest. – German Proverbs

It hasn’t doesn’t necessarily mean “it won’t. – German Proverbs

It is bad baking without flour and water. – German Proverbs

It is better to be alone than to be in bad company. – German Proverbs

It is better to turn back than go astray. – German Proverbs

It is dear honey that must be licked off thorns. – German Proverbs

It is easier to blame than do better. – German Proverbs

It is easier to build two hearths than always to keep fire on one. – German Proverbs

It is easier to descend than ascend. – German Proverbs

It is easier to give good counsel than to follow it. – German Proverbs

It is easier to guard a bushel of fleas than a woman. – German Proverbs

It is easier to guard against a bushel of fleas than a woman. – German Proverbs

It is harder work getting to hell than to heaven. – German Proverbs

It is not always good to be wise. – German Proverbs

It is not good to be the poet of a village. – German Proverbs

It is not till the cow has lost her tail, that she discovers its value. – German Proverbs

It is too late to spare when the pocket is bare. – German Proverbs

It is too much to expect of a cat that she should sit by the milk and not lap it. – German Proverbs

It is too much too believe everything, and it is too little to believe nothing. – German Proverbs

It’s hard to scare someone who thinks he will benefit from dying. – German Proverbs

It’s a poor sheep that cannot carry its own wool. – German Proverbs

It’s hard to scare a person who thinks he will benefit from dying. – German Proverbs

Jack gets on by his stupidity. – German Proverbs

Jacob’s voice, Esau’s hands. – German Proverbs

Jealousy is a pain which eagerly seeks what causes pain. – German Proverbs

Joy and sorrow are next door neighbors – German Proverbs

Joy and sorrow are to-day and to-morrow. – German Proverbs

Judges should have two ears, both alike. – German Proverbs

Just as one shouts into the forest, so it echoes back. – German Proverbs

Keep well with your neighbors, whether right or wrong. – German Proverbs

Keep within compass and you may be sure, That you will not suffer what others endure. – German Proverbs

Keep within compass. – German Proverbs

Kindness breaks no bones. – German Proverbs

Kindnesses, like grain, increase by sowing. – German Proverbs

Lazybones take all day to get started. – German Proverbs

Lean liberty is better than fat slavery. – German Proverbs

Learned fools are the greatest fools. – German Proverbs

Learned fools exceed all fools. – German Proverbs

Less is more. – German Proverbs

Let every one sweep before his own door. – Ger – German Proverbsman Proverbs

Let every pedlar carry his own pack. – German Proverbs

Let him who is well off hold his tongue. – German Proverbs

Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth. – German Proverbs

Let people take and dogs bark. – German Proverbs

Let sleeping dogs lie. – German Proverbs

Let the dead rest. – German Proverbs

Let your purse be your master. – German Proverbs

Let your trouble tarry till its own day comes. – German Proverbs

Lies have short legs. – Meaning: Lies don’t travel far. – German Proverbs

Lies melt the snow. – German Proverbs

Light come, light go. – German Proverbs

Light is light, though the blind man see it not. – German Proverbs

Like blood, like means, and like age, make the happiest marriage. – German Proverbs

Like unto like. – German Proverbs

Like will to like, as the devil said to the coal-burner. – German Proverbs

Little and often makes a heap in time. – German Proverbs

Little enemies and little wounds are not to be despised. – German Proverbs

Little fishes make the pike big. – German Proverbs

Long borrowed is not given. – German Proverbs

Long choosing and cheapening ends in buying nothing, or bad wares. – German Proverbs

Long fasting is no economy of food. – German Proverbs

Long foretold, long last; short notice, soon past. – German Proverbs

Long is not forever. – German Proverbs

Long-talked-of (or looked-for) comes at last. – German Proverbs

Look before you leap, For snakes among sweet flowers do creep. – German Proverbs

Loquacity and lying are cousins. – German Proverbs

Lost time never returns. – German Proverbs

Love begins at home. – German Proverbs

Love can do much, money can do all. – German Proverbs

Love cannot be bought or sold its only price is love. – German Proverbs

Love grows with obstacles. – German Proverbs

Love grows with the square of the distance. – German Proverbs

Love your neighbor, but do not visit everyday. – German Proverbs

Love, fire, a cough, the itch, and gout are not to be concealed. – German Proverbs

Love, thieves, and fear, make ghosts. – German Proverbs

Love’s anger is fuel to love. – German Proverbs

Loving and singing are not to be forced. – German Proverbs

Loving and singing are two things that should not be forced. – German Proverbs

Lying is the first step to the gallows. – German Proverbs

Maidens say no, and mean yes. – German Proverbs

Maids say nay, and take. – German Proverbs

Make the best of a bad bargain. – German Proverbs

Make the cap fit the head. – German Proverbs

Make yourself an ass, and you’ll have every man’s sack on your shoulders. – German Proverbs

Man loves but once. – German Proverbs

Man without woman, is head without body; woman without man, is body without head. – German Proverbs

Many can help one. – German Proverbs

Many can pack the cards that cannot play. – German Proverbs

Many children and little bread is a painful pleasure. – German Proverbs

Many cooks spoil the broth. – German Proverbs

Many hands make quick work. – German Proverbs

Many hands soon make an end. – German Proverbs

Many have good intentions, but something comes across them. – German Proverbs

Many look with one eye at what they give, but with seven at what they receive. – German Proverbs

Many people can pack the cards; fewer can play the game. – German Proverbs

Many people preach righteousness and perform sins. – German Proverbs

Many see more with one eye that others with two. – German Proverbs

Many shun the brook, and fall into the river. – German Proverbs

Many who build castles in the air cannot build a hut on earth. – German Proverbs

Marriage is heaven and hell. – German Proverbs

Marrying in the blood is never good. – German Proverbs

Marrying is easy, but housekeeping is hard. – German Proverbs

Mention money and the world is silent. – German Proverbs

Merchant to-day, beggar to-morrow. – German Proverbs

Millers and bakers do not steal, people bring to them. – German Proverbs

Millers, tailors, and weavers are not hanged, or the trade would soon be extinct. – German Proverbs

Mind over matter. – German Proverbs

Mind your own business. – German Proverbs

Misfortune, wood, and hair, grow throughout the year. – German Proverbs

Misreckoning is no payment. – German Proverbs

Money taken, freedom forsaken. – German Proverbs

Money talks. – German Proverbs

Monks, mice, rats, vermin, seldom sunder without harming. – German Proverbs

More afraid than hurt. – German Proverbs

More belongs to riding than a pair of boots. – German Proverbs

More is done with words than with hands. – German Proverbs

Morning hours put gold in your mouth. – German Proverbs

Mother, I must have a husband, or I shall set fire to the house. – German Proverbs

Mother’s truth keeps constant youth. – German Proverbs

Much wisdom is lost in poor men’s mouths. – German Proverbs

Much wit is lost in a poor man’s purse. – German Proverbs

Mules make a great fuss about their ancestors having been horses. – German Proverbs

Murder will out. – German Proverbs

Must is a hard nut. – German Proverbs

My friend’s enemy is often my best friend. – German Proverbs

Nature and love cannot be hid. – German Proverbs

Nature draws stronger than seven oxen. – German Proverbs

Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue. – German Proverbs

Neck or nothing. – German Proverbs

Need (necessity) breaks iron. – German Proverbs

Neighbor once over the hedge, neighbor over it again. – German Proverbs

Neutrals are soused from above, and singed from below. – German Proverbs

Neutrals tread on eggs and break none. – German Proverbs

Never fell oak at the very first stroke. – German Proverbs

Never fight an enemy whilst it is possible to cheat him. – German Proverbs

Never give advice unasked. – German Proverbs

Never give advice unless asked for it. – German Proverbs

New comes welcome. – German Proverbs

New doctor, new churchyard. – German Proverbs

New laws, new roguery. – German Proverbs

New songs are eagerly sung. – German Proverbs

No answer is also an answer. – German Proverbs

No ape but swears he has the handsomest children. – German Proverbs

No armor is proof against the gallows. – German Proverbs

No better friend than the man himself. – German Proverbs

No doctor is better than three. – German Proverbs

No lie so gross that it does not find believers. – German Proverbs

No one can complain of the sea who twice suffers shipwreck. – German Proverbs

No one can do nothing and no one can do everything. – German Proverbs

No one can guard against treachery. – German Proverbs

No one is luckier than him who believes in his luck. – German Proverbs

No one is too old to learn. – German Proverbs

No one is wise enough to advise himself. – German Proverbs

No one knows better where the shoe pinches that he who wears it. – German Proverbs

No one likes to bell the cat. – German Proverbs

No penny, no paternoster. – German Proverbs

No person can like all, or be liked by all. – German Proverbs

No pride like that of an enriched beggar. – German Proverbs

No smoke without fire. – German Proverbs

No use in flogging a dead horse. – German Proverbs

No villain like the conscientious villain. – German Proverbs

No viper so little but hath its venom. – German Proverbs

No woman marries an old man for God’s sake. – German Proverbs

Noble and common blood is of the same color. – German Proverbs

Noble is, that noble does. – German Proverbs

Nobody is to blame for all. – German Proverbs

Nobody so wise but has a little folly to spare. – German Proverbs

Not all flowers are fit for nosegays. – German Proverbs

Not all that glitters is gold. – German Proverbs

Not every ass has long ears. – German Proverbs

Not every ball hits. – German Proverbs

Not too little, not too much. – German Proverbs

Nothing bolder than the miller’s shirt, that every morning collars a thief. – German Proverbs

Nothing dries sooner than tears. – German Proverbs

Nothing in this world is permanent. – German Proverbs

Nothing is so new as what has long been forgotten. – German Proverbs

Nothing looks more like a man of sense than a fool who holds his tongue. – German Proverbs

Nothing should be done in a hurry except catching fleas. – German Proverbs

Nothing should be done in haste but gripping a flea. – German Proverbs

Nothing weighs lighter than a promise. – German Proverbs

Nought is good for the eyes, but not for the stomach. – German Proverbs

Nought is never in danger. – German Proverbs

Nought needs no hiding-place. – German Proverbs

Of war all can tattle, away from the battle. – German Proverbs

Of what use is it that the cow gives plenty of milk, if she upset the pail. – German Proverbs

Of words and feathers, it takes many to make a pound. – German Proverbs

Offend one monk, and the lappets of all cowls will flutter as far as Rome. – German Proverbs

Offenders never pardon. – German Proverbs

Office without pay makes thieves. – German Proverbs

Often shooting hits the mark. – German Proverbs

Old birds are hard to pluck. – German Proverbs

Old crows are hard to catch. – German Proverbs

Old love does not rust. – German Proverbs

Old oxen tread hard. – German Proverbs

Old wounds easily bleed. – German Proverbs

On poor people’s beards the young barber learns his trade. – German Proverbs

On Saint Thomas the Divine kill all turkeys, geese and swine. – German Proverbs

On whom God bestows an office, he provides brains to fill it. – German Proverbs

Once is people’s mouths, ’tis hard to get well out of them. – German Proverbs

Once upon a time, no time. – German Proverbs

One “take this” is better than ten “God help you!” – German Proverbs

One ass nicknames another “Long-ears.” – German Proverbs

One bad eye spoils the other. – German Proverbs

One beats the bush, and another catches the bird. – German Proverbs

One beats the bush, another catches the bird? – German Proverbs

One cannot love and be wise. – German Proverbs

One cannot wash a blackamoor white. – German Proverbs

One catches the hare, another eats it. – German Proverbs

One coward makes ten. – German Proverbs

One disaster rarely comes alone. – German Proverbs

One does evil enough who does nothing good. – German Proverbs

One dog growls to see another go into the kitchen. – German Proverbs

One enemy can harm you more than a hundred friends can do you good. – German Proverbs

One foe is too many, and a hundred friends are too few. – German Proverbs

One fool may ask more questions than seven wise men can answer. – German Proverbs

One fool praises another. – German Proverbs

One hair of a woman draws more than a bell-rope. – German Proverbs

One half of the world does not know how the other half lives. – German Proverbs

One hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two after. – German Proverbs

One kisses the child for the mother’s sake, and the mother for the child’s sake. – German Proverbs

One kisses the nurse for the sake of the child. – German Proverbs

One link broken, the whole chain is broken. – German Proverbs

One log does not burn long by itself. – German Proverbs

One man is another’s devil. – German Proverbs

One man knocks in the nail, and another hangs his hat on it. – German Proverbs

One man may steal a horse while another may not look over the hedge. – German Proverbs

One man’s story is no story; hear both sides. – German Proverbs

One marriage is never celebrated but another grows out of it. – German Proverbs

One may see through a wall, if there’s a hole in it. – German Proverbs

One must glean at harvest time. – German Proverbs

One should be born either a king or a fool. – German Proverbs

One story is good till another is told. – German Proverbs

One sword keep another in the sheath. – German Proverbs

One today is better than ten tomorrows. – German Proverbs

One wedge drives another. – German Proverbs

One white foot, buy him; two white feet, try him; three white feet, look well about him; four white feet, go without him. – German Proverbs

Only one can be emperor. – German Proverbs

Open hand makes open hand. – German Proverbs

Other countries, other customs. – German Proverbs

Other towns, other lasses. – German Proverbs

Our neighbor’s children are always the worst. – German Proverbs

Out of a little grass comes a great ass. – German Proverbs

Ox, keep to your grass. – German Proverbs

Painted flowers have no scent. – German Proverbs

Paper is patient. – German Proverbs

Patience is a bitter plant, but it has sweet fruit. – German Proverbs

Pay in like coin. – German Proverbs

Pay-day comes every day. – German Proverbs

Peacock, look at your legs. – German Proverbs

Penny is penny’s brother. – German Proverbs

People often change and seldom for the better. – German Proverbs

Piety, prudence, wit, and civility, are the elements of true nobility. – German Proverbs

Pigeons are taken when crows fly at pleasure. – German Proverbs

Pilgrims seldom come home saints. – German Proverbs

Pills must be bolted, not chewed. – German Proverbs

Play not with a man till you hurt him, nor jest till you shame him. – German Proverbs

Politeness travels on short fares. – German Proverbs

Poor people’s words go many to a sack-full. – German Proverbs

Poverty and hunger have many learned disciples. – German Proverbs

Poverty craves many things, but avarice more. – German Proverbs

Poverty is cunning; it catches even a fox. – German Proverbs

Poverty is the sixth sense. – German Proverbs

Praise from your own mouth stinks. – German Proverbs

Praising is not loving. – German Proverbs

Pray as though no work could help, and work as though no prayer could help. – German Proverbs

Priestly knaves sweat hard at their meat, but never at work get into a heat. – German Proverbs

Priests and women never forget. – German Proverbs

Priests bless themselves first. – German Proverbs

Priests should not prate out of the confessional. – German Proverbs

Princes have long hands and many ears. – German Proverbs

Promises are like the full moon, if they are not kept at once they diminish day by day. – German Proverbs

Promises don’t fill the belly. – German Proverbs

Promises make debts. – German Proverbs

Promises may make friends, but ’tis performances that keep them. – German Proverbs

Proverbs are like butterflies; some are caught and some fly away. – German Proverbs

