Iranian / Persian Proverbs

The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as languages closely related to Persian. The Iranian peoples or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group.

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

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Iranian / Persian Proverbs

“That smells bad,” said the cat about meat that it cannot reach. – Persian Proverbs

A bad event had a good sequel. – Persian Proverbs

A bad wound heals, but a bad word doesn’t. – Persian Proverbs

A bee is always behind the flower. – Persian Proverbs

A beggar will always be a beggar even if they give him the whole world as a gift. – Persian Proverbs

A blind man who sees is better than a sighted man who is blind. – Persian Proverbs

A broken hand works, but not a broken heart. – Persian Proverbs

A broken sleeve holdeth the arm back. – Persian Proverbs

A camel does not drink with a spoon. – Persian Proverbs

A camel that wants fodder stretches out its neck. – Persian Proverbs

A child is a bridge to heaven. – Persian Proverbs

A coquettish woman is like a shadow — as you chase her she runs away, and if you run away, she chases after you. – Persian Proverbs

A coquettish woman is like a shadow — as you chase her she runs away, and if you run away, she chases after you. – Persian Proverbs

A crazy person enjoys meeting another one. – Persian Proverbs

A dog by your side is better than a brother miles away. – Persian Proverbs

A drop is ocean only when it is in the ocean. – Persian Proverbs

A drop of rain makes no impression on a hard stone. – Persian Proverbs

A drowning man is not bothered by rain. – Persian Proverbs

A ewer and a hose do the same thing, but their real values show when they are pawned. – Persian Proverbs

A flower is beautiful from all sides. – Persian Proverbs

A fool and his money are soon parted. – Persian Proverbs

A fool’s excuse is bigger than his mistake. – Persian Proverbs

A friend is like a poem. – Persian Proverbs

A gentle hand may lead even an elephant by a single hair. – Persian Proverbs

A good appetite needs no sauce. – Persian Proverbs

A good year is apparent from the spring. – Persian Proverbs

A good year is evident in its Spring. – Persian Proverbs

A hasty man does things twice – Persian Proverbs

A hungry man dreams of sangak bread. – Persian Proverbs

A hungry person dreams of sangak bread. – Persian Proverbs

A lazy sheep thinks its wool heavy. – Persian Proverbs

A leopard cannot change its spots. Putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it a lady. – Persian Proverbs

A liar is forgetful. – Persian Proverbs

A liar should have a good memory. – Persian Proverbs

A man can pose as a wise when searching for wisdom, but if he believes to have find it, is a fool. – Persian Proverbs

A man without a child is a king without sorrows. – Persian Proverbs

A man without passion is no son of Adam. – Persian Proverbs

A man’s servant can live for a hundred years; the slave of a woman dies in six months. – Persian Proverbs

A mirror does not reflect a broken heart. – Persian Proverbs

A mountain never meets a mountain, but a man meets a man. – Persian Proverbs

A person is trying to benefit from being close to opposing parties. – Persian Proverbs

A quality statement often gets no answer. – Persian Proverbs

A renter becomes a comfortable dweller. – Persian Proverbs

A rolling stone gathers no moss. – Persian Proverbs

A sharp tongue will cut off its own head. – Persian Proverbs

A single flower makes not Spring. – Persian Proverbs

A single rose does not mean that it is spring. – Persian Proverbs

A slap in the face now is better than promised candy later. – Persian Proverbs

A sluggard claims the wisdom of forty viziers. – Persian Proverbs

A snake can change its skin but not its disposition. – Persian Proverbs

A stone thrown at the right time is better than a stone thrown at the wrong time. – Persian Proverbs

A stone thrown at the right time is better than gold given at the wrong time. – Persian Proverbs

A sword in the hands of a drunken slave is less dangerous than science in the hands of the immoral. – Persian Proverbs

A sword in the hands of a drunken slave is less dangerous than science in the hands of the unscrupulous. – Persian Proverbs

A tear at the right moment is better than a misplaced smile. – Persian Proverbs

A thief is a king until he is caught. – Persian Proverbs

A thief knows a thief as a wolf knows a wolf. – Persian Proverbs

A timely tear is better than a misplaced smile. – Persian Proverbs

A visitor comes with ten blessings, eats one, and leaves nine. – Persian Proverbs

A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend. – Persian Proverbs

A wise man can laugh at his jokes. – Persian Proverbs

A wolf’s repentance died a long time ago. – Persian Proverbs

Acquaintance without patience is like a candle with no light. – Persian Proverbs

All fur coat and no knickers – Persian Proverbs

All that glitters is not gold. – Persian Proverbs

All that is round is not walnut. – Persian Proverbs

All work is as seed sown; it grows and spreads, and sows itself anew. – Persian Proverbs

Amongst the genus of Jasminum, a single jasmine does not stand out. – Persian Proverbs

An alive person needs life. – Persian Proverbs

An arrow can be pulled out of a wound, but a hurtful word stays forever in your heart. – Persian Proverbs

An ass is the most pleasing to another ass. – Persian Proverbs

An egg thief becomes a camel thief. – Persian Proverbs

An event is so improbable that its occurrence is akin to cacophony sounding mellifluous. – Persian Proverbs

An honest broker shares in people’s wealth. – Persian Proverbs

An infidel believes of everybody being of his own faith.

An infidel believes of everybody being of his own faith. – Persian Proverbs

An ungrateful son is a wart on his father’s nose – he leaves it, it’s ugly, he removes it, it hurts. – Persian Proverbs

Appearances can be deceptive. – Persian Proverbs

Applied when a person mentions the problems of another without seeing his own bigger problems. – Persian Proverbs

Arabic is a language, Persian is a delicacy and Turkish is an art. – Persian Proverbs

As long as the clouds dolt weep, the pasture cannot laugh. – Persian Proverbs

As long as you are standing, give a hand to those who have fallen. – Persian Proverbs

As soon as a man gets new trousers, he thinks about a new wife. – Persian Proverbs

As the best wine makes the sharpest vinegar, the truest lover may turn into the worst enemy. – Persian Proverbs

As the wise man looks for a bridge the fool crosses the river. – Persian Proverbs

Asked for an eye-witness, the fox offered his tail. – Persian Proverbs

Aspiration is not a defect for youngsters. – Persian Proverbs

Bake the bread while the oven is hot. – Persian Proverbs

Bam’s eggplant doesn’t have a defect. – Persian Proverbs

Be a lion at home and a fox abroad. – Persian Proverbs

Be careful. People could be listening. – Persian Proverbs

Be in league with the headman; pillage the village. – Persian Proverbs

Be it a bread given to the beggar, be it one taken from him. – Persian Proverbs

Be kind to the debtor and he becomes the creditor. – Persian Proverbs

Be not all sugar, or the world will swallow you up; be not all wormwood, or the world will spit you out. – Persian Proverbs

Beggars can’t be choosers. – Persian Proverbs

Being tricky (untruthful) won’t get you to your goal. – Persian Proverbs

Better safe than sorry. – Persian Proverbs

Between two cooks, the soup becomes either salty or bland. – Persian Proverbs

Beware a rickety wall, a savage dog, and a quarrelsome person. – Persian Proverbs

Birds of a feather flock together. – Persian Proverbs

Blood cannot be washed out with blood. – Persian Proverbs

Bravery without foresight is like a blind horse. – Persian Proverbs

Bribery makes both parties happy. – Persian Proverbs

Bugbear took it all. – Persian Proverbs

Bugbear took that pacifier. – Persian Proverbs

Buy cheap, buy a heap. – Persian Proverbs

By a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant with a hair. – Persian Proverbs

Children are the bridge to heaven. – Persian Proverbs

Claim to virginity, after seven moppets! – Persian Proverbs

Closing the barn door after the horses get out. – Persian Proverbs

Cloud, wind, moon, and sky are at work. And when you earn a piece of bread, do not eat it in ignorance. – Persian Proverbs

