Cultural Resources

Early Christian Ireland

Early Christian Ireland. This image is available as a poster.

Irish Proverbs


  • He who has spent a long life has many a story.
  • Life is but a vapor.
  • Sending for the doctor is brother to death.
  • Death is the poor man's doctor.
  • A sick man reported dead always recovers.
  • The oldest man that ever lived died at last.
  • Death does not take a bribe.
  • Death is the master of the world.
  • Death puts its own appearance on everyone.
  • Don't run for the priest after the patient has died.
  • Snuff at a wake is fine if there is nobody sneezing at the snuff box.
  • Tears bring nobody back from the grave.
  • Drink a pint in memory of a friend, then let the dead rest in peace.
  • The mouth of the grave gives to the needy one.
  • Call no man a wise man until the worms have done with him.
  • The Irish forgive their great men when they are safely buried.


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, 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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