Cultural Resources

Crowd watching traditional Irish dancers.

Crowd watching traditional Irish dancers. This image is available as a poster.

Irish Proverbs


  • There’s no love until there’s family.
  • There is no anguish of soul until one has children.
  • Woe to the person who rears not a child of his own.
  • Don’t tell secrets to the children of your relatives.
  • Praise the young and they will make progress.
  • Its own child is bright to the carrion crow.
  • Every mother thinks it’s for her own child the sun rises.
  • What the child sees, the child does. What the child does, the child is.
  • The child that’s left to himself will put his mother to shame.
  • A child desires what fills his eye.
  • Give to the child and it will visit you again.
  • No man ever wore a tie as nice as his child’s arm around his neck.
  • If children won’t make you laugh, they won’t make you cry.
  • Youth likes to wander.
  • Long sleep renders a child inert.
  • Twenty years a child; twenty years running wild; twenty years a mature man; and after that, praying.
  • The memory of an old child is long.
  • You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
  • Your son is your son until he takes a wife, but your daughter is your daughter all your life.
  • May there be a generation of children on the children of your children. (Blessing)
  • May I see you gray and combing your grandchildren’s hair. (Blessing)


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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