Come what may. – Persian Proverbs

Comfortable is he who doesn’t have a donkey — Doesn’t know of its straw and barley. – Persian Proverbs

Comfortable is he who doesn’t have a donkey — He who doesn’t know of its straw and barley. – Persian Proverbs

Contrarily, they call the Negro Camphor. – Persian Proverbs

Courteous men learn courtesy from the discourteous. – Persian Proverbs

Courtesy is cumbersome to them that ken it not. – Persian Proverbs

Courtesy on just one side can never last long. – Persian Proverbs

Courtesy on one side can never last long. – Persian Proverbs

Credit is better than wealth. – Persian Proverbs

Crooked load will not get to the destination. – Persian Proverbs

Curiosity is the key to knowledge. – Persian Proverbs

Death is a camel that lies down at every door. – Persian Proverbs

Death is a camel that lies down at everyone’s door. – Persian Proverbs

Debts are like women, once you have them you can’t get rid of them. – Persian Proverbs

Did you see the camel? No you did not! – Persian Proverbs

Do a good thing and throw it in the river. God will reward you in the desert. – Persian Proverbs

Do little things now; and big things will come to you. – Persian Proverbs

Do little things now; so shall big things come to thee by and by asking to be done. – Persian Proverbs

Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? – Persian Proverbs

Do men gather grapes of thorns? – Persian Proverbs

Do not be critical of what has been given to you for free. – Persian Proverbs

Do not choose for anyone what you do not choose for yourself. – Persian Proverbs

Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade. – Persian Proverbs

Do not let the cat watch over the bacon. – Persian Proverbs

Do not use words that are too big for your mouth. – Persian Proverbs

Do well the little things now; so shall great things come to thee by and by asking to be done. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t just take love—experience it. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t be afraid of he who raises a hue and cry; be afraid of he who holds his head down. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t be afraid of he who’s loud and noisy, be afraid of he who’s head is down. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t borrow from a baby-boomer, if you borrow, don’t spend it. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t borrow from a parvenu; if you do, don’t spend it. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t despise pepper because it is so small; eat, and see how pungent it is. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t have too many irons in the fire. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t judge a book by its cover – Persian Proverbs

Don’t just take love, experience it. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. – Persian Proverbs

Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make waves. – Persian Proverbs

Doubt is the key to knowledge. – Persian Proverbs

Doubt makes the mountain which faith can move. – Persian Proverbs

Doubtful the die, and dire the cast. – Persian Proverbs

Draw not thy bow before thy arrow be fixed. – Persian Proverbs

Drawn wells have sweetest water. – Persian Proverbs

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

Easy come, easy go. – Persian Proverbs

Eat bread and leek for one year, eat bread and butter for a hundred years. – Persian Proverbs

Eat drink and make merry, for tomorrow you might die – Persian Proverbs

Eating and sleeping is my profession, God Almighty is my protection. – Persian Proverbs

Either God, or date – Persian Proverbs

Empty vessels make the most noise. Barking dogs seldom bite. – Persian Proverbs

Epigrams might succeed where epics fail. – Persian Proverbs

Epigrams succeed where epics fail. – Persian Proverbs

Even a hair off the bear is serendipitous. – Persian Proverbs

Even if she had seven blind daughters, she’d marry them off in an hour. – Persian Proverbs

Every fault that a Sultan pleases can be a quality. – Persian Proverbs

Every man goes down to his death bearing in his hands only that which he has given away. – Persian Proverbs

Every man is the architect of his own fortune. – Persian Proverbs

Every man is the king of his own beard. – Persian Proverbs

Every man is the smith of his own fortune. – Persian Proverbs

Every rock strikes the feet of the poor. – Persian Proverbs

Every tear has a smile behind it. – Persian Proverbs

Every time something turns out missing. – Persian Proverbs

Every tree is known by its fruit. – Persian Proverbs

Everyone thinks his own spit tastes good. – Persian Proverbs

Excessive praise is like an insult. – Persian Proverbs

Expect trust from a dog but not from a woman. – Persian Proverbs

Experience is a comb which nature gives to men when they are bald. – Persian Proverbs

Fear those who do not fear God. – Persian Proverbs

Fine words butter no parsnips. – Persian Proverbs

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

First dig a well, then steal the minaret. – Persian Proverbs

First goblet and then drunkenness. – Persian Proverbs

First goblet is still full, but you are sodden (or drunk). – Persian Proverbs

First prove your brotherhood, then claim inheritance. – Persian Proverbs

Five fingers are brothers, not equals. – Persian Proverbs

Flies will easily fly into the honey — their problem is how to get out. – Persian Proverbs

Flies will never leave the shop of a sweetmaker. – Persian Proverbs

For a single guest, the host can a slaughter a cow. – Persian Proverbs

For an ant to have wings would be his undoing. – Persian Proverbs

For crystal rain falls from black clouds. – Persian Proverbs

For his master the dog is a lion. – Persian Proverbs

Forgiveness hides a pleasure that you can’t get back from revenge. – Persian Proverbs

Four walls make a man free. – Persian Proverbs

Friendship with a fool may turn into the hug of a bear. – Persian Proverbs

From afar he takes the heart, from nearby the gall-bladder. – Persian Proverbs

From sudden desire of halim he fell in the pot. – Persian Proverbs

From this column to that column may be a relief. – Persian Proverbs

From truth to falsehood there’s a four-finger distance. – Persian Proverbs

From you motion, from God blessing. – Persian Proverbs

From you, action, from God, benediction. – Persian Proverbs

Get along with the village headman, plunder the village. – Persian Proverbs

Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile. – Persian Proverbs

Give nine, save ten. – Persian Proverbs

Giving advice to the ignorant is like the rain falling on muddy ground. – Persian Proverbs

Go and wake up your luck. – Persian Proverbs

Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you’ll see further. – Persian Proverbs

Go further and fare worse. – Persian Proverbs

Go slowly and come slowly so that the cat won’t gore you. – Persian Proverbs

God gives to us according to the measure of our hearts. – Persian Proverbs

God provides, but He needs a nudge. – Persian Proverbs

Goes in one ear comes out the other. – Persian Proverbs

Gold bears more gold. – Persian Proverbs

Good deeds return to the house of their author. – Persian Proverbs

Good grape becomes fox’s possession. – Persian Proverbs

Good poets are like angels of Heaven. – Persian Proverbs

Goods have value only to those who desire them. – Persian Proverbs

Great boast, small roast. – Persian Proverbs

Great needs grow from great possessions. – Persian Proverbs

Great talkers are little doers. – Persian Proverbs

Habits are first cobwebs, then cables. – Persian Proverbs

Had the crow been a surgeon, it would have stitched its own rear. – Persian Proverbs

He doesn’t see any water; otherwise, he is a skilled swimmer. – Persian Proverbs

He doesn’t see water, otherwise he is a skilled swimmer. – Persian Proverbs

He eats sheep-tail with the wold, and cries with the shepherd. – Persian Proverbs

He escaped the thief, and fell in fortune-teller’s trap. – Persian Proverbs

He gives a party with bath-water. – Persian Proverbs

He gives from caliph’s bag. – Persian Proverbs

He gives him roast meat and beats him with the spit. – Persian Proverbs

He has dealt with so many scoundrels that he himself has become the chief rogue. – Persian Proverbs

He has eaten so many snakes that he has become a viper. – Persian Proverbs

He has fallen off the donkey, but has found a date. – Persian Proverbs

He has lost the horse, but is looking for the horseshoe. – Persian Proverbs

He is still alive because he cannot afford a funeral. – Persian Proverbs

He is still wet behind the ears. – Persian Proverbs

He keeps her/his face red with slaps. – Persian Proverbs

He makes the water muddy to fish. – Persian Proverbs

He never tells the truth. – Persian Proverbs

He pushes it away with the hand, but pulls it forward with the foot. – Persian Proverbs

He pushes it back with his hand and pulls it in with his feet. – Persian Proverbs

