Cultural Resources


Irish Proverbs

Man’s Best Friend

An Irish hunting dog.

An Irish hunting dog.

  • The moon is none the worse for having the dogs bark at her.
  • A slow hound is often lucky.
  • Better for a man to have even a dog welcome him than a dog bark at him.
  • The dog that’s always on the go, is better than the one that’s always curled up.
  • A masterless dog will travel far.
  • There’s no point in keeping a dog if you are going to do your own barking.
  • An old dog cannot alter his way of barking.
  • A little dog can start a hare, but it takes a big one to catch it.
  • One who is cowless must be his own dog.
  • One dog can’t fight.
  • Keep the bone and the dog will follow you.
  • Nature will come through the claws, and the hound will follow the hare.
  • The dog follows the man who has the bone.
  • It’s a bad hound that’s not worth the whistling.
  • When your hand is in the dog’s mouth, withdraw it gently.
  • A greyhound finds its food in its feet.
  • The race of the hound through the bog is the harvest of night falling.
  • Autumn days come quickly like the running of a hound on the moor.
  • Threatened dogs live long.
  • Every dog is brave on his own doorstep.
  • Every hound is a pup until he hunts.
  • It is for the sake of company dogs go to church.
  • It is hard to put a dog off his track.
  • What should you expect from a cat but a kitten?
  • The cat is always dignified, until the dog comes by.
  • Every cat is grey at night.
  • Too many cats are worse than rats.
  • If a cat had a dowry, she would often be kissed.
  • Everything troubles you and the cat breaks your heart.
  • If the cat sits long enough at the hole, she will catch the mouse.
  • To please herself only does the cat purr.
  • What would a cat’s son do but kill a rat?
  • There is a crock of gold in the tomb of every chieftain, but they are all guarded by cats and fairies.
  • The law of heredity runs through the cat’s eyes.
  • As honest as a cat when the meat is out of reach.

Contents:

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, 2007-2008. 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: http://www.compassrose.org.


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