Prudence does no harm. – German Proverbs

Prudent men choose frugal wives. – German Proverbs

Put out the fire betimes, ere it reach the roof. – German Proverbs

Put the light out, and all women are alike. – German Proverbs

Quick at meat, quick at work. – German Proverbs

Quick believers need broad shoulders. – German Proverbs

Quiet dogs and still water are dangerous. – German Proverbs

Ragged colts make the handsomest stallions. – German Proverbs

Raise no more devils than you can lay. – German Proverbs

Reason does not come before years. – German Proverbs

Red is Love’s color, said the wooer to his foxy charmer. – German Proverbs

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. – German Proverbs

Rejoiced in youth, repented in age. – German Proverbs

Rent and taxes never sleep. – German Proverbs

Repentance does not bring the lost back. – German Proverbs

Repentance is the heart’s medicine. – German Proverbs

Rest comes from unrest, and unrest from rest. – German Proverbs

Revenge converts a little right into a great wrong. – German Proverbs

Revenge does not long remain unrevenged. – German Proverbs

Revenge in cold blood is the devil’s own act and deed. – German Proverbs

Revenge of an hundred years old hath still its sucking teeth. – German Proverbs

Revenge remains not unrevenged. – German Proverbs

Rich gamblers and old trumpeters are rare. – German Proverbs

Rich people are everywhere at home. – German Proverbs

Riches abuse them who know not how to use them. – German Proverbs

Riches cause arrogance; poverty, meekness. – German Proverbs

Right is with the strongest. – German Proverbs

Rome wasn’t built in a day. – German Proverbs

Safe over the bridge, one laughs at St. Nepomuck. – German Proverbs

Said in sport, meant in earnest. – German Proverbs

Salt and bread make the cheeks red. – German Proverbs

Samson was a strong man, but he could not pay money before he had it. – German Proverbs

Saving is a greater art than gaining. – German Proverbs

Scratch a lover and find an enemy. – German Proverbs

Scratch a Russian and you find a Tartar. – German Proverbs

Scratching and borrowing do well enough, but not for long. – German Proverbs

Security is nowhere safe. – German Proverbs

Security is the first cause of misfortune. – German Proverbs

Self is the man. – German Proverbs

Self-done, is soon done. – German Proverbs

Self-preservation is the first law of nature. – German Proverbs

Services unrequired go unrequited. – German Proverbs

Set a beggar on horseback, and he ‘ll out ride the Devil. – German Proverbs

She is fond of him–on the side where the pocket hangs. – German Proverbs

Sickly body, sickly mind. – German Proverbs

Silence and reflection cause no dejection. – German Proverbs

Silence is a fence around wisdom. – German Proverbs

Silks and satins put out the kitchen fire. – German Proverbs

Singed cats live long. – German Proverbs

Singers, lovers, and poets are privileged liars. – German Proverbs

Slaughter no more than you can well salt. – German Proverbs

Small profits are often, are better than large profits and seldom. – German Proverbs

So it goes in the world: one has the purse, the other has the gold. – German Proverbs

Soldiers must be well paid, and well hanged. – German Proverbs

Solitude is the nurse of wisdom. – German Proverbs

Something to everyone is good division. – German Proverbs

Speak little with others, much with yourself. – German Proverbs

Speak, that I may see thee. – German Proverbs

Speaking comes by nature, silence by understanding. – German Proverbs

Speech is silver, silence is golden. – German Proverbs

Speech is silver, silence is golden; speech is human, silence is divine. – German Proverbs

Speedy rise, speedy fall. – German Proverbs

Spend not, where you may save; spare not, where you must spend. – German Proverbs

Spending your money with many a guest, empties the kitchen, the cellar and chest. – German Proverbs

Spur not a willing horse. – German Proverbs

Standing pools gather filth. – German Proverbs

Starting is easy, persistence is an art. – German Proverbs

Straying shepherd, straying sheep. – German Proverbs

Stretch your legs according to your coverlet. – German Proverbs

Strike the iron while it’s hot. – German Proverbs

Success to you! God speed the craft! as the hangman said to the judge. – German Proverbs

Such a beginning, such an end. – German Proverbs

Such as the man is, such will be his discourse. – German Proverbs

Such is life! – German Proverbs

Sudden glory soon goes out. – German Proverbs

Sudden trust brings sudden repentance. – German Proverbs

Sue a beggar and catch a louse. – German Proverbs

Suit yourself to the times. – German Proverbs

Sweet song has betrayed many. – German Proverbs

Sweet wine makes sour vinegar. – German Proverbs

Take a horse to the knacker, and throw in bridle and saddle. – German Proverbs

Take all you want; eat all you take. – German Proverbs

Take the world as it is, not as it ought to be. – German Proverbs

Talk is cheap, silence is golden. – German Proverbs

Talk of the devil, and his imp appears. – German Proverbs

Talking is easier than doing, and promising than performing. – German Proverbs

Talking is silver, silence is gold. – German Proverbs

Tell a lie, and you’ll hear the truth. – German Proverbs

Tell no tales out of school. – German Proverbs

Tell not all you know; believe not all you hear; do not all you are able. – German Proverbs

That miller is honest who has hair on his teeth. – German Proverbs

That usury is a sin some hold, but take for granted they’ve no gold. – German Proverbs

The anvil is not afraid of the hammer. – German Proverbs

The anvil is used to noise. – German Proverbs

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. – German Proverbs

The ass and his driver do not think alike. – German Proverbs

The ass carries corn to the mill, and gets thistles. – German Proverbs

The ass loaded with gold still eats thistles. The cats that drive the mice away are as good as they that catch them. – German Proverbs

The bailiff’s cow and another’s cow are two different cows. – German Proverbs

The beggar’s bag is bottomless. – German Proverbs

The belly does not have a conscience. – German Proverbs

The belly is a bad adviser. – German Proverbs

The best answer to anger is silence. – German Proverbs

The best brewer sometimes makes bad beer. – German Proverbs

The best go first, the bad remain to mend. – German Proverbs

The best is what one has in his hand. – German Proverbs

The best of the mill is that the sacks can’t speak. – German Proverbs

The bites of priests and wolves are hard to heal. – German Proverbs

The bone doesn’t come to the dog, but the dog goes to the bone. – German Proverbs

The bridge between joy and sorrow is not long. Confidence begets confidence. – German Proverbs

The cats that drive away mice are as food as those that catch them. – German Proverbs

The chamois climbs high and yet is caught. – German Proverbs

The cock is a lord on his own dunghill. – German Proverbs

The coffin is the brother of the cradle. – German Proverbs

The concealer is as bad as the thief. – German Proverbs

The cow gives milk through her mouth. – German Proverbs

The cow licks no strange calf. – German Proverbs

The death of a friend is equivalent to the loss of a limb. – German Proverbs

The debts go to the next heir. – German Proverbs

The devil catches most souls in a golden net. – German Proverbs

The devil dances in an empty pocket. – German Proverbs

The devil finds work for idle hands to do. – German Proverbs

The devil is civil when he is flattered. – German Proverbs

The devil is in the details. – German Proverbs

The devil is never so black as he is painted. – German Proverbs

The devil likes to souse what is already wet. – German Proverbs

The devil looks after his own. – German Proverbs

The dog rages at the stone, not at him that throws it. – German Proverbs

The dog returns to its vomit. – German Proverbs

The dog that starts the hare is as good as the one that catches it. – German Proverbs

The dogs bite the last. – German Proverbs

The egg will be more knowing than the hen. – German Proverbs

The empty wagon must make room for the full one. – German Proverbs

The end of wrath is the beginning of repentance. – German Proverbs

The executioner is a keen shaver. – German Proverbs

The eye is bigger than the belly. – German Proverbs

The eye is never satiated with seeing. – German Proverbs

The eyes believe themselves the ears believe other people. – German Proverbs

The fairer the hostess, the heavier the reckoning. – German Proverbs

The farmer is master on his land. – German Proverbs

The farthest way about is the nearest way home. – German Proverbs

The fat is in the fire. – German Proverbs

The fatter the flea, the leaner the dog. – German Proverbs

The fault of another is a good teacher. – German Proverbs

The fewer the words, the better the prayer. – German Proverbs

The fox changes his skin, but keeps the rogue. – German Proverbs

The fox does not prey near his hole. – German Proverbs

The fuller the cask, the duller its sound. – German Proverbs

The fun is in the search, not the finding. – German Proverbs

The furthest way about is the nearest way home. – German Proverbs

The garden is the poor man”s apothecary. – German Proverbs

The greatest conqueror is he who conquers himself. – German Proverbs

The greatest step is out the door. – German Proverbs

The greatest things are done by the help of small ones. – German Proverbs

The greatest wealth is contentment with a little. – German Proverbs

The hasty man was never a traitor. – German Proverbs

The healthy does not know how rich he is. – German Proverbs

The hen likes to lay in a nest where there are eggs already. – German Proverbs

The higher a monkey climbs, the more he shows his behind. – German Proverbs

The higher the bell is hung, the shriller it sounds. – German Proverbs

The higher the monkey goes the more he shows his tail. – German Proverbs

The horse is not judged of by the saddle. – German Proverbs

The horse that draws best is the most whipped. – German Proverbs

The husband’s mother is the wife’s devil. – German Proverbs

The key that is used grows bright. – German Proverbs

The king cannot always rule as he wishes. – German Proverbs

The king cannot rule as he wishes. – German Proverbs

The king’s chaff is better than other folk’s corn. – German Proverbs

The late comer is ill lodged. – German Proverbs

The later the evening, the fairer the company. – German Proverbs

The laugh is always on the loser. – German Proverbs

The man in the moon stole the wood. – German Proverbs

The middle path is the safe path. – German Proverbs

The miller’s hen and widower’s maid, of want need never be afraid. – German Proverbs

The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small. – German Proverbs

The more laws the less justice. – German Proverbs

The more light a torch gives the shorter it lasts. – German Proverbs

The more noble the more humble. – German Proverbs

The more the well is used, the more water it yields. – German Proverbs

The more you stir the mire, the more it stinks. – German Proverbs

The morning has gold in its mouth. – German Proverbs

The most disorderly students make the most pious preachers. – German Proverbs

The narrower the cage, the sweeter the liberty. – German Proverbs

The nearer the inn, the longer the road. – German Proverbs

The nearest the dearest. – German Proverbs

The office teaches the man. – German Proverbs

The older a fool, the worse he is. – German Proverbs

The older, the colder; the more avaricious, the more vicious. – German Proverbs

The oldest trees often bear the sweetest fruit. – German Proverbs

The one-eyed is a king among the blind. – German Proverbs

The only real equality is in the cemetery. – German Proverbs

The people’s voice is God’s voice. – German Proverbs

The person who has no enemies also has no friends. – German Proverbs

The pitcher goes so often to the well that it gets broken at last. – German Proverbs

The poor must dance as the rich pipe. – German Proverbs

The priest loves his flock, but the lambs more than the wethers. – German Proverbs

The repeated stroke will fell the oak. – German Proverbs

The road to ruin is paved with good intentions. – German Proverbs

The Russian knows the way, yet he asks for directions. – German Proverbs

The sick man is vexed with the flies on the wall. – German Proverbs

The silent dog is always the first to bite. – German Proverbs

The silent dog is the first to bite. – German Proverbs

The stomach is easier filled than the eye. – German Proverbs

The strong man’s sport is the sickly man’s death. – German Proverbs

The sun dial counts only the bright hours. – German Proverbs

The sun will bring to light what lay under the snow. – German Proverbs

The treason is loved, the traitor hated. – German Proverbs

The tree must be bent while it is young. – German Proverbs

The unbidden guest is ever a pest. – German Proverbs

The unexpected always happens. – German Proverbs

The unrighteous penny consumes the righteous dollar. – German Proverbs

The unrighteous penny corrupts the righteous pound. – German Proverbs

The weeping bride makes a laughing wife. – German Proverbs

The will gives the work its name. – German Proverbs

The will is the soul of the work. – German Proverbs

The wind does not always blow from the same quarter. – German Proverbs

The wind keeps not always in one quarter. – German Proverbs

The wise can learn of fools. – German Proverbs

The world likes to have night-owls, that it may have matter for wonder. – German Proverbs

The worse the dun, the worst the paymaster. – German Proverbs

There are many preachers who don’t hear themselves. – German Proverbs

There are more hands than heads. – German Proverbs

There are more old tipplers than old doctors. – German Proverbs

There are more threatened than struck. – German Proverbs

There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream. – German Proverbs

There are more ways of killing a dog than hanging it. – German Proverbs

There are only two good women in the world; the one is dead, the other not to be found. – German Proverbs

There are plenty of preachers who don’t hear themselves. – German Proverbs

There come just as many calf-skins as cow-skins to market. – German Proverbs

There is more disputing about the shell than the kernel. – German Proverbs

There is no better gambling than not to gamble. – German Proverbs

There is no eel so small but it hopes to become a whale. – German Proverbs

There is no fool like an old fool. – German Proverbs

There is no good in preaching to the hungry. – German Proverbs

There is no law but has a hole in it, for those who can find it out. – German Proverbs

There is no little enemy. – German Proverbs

There is no occasion for priests to marry, while peasants have wives. – German Proverbs

There is no off switch on a tiger. – German Proverbs

There is no one luckier than he who thinks himself so. – German Proverbs

There is no saint so petty but claims his own candle. – German Proverbs

There is no stripping a naked man. – German Proverbs

There is nothing for which the boors pray so much to God as that the horses of the squirearchy may not die, for otherwise they would ride the boors with spurs. – German Proverbs

There’s cunning in a pointed chin. – German Proverbs

There’s no making apples of plums. – German Proverbs

There’s no putting off a lie upon the belly. – German Proverbs

There’s no rest for the wicked. – German Proverbs

There’s nothing new under the sun. – German Proverbs

There’s nowt so queer as folk. – German Proverbs

There’s one born every minute. – German Proverbs

There’s seldom a cake but there’s more of the make. – German Proverbs

They are not all cooks who carry long knives. – German Proverbs

They are not all friends who laugh with you. – German Proverbs

They are not all hunters who blow horns. – German Proverbs

They love the old that do not know the new. – German Proverbs

They play till they quarrel. – German Proverbs

They who come from afar are prone to lie. – German Proverbs

They who deserve honor, fail of it; and they who obtain it, do not deserve it. – German Proverbs

They who eat cherries with the great, are like to have the stones and stalks flung in their face. – German Proverbs

They wrangle about an egg, and let the hens fly away. – German Proverbs

Think with the wise but walk with the vulgar. – German Proverbs

Thirteen nuns, fourteen children! – German Proverbs

This article lists proverbs from all German speaking areas in the world. – German Proverbs

This too will pass. – German Proverbs

Those bosoms can be sold cheapest which are stolen ready-made. – German Proverbs

Those that rule must hear and be deaf, must see and be blind. – German Proverbs

Those who don’t pick roses in summer won’t pick them in winter either. – German Proverbs

Thought when sober, said when drunk. – German Proverbs

Thoughts are toll free, but not hell free. – German Proverbs

Thousands drink themselves to death before one dies of thirst. – German Proverbs

Three women, three geese, and three frogs, make a fair. – German Proverbs

Three, helping one another, bear the burden of six. – German Proverbs

Thrift is a great revenue. – German Proverbs

Time and hour run through the roughest day. – German Proverbs

Time and opportunity are in no man’s sleeve. – German Proverbs

Time and tide wait for no man. – German Proverbs

Time betrays and hangs the thief. – German Proverbs

Time brings everything, to those who can wait for it. – German Proverbs

Time covers and discovers everything. – German Proverbs

Time is the best counselor. – German Proverbs

Time is the best preacher. – German Proverbs

Tired oxen must tread hard. – German Proverbs

‘Tis easier to hurt than heal. – German Proverbs

‘Tis either a hare or a brake-bush. – German Proverbs

‘Tis hard to swim against the stream. – German Proverbs

‘Tis his turn to-day, it will be mine to-morrow. – German Proverbs

‘Tis never too late to mend. – German Proverbs

‘Tis not for everyone to catch a salmon. – German Proverbs

‘Tis too late to spare when the pocket is bare. – German Proverbs

‘Tis written, “What’s not your own, that let alone.” – German Proverbs

To be everyone’s friend is to be everyone’s fool. – German Proverbs

To call war the soil of courage and virtue is like calling debauchery the soil of love. – German Proverbs

To change and to change for the better are two different things. – German Proverbs

To everyone his own is not too much. – German Proverbs

To give quickly is to give doubly. – German Proverbs

To good eating belongs good drinking. – German Proverbs

To have a corpse in the basement. – German Proverbs

To have skeletons in the closet. – German Proverbs

To know is easier than to do. – German Proverbs

To remain young while growing old is the highest blessing. – German Proverbs

To spend much and gain little is the sure road to ruin. – German Proverbs

Too clever is stupid. – German Proverbs

Too many sacks are the death of the ass. – German Proverbs

Too much bed makes a dull head. – German Proverbs

Too much bursts the bag. – German Proverbs

Too much humility is pride. – German Proverbs

Too much is not enough. – German Proverbs

Too much luck is bad luck – German Proverbs

Too much will soon break. – German Proverbs

Too much wisdom is folly. – German Proverbs

Trick against trick. – German Proverbs

Trust well rides away with the horse. – German Proverbs

Trust, beware whom! – German Proverbs

Trust, but not too much. – German Proverbs

Truth gives a short answer, lies go round about. – German Proverbs

Truth has a handsome countenance but torn garments. – German Proverbs

Truth ill-timed is as bad as a lie. – German Proverbs

Truth makes the tongue smart. – German Proverbs

Truth may be suppressed, but not strangled. – German Proverbs

Truth should not always be revealed. – German Proverbs

Truth that is poorly timed is as bad as a lie. – German Proverbs

Truth will out. – German Proverbs

Truth’s best ornament is nakedness. – German Proverbs

Two doctors are better than a learned one. – German Proverbs

Two dogs over one bone seldom agree. – German Proverbs

Virtue is the reward of virtue. – German Proverbs

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. – German Proverbs

We do in haste what we repent at leisure. – German Proverbs

We give to the rich, and take from the poor. – German Proverbs

We hang little thieves, and take off our hats to great ones. – German Proverbs

We knock in jest, and it is opened in earnest. – German Proverbs

We know what we have, but not what we shall get. – German Proverbs

We must eat and drink though every tree were a gallows. – German Proverbs

Wealth lost, something lost; honor lost, much lost; courage lost, all lost. – German Proverbs

Weeds never die. – German Proverbs

Well-done outlives death. – German Proverbs

Were a woman rules the house, the devil is serving-man. – German Proverbs

What blossoms beautifully, withers fast. – German Proverbs

What comes from the heart, goes to the heart. – German Proverbs

What comes seldom, comes sharp. – German Proverbs

What does the moon care if the dogs bay at her? – German Proverbs

What flatterers say, try to make true. – German Proverbs

What goes up must come down. – German Proverbs

What good is it to run when you’re on the wrong road? – German Proverbs

What greater crime than loss of time? – German Proverbs

What harm is there in a good word? It costs nothing. – German Proverbs

What is bravely ventured is half-way gained (won). – German Proverbs

What is no sin, is no shame. – German Proverbs

What is not taken by the Church is taken by the Exchequer. – German Proverbs

What is right for the one is reasonable for the other. – German Proverbs

What one does not bake, another brews. – German Proverbs

What one does not have in the head, one must have in the legs. – German Proverbs

What one is accustomed to in youth, one does in old age. – German Proverbs

What one knows it is useful sometimes to forget. – German Proverbs

What ripens fast does not last. – German Proverbs

What should a cow do with a nutmeg? – German Proverbs

What signifies the barking of a dog that don’t bite? – German Proverbs

What smarts teaches. – German Proverbs

What smoke is to the eyes, and vinegar is to the teeth, is truth to the ears. – German Proverbs

What you do, do quickly. – German Proverbs

What you give, is written in sand; what you take, with an iron hand. – German Proverbs

What you have, hold. – German Proverbs

What you lend to a friend, an enemy sues for. – German Proverbs

What you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. – German Proverbs

Whatever is given to the poor, is laid out of the reach of fortune. – German Proverbs

Whatever is to be a nettle, burns early. – German Proverbs

What’s of no use is too dear at a gift. – German Proverbs

When a man is happy he does not hear the clock strike. – German Proverbs

When a man is rich, he begins to save. – German Proverbs

When a thing is done, make the best of it. – German Proverbs

When blind leads the blind, both fall into the ditch. – German Proverbs

When David grew old he sang pious psalms. – German Proverbs

When fortune knocks, open the door. – German Proverbs

When God says today, the devil says tomorrow. – German Proverbs

When I rest, I rust. – German Proverbs

When in prayer you clasp your hands, God opens his. – German Proverbs

When it blows, the trees shake. – German Proverbs

When silent men speak they speak to the purpose. – German Proverbs

When sorrow is asleep wake it not. – German Proverbs

When the calf is stolen, the peasant mends the stall. – German Proverbs

When the dog is awake, the shepherd may sleep. – German Proverbs

When the fox preaches, look to the geese. – German Proverbs

When the fox wants to catch geese, he wags his tail. – German Proverbs

When the guest is in most favor, he will do well to quit. – German Proverbs

When the hen had laid an egg she cackles. – German Proverbs

When the horse dies, dismount. – German Proverbs

When the thief is seen [stealing], he says he is joking; but when the thief is not seen, he steals. – German Proverbs

When there is no love, all faults are seen. – German Proverbs

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost! – German Proverbs

When you sweep stairs, start at the top. – German Proverbs

When you sweep the stairs, you start at the top. – German Proverbs

Where all adulterers to wear grey coats, the cloth would be dear. – German Proverbs

Where everyone goes, the grass never grows. – German Proverbs

Where ghosts walk, there is loving or thieving. – German Proverbs

Where God bestows an office, he provides brains to fill it. – German Proverbs

Where God has a temple, the devil has a chapel. Where the devil cannot come, he will send. – German Proverbs

Where gold avails, argument fails. – German Proverbs

Where the devil can’t go himself, he sends an old woman. – German Proverbs

Where the hedge is lowest, the devil leaps over. – German Proverbs

Where the lion’s skin falls short, borrow of the fox. – German Proverbs

Where there are too many workmen, there is little work. – German Proverbs

Where there is shame, there is virtue. – German Proverbs

Where there is smoke there is fire. – German Proverbs

Where there no fools, there would be no wise men. – German Proverbs

Where there’s money, there is the devil; but where there’s none, a greater evil. – German Proverbs

Where there’s muck there’s brass. – German Proverbs

Where there’s no jealousy, there’s no love. – German Proverbs

Where there’s no love, all faults are seen. – German Proverbs

Where there’s no modesty there’s no honor. – German Proverbs

Where’er an ass is crown’d to fame, both town and country bear the shame. – German Proverbs

Wherever there is a pretty spot, the devil plants a monastery or a lord. – German Proverbs

Wherever there is mischief, there is sure to be a priest and a woman in it. – German Proverbs

While the pot boils, friendship blooms. – German Proverbs

Who accepts from another sells his freedom. – German Proverbs

Who accepts nothing has nothing to return. – German Proverbs

Who are ready to believe are easy to deceive. – German Proverbs

Who avoids small sins, does not fall into great ones. – German Proverbs

Who begins amiss ends amiss. – German Proverbs

Who begins too much accomplishes little. – German Proverbs

Who blackens others, does not whiten himself. – German Proverbs

Who bows to might loses his right. – German Proverbs

Who cannot fight, wins nought by right. – German Proverbs

Who deceives me once, shame on him; if he deceive me twice, shame on me. – German Proverbs

Who demands justice, must administer justice. – German Proverbs

Who digs a pit for others will fall in themselves. – German Proverbs

Who does not punish evil, invites it. – German Proverbs

Who does right is born of God. – German Proverbs

Who falls short in the head, must be long in the heels. – German Proverbs

Who has a head won’t want for a hat. – German Proverbs

Who has a mouth, let him not say to another, “Blow!” – German Proverbs

Who has eaten the meat knows how it tastes. – German Proverbs

Who has never tasted what is bitter does not know what is sweet. – German Proverbs

Who has tasted a sour apple, will have the more relish for a sweet one. – German Proverbs

Who has, let him thereof take heed; love wanes, misfortune comes with speed. – German Proverbs

Who heeds not little things, will be troubled about lesser ones. – German Proverbs

Who is healthy and free is rich. – German Proverbs

Who is not ashamed of his sins, sins double. – German Proverbs

Who is over nice, loses many a slice. – German Proverbs

Who is silent, agrees. – German Proverbs

Who is well seated should not budge. – German Proverbs

Who knows nothing in his thirtieth year, is nothing in his fortieth, has nothing in his fiftieth; learns nothing, is nothing, and comes to nothing. – German Proverbs

Who lends his lips to nought but blame, has in his heart no love of fame. – German Proverbs

Who lets another sit on his shoulder, will soon have him on his head. – German Proverbs

Who loves his work and knows to spare, may live and flourish anywhere. – German Proverbs

Who loves not women, wine, and song, remains a fool his whole life long. – German Proverbs

Who makes friends of all, keeps none. – German Proverbs

Who makes no promises, has none to perform. – German Proverbs

Who says little has little to answer for. – German Proverbs

Who seeks adventures finds blows. – German Proverbs

Who so deaf as he that will not hear. – German Proverbs

Who speaks ill of others to you will speak ill of you to others. – German Proverbs

Who steals a calf, steals a cow. – German Proverbs

Who takes an eel by the tail or a woman by her word, grasp as he will, holds nothing fast. – German Proverbs

Who takes the child by the hand takes the mother by the heart. – German Proverbs

Who the daughter would win, with mamma must begin. – German Proverbs

Who threatens, warns. – German Proverbs

Who throws a stone above him may have it fall on his own head. – German Proverbs

Who will not feed the cats, must feed the mice and rats. – German Proverbs

Who would be rich, must keep his soul under cover of his cash-box. – German Proverbs

Whoever has bitten a sour apple will enjoy the sweet one all the more. – German Proverbs

Whom fortune favors, the world favors. – German Proverbs

Whore or thief young or old, welcome so you’ve got the gold. – German Proverbs

Who’s the man that was never fooled by a woman. – German Proverbs

Whose bread I eat, his song I sing. – German Proverbs

Will take a man through any land. – German Proverbs

Will, will, one – German Proverbs

Windmills are not driven by bellows. – German Proverbs

Wine and women make fools of everybody. – German Proverbs

Wine upon beer is very good cheer; beer upon wine consider with fear. – German Proverbs

Wit and beauty seldom come together. – German Proverbs

Wit is better than cunning. – German Proverbs

With all my heart! says the boor, when he must. – German Proverbs

With great men one must allow five to be an even number. – German Proverbs

With great pleasure, says the boor, when he must. – German Proverbs

With houses and gold, men are rarely bold. – German Proverbs

With nice appearance people want to be deceived. – German Proverbs

With one foot in the grave. – German Proverbs

With patience and time the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown. – German Proverbs

With someone holding nothing but trumps it is impossible to play cards. – German Proverbs

Without knowledge, without sin. – German Proverbs

Woman’s beauty, the forest echo, and rainbows, soon pass away. – German Proverbs

Women and maidens must be praised, whether truly or falsely. – German Proverbs

Women and wine, game and deceit, Make the wealth small and the wants great. – German Proverbs

Women are as fickle as April weather. – German Proverbs

Women are as wavering as the wind. – German Proverbs

Women are necessary evils. – German Proverbs

Women are never at a loss for words. – German Proverbs

Women are watches that keep bad time. – German Proverbs

Women, fortune, and gold, favor fools. – German Proverbs

Woo the widow whilst she is in weeds. – German Proverbs

Woods have ears, fields have eyes. – German Proverbs

Words are good when works follow. – German Proverbs

Words don’t will the sack. – German Proverbs

Words often do more than blows. – German Proverbs

Work is good, as long as you don’t forget to live. – German Proverbs

Work makes free. – German Proverbs

Work makes life sweet. – German Proverbs

Workmen are easier found than masters. – German Proverbs

Would you be strong, conquer yourself. – German Proverbs

Would you live long, be healthy and fat, drink like a dog and eat like a cat. – German Proverbs

Write on one of the devil’s horns, “Good angel,” and many will believe it. – German Proverbs

Yesterday’s promise, like tomorrows never comes. – German Proverbs

Yielding stays war. – German Proverbs

Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred, strong in the arm and weak in the head. – German Proverbs

You can always tell a German, but you can’t tell him much. – German Proverbs

You can do anything with children if you only play with them. – German Proverbs

You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails. – German Proverbs

You cannot make a sieve of an ass’s tail. – German Proverbs

You cannot make a silk purse of a sow’s ear. – German Proverbs

You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails. – German Proverbs

You can’t see the wood for the trees. – German Proverbs

You only see what you know. – German Proverbs

You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. – German Proverbs

Young age is good, old youth will not do. – German Proverbs

Young angel, old devil. – German Proverbs

Young gamblers, old beggars. – German Proverbs

Young men may die, but old men must die. – German Proverbs

Your friend’s enemy might be your best friend. – German Proverbs

Your words are fair, said the wolf, but I will not come into the village.

Youth and white paper take any impression. – German Proverbs

German Proverbs

German Proverbs and Meanings

  • Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten.
    • Literally: Only the hard come in the garden.
      Meaning: Only the strongest survive.
  • Kinder und Betrunkene sagen immer die Wahrheit.
    • Literally: Drunken people and children are the only one telling the truth.
      Meaning: It´s hard to find people who tell you the truth.
  • Du gehst mir tierisch auf den Keks.
    • Literally: You walk me animally on the cookie.
      Meaning: You´re driving me crazy.
  • Zu viele Köche verderben den Brei.
    • Literally: Too many cooks spoil the mash.
      Meaning: Too many cooks spoil the broth.
  • Die Kuh vom Eis holen.
    • Literally: Get the cow off the ice.
      Meaning: Escape a risky situation.
  • Klappe zu, Affe tot.
    • Literally: Close the lid, monkey is dead.
      Meaning: Let’s put an end to this.
  • Auf einem Bein steht man nicht gut.
    • Literally: There is no standing on one leg.
      Meaning: You need at least two drinks to have a good time.
  • Ich glaub, mein Schwein pfeift.
    • Literally: I do believe my pig whistles.
      Meaning: I don’t believe it.
  • Die dümmsten Bauern ernten die dicksten Kartoffeln.
    • Literally: The dumbest farmer gets the biggest potatoes.
      Meaning: Stupid people always win.
  • Da liegt der Hase im Pfeffer!
    • Literally: The rabbit lies in paper.
      Meaning: This is the cause of that.
  • Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.
    • Literally: All has an end, only sausage has two ends.
      Meaning: All good things must come to an end.
  • Kleinvieh macht auch Mist.
    • Literally: Small animals also produce dunk.
      Meaning: Small amounts add up to something bigger.
  • Eine Hand wäscht die andere
    • Meaning: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
      Literally: One hand washes the other
  • Viele Köche verderben den Brei
      • Literally: Too many cooks spoil the broth
  • Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht
    • Literally: Dogs that bark don’t bite
  • Aus einer Mϋcke einen Elefanten machen
      • Meaning: Making a mountain out of a molehill
        Literally: Making an elephant out of a mosquito
  • Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund
      • Literally: The early bird catches the worm
        Meaning: The morning hour has gold in its mouth
  • Aller Anfang ist schwer
      • Meaning: The first step is always the hardest
        Literally: All beginnings are difficult
  • Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen
      • Literally: What you can get today, do not postpone until tomorrow
        Meaning: Don’t put off tomorrow that which you can do today
  • Besser zu spät als nie
    • Literally: Better late than never
    • Meaning: Better too much than too little
  • Übung macht den Meister
    • Meaning: Practice makes perfect
      Literally: Practice makes a champion
  • Alte Liebe rostet nicht
    • Meaning: Old flames never die
      Literally: Old love doesn’t rust
  • Rache ist sϋß
    • Literally: Revenge is sweet
  • Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel
    • Literally: The end justifies the means
  • Man muss das Eisen schmieden, solange es heiß ist
    • Literally: Strike while the iron is hot
  • Geld regiert die Welt
    • Literally: Money makes the world go round
      Meaning: Money rules the world
  • Zeit ist Geld
    • Literally: Time is money
  • Was Hänschen nicht lernte, lernt Hans nimmermehr
    • Literally: Hans never learns what Hänschen did not learn
      Meaning: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
  • Aus Schaden wird man klug
    • Meaning: To learn from one’s mistakes 
      Literally: Through injury you become clever
  • Ende gut, alles gut
    • Literally: All’s well that ends well
  • Es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt
    • Literally: All that glitters is not gold
  • Wie du mir, so ich dir
    • Literally: Tit for tat
      Meaning: Like you to me, so I to you
  • Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten

    • Meaning: He who laughs last, laughs the longest
      Literally: Who laughs last, laughs the best
  • Beiß nicht in die Hand, die dich fϋttert
    • Literally: Don’t bite the hand which feeds you
  • Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst
    • Literally: First come, first served 
      Meaning: Who come firsts, mills first
  • Leben wie Gott in Frankreich

    • Meaning: Live the life of Riley
      Literally: Live like God in France
  • Wer die Wahl hat, hat die Qual
    • Literally: The choice is yours
      Meaning: Spoilt for choice
      (He who has a choice has the torture)  
  • Der Klügere gibt nach
    • Meaning: Lose a battle to win a war
      Literally: The cleverer one gives in
  • Wer im Glashaus sitzt, soll nicht mit Steinen werfen
    • Literally: Anyone sitting in the glass house should not throw stones
      Meaning: People who live in glass houses should not throw stones
  • Arbeit allein macht nicht glϋcklich
    • Meaning: All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy
      Literally: Work alone will not make you happy
  • Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel
    • Literally: The exception that proves the rule
  • Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt, ist des Talers nicht wert
    • Literally: Take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
      Meaning: Those who do not honor the penny are not worth the taler
  • Steter Tropfen höhlt den Stein
    • Meaning: Little strokes fell big oaks
      Literally: Constant dripping wears away the stone
  • Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn
    • Literally: Out of sight, out of mind
  • Nicht nur auf ein Pferd setzen
    • Literally: Don’t just bet on a horse
    • Meaning: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
  • Das Ei will klüger sein als die Henne
  • Meaning: Teaching your grandmother to suck eggs
  • Literally: The eggs wants to be cleverer than the hen
  • Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen
    • Meaning: In for a penny, in for a pound
      Literally: Whoever says A, must also say B
  • Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm
    • Meaning: Like father, like son / A chip off the old block
    • Literally: The apple doesn’t fall far from the trunk
  • Auge um Auge, Zahn um Zahn
    • Literally: Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
  • Wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt
    • Literally: Nothing ventured, nothing gained
  • Freunde erkennt man in der Not
    • Meaning: A friend in need, is a friend indeed
      Literally: You realise who your friends are in an emergency
  • Stille Wasser sind tief
    • Literally: Still waters run deep
  • Die Liebe ist blind
    • Literally: Love is blind
  • Kleider machen Leute
    • Meaning: Clothes maketh the man
      Literally: Clothes make people
  • Wo eine Wille ist, ist auch ein Weg
    • Literally: Where there’s a will, there’s a way
  • Aller guten Dinge sind drei
    • Literally: All good things come in threes
  • Der erste Schritt ist der schwerste
    • Literally: The first step is the hardest
  • Alle Wege führen nach Rom
    • Literally: All roads lead to Rome
  • Der Teufel steckt im Detail
    • Literally: The devil’s in the detail
  • Besser ein Spatz in der Hand als eine Taube auf dem Dach
    • Meaning: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
      Literally: Better a sparrow in your hand, than a pigeon on the roof
  • ‘Fϋnf Minuten vor der Zeit ist die deutsche Pünktlichkeit’
    • Literally: ‘Five minutes ahead of time is German punctuality’
      Meaning: ‘Five minutes before the (meeting) time is German punctuality’.
  • Wer im Glashaus sitzt sollte nicht mit Steinen werfen.
    • Translation: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
      Meaning: You shouldn’t criticize someone if you yourself are the same.
  • Du siehst den Wald vor lauter Bäume nicht
    • Translation: You don’t see the forest for all the trees.
      Bedeutung: Sometimes you have to step back and take a look at the bigger Bild (picture).
  • Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund
    • Translation: Morning hour has gold in its mouth
      Meaning: Get up früh (early) and have a head start in the day!
  • Der frühe Vogel fängt den Wurm
    • Translation: The early bird catches the worm
      Meaning: Exactly the same meaning as the proverb above, reinforcing die Wichtigkeit (importance) of getting up early in the morning!
      This is also an English proverb! “The early bird gets the worm”.
  • Zu viele Köche verderben den Brei
    • Translation: Too many cooks ruin the broth
      Meaning: It can ruin the situation when too many people get involved.
  • Lieber arm dran als Arm ab
    • Translation: Better to be poor than have one arm less
      Meaning: It could be worse! Es könnte schlimmer sein!
  • Eine Hand wäscht die andere
    • Translation: One hand washes the other
      Meaning: This has the same meaning as the English proverb “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” – if you help someone they will return the favour.
  • Sauf ma, dann sterm ma – sauf ma ned, dann sterm ma a, also sauf ma
    Trinken wir zu viel, dann sterben wir – trinken wir nichts, dann sterben wir, also trinken wir

    • Translation: If we drink too much, we die – if we don’t drink at all, we die, so let’s drink
      Meaning: Live your life
      If you haven’t already guessed this a Bavarian saying which is of course about drinking beer!
  • Da beisst die Maus keinen faden ab
    • Translation: The mouse doesn’t bite any threads
      Meaning: That’s how it is, you cannot change it
  • Wenn du mit dem Finger auf andere Menschen zeigst, zeigen drei Finger auf dich selbst
    • Translation: When you point your finger at other people, three fingers point at yourself
  • Bald reif hält nicht steif
    • English equivalent:
      – Early ripe, early rotten
      – Precocious talent or premature success is often short lived.

German Proverbs

  • Das Glück hilft dem Kühnen.
    • Translation: Luck helps the audacious.
      English equivalent:
      – Those who act boldly or courageously are most likely to succeed.
      – Fortune favours the bold.
  • Unter den Blinden ist der Einäugige König.
    • English equivalent:
      – Among the blind, the one-eyed is king.
      – People of only limited capability can succeed when surrounded by those who are even less able than themselves.
  • Wer Feuer bedarf, sucht es in der Asche.
    • English equivalent:
      – Let him that is cold blow the coals.
      – My definition of success is doing what you love. I feel many people do things because they feel they have to, and are hesitant to risk following their passion.
  • Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten.
    • English equivalent:
      – He who laughs last, laughs longest.
      – Minor successes or failures along the way are of no significance – the person who is ultimately triumphant is the only real winner.
  • Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her.
    • English equivalent:
      – A fish stinks from the head.
      – A corrupting influence often spreads from a leader to the rest of the organization group.
  • Die Ratten verlassen das sinkende Schiff.
    • Translation and English equivalent:
      – Rats desert a sinking ship.
      – A leader or organization in trouble will quickly be abandoned.
  • Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her.
    • English equivalent:
      – A fish stinks from the head.
      – A corrupting influence often spreads from a leader to the rest of the organization group.
  • Der Schein trügt.
    • Translation:Appearances deceive. Meaning:Things are not always as they look like.
  • Geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude, geteilter Schmerz ist halber Schmerz.
    • Translation:Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is halved sorrow.
  • Gleiche Gemüter suchen sich.
    • Translation:imilar minds seek each other. Great minds agree.
  • Andere Länder, andere Sitten.
    • Translation:Other countries, other customs
      When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
  • An den Früchten erkennt man den Baum.
    • 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.”
  • Anfangen ist leicht, beharren eine Kunst.
    • Translation:To begin is easy, to persist is art.
  • Auch der kleinste Feind ist nicht zu verachten.
    • Translation:Even the tinyest enemy is not to be despised.
      English equivalent:There is no little enemy.
  • Die besten Gedanken kommen allzeit hinterdrein.
    • Translation:The best thoughts always come second.
      Second thoughts are the best.
  • Die Ochsen hinter dem Wagen spannen.
    • Translation:To tighten the ox behind the cart.
      Don’t put the cart before the horse.
      “It is important to do things in the right or natural order.”
  • Die beste Verteidigung ist der Angriff.
    • Translation:Attack is the best form of defense.
      “You are more likely to win if you take the initiative and make an attack rather than preparing to defend yourself.”
  • Die besten Schwimmer ertrinken.
    • Translation:The best swimmers drown.
      English equivalent:Good swimmers are often drowned.
  • Der Stärkere hat immer Recht.
    • Translation:The stronger is always right.
  • Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn.
    • Translation:Out of sight, out of mind
  • Man sieht nur das, was man weiß.
    • Translation:You only see what you know.
  • Tu nur das Rechte in deinen Sachen; Das andre wird sich von selber machen.
    • Translation:Just do the right thing in your affairs; The rest will take care of itself.
  • Das Leben gehört den Lebenden an, und wer lebt, muss auf Wechsel gefasst sein.
    • Translation:Life belongs to the living, and those who live must be prepared for change.
  • Besser laufen, als faulen.
    • Translation:Better to run than to rot.
  • Es ist nichts schrecklicher als eine tätige Unwissenheit.
    • Translation:There’s nothing worse than ignorance in action.
  • Wer nicht vorwärts geht, der kommt zurücke.
    • Translation:If you’re not going forward, you’re going backward.
  • Alles zu seiner Zeit.
    • English equivalent:“all in good time”, or idiomatically “patience is a virtue”
  • Besser allein als in schlechter Gesellschaft.
    • Translation:It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  • Beiß nicht in die Hand, die dich füttert.
    • Translation:Do not bite into the hand that feeds you.

German Proverbs

  • Allein ist besser als mit Schlechten im Verein: mit Guten im Verein, ist besser als allein.
    • English equivalent: Better be alone than in bad company: and in good company, is better than be alone.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “654”. Dictionary of European ProverbsI. p. 587. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Aller guten Dinge sind drei.
    • English equivalent: All good things come in threes.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 80. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Alles ist seinen Preis wert.
    • English equivalent: Everything is worth its price. or “Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.”
    • “Cheat me in the Price, but not in the Goods.”
    • Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “957”. Dictionary of European ProverbsII. p. 800. ISBN 978-0-415-10381-7.
  • Alles zu seiner Zeit.
    • English equivalent: Everything in its season.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 31.
  • Alte Füchse gehen schwer in die Falle.
    • English equivalent: An old fox understands a trap.
    • “A weak Invention of the Enemy.”
    • Colley Cibber, Richard III (Altered) (1700), Act V, scene 3.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 42. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Alte soll man ehren, Junge soll man lehren.
    • English equivalent: Grey hairs are honorable. Literally, “The old ones shall be honoured, the young ones shall be taught”
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 35.
  • Am vielen Lachen erkennt man den Narren.
    • English equivalent: A fool is ever laughing.
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). “137”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6.
  • An den Früchten erkennt man den Baum.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • “Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents.”
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 488. ISBN 0415096243.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). “48”. European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
  • Andere Länder, andere Sitten.
    • English equivalent: Different countries, different customs.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 218. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Anfangen ist leicht, beharren eine Kunst.
    • To begin is easy, to persist is an art.
    • Friedrich Heinrich Wilhelm Körte (1861). Die Sprichwörter und sprichwörtlichen Redensarten der Deutschen: nebst den sprichwörtlichen Redensarten der deutschen Zechbrüder und Aller Praktik Grossmutter, d.i. der Sprichwörter ewigem Wetterkalender. F. A. Brockhaus. p. 19.
  • Arzt, hilf dir selber!
    • English equivalent: Physician, heal thyself!
    • “Do not reproach another person for something of which you yourself are guilty .”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1142. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Außerordentliche Übel erfordern außerordentliche Mittel.
    • English equivalent: Desperate diseases must have desperate remedies. “desperate times call for desperate measures”.
    • “Drastic action is called for – and justified – when you find yourself in a particularly difficult situation.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013.
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). “812”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 552. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6. Retrieved on 10 August 2013.
  • Auch der kleinste Feind ist nicht zu verachten.
    • English equivalent: There is no little enemy.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 718. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Auf einen groben Klotz gehört ein grober Keil.’’
    • English equivalent: You must meet roughness with roughness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn.
    • English equivalent: Out of sight, out of mind
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 16. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Aus einem Stein ist schwer Öl pressen.
    • English equivalent: You can’t milk a bull.
    • Literally: It’s difficult to press oil out of a rock.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1040. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Aus Schaden wird man klug.
    • English equivalent: Adversity is the mother of wisdom.
    • “Wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at last a sure one.”
    • Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chapter XXI
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 225. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Aufgewärmter Kohl war niemals gut.
    • English equivalent: Take heed of enemies reconciled and of meat twice boiled.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Aufschub bringt Gefahr.
    • English equivalent: Delays are dangerous; or “strike while the iron is hot”
    • “Hesitation or procastination may lead to trouble or disaster.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 10 August 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen.
    • English equivalent: Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
    • Literally: An elephant made out of a mosquito.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 58.
  • Bald geben, ist doppelt geben.
    • English equivalent: He gives twice, who gives in a trice.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 38.
  • Bald reif hält nicht steif.
    • English equivalent: Early ripe, early rotten.
    • “Precocious talent or premature success is often shortlived.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 758. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Bedenke das Ende.
    • English equivalent: Whatever you do, act wisely, and consider the end.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 600. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Bedenke, dass du sterben musst.
    • Latin equivalent: Memento mori.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1151. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Behüte mich Gott vor meinen Freunden, mit den Feinden will ich schon fertig werden.
    • English equivalent: Defend me from my friends, from my enemies I can defend myself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Bei offener Kiste mag auch der Fromme ein Schalk werden.
    • English equivalent: A nice wife and a back door oft make a rich man poor.
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 348. ISBN 978-1-136-78971-7.
  • Berühre nicht alte Wunden.
    • English equivalent: It is not wise to open old wounds.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 45.
  • Besser allein als in schlechter Gesellschaft.
    • English equivalent: It is better to be alone than to be in bad company.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Besser arm in Ehren als reich in Schanden
    • English equivalent: A good name is the best of all treasures.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Besser spät als nie.
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 166. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Beispiele tun oft mehr als viel Wort’ und Lehr’.
    • English equivalent: Precepts teach, but examples move.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Besser ein Narr mit allen andern, als ein Weiser und allein.
    • English equivalent: Better foolish by all than wise by yourself.
    • Emanuel Strauss. “70”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs.
  • Beiß nicht in die Hand, die dich füttert.
    • Translation: Do not bite into the hand that feeds you.
    • Dick, René (2010). Sprichwörter zumMitnehmen. BoD – Books on Demand. pp. 40. ISBN 3839171369.
  • Bellende Hunde beißen nicht.
    • English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
    • “People who make the most or the loudest threats are the least likely to take action.”
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 20 June 2013.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 5. ISBN 0415160502.
  • ‘’Beurtheile nicht jeden nach deinem eigen Mass.’’
    • English equivalent: Do not judge others by your own yardstick.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 22.
  • Besser ein Spatz in der Hand, als eine Taube auf dem Dach.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    • “Something you have for certain now is of more value than something better you may get, especially if you risk losing what you have in order to get it.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 29 July 2013.
    • Kazimiera, Myczko (2010). Reflexion als Schlüsselphänomen der gegenwärtigen Fremdsprachendidaktik. Peter Lang. p. 25. ISBN 3631612133.
  • Blinder Eifer ist Feuer ohne Licht.
    • English equivalent: Zeal without knowledge is a runaway horse.
    • “The Devil himself, which is the author of confusion and lies.”
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section IV. Memb. I. Subsection III
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “703”. Dictionary of European ProverbsII. Routledge. p. X. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Blut ist dicker als Wasser.
    • English equivalent: Blood is thicker than water.
    • “In case of need relatives usually help each other more than strangers. The bonds of relationship are more binding than other bonds.”
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). “X”. European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 233. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 172. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Blödes Herz buhlt keine schöne Frau.
    • English equivalent: Faint heart never won fair lady.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 30.
  • Böses mit Gutem vergelten.
    • English equivalent: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Da liegt der Hund begraben.
    • English equivalent: To smell a rat.
    • von WURZBACH (von Tannenberg.), Constant (1862). “134”. Historische Wörter, Sprichwörter und Redensarten in Erläuterungen. Gesammelt und herausgegeben von C. von W.. p. 191.
  • Das Auge sieht weit, der Verstand noch weiter.
    • English equivalent: The eye looks but it is the mind that sees.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1175. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das Beste kommt selten hernach.
    • English equivalent: Bad is the best choice.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 17.
  • Das Billige ist immer das Teuerste.
    • English equivalent: Buy cheaply, pay dearly.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das böse Gewissen verrät sich selbst.
    • English equivalent: A guilty conscience needs no accuser.
    • “People who know they have done wrong reveal their guilt by the things they say or the way they interpret what other people say.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “243”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6.
  • Das Eisen schmieden, solange es heiß ist.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das Glück hilft den Kühnen.
    • English equivalent: Fortune favours the bold.
    • “Those who act boldly or courageously are most likely to succeed.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Das Herz lügt nicht.
    • English equivalent: The heart does not lie. —or— The heart sees farther than the head.
    • “Hatred is a disguised form of love. You can only hate someone whom you really wish to love, because if you were totally indifferent to that person, you could not even get up enough energy to hate him.”
    • Sri Chinmoy, “The Wings of Joy” (1997)
    • Deutscher Sprachwort: Zeitschrift für Kunde und Kunst der Sprache. Verlag von Albert Fritsch.. 1858. p. 201.
  • Das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten.
    • English equivalent: Don’t throw out the child with the bath water.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 715. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das Pferd stirbt oft, ehe das Gras wächst.
    • English equivalent: While the grass grows the steed starves.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1228. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das Weib ist des Mannes größtes Glück oder Unglück.
    • English equivalent: Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye.
    • “Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion.”
    • Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle (1995
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 65. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das Wort verhallt, die Schrift bleibt.
    • English equivalent: Paper is forbearing.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1160. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Deine Wäsche wasche zu Hause.
    • English equivalent: It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest; Don’t wash your dirty linen in public.
    • “Why wantonly proclaim one’s own disgrace, or expose the faults or weaknesses of one’s kindred or people?”
    • “It is considered contemptible to defy the rule of solidarity by revealing facts harmful to the group one belongs to.”
    • Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). 1859. p. 109.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). “106”. European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 466. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 702. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Der Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle.
    • Translation: “Antisemitism is the Socialism of fools.”
    • A common saying of German social democrats, commonly attributed to August Bebel, who attributed it to Ferdinand Kronawetter. See Der Antisemitismus (1894) by Hermann Bahr, p. 21
  • Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her.
    • English equivalent: A fish stinks from the head.
    • “A corrupting influence often spreads from a leader to the rest of the organization group.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • René Dick (2010). Sprichwörter zum “Mitnehmen”. BoD – Books on Demand. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-8391-7136-3.
  • Der Geizige ist keinem gut, ihm selbst der Ärgste.
    • English equivalent: The covetous man is good to none and worst to himself.
    • “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
    • Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 83. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Der Gesunde weiß nicht, wie reich er ist.
    • English equivalent: Health is wealth; Good health is more to be desired than wealth.
    • “Good health is a valuable asset, worth more than any amount of money.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Die deutschen sprichwörter gesammelt. H. L. Brönner. 1846. p. 163.
  • Der Stärkere hat immer Recht.
    • English equivalent: Might is always right.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Der Ton macht die Musik.
    • English equivalent: It is not what you do, but the way that you do it; Halls don’t grace men, it’s men that grace halls.
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). “1341”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 802. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6.
  • Die Arznei ist oft ärger als das Übel.
    • English equivalent: The remedy is often worse than the disease.
    • “Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it’s compounding a felony.”
    • Robert Benchley, quoted in The New Speaker’s Treasury of Wit and Wisdom‎ (1958) by Herbert Victor Prochnow, p. 129.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. entry 646. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Die besten Schwimmer ertrinken.
    • English equivalent: The best swimmers often drown.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Die beste Verteidigung ist der Angriff.
    • English equivalent: The best defence is a good offense.
    • “You are more likely to win if you take the initiative and make an attack rather than preparing to defend yourself.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 30 June 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 518. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Die besten Gedanken kommen allzeit hinterdrein.
    • English equivalent: Second thoughts are the best; We shall lose nothing by waitting.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 35.
  • Die Ochsen hinter den Wagen spannen.
    • English equivalent: Don’t put the cart before the horse.
    • “It is important to do things in the right or natural order.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 106.
  • Dem Trinker kommt der Durst.
    • English equivalent: Appetite comes with eating.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 771. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • “Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents.”, or: “Children can be similar, if not identical, to their parents in many aspects”
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
  • ‘’Der Arme isst wenn er was hat, der Reiche wenn er will.’’
    • English equivalent: Beggars can’t be choosers.
    • We must accept with gratitude and without complaint what we are given when we do not have the means or opportunity to provide ourselves with something better.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 16.
  • Der Ertrinkende greift nach einem Strohhalm.
    • English equivalent: A drowning man plucks at a straw.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der Horcher an der Wand hört seine eigene Schand.
    • English equivalent: Eavesdroppers hear no good of themselves.
    • “People who eavesdrop on the conversations of others risk hearing unfavorable comments about themselves; used as a warning or reprimand.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “250”. Dictionary of European ProverbsI. Routledge. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Der Hund bellt und die Karawane geht vorüber.
    • English equivalent: The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 340. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der liebe Gott ist immer mit den stärksten Bataillonen.
    • English equivalent: God is on the side of the strongest batallions.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 871. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Der gerade Weg ist der beste.
    • Translation: The straight path is the best one.
    • Straightforward approach is the best approach.”, recommending to abstain from tricks, lies and the like, for such are not only unethical, but would even aggravate achieving one’s goal.
    • Strauss (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 394. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der Schuster hat die schlechtesten Schuhe.
    • English equivalent: The shoemaker goes barefoot.
    • “Working hard for others one may neglect one’s own needs or the needs of those closest to him.”
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 65. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 661. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Der Weg zur Hölle ist mit guten Vorsätzen gepflastert.
    • English equivalent: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der muss einen langen Löffel haben, der mit dem Teufel essen will.
    • English equivalent: He who sups with the devil needs a long spoon.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 920. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der Mensch denkt, Gott lenkt.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes but God disposes.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 103. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der Schein trügt.
    • English equivalent: Appearances deceive.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Des Menschen Wille ist sein Himmelreich.
    • English equivalent: His own desire leads every man.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Doppelt genäht hält besser.
    • English equivalent: Good riding at two anchors, men have told, for if the one fails, the other may hold.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Du siehst den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.
    • English equivalent: Missing the forest for the trees.
    • Tolksdorf, Frederika (1998). Der Verrat der Schwester. epubli. p. 76. ISBN 3844210342.
  • Den Teufel nicht an die Wand malen.
    • Translation: Not to paint the devil on the wall.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Der Eider dünket seine Ente ein Falk.
    • English equivalent: Every man thinks his own geese swans.
    • “This proverb imitates that an inbred Philauty runs through the whole Race of Flefh and Blood. It blinds the Underftanding, perverts the Judgment and depraves the Reafon of the Diftinguishers of Truth and Falfity.”
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 42.
  • Die Ersten werden die Letzten sein.
    • English equivalent: The last will be first, and the first last.
    • “The truth is, that most men want knowledge, not for itself, but for the superiority which knowledge confers; and the means they employ to secure this superiority, are as wrong as the ultimate object, for no man can ever end with being superior, who will not begin with being inferior.”
    • Sydney Smith, Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy (1849)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1085. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Die großen Fische fressen die kleinen.
    • 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.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1086. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Die Ratten verlassen das sinkende Schiff.
    • English equivalent: Rats desert a sinking ship.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Draußen hat man hundert Augen, daheim kaum eins.
    • English equivalent: Forget other faults remembering your own; Forgive and forget.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 838. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Durch Völlerei kommen mehr um denn durchs Schwert
    • English equivalent: Gluttony kills more than the sword.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Das Kind ins Wasser gefallen.
    • Translation: The child has fallen into the water.
    • English equivalent: Dropped the ball (Made a mistake that allowed something bad to happen).
  • Ehrlich währt am längsten.
    • Literal translation: Honesty lasts the longest.
    • English equivalent: Honesty is the best policy.
    • “It is a maxim of old that among themselves all things are common to friends.”
    • Terence, Adelphoe (The Brothers) (160 B.C)
    • “Friendship … flourishes not so much by kindnesses as by sincerity.”
    • Étienne de la Boétie Discourse of Voluntary Servitude<, Part 3
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 42.
  • Eigenlob stinkt.
    • Literal translation: Self-praise stinks.
    • English equivalent: Don’t blow your own horn.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 71.
  • Ein Feind ist zuviel, und hundert Freunde nicht genug.
    • Literal translation: One enemy is too many, and a hundred friends aren’t enough.
    • English equivalent: Do not think that one enemy is insignificant, or that a thousand friends are too many.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 718. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Ein gewiß[sic, Gewiss] ist better als zehn Unghewiß[sic, Ungewiss].
    • One certainty is better than ten uncertainties.
    • English equivalent: He that leave a certainty and sticks to chance, when fools pipe he may dance.
    • “He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.”
    • Samuel Johnson, The Idler No. 57 (May 19, 1759).
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “21”. Dictionary of European Proverbs. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Ein Heute ist besser als zehn Morgen.
    • English equivalent: One today is worth ten tomorrows.
    • “Don’t shortchange the future, because of fear in the present.”
    • Barack Obama, 10 Downing Street reception speech, April 1 2009.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1137. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Ein Kiel treibt den andere aus.
    • English equivalent: One nail drives out another.
    • “As one nail by strength drives out another
      , So the remembrance of my former love
      Is by a newer object quite forgotten.”
    • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1592)
    • Emanuel Strauss (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Taylor & Francis. pp. 648–. ISBN 978-0-415-10381-7.
  • Ende gut, alles gut.
    • English equivalent: All is well that ends well.
    • “Problems and misfortunes along the way can be forgotten as long as the end is satisfactory.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 7.
  • Erst denken, dann lenken.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap.
    • “The man who thinks before he acts, is most likely to act with discretion, and have no future cause to repent of his conduct; but he who acts blindly, without any foresight, will probably suffer for his rashness.”
    • Trusler, John (1790). Proverbs exemplified, and illustrated by pictures from real life. p. 115.
    • (1980). Erst denken- dann lenken!, Bund gegen Alkohol im Stra√üenverkehr.
  • Erst denken, dann handeln
    • Translation: First think, then act.
    • English equivalent: A closed mouth catches no flies.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 751. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Ein jeder habe das fröhliche, gesunde Misstrauen.
    • Translation: Everyone should have the happy, healthy distrust.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Ein Scheit allein brennt nicht.’’
    • English equivalent: It takes two to tango.
    • ‘”The reason that there are so few good conversationalists is that most people are thinking about what they are going to say and not about what the others are saying.”
    • François de La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions diverses, IV: De la conversation. (1731)
    • Ruef, Hans (1995). Titel Sprichwort und Sprache. Walter de Gruyter. p. 158. ISBN 3110144948.
  • Einer allein ist nicht einmal gut im Paradies.
    • Translation: Being alone is not even good in paradise.
    • English equivalent: There is no greater torment than to be alone in paradise.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1106. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Er war in Rom und hat den Papst nicht gesehen.
    • English equivalent: He was in Rome and did not see the pope.
    • Emanuel Strauss (11 January 2013). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 274. ISBN 978-1-136-78971-7.
  • Es ist keiner so blind, wie der, der nicht sehen will.
    • Translation: No one is as blind as the one who does not want to see.
    • English equivalent: There are none so blind as they who will not see.
    • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 320. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt.
    • Translation: Not all that shines is gold.
    • English equivalent: All that glitters is not gold.
    • An attractive appearance may be deceptive. It may cover or hide a much less favourable content.
    • Source for meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 114. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 76. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Ein Unglück kommt selten allein.
    • Translation: A disaster seldom comes alone.
    • English equivalent: Misery loves company.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 110. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Eile mit Weile.
    • English equivalents: More haste, less speed. / Haste makes waste.
    • “Christianity taught submission to the will of God, and even for those who cannot accept this phraseology there should be something of the same kind pervading all their activities.”
    • Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness (1930)
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 113. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Eine Schwalbe macht noch keinen Sommer!
    • Translation: One swallow doesn’t make summer.
    • English equivalent: A single swallow doth not the summer make.
    • “Do not feel sure or rejoice noticing a favourable sign. The appearance of a single sign of a favourable event is not yet a definite indication of its coming. It may be an unrelated, sporadic appearance.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 49. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1030. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Eulen nach Athen tragen.
    • Translation: To carry owls to Athens.
    • English equivalent: To carry coals to Newcastle. (UK)
    • Hörl (2005). Eulen nach Athen tragen: Eine Dokumentation zu der GroßskulpturEulen nach Athen tragen. Maisenbacher Artist Agent.
  • Erst wägen, dann wagen.
    • English equivalent: Diffidence is the right eye of prudence.
    • “Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.”
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 701. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Es ist übel, Hasen mit Trommeln fangen.
    • English equivalent: Drumming is not the way to catch a hare.
    • “Rather than criticizing workers for not wearing helmets, tell them pleasantly they are there to protect them from injury.”
    • Dale Carnegie, How to Win friends and influence people. (1936)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 753. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Faulheit ist der Schlüssel zur Armut.
    • English equivalent: Poverty is the reward of idleness.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “267”. Dictionary of European ProverbsI. Routledge. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Galle im Herzen, Honig im Mund.
    • English equivalent: A honey tongue and a heart of gall.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “248”. Dictionary of European ProverbsI. Routledge. p. ?. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Gelernt ist gelernt.
    • English equivalent: What is learnt in the cradle lasts to the tomb.
    • Schnurre, Wolfdietrich (1984). Gelernt ist gelernt. Ullstein. pp. 239. ISBN 3548261027.
  • Gebranntes Kind scheut das Feuer.
    • English equivalents: Once bitten, twice shy. / A burnt child dreads the fire.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 42. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Geklagtes Leid ist halbes Leid.
    • English equivalent: A problem shared is a problem halved.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 351. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Geld macht nicht glücklich.
    • English equivalents: Money can’t buy happiness.
    • “Ill gotten is ill spent.”
    • Plautus, Pœnulus, IV. 2. 22.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 670. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Gemein Gerücht ist selten erlogen.
    • English equivalent: Common fame is seldom to blame.
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 4 August 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 662. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Geschenk vom Feind ist nicht gut gemeint.
    • Literal translation: A gift from an enemy is not well-intentioned.
    • English equivalent: Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
    • “Do not trust gifts or favors if they come from an enemy.”
    • Martin H. Manser; David H. Pickering (2003). The Facts On File Dictionary of Classical and Biblical Allusions. Infobase Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8160-4868-7. Retrieved on 1 July 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 855. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Geschichte wiederholt sich.
    • English equivalent: History repeats itself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Gesunder Mann, reicher Mann.
    • English equivalent: Good health is above wealth.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Geteilte Freude ist doppelte Freude, geteilter Schmerz ist halber Schmerz.
    • English equivalent: Joy shared, joy doubled; sorrow shared, sorrow halved.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 249. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Gleiche Gemüter suchen sich.
    • English equivalent: Great minds think alike.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 882. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Gleiches muß durch Gleiches geheilt werden.
    • English equivalent: Fight fire with fire.
    • “The best way to deal with an opponent is to fight back with similar weapons or tactics.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 688. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Gleich sucht sich, Gleich findet sich.
    • English equivalents: Birds of a feather flock together. / Like will to like.
    • “Every man loves well what is like to himself.”
    • Folk-Etymology. Ardent Media. 1886. p. 216.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 51.
  • Glück bringt Neider.
    • English equivalent: Envy always shooteth at a high mark.
    • “Envy among other ingredients has a mixture of the love of justice in it. We are more angry at undeserved than at deserved good-fortune.”
    • William Hazlitt, Characteristics, in the manner of Rochefoucauld’s Maxims, No. 19 (1823).
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 766. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Golden Gebiss macht das Pferd besser.
    • English equivalent: Fine feathers make fine birds.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 30.
  • Gott bewahre mich vor jemand, der nur ein Büchlein gelesen hat.
    • Literal translation: God protect me from he who has read only one book.
    • English equivalent: Fear the man of one book.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 851. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Gott lässt uns wohl sinken, aber nicht ertrinken.
    • Literal translation: God lets us sink, but not drown.
    • English equivalent: Bitter pills may have blessed effects, or blessing in disguise
    • “Present afflictions may tend to our future good.”
    • James Kelly (1818). A Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs Explained and Made Intelligible to the English Reader. Rodwell and Martin. p. 43.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 11.
  • Gut verloren, etwas verloren; Ehre verloren, viel verloren; Mut verloren, alles verloren.
    • English equivalent: Courage lost, all lost.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 675. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Guter Willen gilt für die Tat.
    • English equivalent: Take the will for the deed.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Halt’s Maul, so fliegt dir keine Mücke hinein.
    • Literally: Close your mouth; that way, no mosquitos will fly in.
    • English equivalent: A closed mouth catches no flies.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Heute mir, morgen dir.
    • English equivalent: Today me, tomorrow thee.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1038. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall.
    • English equivalents: Pride cometh before a fall. / When fortune thunders do not withhold, when fortune smiles do not be overwhelmed.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 332. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Hoffen und harren macht manchen zum Narren.
    • English equivalent: He that lives on hope shall die fasting.
    • “Do not pin all your hopes on something you may not attain, because you could end up with nothing.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent:Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • “Hope tells a flattering tale,
      Delusive, vain and hollow.
      Ah! let not hope prevail,
      Lest disappointment follow.”
    • Miss Wrother, in the Universal Songster, Volume II, p. 86.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 952. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Hurtig zum Imbiß, hurtig zur Arbeit.
    • English equivalent: Quick at meat, quick at work.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Hütet euch vor den falschen Propheten.
    • English equivalent: Beware of false prophets.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 170. ISBN 0415160502.
  • In der Furt soll man die Pferde nicht wechseln.
    • English equivalent: Don’t change horses in midstream.
    • “It is often wise not to quit an undertaking already begun.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 18 August 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “857”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6.
  • In eigener Sache kann niemand Richter sein.
    • English equivalent: No one can be the judge in his own case.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1038. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Im Becher ersaufen mehr als im Meer.
    • English equivalent: Wine has drowned more than the sea.
    • “What’s drinking? A mere pause from thinking!”
    • Lord Byron, The Deformed Transformed. (1824)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 864. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Im Hause des Gehenkten rede nicht vom Stricke.
    • English equivalent: Name not a rope in his house who hanged himself.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 86.
  • Im Glück nicht jubeln, im Sturm nicht zagen.
    • English equivalent: If fortune favours, beware of being exalted; if fortune thunders, beware of being overwhelmed.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1001. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Im Scherz klopft man oft, und im Ernst wird auf.
    • English equivalent: Many a true word is spoken in jest.
    • “A joke’s a very serious thing.”
    • Charles Churchill, The Ghost (1763), book iv, line 1386
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 57.
  • In Zweifelsfalle draußen bleiben
    • English equivalent: When in doubt, leave it out.
    • “If you are unsure what to do, it is best to do nothing at all.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1223. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Je mehr man die Katze streichelt, desto höher trägt sie den Schwanz.
    • Translation: The more one pets the cat, the higher it holds its tail.
    • English equivalent: The more you stroke the cat’s tail, the more he raises his back.
    • Displaying too much affection or desperation repels your friends and love interests.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1184. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Je näher dem Bein, desto süßer das Fleisch.
    • English equivalent: The sweetest flesh is near the bones.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “1666”. Dictionary of European proverbsII. Routledge. p. 1176. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Je toller, desto besser.
    • English equivalent: The more the merrier.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1094. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Jedem gefällt das Seine.
    • Translation: Each one likes his own things.
    • English equivalent: The bird loves her own nest.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “923”. Dictionary of European ProverbsII. Routledge. p. 776. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Jedem Narren gefällt seine Kappe.
    • English equivalentː Every fool is pleased with his own folly.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “147”. Dictionary of European ProverbsI. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Jedes Warum hat seinen Darum.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Every why has a wherefore.
    • “Everything has an underlying reason.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 22 September 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Jung getollt, alt gezollt.
    • English equivalent: Reckless youth makes rueful age.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “1605”. Dictionary of European proverbsII. Routledge. p. 1151. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Kehre vor Deiner eigenen Tür.
    • English equivalent: Sweep your own doorstep clean.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 774. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Keiner weiss wo dem Andern der Schuh drückt.
    • English equivalent: No one knows where the shoe pinches, but he who wears it.
    • “Nobody can fully understand another person’s hardship or suffering.”
    • This is german.
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 4.
  • Kein Buch so schlecht, es steckt was Gutes drin.
    • English equivalent: No book was so bad, but some good might be got out of it.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1104. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Kein Ding ist so gering, es ist einer Bitte wert.
    • English equivalent: Lose nothing for want of asking.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 116.
  • Kleine Kessel haben große Ohren.
    • English equivalent: Little pitchers have big ears.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 653. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Krummes Holz gibt auch gerades Feuer.
    • English equivalent: Crooked logs make straight fires.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 683. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Sich nicht um ungelegte Eier kümmern.
    • English proverb: Don’t cross your bridges until you come to them.
    • Strutz, Henry (2010). German Idioms. Barron’s snippet. p. 52. ISBN 0764143832.
  • Laufen ist eine Schande, aber gesund.
    • English equivalent: He that runs and flees away, might live to see another day.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 703. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Lebe wie du kannst, nicht wie du willst.
    • English equivalent: Do as you may, if you can’t do as you could.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 707. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Leere Ähren stehen aufrecht.
    • French equivalent: It is not the cow that shouts the loudest that gives the most milk.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1169. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Leichter gesagt als getan.
    • English equivalent: Easier said than done.
    • Göring-Eckardt, Katrin (2006). Leichter gesagt als getan: Familien in Deutschland. Herder. pp. 191. ISBN 3451057689.
  • Leicht versprochen, leicht gebrochen.
    • English Translation: Lightly spoken, lightly broken.
    • English equivalent: Eggs and oaths are soon broken.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 765. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Leid oder Freud’, in fünfzig Jahren ist’s alles eins.
    • English equivalent: It will all be the same a hundred years hence.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 48.
  • Lieben und Husten lassen sich nicht verbergen.
    • English equivalent: Love, smoke and cough are hard to hide.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 50.
  • Lieber biegen, als brechen.
    • English equivalent: Better bow than break.
    • “It is better to make some confession, or pay a little deference to others, our neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and especially our superiors, rather than lose our credit or break friendship.”
    • Porter, William Henry (1845). Proverbs: Arranged in Alphabetical Order …. Munroe and Company. p. 46.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 20.
  • Lieber ein Ende mit Schmerzen als Schmerzen ohne Ende. or Lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende.
    • Better an end with pain than pain without end. or Better an end with horror than a horror without end.
    • English equivalent: Better go about than fall into the ditch.
    • Hennessy, Max (2001). Once More The Hawks. House of Stratus. p. 19. ISBN 1842328816.
  • Lügen haben kurze Beine.
    • English equivalent: A lie has short legs.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Lösche nicht, wo dich’s nicht brennt.
    • English equivalent: Give neither salt nor counsel till you are asked for it.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 60.
  • Man findet bald einen Stecken, wenn man einen Hund schlagen will.
    • Translation: You will soon find a stick, if you want to beat a dog.
    • Someone who wants to be mean will find things to be mean about no matter what.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Man kann die Natur nicht ändern.
    • Translation: One cannot change nature.
    • English equivalent: What is bred in the bone will not go out of the flesh.
    • You can seldom change core human nature with the help of logic.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 985. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man muß die Dinge nehmen, wie sie kommen.
    • Translation: One must accept things as they come.
    • English equivalent: Take things as you find them.
    • “We should not plan and then try to make circumstances fit those plans. Instead we should make plans fit the circumstances.”
    • George S. Patton, War as I Knew It (1947)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 865. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man muss das Eisen schmieden solange es heiß ist.
    • Translation: One has to forge the iron while it is hot.
    • You have to take advantage of immediate opportunities.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 977. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man sieht das Hirn nicht an der Stirn.
    • English equivalent: Judge not a man and things at first sight.
    • “Many a time,… from a bad beginning great friendships have sprung up.”
    • Terence, Eunuchus, Act V, scene 2, 34, line 873.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man sieht am Ende wohl, Wie man es loben soll.
    • English equivalent: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
    • The worth of a thing is however it practically comes to use.
    • ** Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 77.
  • Man sollte das Fell des Bären nicht verkaufen, bevor man ihn erlegt hat.
    • Translation: One shouldn’t sell the bear’s fur before one has killed him.
    • Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 639. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben.
    • Translation: One shouldn’t praise the day before the evening.
    • Don’t celebrate until you are 100% sure there is a reason to.
    • Example: If you lead a race, start to be happy when you crossed the finishline – not before.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 713. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man soll kein Öl ins Feuer gießen.
    • Translation: You should not add oil to the fire.
    • English equivalent: Don’t add fuel to the fire.
    • One should not make a bad situation even worse by an improper remark.
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com. p. 338. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
  • Man wirft keine Perlen vor die Säue.
    • English equivalent: Do not throw pearls before swine.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 22.
  • Mancher küßt die Hand, die er abbhauen möchte.
    • English equivalent: Many kiss the hand they wish cut off.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1084. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Mit dem, som man ausgibt, mit demselben wird es ausgemessen.
    • English equivalent: Whatever measure you deal out to others will be dealt back to you.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1219. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Mit den Ohren such’ dir eine Frau, zieh’ mehr die Ohren als die Augen zu Rate.
    • English equivalent: Choose a wife rather by your ear than your eye.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 655. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Mit Honig fängt man Fliegen.
    • Translation: With honey one catches flies.
    • English equivalent: You can catch more flies with a drop of honey than with a barrel of vinegar.
    • ** Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 100.
  • Mitgefangen, mitgehangen.
    • Translation: Caught together, hanged together.
    • Caught together, hanged together. (Accomplices to the crime will hang as well as the criminals.)
    • Example: If you go along with the crime you will be found as guilty as the criminals.
    • Schemann, Knight (1997). English-German Dictionary of Idioms: Supplement to the German-English Dictionary of Idioms. Taylor \& Francis Group. p. 75. ISBN 0415172543.
  • Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.
    • Translation: Morning hour has gold in the mouth.
    • You will gain much by beginning early in the morning.
    • English equivalent: Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 822. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Narren bedürfen der Schellen nicht.
    • Translation: A fool does not need any bells.
    • English equivalent: A tongue of a fool carves a piece of his heart to all that sit near him.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 136. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Natur geht vor Lehre.
    • Translation: Nature comes before teaching.
    • English equivalent: Nature is beyond all teaching.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 764. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Neidhard ist gestorben, hat aber viele Kinder hinterlassen.
    • Translation: The envious man has died but left many children.
    • English equivalent: Envy takes no holiday.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 767. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Neue Besen kehren gut.
    • Translation: New brooms clean well.
    • Newcomers are the most ambitious.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 1102. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Nicht alle sind Diebe die der Hund anbellt.
    • English equivalent: All are not thieves that dogs bark at.
    • “Of whom to be disprais’d were no small praise.”
    • John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)** ** Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 6.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Niemand ist unersetzlich.
    • English equivalent: No man is indispensable.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 319. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Niemand kann sich über das Meer beklagen, der zum zweiten Male Schiffbruch erlitten hat.
    • English equivalent: No one that has suffered shipwreck for the second time can complain about the sea.
    • Don’t do the same thing again and expect different results.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 898. ISBN 0415096243.
  • The night brings counsel.
    • English equivalent: Take counsel of one’s pillow.
    • Note: Specified as a German proverb in the source.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 63.
  • Nur tote Fische schwimmen mit dem Strom.
    • Translation: Only dead fish swim with the stream.
    • “Success is whatever humiliation everyone has agreed to compete for.”
    • James Richardson, Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten Second Essays (2001), #135
  • Hopfensperger, Otto (1998). Nur tote Fische schwimmen mit dem Strom: Roman. Fouqué-Literaturverl. pp. 110. ISBN 382674263X.
  • Öl in Feuer schütten.
    • Translation: To pour oil into fire.
    • English equivalent: (Don’t) add fuel to the fire.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations. W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue). p. 78.
  • Quatsch keine Opern. (slang, derog, not traditional)
    • Translation: Don´t talk operas.
    • English equivalent: Few words are best.
    • “It is best to communicate meaning in as few words as possible.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 26 September 2013.
    • Strutz, Henry (2010). 2001 German and English Idioms: 2001 Deutsche Und Englische Redewendungen. Barron’s snippet. p. 164. ISBN 0764142240.
  • Raten ist nicht zwingen.
    • English equivalent: Counsel is no command.
    • “If you offer someone a stick of gum, and she says ‘No thanks,’ you’ve been rejected.”
    • Strauss, Neil Rules of the Game (2007)
    • Oskar Wächter (1888). Sprichwörter und sinnsprüche der Deutschen in neuer auswahl. C. Bertelsmann. p. 236.
  • Rund is die Welt, drum Brüder laßt uns reisen.
    • Translation: The world is round, so let’s travel, brothers.
  • Schande dem, der schlecht davon denkt.
    • English equivalent: Shame take him that shame thinketh.
    • Don’t think evil of others since they most likely act the way they do because of situational factors: Never attribute something to malice which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. entry 806. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Schlimme Sitten, gut Gesetz.
    • English equivalent: Good laws have sprung from bad customs.
    • A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation’s nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again.
    • George Bernard Shaw, John Bull’s Other Island (1907)
  • I think the better day the better deed.
    • Meaning: “An action is of greater value because it is performed on a holy day.”
    • Source for meaning: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 3 August 2013.
    • John Holt, Sir William Moore’s Case (1703), 2 Raym. 1028; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 70. Ascribed to Walker in Woods Dictionary of Quotations; used by Thomas Middleton in The Phœnix (1603-04), Act III, scene 1.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Schmieds Pferd und Schusters Weiber gehen meistens barfuss.
    • Translation: The smith’s horse and the cobbler’s wife usually go barefoot.
    • English equivalent: The cobbler’s wife is the worst shod.
    • “Working hard for others one may neglect one’s own needs or the needs of those closest to him.”
    • Source for proverbs and meaning: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). “7”. European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. Veszprémi Nyomda. p. 65. ISBN 1-875943-44-7.
  • Schnell Urteil hat Reue feil.
    • Translation: Hasty judgments begets remorse.
    • English equivalent: Hasty judgment leads to repentance.
    • A quick evaluation is a terrible evaluation.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 196. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Schälke muss man mit Schälken fangen.
    • English equivalent: Set a thief to catch a thief.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 74.
  • Schön ist, was schön lässt.
    • English equivalent: Handsome is that handsome does.
    • “People should be valued for their good deeds, not their good looks, also occasionally used of things, or as a warning not to be misled by an attractive appearance.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 879. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Selbst dem Teufel sein Recht geben.
    • Translation: to give even the devil his right.
    • English equivalent: Give the devil his due.
    • “Bad conduct soils the finest ornament more than filth.”
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, I. 3. 133.
    • Martin H. Manser (2009). The Facts on File Dictionary of Allusions. Infobase Publishing. p. 337. ISBN 978-0-8160-7105-0.
    • Flonta, Teodor (2002). God and the Devil: Proverbs in 9 Euorpean Languages. Teodor Flonta. p. 21. ISBN 1875943412.
  • Sicher ist sicher.
    • English equivalent: Better safe than sorry.
    • Things that has happened will happen again. Religious myths for example, which are allegorical, will per definition reoccur.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 881. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Steter Tropfen höhlt den Stein.
    • Translation: A steady dripping will carve the stone.
    • Many small changes will make a big difference.
    • Insignificant damage accumulates.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 667. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Schuster, bleib bei deinen Leisten.
    • Translation: Shoemaker, stick to your trade.
    • Don’t talk about things you don’t know anything about.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 660. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Man sieht das Hirn nicht an der Stirn.
    • Translation: You don’t see the brain on one’s forehead.
    • English equivalent: Don’t judge things and a man at first sight.
    • you can’t judge someone at first appearence.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1994). Dictionary of European Proverbs, Volym 1. Routledge. p. 714. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Schlafende Hunde soll man nicht wecken.
    • English Equivalent: Let sleeping dogs lie.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 147. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Selbst ist der Mann.
    • English equivalent: If you want a thing done right, do it yourself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 763. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Sieht doch wohl die Katze den Kaiser an.
    • Translation: Even a creature of low status or importance has rights.
    • English equivalent: A cat may look at a king.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 13.
  • Sorge macht vor Zeiten grau.
    • Translation: Worrying about too much makes a person old before their time.
    • English equivalent: Fretting cares make grey hairs.
    • Source for proverb: Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 631. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Spiele nicht mit Feuer.
    • Translation: Do not play with fire.
    • English equivalent: If you play with fire you will get burned.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 716. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Stehend Wasser wird stinkend.
    • Translation: Still waters begin stinking.
    • English equivalent: Standing pools gathers mud.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 110.
  • Taten statt Worte! or Taten sagen mehr als Wörter. or Lass Wörtern Taten folgen! or Lass Taten sprechen!
    • Translation: Actions instead of words! or Actions speak louder than words (lit. Actions say more than words.) or Let actions result from your words! or Let actions speak!
    • English equivalent: Actions speak louder than words.
    • Practice what you preach!
    • Ubbens, Jörg (2008). Weißkittel vs. Blaumann: Warum Ärzte nicht reparieren und Ingenieure nicht operieren können. BoD – Books on Demand. p. 40. ISBN 3833477024.
  • Teile und herrsche!
    • Translation: Divide and rule.
    • English equivalent: Divide and conquer.
    • “The best way to conquer or control a group of people is by encouraging them to fight among themselves rather than allowing them to unite in opposition to the ruling authority.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 13 August 2013.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “823”. Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-78978-6.
  • Tut nach meinen Worten und nicht mach meinen Werken.
    • English equivalent: Preachers say: Do as I say, not as I do.
    • ** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 706. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Übung macht den Meister.
    • English equivalent: Practice makes perfect.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 439. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Unter den Blinden ist der Einäugige König.
    • English equivalent: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
    • “People of only limited capability can succeed when surrounded by those who are even less able than themselves.”
    • Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Mawr, E.B. (1885). Analogous Proverbs in Ten Languages. p. 2.
  • Unter dem blühenden Strauch liegt oft ein giftige Schlange versteckt.
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1070. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Verborgener Schatz ist nichts wert.
    • Translation: A hidden treasure is worth nothing.
    • English equivalent: Money is there to be spent.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1013. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Verbotene Frucht schmeckt am besten.
    • Translation: Forbidden fruit tastes the best.
    • English equivalent: Forbidden fruit is sweetest.
    • Kelly, Walter Keating (1859). Proverbs of all nations (W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue) ed.). p. 95.
  • Von großen Blöcken haut man große Stücke.
    • Translation: From big blocks one chops big pieces.
    • English equivalent: Everybody to whom much is given, much is expected.
    • “More is expected of those who have received more – that is, those who had good fortune, are naturally gifted, or have been shown special favour.”
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5. Retrieved on 8 September 2013.** Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1095. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Verstand kommt mit den Jahren.
    • Translation: Reason comes with the years.
    • English equivalent: Wisdom comes with age.
    • Having wisdom in matters is a virtue can only develops with many years of life experience.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1150. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Vertrauen erweckt Vertrauen.
    • English equivalent: Trust begets trust.
    • Confidence spills over to your coworkers.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 187. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Viel stroh, wenig Korn.
    • Translation: Much straw, little grain.
    • English equivalent: Great cry and little wool / Empty vessels makes the most noise
    • “Much ado about nothing.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Keating, Walter (1859). Proverbs of All Nations. W. Kent & Company (late D. Bogue). p. 128.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). “178”. Dictionary of European ProverbsI. Routledge. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-134-86460-7.
  • Viel Wissen macht Kopfweh.
    • Translation: Much knowledge creates headache.
    • English equivalent: Ignorance is bliss.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 684. ISBN 0415096243.
  • ’’Viele Handwerke verderben den Meister.
    • Translation: Many trades spoil the master.
    • English equivalent: Jack of all trades and a master of none.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1998). Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.). Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Vom Regen in die Traufe.
    • Lit. translation: Out of the rain and into the eaves.
    • Going from one unpleasant situation into one that is even worse. The idea seems to be that you are coming from the rain to stand under the edge of the eaves, where the water collected from the whole roof is going to pour onto your head.
    • English equivalent: Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
    • Walser (1982). Luganda proverbs. Reimer. p. 428. ISBN 3496001860.
  • Vorbeugen ist besser als heilen.
    • Translation: It is better to prevent than to cure.
    • English equivalent: Prevention is better than cure
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 332. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Vorrath nimmer schadet.
    • Translation: A store never hurts.
    • English equivalent: A store is no sore; Keep a thing seven years and you’ll find a use for it.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 14.
  • Wahrheit gibt kurzen Bescheid, Luege macht viel Redens.
    • Translation: Truth gives one reason, the lie gives many.
    • English equivalent: Truth is simple, lies are complicated.
    • Latin equivalent: Obscuris vera involvens.
      • Translation: Obscurity envelops truth.
    • Bohu, Henry G. (1857). A polyglot of foreign proverbs. H. G. Bohu. p. 174.
  • Was du allein wissen willst, das sage niemand.
    • Translation: What you want to keep a secret, tell no one.
    • Ward, Caroline (1842). National proverbs in the principal languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 74.
  • Was Gutes kommt wieder.
    • Translation: What is good returns.
    • English equivalent:
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 845. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wem das Ferkel geboten wird, soll den Sack bereit haben.
    • Translation: The one whom the piglet is offered must keep the sack ready.
    • English equivalent: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth / Beggars can’t be choosers
    • We should accept the offers that has been given us.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1226. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wem der Rock paßt, mag ihn anziehen.
    • Translation: To whom the skirt fits, may wear it.
    • English equivalent: If the shoe fits, wear it.
    • “The Sting of a Reproach, is the Truth of it.”
    • Benjamin Franklin, Poor Rickards Almanack (1746)
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 996. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wem nicht zu raten ist, dem ist auch nicht zu helfen.
    • Translation: He who can’t be advised, can also not be helped.
    • English equivalent: He that will not be counseled cannot be helped.
    • Advice often contain a genuine warning or an effective suggestion, which is unprudent not to take into consideration.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 964. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wenn alle dir sagen, du seiest betrunken, geh’ schlafen.
    • Translation: When everyone tells you that you are drunk, go to sleep.
    • English equivalent: When all men say you are an ass it is time to bray.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1221. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wenn das Haupt krank ist, trauern alle Glieder.
    • Translation: When the head is sick, all members mourn.
    • English equivalent: the fish rots from the head down ¬¬¬¬
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1117. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wenn der Berg nicht zum Propheten kommt, muß der Prophet zum Berge gehen.
    • Translation: If the mountain will not go to the prophet, the prophet must go to the Mountain.
    • English equivalent: If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
    • “If you cannot get what you want, you must adapt yourself to the circumstances or adopt a different approach.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 1006. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wenn der Himmel einfällt bleibt nirgend ein stehen.
    • English equivalent: If the sky falls, we shall catch larks.
    • “To believe a Business impossible, is the Way to make it so.”
    • Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732)
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 65.
  • Wenn du dich nicht selber kitzelst, ein and’rer wird nicht für dich lachen.
    • Translation: If you do not tickle yourself, there is no one else who will laugh for you.
    • English equivalent: For what thou canst do thyself, rely not on another.
    • Latin equivalent: Ne quid expectes amicos, quod tute agere possis.
      • Translation: Expect nothing from friends, do what you can do yourself.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 600. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wem Gott gibt ein Amt, dem gibt er auch Verstand.
    • English equivalent: Where God bestows an office, he gives brains to fill it.
    • Aversion: Each employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
    • Strauss, Emanuel (1994). Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.). Routledge. p. 878. ISBN 0415096243.
  • Wenn ein Freund bittet, so gilt nicht morgen.
    • Translation: When a friend asks, tomorrow does not count.
    • English equivalent: When thy friend asks, let there be no to-morrow.
    • “The man, who in a fit of melancholy, kills himself today, would have wished to live had he waited a week.”
  • Wenn jeder Herr ist, wer bringt aus dem Stalle den Mist?
    • Translation: When everyone is a lord, who brings the dung out of the stable?
    • English equivalent: There are too many chiefs and not enough indians.
  • Wenn strafen will die Gotteshand, so nimmt sie einem den Verstand.
    • Translation: When God’s hand wants to punish, it first takes the sanity.
    • English equivalent: Whom God will destroy, he first make mad.
  • Wer auf Gott vertraut, hat gut gebaut.
    • Translation: Who trusts in God has built well.
    • English equivalent: He who serves God has a good master.
    • “The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak.”
  • Wer befehlen will, muß gehorchen lernen.
    • Translation: Who wants to command must learn to obey.
    • English equivalent: Who has not served cannot command.
    • One must have been controlled in the same situation one wishes to properly control others.
  • Wer den Acker nicht will graben, der wird nicht als Unkraut haben.
    • Translation: Who does not want to dig the land shall have nothing but weed.
    • English equivalent: Sow thin, shear thin.
    • “He that sows bountifully, also reaps bountifully. […] Open then mouth wide, and it shall be filled; lay broad and firm your foundation for a noble and permanent superstructure; raise high your standard of excellence, if you would make high and worthy attainments. And do what you attempt to do, well.”
  • Wer den Kern essen will, muss die Nuss knacken.
    • English equivalent: He that would eat the kernel must crack the nut.
    • “Nothing is achieved without effort.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. Manser (2007). The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-8160-6673-5.
    • Caroline Ward (1842). National Proverbs in the Principal Languages of Europe. J.W. Parker. p. 56.
  • Wer durch Fliehen sich mag retten, kann wieder vor die Luke treten.
    • Translation: Who by fleeing might save himself, may again come before the hatch.
    • English equivalent: He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
    • “It is wiser to withdraw from a situation that you cannot win than to go on fighting and lose – by a strategic retreat you can return to the battle or argument with renewed energy at a later date.”
  • Wer Eier unter den Füßen hat, muss leise auftreten.
    • Translation: He who has eggs under his feet must tread lightly.
    • English equivalent: He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun.
    • Know your limitations and weaknesses; Don’t do something that is sure to damage you.
  • Wer ein Kalb stiehlt, stiehlt eine Kuh.
    • Translation: He that steals a calf steals a cow.
    • English equivalent: He that steals an egg will steal an ox.
  • Wer einen grossen Sprung thun will, geht vorher zuruck.
    • English equivalent: One must step back to take a good leap.
    • “Information processing keeps going on even when we are not aware of it, even while we are asleep.”
  • Wer Feuer bedarf, sucht es in der Asche.
    • English equivalent: Let him that is cold blow the coals.
    • “My definition of success is doing what you love. I feel many people do things because they feel they have to, and are hesitant to risk following their passion.”
    • Tony Hawk, American businessman, entrepreneur, skateboard pro. Interviewed by Gary Cohn for Entrepreneur Magazine (October 2009)
  • Wer Honig lecken will, darf die Bienen nicht scheuen.
  • Who wants to lick honey must not shy away from bees.
    • English equivalent: Honey is sweet, but the bees sting.
  • Wer keine Neider hat, hat auch klein Glück.
    • He absent envy, is also absent luck.
    • English equivalent: if you have no enemies it is a sign that fortune has forgotten you; People throw stones only at trees with fruit on them.
  • Wer mich liebt, der libt auch meinen Hund.
    • English equivalent: Love me, love my dog.
  • Wer nicht mit mir ist, der ist wider mich.
    • English equivalent: He who is not with me is against me.
  • Wer nicht vorwärts kommt, kommt rückwärts.
    • English equivalent: He who does not advance goes backwards.
  • Wer sich unter die Kleie mischt, den fressen die Schweine.
    • English equivalent: He that makes himself an ass must not take it ill if men ride him.
    • “Being fearful and weak-minded is not being nice.”
  • Wer Vögel fangen will, muß nicht mit Knutteln dreinwerfen.
    • English equivalent: Deal gently with the bird you mean to catch.
  • Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst.
    • Translation: Who comes first feasts first.
    • English equivalent: First come, first served.
    • “Those who arrive or apply earliest are most likely to get what they want from a limited supply of things, such as tickets, discounted goods or refreshments.”
  • Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten.
    • English equivalent: He who laughs last, laughs longest.
    • “Minor successes or failures along the way are of no significance – the person who is ultimately triumphant is the only real winner.”
  • Wer zwei Hasen auf einmal jagt bekommt keinen.
    • English equivalent: You must not run after two hares at the same time.
    • “Concentrate on one thing at a time or you will achieve nothing. – Trying to do two or more things at a time, when even one on its own needs full effort, means that none of them will be accomplished properly.”
  • Wer’s allen recht machen will muss früh aufstehen.
    • Translation and English equivalent: He had need rise early who would please everybody.
    • “It is impossible to do something that everybody will approve of.”
  • Wie du dein Bett macht, so magst Du darauf schlafen.
    • English equivalent: As you make your bed, so you must lie.
    • “You must put up with the unpleasant results of a foolish action or decision.”
  • Wiederholung ist die Mutter der Weisheit.
    • Translation and English equivalent: Repetition is the mother of knowledge.
  • Wie der Vater, so der Sohn.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • “Sons may look and behave like their fathers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily.”
  • Wie die Mutter, so die Tochter.
    • English equivalent: Like mother, like daughter.
    • “Daughters may look and behave like their mothers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily.”
  • Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus.
    • Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.
  • Was nicht ist, kann noch werden.
    • Translation: What isn’t yet can still become.
  • Wenn das Wörtchen wenn nicht wär, wär mein Vater Millionär.
    • If there wasn’t the little word if, my father would be a millionaire.
    • English equivalent: How many ifs fill a bushel?
  • Wer nicht hören will, muss fühlen.
    • Translation: He who doesn’t want to listen will have to experience.
    • English equivalent: He that will not be ruled by the rudder must be ruled by the rock.
  • Wie der Lohn, so die Arbeit.
    • Translation: What pay, such work.
    • English equivalent: You get what you pay for.
  • Wie die Alten singen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen.
    • Translation: As the old ones sing, so does the young ones chirp.
  • Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es zurück.
    • Lit.: Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.
    • Do not expect friendly reply when being obnoxious.
    • Bad language may have other causes than innate bad character.
  • Wissen ist Macht.
    • Translation: Knowledge is power.
    • English equivalent: Learning is the eye of the mind.
    • Learning about a subject such as psychology will increase your overall competence.
    • Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst.
    • Translation: Who comes first, grinds (his grain) first.
    • First come, first served.
    • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998). Dictionary of European Proverbs. Routledge. p. 822. ISBN 0415160502.
  • Wer nicht wagt, der nicht gewinnt.
    • Translation: Who wagers nothing, he wins nothing.
    • English equivalent: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    • It is necessary to take risks in order to achieve something.
  • Wer anderen eine Grube gräbt, fällt selbst hinein.
    • Translation: Who digs a pit for others falls into it himself.
    • Harm set, harm get.
  • Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen. (Plattdeutsche Variante: De A seggt, mut ok B seggen)
    • Translation: If you say A, you have to say B as well.
    • No half-assed evading or cherry picking.
    • If you want or assert A and it turns out to involve B, you have to put up with B too.
    • Follow through [don’t wimp out]
  • Wenn der Reiter nichts taugt, ist das Pferd schuld.
    • Translation: If the horseman is bad, it’s the horse’s fault.
    • English equivalent: A poor craftsman blames his tools.
  • Wo der Zaun am niedrigsten is, springt jeder über.
    • Translation: Where the fence is lowest, everyone jumps over.
    • English equivalent: Men leap over where the hedge is lower.
    • Note: Also knows as the Law of least effort.
    • Always do things in a way that requires the absolut least amount of labor.
  • Wo Rauch ist, da ist auch Feuer.
    • Translation: Where there is smoke, there is fire.
    • Everything happens for a reason.
    • Other meaning: A rumour contains some truth.
  • Wo der liebe Gott eine Kirche baut, da baut der Teufel eine Kapelle daneben.
    • Translation: Wherever God buys a church, the devil builds a chapel alongside.
    • English equivalent: Also: Where god has a church the devil will have his chapel.
    • Very seldom does any good thing arise but there comes an ugly phantom of a caricature of it.
  • Wo keine Versuchung, da ist kein Ehre.
    • Translation: Where there is no temptation there is no glory.
    • English equivalent: Without temptation there is no victory.
    •  
  • Worte sind gut, wenn Werke folgen.
    • Translation: Words are good, when work follows.
    • English equivalent: Deeds are fruits, words are but leaves.
    • “Mere words have no value unless they are followed by positive action.”
  • Wächst die Ehre spannenlang wächst die Thorheit ellenlang.
    • English equivalent: He that swells in prosperity will shrink in adversity.
    • “Some are elated with the feeling of vanity and the swelling sensation of pride, as soon as any prosperous gales waft over them; and when adversity approaches, in return, there is a corresponding depression of spirit, and the world seems only a frown upon them.”
  • Wähle von zwei Übeln das Kleinste.
    • English equivalent: Choose the lesser of two evils.
    • “If you are forced to choose between two options, both of which are undesirable, all you can do is choose the one that is less undesirable than the other.”
  • Wärme bringt Leben, Kälte Tod.
    • Translation: Warmth brings life, coldness death.
    • English equivalent: Hard words break no bones.
    • Telling the harsh truth to someone is often far less hurtful than to stay silent.
  • Zeit ist das teuerste Kleinod.
    • English equivalent: Time is precious.
  • Zu nacht sind alle Katzen grau.
    • English equivalent: At night all cats are grey.
  • Zum Dichter muß man geboren sein, Redner kann man werden.
    • English equivalent: Poets are born, but orators are trained.
  • Zur rechten Zeit ein Nadelstich erspart sicherlich neun.
    • English equivalent: A stitch in time saves nine.
    • “No one needs to be told that a vast deal of labor is expended unnecessarily. This is occasioned, to a great extent, by the neglect of seasonable repairs.”

