Irish Proverbs: Inspire Friends and Family with These Irish Words of Wisdom!

A very personal form of Irish expression, Irish proverbs are short words of wisdom and life lessons. Born of a practical, thrifty and hardworking people, we find these proverbs ‘make sense’ as a part of our cherished Irish culture.

Irish Proverbs - Country Road with Sunshine.

What Can I Do With Irish Proverbs?

As with any proverb, the best ones apply to nearly everybody!

We like to share proverbs from Ireland on gift cards and photo-books, engrave them on gifts, illustrate them on T-shirts, include them in email signatures, and so on.

If you would like more general information about Irish sayings, you can visit our main section on Irish sayings here.

Meanwhile... are you ready to see some great Irish proverbs?  Read on!

Irish Respect for Family / Elders

It’s impossible to miss family values in the proverbs of Ireland. Respect for those who came before appears in many of Ireland’s proverbs, toasts, blessings and other sayings. For example:

“The older the fiddle, the lovelier the tune.”

"The schoolhouse bell sounds bitter in youth and sweet in old age."

"Do not resent growing old.  Many are denied the privilege."

"A heritage of thoughts is to be found in the words of our ancestors."

"A the old cock crows, the young cock learns."

Irish Personal Integrity

There is a strong sense of personal integrity in Irish Proverbs, reflecting the independence, self-reliance and appreciation for hard work in traditional Irish values. A couple of examples here include:

“No need to fear wind if the hay is tied down.”

“The longest road out is the shortest road home.”

"Better to be a man of character than a man of means."

Irish Gratitude and Hope

This is one of the things we love the most about our cherished Irish heritage.

Somehow, in a history including many trials and tragedies, the Irish have become one of the world’s most appreciative, fun-loving and genuinely friendly people.

Proverbs from Ireland often reflect this relentless sense of hope and appreciation. For example:

“Get on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet.”

“Buried embers will eventually turn to flames.”

“Drink is a curse. It makes you shoot at your landlord … and miss!”

"There is nothing so bad that it couldn't be worse."

A Few More Proverbs from Ireland...

They don’t necessarily have a category, but they are still among the most popular proverbs from Ireland…

“Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.”

"Lie with dogs and you will rise with fleas."

“Every rooster crows boldly in his own barnyard.”

“Everyone is a good-natured lad until a cow gets into his garden.”

“One beetle recognizes another.”

“Cattle in faraway lands have long horns.”

“The grace of God is found between the saddle and the ground.”

“In our togetherness, castles are built.”

"Many hands make light work."

"The old dog for the hard road and leave the pup on the path."

"Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot."

"It is often that a man's mouth broke his nose."

"You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was."

Want More Irish Sayings?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish wit and wisdom!  Learning Irish sayings gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured many of our favorite Irish sayings in an e-book called "77 Favorite Irish Sayings."  In it you will find Irish proverbs, jokes, limericks, blessings and quotes on many, many topics!

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Simply scroll to the bottom of the page and share your email address for instant access!