Cultural Resources

Irish Proverbs

Things That Go Bump in the Night

  • No ghost as bad as the live ghost.
  • It’s hard to kill a bad thing.
  • Any man can lose his hat in a fairy wind.
  • Speak to the devil and you’ll hear the clatter of his hooves.
  • It is easy to preach to the devil with a full stomach.
  • Tell the truth and shame the devil.
  • Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
  • The devil dances in an empty pocket.
  • The devil is good to his own in this world, and bad to them in the next.
  • There’s favor in hell and the biggest devil gets it.
  • A chance shot may kill the devil.
  • A wise man never saw a dead man walk.
  • A woman can beat the devil.
  • Don’t bid the devil good day till you meet him.


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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