During my Leaving Cert Year, I learnt a lot of seanfhocal (Irish proverbs.) The general concensus was the more seanfhocail, the better, and the less able they were to translate to English, the more impressive they were. So here a few of my favourites
Happy Paddy’s Day!
Fan, a chapall, agus gheobhaidh to féar.
Wait, horse, and you will get grass.
Oíche súgach, maidin brónach.
Merry night, sad morning.
Is deacair a bheith ag feadaíl agus ag ithe mine.
It is hard to whistle and eat at the same time.
Inis do Mháire i gcógar é,
is inseoidh Máire dó phóbal é.
Tell it to Mary in a whisper,
and Mary will tell it to the parish.
Is é do mhac do mhac inniú,
ach is í d’iníon d’iníon go deo.
Your son is your son today,
but your daughter is your daughter forever.
Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin.
There’s no sore ass like your own sore ass.
Níl aon leigheas ar an ngrá ach pósadh.
There is no cure for love but marriage.
Is maith an bhean í
ach níor bhain sí a broga di go foill.
She is a good wife,
but she has not taken off her shoes yet.
An té a bhíonn breoite, ní bhíonn feoil air.
The person who is ailing, there does not tend to be meat on him.
Má labhríonn an chuach ar chrann gan duiliúr
díol do bhó agus ceannaigh arbhar.
If the cuckoo calls from a tree without leaves,
sell your cow and buy corn.
Nuair a bhíonn an fíon istigh,
bíonn an ciall amuigh.
When the wine is in(side), the sense is out(side).
‘Sé leigheas na póite ól arís.
It is the cure of a hangover (to) drink again.
Marbh le tae agus marbh gan é!
Dead with tea and dead without it.
D’áiteodh sé muc ar shagart
(is banbh ar chléireach).
He could sell a priest a pig
(and the parish clerk a piglet).