He runs with the hare and hunst with the hound. – Persian Proverbs

He takes from one ear, and lets it out from the other ear. – Persian Proverbs

He that sows shall also reap. – Persian Proverbs

he tried to pluck under her/his eyebrow, but blinded the eye. – Persian Proverbs

He wants the God and the date both. – Persian Proverbs

He wants to have his cake and eat it too. – Persian Proverbs

He wants to have it both ways. – Persian Proverbs

He wants to let it go and still have it. – Persian Proverbs

He who doesn’t go to war roars like a lion. – Persian Proverbs

He who eats alone is Satan’s brother. – Persian Proverbs

He who has a clean account, what fear of calculation does he have? – Persian Proverbs

He who has been bitten by a snake fears a piece of string. – Persian Proverbs

He who has had his nose in the air bites the dust in the end. – Persian Proverbs

He who has only one enemy, meets him everywhere. – Persian Proverbs

He who is honest at finance, what fear of audit will he have? – Persian Proverbs

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool, shun him; He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child, teach him. He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep, wake him. He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise, follow him. – Persian Proverbs

He who puts on lordly airs winds up hauling hay. – Persian Proverbs

He who sits waiting for his neighbor will go to bed hungry. – Persian Proverbs

He who want a rose must respect the thorn. – Persian Proverbs

He who wants content can’t find an easy chair. – Persian Proverbs

He who wants the rose must respect the thorn. – Persian Proverbs

He whose heart is aroused by love will never die. – Persian Proverbs

He would even hang himself, provided that the rope is free. – Persian Proverbs

He wouldn’t sleep where there is running water. – Persian Proverbs

He, who has only one enemy, meets him everywhere. – Persian Proverbs

He/she who blows into fire will have sparkles in his/her eyes. – Persian Proverbs

Heaven is at the feet of mothers. – Persian Proverbs

Hey sloth, don’t go into the shade, the shade would eventually come to you. – Persian Proverbs

His mouth still smells of his mother’s milk. – Persian Proverbs

His options are so limited that he has to settle for the worst pinchbeck. – Persian Proverbs

History is a mirror of the past, and a lesson for the present. – Persian Proverbs

Hitch a horse and an ass to the same post; if they don’t smell the same, they’ll behave the same. – Persian Proverbs

Human beings need meaningful lives. – Persian Proverbs

I attempted to be benevolent, but I got burnt. – Persian Proverbs

I can only get better if I have good friends. – Persian Proverbs

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. – Persian Proverbs

I eat what others have planted and I plant what others want to eat. – Persian Proverbs

I gave so much advice that hair grew on my tongue. – Persian Proverbs

I have no right to rejoice at the death of my enemy when I do not have eternal life myself. – Persian Proverbs

I know entirely what kind of person you are. – Persian Proverbs

I murmured because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. – Persian Proverbs

I poured our own flour and hung our hair-sieve. – Persian Proverbs

I say: ‘It’s a bull’; he says: ‘Milk it!’

I took care of my own business. – Persian Proverbs

I took the abandoned boy to be my son, but he became my husband. – Persian Proverbs

I tried to do charity, I burned. – Persian Proverbs

I used to complain because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. – Persian Proverbs

I used to complain because I had no shoes until I met a man who was dead. – Persian Proverbs

I used to feel sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met a man who was dead. – Persian Proverbs

I was trying to help out, but I got in trouble myself. – Persian Proverbs

I wept because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet. – Persian Proverbs

I would have been for seven years. – Persian Proverbs

If a fool borrows a book cut off his hand; but cut off both hands of the fool who brings it back. – Persian Proverbs

If a man would live in peace, he should be blind, deaf, and dumb. – Persian Proverbs

If Akbar doesn’t give, Akbar’s God gives. – Persian Proverbs

If Ali is the camel-driver, he knows where to rest his camel. – Persian Proverbs

If children’s prayer had any effect, there wouldn’t be a single teacher alive. – Persian Proverbs

If everybody said bread and cheese, you put your head down and die. – Persian Proverbs

If everyone said bread and cheese, you put your head down and desist. – Persian Proverbs

If fortune turns against you, even jelly breaks your tooth. – Persian Proverbs

If God wills, even males become fertile. – Persian Proverbs

If he hadn’t seen his father, he would have claimed kingship. – Persian Proverbs

If he has seven blind daughters, he will marry them in an hour. – Persian Proverbs

If he hasn’t seen her/his father, he would claim to be a king. – Persian Proverbs

If he says yogurt is white, I’ll say it’s black. – Persian Proverbs

If he was any good, his name would be Kheirollah. – Persian Proverbs

If he were a do-gooder, they’d call him Saint Do-Gooder. – Persian Proverbs

If I haven’t eaten wheat-bread, I’ve seen it in people’s hands. – Persian Proverbs

If it doesn’t have water for me, instead it has bread for you. – Persian Proverbs

If my aunt had a beard, this man would be my uncle. – Persian Proverbs

If one has to jump a stream and knows how wide it is, he will not jump. If he does not know how wide it is, he will jump, and six times out of ten he will make it. – Persian Proverbs

If regret was a horn, one’s horn would reach the sky. – Persian Proverbs

If regret was a horn, the fellow’s horn would reach the sky. – Persian Proverbs

If something is needed at home, its donation is wrong – Persian Proverbs

If the beginning is good, the end must be perfect. – Persian Proverbs

If the lantern is needed at home, donating it to the mosque is haram (forbidden). – Persian Proverbs

If the Lor doesn’t go to bazaar, everything will rot. – Persian Proverbs

If the Sultan demands five eggs, let his soldiers roast a thousand chickens. – Persian Proverbs

If the teacher be corrupt, the world will be corrupt. – Persian Proverbs

If there are two cooks in one house, the soup is either too salty or too cold. – Persian Proverbs

If they had planted “if,” a tree would have grown in its place. – Persian Proverbs

If we haven’t eaten wheat bread, we’ve seen it in people’s hands. – Persian Proverbs

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. – Persian Proverbs

If you are a surgeon, set your own bones. – Persian Proverbs

If you be a cock, crow; if a hen, lay eggs. – Persian Proverbs

If you can give me no ointment for my wound, can you help me by not rubbing salt in? – Persian Proverbs

If you do not like your image in the mirror, do not break the mirror. Break yours. – Persian Proverbs

If you don’t crack the shell, you can’t eat the nut. – Persian Proverbs

If you enter the city of the blind, cover your eyes. – Persian Proverbs

If you exercise patience, you may make a sweet-meat out of the sour grape. – Persian Proverbs

If you fall into a pit, Providence is under no obligation to come and look for you. – Persian Proverbs

If you go on foot, you’ll wear out your shoes; if you go on head, you’ll wear out your hat. – Persian Proverbs

If you know how to lullaby, why can’t you put yourself to sleep? – Persian Proverbs

If you know lullaby, why can’t you sleep? – Persian Proverbs

If you really have to sin, then choose a sin that you enjoy. – Persian Proverbs

If you talk Ali to him, don’t mention Omar. – Persian Proverbs

If you tell the truth too early, you are laughed at – too late and you are stoned. – Persian Proverbs

If you walk with your feet your shoe will get worn, if you walk with your head, your hat. – Persian Proverbs

If you work hard and live uncomfortably today, it’ll pay off in the future. – Persian Proverbs

If you’re a reed-player, why did your father die of typhoid fever? – Persian Proverbs

If you’re a shoveler, shovel your garden first. – Persian Proverbs

In at one ear and out at the other. – Persian Proverbs

In one ear, out the other. – Persian Proverbs

In shaping one’s own fortune one should not rely on the help of others, as they are also concerned mainly about their own matters. – Persian Proverbs

In the ants’ house the dew is a flood. – Persian Proverbs

In the hotel of decisions the guests sleep well. – Persian Proverbs

In the hour of adversity be not without hope For crystal rain falls from black clouds. – Persian Proverbs

In the hour of adversity be not without hope. – Persian Proverbs

In the hour of adversity do not give up hope for crystal rainfalls from black clouds. – Persian Proverbs

In this world generous people have no money and those with money are not generous. – Persian Proverbs

In winter a fire is better than a muscat blossom. – Persian Proverbs

In your neighbors’ soup there is always one fatty morsel. – Persian Proverbs

Injustice all around is justice! – Persian Proverbs

It is a real compliment that comes from an enemy. – Persian Proverbs

It is a wise man who can laugh at his own jokes. – Persian Proverbs

It is better to be careful and to not risk making a big mistake. – Persian Proverbs

It is better to be in chains with friends, than to be in a garden with strangers. – Persian Proverbs

It is better to die in honor than to live in disgrace. – Persian Proverbs

It is not from the love of God that the cat catches mice. – Persian Proverbs

It is nothing for one to know something unless another knows you know it. – Persian Proverbs

It is so unlikely to obtain anything from this person that even a smidgen is a win. – Persian Proverbs

It is the mountains that do not move to help one another; but one man surely comes to the help of another. – Persian Proverbs

It is the same to him who wears a shoe, as if the whole earth were covered with leather. – Persian Proverbs

It is too late for you, let God give your children some intelligence. – Persian Proverbs

It is too late for you, let God give your children some intelligence. – Persian Proverbs

It seems like folly to give comfits to a cow – It can be fun anyway. – Persian Proverbs

It takes ten pounds of common sense to carry one pound of learning. – Persian Proverbs

It takes two days to learn everything about a man; to know animals you will need more time. – Persian Proverbs

It’s better to flee and stay alive than to die and become a hero. – Persian Proverbs

It’s better to fly and stay alive than to die a hero. – Persian Proverbs

It’s from us that is on us. – Persian Proverbs

It’s from us, what’s upon us. – Persian Proverbs

It’s no use throwing good money after bad. – Persian Proverbs

It’s not possible to go to sky by a ladder. – Persian Proverbs

I’ve seen your top, I’ve seen your bottom also. – Persian Proverbs

Keep your own counsel. Watch your back. – Persian Proverbs

Kettledrum’s sound is nice when heard from afar. – Persian Proverbs

Laugh and the world laughs with you. – Persian Proverbs

Learn good manners from those who don’t have them. – Persian Proverbs

Left from there, driven from here. – Persian Proverbs

Let the manager manage. – Persian Proverbs

Let the person in responsibility take care of the matter, as is the most able. – Persian Proverbs

Life is like perpetual drunkenness, the pleasure passes but the headache remains. – Persian Proverbs

Like a cow with a blaze. – Persian Proverbs

Like fault, like punishment. – Persian Proverbs

Listening to good advice is the way to wealth. – Persian Proverbs

Little by little the cotton thread becomes a turban. – Persian Proverbs

Little by little the wool becomes a carpet. – Persian Proverbs

Look at the colander telling the pierced serving spoon, “You have three holes.” – Persian Proverbs

Look at the strainer that tells the skimmer: You have three holes. – Persian Proverbs

Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond. – Persian Proverbs

Luck is infatuated with the efficient. – Persian Proverbs

Lucky are those who don’t have too many responsibilities. – Persian Proverbs

Lying in the gutter, looking at the stars. – Persian Proverbs

Make bread while the oven is hot. – Persian Proverbs

Many a little makes a Mickle. – Persian Proverbs

Marriage is an uncut watermelon. – Persian Proverbs

Maturity comes from impressions for a long time. – Persian Proverbs

Maturity comes from wisdom, not in the passing of years. – Persian Proverbs

May God strike the rich man blind by his own gold. – Persian Proverbs

Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. In for a penny, in for a pound. – Persian Proverbs

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems. – Persian Proverbs

Mountains don’t meet, but people do. – Persian Proverbs

Much coin, much care. – Persian Proverbs

My good deed was blamed or punished. – Persian Proverbs

Necessity can change a lion into a fox. – Persian Proverbs

Necessity turns lion into fox. – Persian Proverbs

Never open a door that you can’t lock again. – Persian Proverbs

No benefit has come from this individual. – Persian Proverbs

No good comes of this person. – Persian Proverbs

No good deed goes unpunished. – Persian Proverbs

No lamp burns till morning. – Persian Proverbs

Nobody sees a miracle from this shrine. – Persian Proverbs

Not everyone who sings a lullaby stays awake. – Persian Proverbs

Nothing is cheap for no reason. – Persian Proverbs

Nothing is disturbed. No waves are made. – Persian Proverbs

Of everything else the newest; of friends, the oldest. – Persian Proverbs

Often the best way of giving oneself what one lacks is to take from oneself what one has. – Persian Proverbs

Oh God: Three mishaps at the same time; a limping donkey, an ugly wife, and a creditor. – Persian Proverbs

Oh peach, get into (my) throat. – Persian Proverbs

Once a friend, always a friend. – Persian Proverbs

Once I had the strength but no wisdom; now I have the wisdom but no strength. – Persian Proverbs

One crow and forty crows. – Persian Proverbs

One cuts and one sews.

One cuts and one sews. – Persian Proverbs

One doesn’t pay attention to the given advice. – Persian Proverbs

One finds money on Wednesday and one loses it. – Persian Proverbs

One finger cannot lift a pebble. – Persian Proverbs

One full stomach is better than hundred half-full stomachs. – Persian Proverbs

One good father can do more than 100 schoolmasters. – Persian Proverbs

One hurts you in a way you don’t register it. – Persian Proverbs

One idiot throws a stone in the well, and it takes a hundred wise men to (try to) get it out. – Persian Proverbs

One is very skillful. – Persian Proverbs

One pound of learning could require an army of common sense to apply it. – Persian Proverbs

One pound of learning might have required many thousand persons of common sense to acquire it. – Persian Proverbs

One pound of learning requires ten pounds of common sense to apply it. – Persian Proverbs

One scabby goat infects the flock. – Persian Proverbs

One sin is too much, a hundred prayers are not enough. – Persian Proverbs

One sip of wine is an antidote against death, cupfuls poison life. – Persian Proverbs

One spark is enough to burn a hundred worlds. – Persian Proverbs

One who is poor at finance pays twice. – Persian Proverbs

One who’s been bitten by a snake is afraid of a black-and-white rope. – Persian Proverbs

One who’s innocent is not afraid of investigation. – Persian Proverbs

One’s children are almond hulls; one’s grandchildren are almond nuts. – Persian Proverbs

One’s very regretful. – Persian Proverbs

Only a heart can find the way to another heart. – Persian Proverbs

Oosta Alam, take this one into account. – Persian Proverbs

Our means are exiguous. (We continue to live, because we couldn’t afford the funeral cost, if we were to die.) – Persian Proverbs

Our real grave is not in the ground but in men’s hearts. – Persian Proverbs

Out of desperation, he calls donkey dame. – Persian Proverbs

Out of extreme desire for achieving something, he got in trouble. – Persian Proverbs

Out of the frying pan into the fire. – Persian Proverbs

Play, play, with the beard of the father also play? – Persian Proverbs

Pot calling the kettle black. – Persian Proverbs

Poured clear water on hither hands. – Persian Proverbs

Practice makes perfect. – Persian Proverbs

Practice what you preach. – Persian Proverbs

Praise a fair day at night. – Persian Proverbs

Pride comes before a fall – Persian Proverbs

Putting the cart before the horse. – Persian Proverbs

Putting the cart before the horse. – Persian Proverbs

Raise the one you’ve delivered. – Persian Proverbs

Raise what you’ve given birth to. – Persian Proverbs

Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. – Persian Proverbs

Seek truth in meditation, not in moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond. – Persian Proverbs

Seven sets of ewers and washbowls, but no dinner or lunch. – Persian Proverbs

Seven sets of ewers, but no dinner nor lunch. – Persian Proverbs

Share and share alike. – Persian Proverbs

She doles out of Caliph’s purse. – Persian Proverbs

She has become hale. Her appearance has improved. – Persian Proverbs

She is a mother to everyone, but a stepmother to us. – Persian Proverbs

She is in the pink. – Persian Proverbs

Silence betokens consent. – Persian Proverbs

Silence is the sign of agreement. – Persian Proverbs

So down-and-out, so high-and-mighty! – Persian Proverbs

So many donkeys around, yet we have to hoof it. – Persian Proverbs

Solved riddles look easy. – Persian Proverbs

Some good poets are like angels of Heaven. – Persian Proverbs

Someone is being generous at someone else’s expense. – Persian Proverbs

Sometimes the body becomes healthy by being very sick. – Persian Proverbs

Speak in the frame of reference of your audience. – Persian Proverbs

Spectators see better than actors. – Persian Proverbs

Spilled water cannot be gathered again. – Persian Proverbs

Spring doesn’t come with just a single flower. – Persian Proverbs

Spring won’t come from one flower. – Persian Proverbs

Stand so much until grass grows under your foot. – Persian Proverbs

Step by step one ascends the stairs. – Persian Proverbs

Stretch your foot to the length of your blanket. – Persian Proverbs

Take care lest your tongue should cut off your head. – Persian Proverbs

Take from the hungry, give it to the full/satisfied. – Persian Proverbs

Take it from the famished and give it to the nourished. – Persian Proverbs

Take to your aunt what you’ve brought to me. – Persian Proverbs

Taking the first step with the good thought, the second with the good word, and the third with the good deed, I enter paradise. – Persian Proverbs

Taste it first before you say it’s saltless. – Persian Proverbs

Tell a lazy man to do something. Listen to philosophy! – Persian Proverbs

Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are! – Persian Proverbs

That smells bad, said the cat about meat that it cannot reach. – Persian Proverbs

The arrow that has left the bow never returns. – Persian Proverbs

The best memory is that which forgets nothing, but injuries. Write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust. – Persian Proverbs

The best mode of instruction is to practise what we preach. – Persian Proverbs

The best of friends must part. – Persian Proverbs

The best of men are but men at best. – Persian Proverbs

The big drum only sounds well from a distance. – Persian Proverbs

The bigger a man’s head, the worse his headache. – Persian Proverbs

The blind man is laughing at the bald head. – Persian Proverbs

The branch that bears the most fruit bends itself thankfully towards the ground. – Persian Proverbs

The bride who wears four petticoats has a lot to hide. – Persian Proverbs

The cripple will always find a stone to kick. – Persian Proverbs

The devil looks after his own. – Persian Proverbs

The diamond fallen into the dunghill is not the less precious for it. – Persian Proverbs

The doctor must heal his own bald head. – Persian Proverbs

The dog is a lion in his own house. – Persian Proverbs

The drowning man is not troubled by rain. – Persian Proverbs

The earth is a host who kills his guests. – Persian Proverbs

The elephant dreams of one thing, and the elephant driver dreams of another. – Persian Proverbs

The ewer is cheaper than its solder. – Persian Proverbs

The eyes can do a thousand things that the fingers can’t. – Persian Proverbs

The fireside is the tulip bed of a winter day. – Persian Proverbs

The fool’s excuse is bigger than the mistake he made. – Persian Proverbs

The fox uses his tale as a witness. – Persian Proverbs

The guard’s sleep is the lamplight of the thief. – Persian Proverbs

The halfwit spoke, and the brainless believed. – Persian Proverbs

The hand that gives is also the one that receives. – Persian Proverbs

The horse is Turkmen, it eats from both the nose-bag and the manger. – Persian Proverbs

The issue is muddled at the core. – Persian Proverbs

The joy of finding something is often worth more than what is found. – Persian Proverbs

The lack of gold only a headache. – Persian Proverbs

The larger a man’s roof, the more snow it collects. – Persian Proverbs

The leek resembles its seed and little Hassan takes after his father. – Persian Proverbs

The legs of those who require proofs of God’s existence are made of wood. – Persian Proverbs

The loveliest of faces are to be seen by moonlight, when one sees half with the eye and half with the fancy. – Persian Proverbs

The lover who gives you her body but not her heart is generous with thornless roses. – Persian Proverbs

The main thing is to be pretty and fair; bald spots are covered by the hair. – Persian Proverbs

The mediator in a fight gets all the blows. – Persian Proverbs

The monkey could not dance and blamed it on the floor as being crooked. – Persian Proverbs

The mud that you throw will fall on your own head. – Persian Proverbs

The needle makes clothes but stays naked. – Persian Proverbs

The neighbor’s hen is a goose to a neighbor. – Persian Proverbs

The night hides a world, but reveals a universe. – Persian Proverbs

The ostrich was asked to carry a load, it said. I’m a bird. It was asked to fly, it said, I’m a camel. – Persian Proverbs

The person is so destitute that his fortune will not change with a penny given or taken. – Persian Proverbs

The person who tells the truth is always at ease. – Persian Proverbs

The person who wants a rose must respect the thorn. – Persian Proverbs

The pitcher is cheaper than its solder. – Persian Proverbs

the place is wet and the child is missing. – Persian Proverbs

The pleasure of finding something is worth more than what you find. – Persian Proverbs

The pot calling the kettle black. – Persian Proverbs

The public improves the speaker’s speech. – Persian Proverbs

The reticent can be more dangerous than the boisterous. – Persian Proverbs

The rich are subjugated by their greed for more riches. – Persian Proverbs

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. – Persian Proverbs

The richer they are, the needier they are. – Persian Proverbs

The shoemaker’s shoes have no heels. – Persian Proverbs

The sky is of the same color wherever you go. – Persian Proverbs

The sky is the same color wherever you go. – Persian Proverbs

The solution is under our nose, yet we’re searching far and wide for it. – Persian Proverbs

The strictness of the teacher is better to bear than the prejudice of the father. – Persian Proverbs

The tears of the roasting meat kindle the fire even more. – Persian Proverbs

The tongue of men is the whip of God. – Persian Proverbs

The virtuous will be praised but not envied. – Persian Proverbs

The walls have mice, the mice have ears. – Persian Proverbs

The water doesn’t move. – Persian Proverbs

The water has passed his head. – Persian Proverbs

The way a house is decorated will tell much about its owner. – Persian Proverbs

The wise man sits on the hole in his carpet. – Persian Proverbs

The wise man who does not put his knowledge into practice is like a bee that gives no honey. – Persian Proverbs

The world is a rose: smell it and pass it on to your friends. – Persian Proverbs

The world is like an old building on the banks of a stream – it carries away piece by piece; in vain you stop it with a handful of earth. – Persian Proverbs

There are four things every person has more of than they know . . . – Persian Proverbs

There are four things every person has more of than they know; sins, debt, years, and foes. – Persian Proverbs

There are four things in this life of which we have more than we think: faults, debts, years and enemies. – Persian Proverbs

There are three kinds of enemy: the enemy himself, the friends of your enemy, and the enemies of your friends. – Persian Proverbs

There are three things that have to be done quickly: burying the dead, opening the door for a stranger, and fixing your daughter’s wedding. – Persian Proverbs

There is much hope in hopelessness; for at the end of the dark night, there is light. – Persian Proverbs

There is no need for fish in an empty pond. – Persian Proverbs

There is water in the jug, and we’re going around thirsty. – Persian Proverbs

There’s not a single straight intestine in his belly. – Persian Proverbs

These words won’t become a loose skirt for Fati. – Persian Proverbs

They asked the mule who its father was and it said its uncle was a stallion. – Persian Proverbs

They coordinate. – Persian Proverbs

They don’t count the teeth of a gift horse. – Persian Proverbs

They told the cat its stool was a cure-all, it strewed soil on it. – Persian Proverbs

Thick body, weak soul. – Persian Proverbs

Thinking is the essence of wisdom. – Persian Proverbs

Thinking well is wise; planning well, wiser; but doing well is the wisest and best of all. – Persian Proverbs

