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Spanish Proverbs





Spanish proverbs offer insight into Spanish culture, history, and society, and are often used in speech and writing. There is no substitute for knowing them, and if you can use them in yourself, so much the better. Below are all the standard proverbs used in Spanish, along with English translations and explanations. Use the Search Box at left if you cant't navigate your way to what you want.

A B C D E H L M N O P Q R S T U V Z


palabra y piedra suelta, no tienen vuelta
words once spoken cannot be taken back. (lit.: word or stone thrown has no return; n.b.: a Mexican proverb)

pan con pan, comida de tontos
a little change is a good thing. (lit.: bread with bread: a meal for fools)

perro ladrador, nunca buen mordedor
a barking dog never bites. (lit.: barking dog never a good biter)

perro ladrador, poco mordedor
a barking dog never bites. (lit.: barking dog rarely bites)

perro no come perro
there is honor among thieves (lit.: a dog does not eat a dog; n.b.: Colombian usage)
. (lit.: a dog does not eat a dog; n.b.: Colombian usage)

perro que ladra en barbecho ladra sin provecho
close the barn door after the cow has gone. (lit.: a dog that barks in a fallow field barks to no avail; n.b.: a Mexican proverb)

perro que ladra no muerde
a barking dog never bites

piedra movediza no coge musgo
a rolling stone gathers no moss. (lit.: a moving stone catches no moss)

piedra movediza, el moho no la cobija
a rolling stone gathers no moss. (lit.: a moving stone has no mold on it)

piensa el ladrón que todos son de su condición
evildoers alwas think the worst of others. (lit.: the thief thinks that everyone is in his position)

pobreza no es vileza
poverty is not a crime. (lit.: poverty is not vile)

poco a poco se anda lejos
perseverence pays. (lit.; little  by little one walks far; n.b.: a Mexican proverb)

pocos amigos tiene el que no tiene que dar
he who has nothing to offer has few friends. (n.b.: a Mexican proverb)

poderoso caballero es don Dinero
money makes the world go round. (lit.: a power gentleman is Lord Money)

por la boca muere el pez
talking too much can be perilous; silence is golden. (lit.: the fish dies by its mouth)


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