Proverbs from around the world
Proverb Resources
South Sotho proverbs

Russian Proverbs and Sayings

Selections from Dubrovin, M. A Book of English and Russian Proverbs and Sayings. Moscow: Prosvesheniye, 1993. From Natasha's Russian Literature site.

1. A man is judged by his deeds, not by his words.

2. The sun will shine into our yard too.

3. One does not sharpen the axes after the right time; after the time they are needed.

4. After a storm (comes) fair weather, after sorrow (comes) joy.

5. All are not cooks that walk with long knives.

6. All cats are grey at night.

7. Every seed knows its time.

8. Any fish is good if it is on the hook.

9. The one who draws (a cart) is urged on.

10. All roads lead to Rome.

11. As is well that ends well.

12. All is not gold that glitters.

13. (One does not regret giving) one's own ear-ring to one's dear friend.

14. The appetite comes during a meal.

15. Onion treats seven ailments.

16. As you cooked the porridge, so must you eat it.

17. As you make your bed, so you will sleep.

18. You will reap what you will sow.

19. It is a bad workman that has a bad saw.

20. One may make up a soft bed (for somebody), but still it will be hard to sleep in.

21. You needn't be afraid of a barking dog, but you should be afraid of a silent dog.

22. One does not look for good from good.

23. Better a dove on the plate than a woodgrouse in the mating place.

24. You cannot break through a wall with your forehead.

25. Better late than never.

26. Better to stumble than make a slip of the tongue.

27. One who sits between two chairs may easily fall down.

28. Beware of a quiet dog and still water.

29. A sparrow in the hand is better than a cock on the roof.

30. A bird may be known by its flight.

31. One fisherman sees another from afar.

32. Take the bull by the horns.

33. Once burned by milk you will blow on cold water.

34. Idleness is the mother of all vices.

35. You cannot pull a fish out of a pond without labour.

36. No money is taken for just looking (at somebody or something).

37. He would exclaim "Ah" looking at himself.

38. One would like to eat fish, but would not like to get into the water.

39. Where something is thin, that's where it tears.

40. A fly will not get into a closed mouth.

41. There will be trouble if the cobbler starts making pies.

42. Any sandpiper is great in his own swamp.

43. A drop hollows out a stone.

44. We do not care of what we have, but we cry when it is lost.

45. Not everyone who has a cowl on is a monk.

46. Curious Varvara's nose was torn off.

47. Do not dig a hole for somebody else; you yourself will fall into it.

48. God does not give to cow that butts.

49. Stretch your legs according to your clothes.

50. Stormy weather cannot stay all the time, the red sun will come out, too.

51. You need a sharp axe for a tough bough.

52. The devil is not so frighful as he is painted.

53. The scythe ran into a stone.

54. God takes care of the one who takes care of himself.

55. A wolf won't eat wolf.

56. Do not praise yourself whike going into battle; praise yourself coming out of battle.

57. You do not need a whip to urge on an obedient horse.

58. Do not carry rubbish out of your hut.

59. Cut down the tree that you are able to.

60. One does not go to Tula with one's own samovar.

61. Chickens are counted in autumn.

62. There will come a time when the seed will sprout.

63. Do not cut the bough you are sitting on.

64. The peasant will not cross himself before it begins to thunder.

65. Do not look at gift hourse's mouth.

66. Do not make an elephant out of a fly.

67. Do not measure (others) by your own yardstick.

68. Do not play with fire - you will burn yourself.

69. Do not plant a tree with its root upward.

70. A man should not be struck when he is down.

71. You do not swap horses while crossing the ford.

72. Do not teach a pike to swim, a pike knows his own science.

73. Eggs cannot teach a hen.

74. Drowing man clutches at straw.

75. God gives to those who get up early.

76. It is good to be visiting,but it is better at home.

77. An empty barrel makes the greatest sound.

78. The end is the crown of any work.

79. One is one's own master on one's own stove.

80. The tongue speaks, but the head doesn't know.

81. Every sandpiper praises its own swamp.

82. There is no evil without good.

Other sources

Niznaya brodo, nyeh suizio vwodo.  “If you don't know how deep the river is, don't step in.”



Proverbs from around the world
Proverb Resources
South Sotho proverbs