This caravan is lame until doomsday. – Persian Proverbs

This is not Kashan where the heap comes with the coolies. – Persian Proverbs

This person is perfectly suited for the job. – Persian Proverbs

This prankster doesn’t stop short of any tricks. – Persian Proverbs

This problem is not going to be solved. – Persian Proverbs

This time the situation is completely different. – Persian Proverbs

Those who are richer, are needier. – Persian Proverbs

Those with meager means dream of riches. – Persian Proverbs

Three things must be shunned: a broken wall, a ferocious dog, and a shrew. – Persian Proverbs

‘Tis the same to him who wears a shoe, as if the whole earth were covered with leather – Persian Proverbs

To the ant, a few drops of dew are a flood. – Persian Proverbs

To the ant, a few drops of dew is a flood. – Persian Proverbs

Too many cooks spoil the broth. – Persian Proverbs

Too many decision-makers may doom the outcome. – Persian Proverbs

Travel the highway, though it be roundabout – where shortcuts are dangerous. – Persian Proverbs

Treat your superior as a father, your equal as a brother, and your inferior as a son. – Persian Proverbs

Trust in God — but tie your camel tight. – Persian Proverbs

Two midwives, and the baby’s head will be crooked. – Persian Proverbs

Uneaten soup and burned mouth. – Persian Proverbs

Upon arriving in paradise the wealthy man finds only a pot of oil to which he will be boiled until the flabby flesh falls from his stingy bones. – Persian Proverbs

Use your enemy’s hand to catch a snake. – Persian Proverbs

Usually said to the mother of a difficult child. – Persian Proverbs

Walls have ears. – Persian Proverbs

Walls have mice and mice have ears. – Persian Proverbs

Water does not trickle out of his hand. – Persian Proverbs

Water has leaked under her/his skin. – Persian Proverbs

Water has seeped under her skin. – Persian Proverbs

Water is in the jug, yet we’re wandering around with parched lips. – Persian Proverbs

Water is muddy at the fountainhead. – Persian Proverbs

Water is past his head. – Persian Proverbs

Water long stagnant becomes putrid. – Persian Proverbs

We are all unique. – Persian Proverbs

We are not in charge of our own destiny. – Persian Proverbs

We come into this world crying while all around us are smiling. May we so live that we go out of this world smiling while everybody around us is weeping. – Persian Proverbs

We might’ve fallen from the horse, but not from the honor. – Persian Proverbs

We might’ve had some misfortunes, but that doesn’t lower our class or diminish our patriciate. – Persian Proverbs

We sifted our flour and hung up our sifter. – Persian Proverbs

We’re alive from lack of a shroud. – Persian Proverbs

We’re responsible for our own misfortune. – Persian Proverbs

What can the enemy do when the friend is cordial. – Persian Proverbs

What fear has he whose account is clean? – Persian Proverbs

What goes around, comes around. – Persian Proverbs

What I wished for happened not — What God willed happened to a dot. – Persian Proverbs

What is brought by the wind will be carried away by the wind. – Persian Proverbs

What my heart wanted didn’t happen — What God wanted, that happened. – Persian Proverbs

What percolates out of the jug is what’s inside it. – Persian Proverbs

What the thief stole has always been called expensive. – Persian Proverbs

What you give away you keep. – Persian Proverbs

What you hear about something may not be equivalent to its qualities. – Persian Proverbs

What you’ve brought for me, take for your aunt. – Persian Proverbs

Whatever I disliked, happened to me. – Persian Proverbs

Whatever is in the heart will come up to the tongue. – Persian Proverbs

Whatever you eat will rot, whatever you give will blossom into a rose. – Persian Proverbs

When a cat wants to eat her kittens, she says they look like mice. – Persian Proverbs

When a lion is old, he becomes the plaything of jackals. – Persian Proverbs

When a stone hits glass, the glass breaks. – Persian Proverbs

When a stone hits glass, the glass breaks. When glass hits a stone, the glass breaks. – Persian Proverbs

When fate strikes physicians are useless. – Persian Proverbs

When fortune turns against you, even jelly breaks your teeth. – Persian Proverbs

When glass hits a stone, the glass breaks. – Persian Proverbs

When I am dead the world can be an ocean or a dried up ditch. – Persian Proverbs

When its time has arrived, the prey becomes the hunter. – Persian Proverbs

When its time has come, the prey goes to the hunter. – Persian Proverbs

When one is really thirsty, one thousand pearls are not what is craved for at all. – Persian Proverbs

When the cat and the mouse agree, the grocer is ruined. – Persian Proverbs

When the cat and the mouse agree, the store manager is broke. – Persian Proverbs

When the snake is old, the frog will tease him. – Persian Proverbs

When the tide of misfortune moves over you, even jelly will break your teeth. – Persian Proverbs

When the water goes uphill, the frog sings AbuAta. – Persian Proverbs

When there are two cooks, the soup becomes either salty or saltless. – Persian Proverbs

When there are two cooks, the soup will be either too salty or tasteless. – Persian Proverbs

When there’s fire, dry and wet burn together. – Persian Proverbs

When water remains in one place, it spoils. – Persian Proverbs

When water stays at one place, it rots. – Persian Proverbs

When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. – Persian Proverbs

When you throw an apple up, it turns a thousand times before it come down. – Persian Proverbs

Whenever you catch the fish it is fresh. – Persian Proverbs

Where is the person who has not soiled his garments? – Persian Proverbs

Where the camel is sold for a cent, the ass is worthless. – Persian Proverbs

Where there is bear, there is fear. – Persian Proverbs

Where there’s a beauty, there’s a beast also. – Persian Proverbs

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. – Persian Proverbs

Whether you were gold or satin, you’re the same acanthus-seller. – Persian Proverbs

While yearning for excess we lose the necessities. – Persian Proverbs

While you were chirping with vernal giddiness, didn’t you think of brumal harshness? – Persian Proverbs

Who does not beat his own child will later beat his own breast. – Persian Proverbs

Who has ever seen tomorrow? – Persian Proverbs

Who has not had a taste longs to do so, but for whom has tasted then the longing is a hundred times more. – Persian Proverbs

Who is in fault suspects everybody. – Persian Proverbs

Who sows barley cannot reap wheat. – Persian Proverbs

Whoever can walk on water is probably made of straw. – Persian Proverbs

Whoever challenges Ali will be doomed. – Persian Proverbs

Whoever has no children has no light in his eyes. – Persian Proverbs

Why don’t you follow your own advice? – Persian Proverbs

Why would a pool that doesn’t have water need so many frogs? – Persian Proverbs

Why would a pool with no water need so many frogs? – Persian Proverbs

Why you asking an idiot? – Persian Proverbs

With a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant by a hair. – Persian Proverbs

With a sweet tongue of kindness, you can drag an elephant by a hair. – Persian Proverbs

With one ear he hears, and with the other he dismisses. – Persian Proverbs

With this beard you want to go to Tajrish? – Persian Proverbs

With time and art the leaf of a mulberry-tree becomes satin. – Persian Proverbs

Woe is he who claims to have found happiness. – Persian Proverbs

Woe to being a housewife/househusband, you buy one thing, you don’t have two others. – Persian Proverbs

Woe to home-makers; you buy one thing, you don’t have two others. – Persian Proverbs

Woe to Leili’s doogh (yogurt drink with water), the yogurt was too little and the water too much. – Persian Proverbs

Woe to Leili’s doogh, the yogurt was too little and the water too much. – Persian Proverbs

Woe to Leili’s doogh, the yogurt was too little and the water too much. – Persian Proverbs

Women are just like cats — they always land on their feet. – Persian Proverbs

Women are just like cats, they always land on their feet. – Persian Proverbs

Work is twice done by the man in a hurry. – Persian Proverbs

Year after year we long for (what we left behind) the previous year. – Persian Proverbs

