Cultural Resources

Cottages of Ireland

Cottages of Ireland. This image is available as a poster.

Irish Proverbs

Hearth and Home

  • There is no worse want than the want of fire.
  • Have your own fire or trust to the sun for a warming.
  • Do not burn your fingers when you have tongs.
  • A little fire to warm you is better than a great one to harm you.
  • A spark may raise an awful blaze.
  • Burning embers are easily kindled.
  • It is easy to kindle a fire on an old hearth.
  • Better is the small fire that warms on the little day of peace than the big fire that burns on the great day of wrath.
  • The best candle for man is common sense.
  • Wide is the door of the little cottage.
  • The smaller the cabin the wider the door.
  • Little possessions, little care.
  • A smokey cabin, a handful of spuds, and a flea-filled bed.
  • It is not the same to go to the king’s house as to come from it.
  • A full cabin is better than an empty castle.
  • Many feathers make a bed.
  • He who has water and peat on his farm has the world his own way.
  • The old pipe gives the sweetest smoke.
  • Praise the ripe field not the green corn
  • Better an idle house than a bad tenant.
  • The eye should be blind in the house of another.
  • An empty house needs no thatch.
  • It is easier to knock down a house than to build one.
  • A handstaff of holly, a buailtin of hazel, a single sheaf, and a clean floor.
  • Firelight will not let you read fine stories but its warm and you won’t see the dust on the floor.
  • Even a tin knocker will shine on a dirty door.
  • A man is shy in another man’s corner.
  • An old broom knows the dirty corners best.
  • It is a poor house that can’t keep one lady.
  • Never bolt your door with a boiled carrot.
  • The doorstep of a great house is slippery.
  • Sweet the corners—the middle will sweep itself.
  • Never burn a penny candle looking for a half-penny
  • When the two ends are alight the candle does not burn long.
  • The longest road out is the shortest road home.
  • When a heifer is far from home she grows longer horns.


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:

Cultural Crossroads
About Us
Now Available
Upcoming Releases
Contact Us
Cultural Resources
Folklore, Fairy Tales, & Myths
Uptown Chicago Resources
Table of Contents
About This Collection
Submit Your Photos and Stories
Uptown Theatre
Uptown Community Portrait 2005
Read Petition
Sign Petition
Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads