Cultural Resources

Ireland from Space by Spaceshots.

Ireland from Space by Spaceshots. This image is available as a poster.

Irish Proverbs


  • Handsome is as handsome does.
  • Beauty is only skin deep; ugliness goes to the bone.
  • It is not the most beautiful woman who has the most sense.
  • A sly rogue is often in good dress.
  • Beauty does not make the pot boil.
  • Many a white collar covers a dirty neck.
  • Many an honest heart beats under a ragged coat.
  • A good coat covers a lot of rags.
  • Bareness is better than misfortune.
  • If you put a silk dress on a goat, he is still a goat.
  • Clean and whole make poor clothes shine.
  • The beauty of an old shoe is to polish it.
  • A buckle is a fine addition to an old shoe.
  • Do not throw away old boots until you get new ones.
  • The shoemaker’s horses and the blacksmith’s horses often go unshod.
  • It is no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.
  • If you have one pair of good soles, it is better than two pairs of good uppers.
  • Satin and silk, velvet and scarlet, often put out the kitchen fire.


Irish Proverbs

Many fine collections of Irish proverbs have been published over the years. An assortment of some of our favorites are available as new or used copies. Your purchase will help support the non-profit activitites of Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads.

Online collection copyright © 1995, 2007-2012. Compiled by Joanne Asala, author of Celtic Folklore Cooking. You are free to use these proverbs on your own site as long as you credit Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads as the source and provide a link to our Web site:

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