You aside, may God give your children some intelligence. – Persian Proverbs

You ask the donkey when’s Wednesday? – Persian Proverbs

You became full by eating not by licking. – Persian Proverbs

You became full by eating, it won’t happen by licking. – Persian Proverbs

You can close the city gates but not the mouths of men. – Persian Proverbs

You can close the city gates, but you can’t close the people’s mouths. – Persian Proverbs

You can stay here until the cows come home. – Persian Proverbs

You can wait as much as you want, but it’s useless. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t pick up two watermelons with one hand. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t please everyone. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t push on a rope. – Persian Proverbs

You cannot applaud with one hand. – Persian Proverbs

You cannot hang everything on one nail. – Persian Proverbs

You cannot have everything at the same time. – Persian Proverbs

You cannot have your cake and eat it too. – Persian Proverbs

You cannot milk a bull. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t escape death and guests. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t pick up two melons with one hand. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t pick up two watermelons with one hand. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t please everyone. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t polish a turd. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t push on a rope. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t put an old head on young shoulders. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t put new wine in old bottles. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t squeeze blood from a rock. – Persian Proverbs

You can’t take blood from a stone. – Persian Proverbs

You don’t put a wooden pot on the fire twice. – Persian Proverbs

You name it, this imp has done it. – Persian Proverbs

You needed this like you needed a hole in the head. – Persian Proverbs

You only appreciate your father the day you become a father yourself. – Persian Proverbs

You see nothing, you hear nothing. – Persian Proverbs

You should grease his palm. – Persian Proverbs

You toss charity in the Tigris, and God shall return it in the desert. – Persian Proverbs

Your appearance is not appropriate for the occasion. – Persian Proverbs

You’ve grazed so much, where’s your tail-fat? – Persian Proverbs

You’ve grazed so much; where’s your tail fat? – Persian Proverbs

You’ve spent so much money on yourself; what good are you? – Persian Proverbs

Iranian / Persian Proverb

Persian proverbs and meanings

A fight in the beginning is better than peace in the end. – Persian Proverbs
[Go over the details before you agree to something.]

A mountain won’t catch up to a mountain, but a person will catch up to a person. – Persian Proverbs
[Be nice to people on your way up because you might meet them on your way down.]

Bake the bread while the oven is hot. – Persian Proverbs
[Do it while the opportunity is still there.]

Came out of the pothole, fell into the well. – Persian Proverbs
[You may get out of one problem but then find yourself facing a bigger problem.]

Clothes after the New Year are good for the top of the minaret. – Persian Proverbs
[A reference to being too late to do something.]

Coming back with arms longer than legs. – Persian Proverbs
[Coming back without success.]

Don’t pick up two watermelons with one hand. – Persian Proverbs
[Don’t do too many things at the same time.]

Don’t stretch your legs beyond your quilt. – Persian Proverbs
[Know your limits and adapt to the situation.]

Door, I’m speaking to you. Wall, you listen. – Persian Proverbs
[About warning someone indirectly.]

Fallen from the elephant’s nose. – Persian Proverbs
[Said about a person who acts like a snob.]

First dig a well, then steal the minaret. – Persian Proverbs
[About planning ahead.]

Gone to the judge alone, and is back happy. – Persian Proverbs
[There are two sides to every story.]

He pulls a snake out of the nest with his tongue. – Persian Proverbs
[About being diplomatic. A smooth talker.]

He who leaves the eye will leave the heart. – Persian Proverbs
If people don’t see you, they’ll forget you.]

Heaven is under the mother’s foot. – Persian Proverbs
[If you respect your mother, you’ll go to heaven, that’s how high a mother’s place is.]

I haven’t come from behind the mountains. – Persian Proverbs
[I am not stupid!]

If you don’t want to be found out, take the appearance of the people around you. – Persian Proverbs
[When in Rome, do as the Romans do.]

If you see behind your ear. – Persian Proverbs
[A reference to something that will never happen.]

Once the fire starts burning, the damp and the dry will burn together. – Persian Proverbs
[Be careful who you choose to be your friends.]

One hand has no sound. – Persian Proverbs
[Reference to the effectiveness of cooperation among people, to do good or evil.]

One will take someone to the spring and bring them back thirsty. – Persian Proverbs
[A very cunning person.]

She tells the sun, “Don’t rise. I’ve come out!” – Persian Proverbs
[She’s so beautiful!]

Someone cut before they measured! – Persian Proverbs
[Think thoroughly before you act.]

Taking rye to (the city of) Kerman. – Persian Proverbs
[About doing something that is a waste of time.]

The mouse couldn’t fit through the hole, and then it tied a broom to its tail. – Persian Proverbs
[Refers to people who take on more responsibilities than they can handle.]

They count the chickens at the end of autumn. – Persian Proverbs
[Don’t act as if you have something until you really do.]

They tried to fix the eyebrow and ended up blinding the eye, too. – Persian Proverbs
[Instead of fixing the problem, they made it worse.]

Walls have mice; mice have ears. – Persian Proverbs
[Be careful. Someone might be listening!]

Water finds the pothole. – Persian Proverbs
[People with similar characteristics find each other.]

We’re alive for the lack of a shroud. – Persian Proverbs
[i.e., – because we cannot afford a funeral].

Whatever you sow, you reap. – Persian Proverbs
[It is often so, but not always. Lots of people inherit what others have sown, for one thing.]

When the water goes uphill, the frog sings Abu Ata. – Persian Proverbs
[its same old song as before].

When you pick up the stick, the stealing cat gets alert. – Persian Proverbs
[Guilty people are always on guard, looking over their shoulder.]

With a single flower, there won’t be spring. – Persian Proverbs
[One needs more than one indication to draw conclusions.]

Yoke not a camel and a cat together. – Persian Proverbs
[Be free to ask ‘Why?’]

Iranian / Persian Proverb

English: It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.             
Persian: تا زمانی که متوقف نشوید، مهم نیست که چقدر آهسته حرکت می کنید.
Romanization: taa zamaani ke motavaqqef nashavid, mohem nist ke cheqadr aaheste harekat mikonid.

English: There are no short cuts to any place worth going.            
Persian:  به جایی که ارزش رفتن داشته باشد هیچ میانبری وجود ندارد.
Romanization: be jaayi ke arzesh-e raftan daashte baashad, hich miaanbori vojood nadaarad.

English: Be the change you want to see in the world.      
Persian:  همان تغییری باشید که میخواهید در جهان ببینید.
Romanization: hamaan taqyiri baashid ke mikhaahid dar jahaan bebinid.

English: Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.      
Persian:  همیشه به خاطر داشته باشید که اراده شما برای موفقیت از هر چیز دیگری مهم تر است.
Romanization: hamishe be khaater daashte baashid ke eraadeye shomaa baraaye movaffaqiat az har chiz-e digari mohemtar ast.

English: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.         
Persian:  تمام عکس‌هایی که نمی‌گیرید را از دست می‌دهید.
Romanization: tamaam-e akshaayi ke nemigirid raa az dast midahid.

English: The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that is it too low and we reach it.           
Persian:  بزرگترین خطر برای بسیاری از ما این نیست که هدف ما خیلی بزرگ است و ما به آن نمی‌رسیم، بلکه این است که خیلی کوچک است و به آن می رسیم.
Romanization: bozorgtarin khatar baraaye besyaari az maa in nist ke hadaf-e maa kheili bozorg ast va be aan nemiresim, balke in ast ke kheili koochak ast va be aan miresim.

English: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.     
Persian:  بهترین زمان برای کاشت یک درخت 20 سال پیش بود. پس از آن، اکنون است.
Romanization: behtarin zamaan baraaye kaasht-e yek derakht 20 saal pish bood. pas az aan, aknoon ast.

English: You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.      
Persian:  هرگز نمی‌توانید از اقیانوس عبور کنید مگر این‌که جرئت ندیدن ساحل را داشته باشید.
Romanization: hargez nemitavaanid az oqyaanoos oboor konid magar inke jor’at-e nadidan-e saahel raa daashte baashid.