German Proverbs

German Proverbs and Deep Meanings

  • Aller Anfang ist schwer.
    • Literal translation: “All beginnings are hard.”
      No matter what you are undertaking in life, whether it’s learning a new language, embarking on a career or working on a project, if you start something from scratch, you will suck at it at first. That’s part of the natural order and the way it should be. Don’t worry too much about it and just keep at it until you get it right.
  • Des Teufels liebstes Möbelstück ist die lange Bank.
    • Literal translation: “The devil’s favorite piece of furniture is the long bench.”
      In German, putting something on the “long bench” means putting it off (etwas auf die lange Bank schieben – another very good addition to your German slang phrases). Seems like Germans knew about procrastination long before the word was on everyone’s lips. What are you putting on the “long bench” that you could take care of right now? Don’t let the devil win.
  • Wer rastet, der rostet.
    • Literal translation: “He who rests grows rusty.”
      This saying states that in order to improve your skills, you have to continuously work on them. It also warns that if you want to achieve anything, the most important thing is to take action. Too many undertakings never get accomplished and die because of lacking follow-through. So get off your behind before it gets rusty.
  • Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
    • Literal translation: “Starting is easy, persistence is an art.”
      Starting something is much easier than seeing it through to the end. Haven’t we all had the experience to be full of enthusiasm at the beginning of a new venture or undertaking only to have it fizzle out as time progressed? Keeping up your motivation is an art form in itself, one that needs to be cultivated.
  • Aus Schaden wird man klug.
    • Literal translation: “Failure makes smart.”
      Many of us live in cultures that are very avert to failure. Nobody likes to screw up or fall on their face. However, what a lot of people forget is that failure is a necessity for learning. Without making mistakes, you will never understand how to do it right. To quote Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.”
  • Das Billige ist immer das Teuerste.
    • Literal translation: “The cheapest is always the most expensive.”
      This saying is a reminder to invest into quality. While the first impulse is often to go for the cheapest option, most of the time it is worth spending a little more. Whether on study material, tutors, services, you name it. It almost always pays off in the long run.
  • Du siehst den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.
    • Literal translation: “You don’t see the forest for all the trees.”
      In life it is important to see the big picture. If we only concentrate on the latest wins or failures instead of seeing our lives as a whole, we are vulnerable to fate’s whims and get frustrated easily. So don’t give up on German just because you had a bad vocabulary day. You can pick it up again tomorrow.
  • Erst denken, dann handeln.
    • Literal translation: “First think, then act.”
      Although taking action is important, it is of equal importance to take the right action. Determining which one that is requires some deliberate thinking. This proverb reminds us to to set the right priorities and make decisions about what we want instead of blindly rushing into battle.
  • Eile mit Weile.
    • Literal translation: “Make haste with leisure.”
      While it is important to work hard toward your goals and not be idle (Wer rastet, der rostet remember?), you have to make time to smell the proverbial roses along the way. If we are too focused on the outcome and the end result, it is easy to miss out on all the fun getting there.
  • Kümmere Dich nicht um ungelegte Eier.
    • Literal translation: “Don’t worry about eggs that haven’t been laid yet.”
      This one is a little bit like “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. However, while the English version asks us not to rely on means which we do not possess at this time, the German equivalent expresses the futility of worrying about things that haven’t come to pass yet and never might. It is energy that is much better spent productively.
  • Krummes Holz gibt auch gerades Feuer.
    • Literal translation: “Crooked logs also make straight fires.
      The perfect is the enemy of the good. A lot of people wait for the elusive “perfect moment”. When the stars align and everything falls into place. But life doesn’t work like that. This saying tells us to work with what we have available, not what we would like to have. Or to quote Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
  • Man muss die Dinge nehmen, wie sie kommen.
    • Literal translation: “You have to take things the way they come.”
      In the same line of thought, life will seldom play out exactly the way we planned. It is therefore important to cultivate an adaptive mindset and deal with current surroundings and conditions instead of wishing for things to be different. So take life as it is, not as it should be.
  • Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.
    • Literal translation: “The morning hour has gold in its mouth.”
      This might be the most weird-sounding translation on the list (which German is prone to, check out the German vocabulary with surprising meanings for more). It is one of the ways Germans stress the importance of getting up early to get a head start on the day. Many inventors and creators of our time have been early risers who have used the first hours of the day as their most productive period. Highly recommended.
  • Selbst ist der Mann./Selbst ist die Frau.
    • Literal translation: “Yourself is the man./Yourself is the woman.”
      This saying is hard to translate literally. It’s English equivalent is “Self do, self have”. Oftentimes we will use waiting for others as an excuse in order to not take action. The proverb says that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. While the original is the male version,  Selbst ist die Frau is also widely used today.
  • Taten sagen mehr als Worte.
    • Literal translation: “Actions say more than words.”
      In German actions don’t speak louder than words, they are just more verbose. Of course the meaning of this is to talk less and do more. A lot of people want to do great things and like to talk about their plans but lack follow through. Let your actions speak instead of your voice.
  • Übung macht den Meister.
    • Literal translation: “Practice is what makes a master.”
      Mastery is hard to attain. It takes continuous honing of your skills to get really good at something. If you want to reach a high level of proficiency in anything, you will have to put in the time and practice. Whether that’s business savvy, physical skills or language proficiency, there are no shortcuts.
  • Wer zwei Hasen auf einmal jagt bekommt keinen.
    • Literal translation: “He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none.”
      This is the German way of telling you to stop multitasking. Be focused. Concentrate on one thing at a time and then move on to the next. Well done, grasshopper. By the way does anybody else think words like these should really be spoken by a some wise kung fu master?
  • Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen.
    • Literal translation: “He who says A also has to say B.”
      No, this is not the slowest way to learn the alphabet. Instead, it means that if you commit to something, commit to it all the way. Don’t half-ass things or cherry pick. It is for those people who approach things with the attitude of Wasch mir den Pelz aber mach mich nicht nass (wash my fur but don’t get me wet), meaning they only want the outcome but not make the sacrifices that lead there.
  • Wenn der Reiter nichts taugt, ist das Pferd schuld.
    • Literal translation: “If the rider is no good, it’s the horse’s fault.”
      Many times when we attempt something and fail, we will want to shift the blame away from us. We don’t want it to be our own fault but that of exterior factors and circumstances. The German proverb reminds us to take responsibility instead.
  • Der Hunger kommt beim Essen.
    • Literal translation: “Appetite emerges while eating.”
      If motivation runs low, one of the hardest things to do is to get started. Yes, we want to learn German. Yes, we committed to this time for our studying session. But we just don’t feel like it. Do a little bit, study for just a minute. More often than not your will find that after working for a while and easing into the process, it actually becomes fun and you will want to continue.
  • Dienst ist Dienst und Schnaps ist Schnaps.
    • Literal translation: “Work is work and liquor is liquor.”
      Even if we are doing work that we enjoy, it isn’t always all puppies and rainbows. Sometimes it’s just work. Accept it, put your head down and get through it. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. It is also a reminder to schedule periods of recovery. Just don’t overdo it with the Schnaps or you won’t feel too recovered afterwards.
  • Ich kriege so eine Krawatte
    • This is one of those funny German sayings that really doesn’t make any sense when you first hear it in conversation (I mean, do they ever?).
      Literally it translates to, “I get such a tie!” as in the formal item you would wear around your neck. And it comes from the pressure you feel in your throat when you get so angry you could scream.
      Germans use this saying when they find something makes them really angry. Here are a few examples of it in action:
    • Ich kriege so eine Krawattewenn Lucy mein letztes Ibuprofen nimmt. “It really annoys me when Lucy takes my last Ibuprofen”
    • Sara hat gesagt, ‘James du musst nicht lügen!’, aber ich bin kein Lügner! Ach…ich kriege so eine Krawatte. “Sara said, ‘James, you don’t need to lie.’ But I’m not a liar! Oh…it really winds me up that does.”
    • Ich kriege so eine Krawattewenn man mit mir auf Englisch reden will. Ich muss Deutsch üben! “It really annoys me when someone wants to speak to me in English. I have to practise my German!”
    • If you can use the English phrases, “I get so annoyed when…” or “It really winds me up when…” you can use this in its place.
  • Warum spielst du die beleidigte Leberwurst?
    • In English this translates quite hilariously to, “Why are you playing the offended liver sausage?”. This is one of my favourite German sayings because I feel you can only appreciate the strangeness of it if you’re not a native speaker.
      You’d use this to ask someone why they’re throwing a tantrum or overreacts to something trivial. For example when a child asks for some sweets and doesn’t get them. Or in an adult setting that might look like:
      ”Jenny, warum spielst du die beleidigte Leberwurst?” (“Jenny, what’s ticked you off?”)
      ”Ach! Ich habe am Samstag Frühschicht. Ich will Freitagabend zu einem Konzert gehen. Mist!” (“I have an early shift on Saturday. I want to go to the concert on Friday evening! Crap.”)
      This adds a little fun to the situation too. It’s hard to be mad when someone is calling you a liver sausage.
  • Du gehst mir auf den Keks
    • Is someone really getting on your nerves? Maybe they’re grinding your gears? Or, perhaps they’re just a thorn in your side. Well then this phrase is perfect for you.
      This phrase literally translates to “You’re going on my cookie” and can be used any time someone is really getting on your nerves.
    • David, hör auf! Du gehst mir auf den Keks. “Stop it David, you’re getting on my nerves.”
    • Ach, Ed Sheeran. Seine Musik geht mir auf den Keks. “Oh Ed Sheeran! His music really gets on my nerves.”
    • It’s simple and it’s often considered quite a polite way to tell someone to stop doing what they’re doing because you find it annoying.
  • Ins Fettnäpfchen treten
    • Have you ever said something to someone and then immediately regretted it? Like making a joke and then realising someone in the group could really take offence?
      Well that feeling of putting your foot in your mouth translates to this phrase in German. Although it has an appropriately more disgusting translation of, “To step into the fat bowl”. Which pretty much sums up how anyone has ever felt at that moment.
  • Ich hab’ dich lieb
    • In German there are two stages of love.
      There’s ich liebe dich which means you’re completely in love with someone or something. But they also have a stage that sits somewhere around puppy love on the spectrum and it’s best used when you want to express love, but don’t want to be too on the nose about it.
      That’s where, “Ich hab’ dich lieb” comes in.
      This translates to, “I have love for you”. Which is one of those sentences that sounds like it could be grammatically correct but there’s something off with it.
  • Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt
    • If you’ve found someone you’re completely smitten with, this is the perfect saying to express that emotion.
      In English this is the equivalent of saying that you’re head over heels in love, although it literally translates to, “I’m over both ears in love!”.
      This could either mean that your body is so filled with love that it goes over your ears. Or, that your brain is completely in love with them and can’t shake the thought.
  • Frauen und Bier immer von unten
    • If you’ve ever given a toast in German you’ll notice two things: people make extreme eye contact and they always clink their glasses at the bottom.
      And whenever you ask a German about the latter they’ll always tell you this (cheeky) German saying. It translates to, “Women and Beer; always from the bottom!” and I’ll let you figure out why for yourself.
  • Ich habe einen Kater
    • Sticking with German sayings about beer, this lovely little phrase is what people use when they have a hangover.
      Now I’ve never had to use this phrase myself but I’d hear it often on Saturday and Sunday mornings after we’d been out to bars and clubs. “Kater” literally translates to a hangover, but you can also use Muskelkater to describe the soreness in your muscles after you’ve been to the gym.
  • Das ist nicht mein Bier
      • Has someone ever told you a problem that you really don’t care about, or want nothing to do with?
        “That’s not my beer” literally expresses that emotion in five short words. Much like how you wouldn’t drink someone else’s beer, you’re not going to take on that problem.
        This is one of those phrases that it’d be really cool to have in English because, “That’s not my problem” just feels a little bit too unimaginative. The Polish phrase “Not my circus, not my monkeys” is another way of saying the same thing that I really like.
  • Da steppt der Bär
    • Do you have a good feeling about a party or place you’re going to? Well this phrase is the perfect way to express your excitement.
      This literally translates to “There steps the bear” and I really can’t think an English equivalent for it. But beware, sometimes Germans use this sarcastically when they’re invited to a party they really don’t want to go to. So be sure to pay attention to the tone of voice when it’s said.

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