Cultural Resources

Irish Proverbs

Fish and Game

  • When you’re not fishing be mending the nets.
  • Listen to the sound of the river and you’ll catch a trout.
  • It is not a fish until it is on the bank.
  • Do not bless the fish until it is landed.
  • Better is a small fish than an empty dish.
  • There are finer fish in the sea than have ever been caught.
  • A trout in the ashes is better than a salmon in the water.
  • The wise bird flies the lowest.
  • A closed fist never caught a bird.
  • A flying bird is any man’s shot.
  • There is no overtaking the shot once fired.
  • First catch the hare and then cook it.
  • The swiftness of the roe is known without loosing the hounds.
  • The older the buck, the harder the horn.
  • Don’t skin the deer until you catch it.


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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