English: Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.     
Persian:  هر آن‌چه که ذهن انسان بتواند تصور و باور کند، دست‌یافتنی است.
Romanization: har aanche ke zehn-e ensaan betavaanad tasavvor va baavar konad, dastyaaftani ast.

English: Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.           
Persian:  شادی چیزی از پیش آماده نیست. آن از اقدامات شما نشات می‌گیرد.
Romanization: shaadi chizi az pish aamaade nist. aan az eqdaamaat-e shomaa nash’at migirad.

Iranian / Persian Proverb

Proverbs & Maxims

Iranian / Persian Proverbs

.از این گوش میگیرد, از ان گوش در میکند

  • Az in guš mi-girad, az ân guš dar mi-konad.
    • English equivalent: Advice most needed are the least heeded.
    • “Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
      To think how mony counsels sweet,
      How mony lengthened, sage advices,
      The husband frae the wife despises.”
    • Robert Burns, Tam o’ Shanter (1793), line 33. Reported in Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 10-11.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages.

.دوست آن باشد که گیرد دست دوست در پریشان حالی و درماندگی

  • Dust ân bâšad ke girad dast-e dust dar parišân hâli o darmândegi.
    • English equivalent: A friend is known in adversity, like gold is known in fire; A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. DeProverbio.com.

.عزت هر کس به دست آن کس است

  • Ezzat-e har kas be-dast-e ân kas ast.
    • English equivalent: Every man is the smith of his own fortune.
    • Meaning: “In shaping one’s own fortune one should not rely on the help of others, as they are also concerned mainly about their own matters.”
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages.
  • He is cutting off his nose to spite his face.
    • Simin K. Habibian (2002). “ب”. 1001 Persian-English Proverbs: هزار و یک مثل فارسى- انگلیسی. Ibex Publishers, Inc.. p. 53. ISBN 978-1-58814-021-0.

کوه به کوه نمیرسد, آدم به آدم میرسد

  • Kuh be kuh nemi-rasad; âdam be âdam mi-rasad.
    • English equivalent: A mountain never meets a mountain, but a man meets a man .
    • “There are some things/events that are impossible, like an encounter of mountains, but there is always a chance for people to meet. or Once can always find a possibility for revenge.”
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages.
  • Silence is the best answer to the stupid.
    • ʿAlī b. ʿUbayda al-Rayḥānī (29 November 2006). “850”. Persian Wisdom in Arabic Garb (2 vols): ʿAlī b. ʿUbayda al-Rayḥānī (D. 219/834) and his Jawāhir al-kilam wa-farāʾid al-ḥikam. p. 434. ISBN 978-90-474-1875-7.

.سکونی بدست آر ای به ثبات, که بر سنگ غلتان نروید نبات

  • Sokuni be-dast ar ey by sabât, ke bar sang-e ġaltân na-ruyad nabât.
    • English equivalent: A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • “There are a set of people in the world who before they are well enter’d upon one business, dip into another, and before they are well settled in one habitation, remove to another; so that they are always busily beginning to live, but by reason of fickleness and impatience, never arrive at a way of living.”
    • Source for meaning of English equivalent: Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese.

.تره به تخمش میرود, حسنی به باباش

  • Tarre be toxm-aŝ mi-ravad Ḥasani be bâbâ-š.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • Meaning: “Sons may look and behave like their fathers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily.”
    • Source for meaning and proverbs: Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages.

Persian idioms and proverbs

English pronunciation and meanings

  • Divâr moosh dâreh, moosh ham goosh dâreh
    • Literally: Walls have mice, and mice have ears.
      English equivalent: Walls have ears.
  • Doostiye khâleh kherse
    • Literally: Auntie bear friendship
      English equivalent: the bear’s service
    • This idiom comes from a Persian parable. A man and a bear become best friends. One day, the man is sleeping when flies land on his face, disturbing his peace. The bear, wanting to protect his friend, picks up a stone and throws it on the man’s head to kill the flies. In the process, he inadvertently kills the man, too.
      So this is when you set out to help someone with the best of intentions and out of sheer kindness and devotion, but end up doing more harm to that person. I believe in some languages, it translates as “the bear’s service,” and I found it on Urban Dictionary as such, but I’ve never actually heard this in English. Have you?
  • Kine shotori [dâshtan]
    • Literally: [to have] a camel grudge
      English equivalent: to hold a grudge like… [a camel]
    • I think camels are such sweet, docile creatures. But who knew that they not only hold a grudge but also seek revenge! So when someone holds a grudge, in Persian, we say they hold a grudge like a camel.
  • Filesh yâde hendustân kardeh
    • Literally: His/her elephant remembers India.
      English equivalent: a nostalgic feeling about someone or something and a longing to go back
    • My dad grew up in a small village in Iran that has beautiful nature- mountains, rivers, forests, etc. Many years ago, I was at a park in the US with my parents, and my dad decided to roll up his pants and stand in the river for a bit. My mom was super anxious and upset because the current was fairly strong. After my dad got out, she just shook her head saying filesh yâde hendustân kardeh, of course implying that this place reminded him and made him nostalgic for his hometown.
  • Sag-e zard barâdare shoghâleh
    • Literally: The yellow dog is the brother of the jackal.
      English equivalent: One is as bad as the other.
    • Once upon a time in a village, there was a jackal so mischievous that the villagers eventually banned it. Knowing how fond they were of dogs, the jackal decides to paint himself yellow and return, this time, causing trouble in secret. Because he sort of resembles the jackal, the villagers name him “the jackal’s brother.” One day, it rains and washes the yellow paint off the little trickster, and his true identity is revealed. The villagers discover that the “jackal’s brother” is, in fact, the jackal itself.
      The yellow dog is symbolic of a bad person and the jackal of someone even worse. This proverb is especially relevant in political matters. For instance, a politician didn’t fulfill his campaign promises, and now here comes another saying he’ll fix everything (but who are we kidding?). When two people are equally bad, don’t be fooled by thinking one may be slightly better. After all, the yellow dog is the brother of the jackal.
  • Engâr az damâghe fil oftâdeh
    • Literally: It’s as if s/he’s fallen from the elephant’s nose.
      English equivalent: S/he’s as proud as a peacock.
  • Shotor didi nadidi
    • Literally: You saw a camel, you didn’t.
      English equivalent: You saw nothing, you heard nothing.
  • Morghe hamsâyeh ghâzeh
    • Literally: The neighbor’s chicken is a goose.
      English equivalent: The grass is greener on the other side.
  • Shir tu shir OR khar tu khar
    • Literally: Lion in lion OR donkey in donkey (“Lion in lion” is the more polite version.)
      English equivalent: chaotic
    • Example: Like when you’re at a busy intersection in Tehran, and you can’t even decipher what’s going on- ajab shir tu shiriye! (It’s so lion in lion!)
  • Gorbeh shu kardan
    • Literally: Cat washing
      English equivalent: Careless washing
    • When you don’t wash something good enough to get it clean, we say you wash it like a cat. Like if you’re in a hurry one morning and don’t have time for a proper shower and instead quickly hop in and out, that’s gorbeh shu kardan. When I was a kid and we’d go to my grandmother’s house in the village, the shower was always a problem. The water trickled out, there was no water pressure, and it would alternate between scalding and freezing every 5 seconds. So going to the village meant either not showering for the duration or gorbeh shu kardan.
  • Khoshbakht ânke kore khar âmad, olâgh raft.
    • Literally: Lucky is he who came as an ass and died a mule.
      English equivalent: Ignorance is bliss.
  • Kâre hazrat fileh!
    • Literally: It’s a job for his excellency the elephant.
      English equivalent: It’s a tough nut to crack.
    • I couldn’t help but wonder why “his excellency” and why an elephant, so I did some digging and uncovered a theory: “elephant” because they’re so powerful, and “his excellency” to make it more inspiring that you’re smart and strong enough to solve the problem! I’m not sure how official this is, but I’ll take it. And for the record, I’m all for referring to all elephants as “[their] excellency.”

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