45 Celtic Proverbs (and their meaning)
Jul 15, 2021
Have you ever heard of the Celts? Do you know what Celtic culture is? The Celts encompass a set of Iron Age peoples and civilizations that spoke Celtic languages. Celtic languages come from Indo-European.
Celtic culture is full of symbols, texts, history... In this article we have rescued 45 Celtic Proverbs (some quite well known); We present them together with their meaning (a brief explanation of each one). Many of them also invite you to reflect.
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45 great Celtic Proverbs
A) Yes, We propose you 45 Celtic Proverbs (and their meaning), which speak about very different topics like love, success, knowledge, simplicity, and human intuition. As you will see, some of these proverbs are quite poetic phrases, with sometimes religious and positive life content.
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Through these proverbs, we can learn about the philosophy of life of Celtic civilizations, which came to inhabit different areas and regions of Europe.
1. Look up at the sun, but don't turn your back on the storm
We must have faith in the future, have illusions and hopes, but without forgetting that difficulties can also appear, and that we will have to face them when they appear.
2. A constant guest is never welcome
It is one thing to have a guest or a guest (something temporary), and the other is for someone to settle in to live in our house (it can also be understood in a metaphorical sense); well, this second can already tire.
3. The truth is sometimes bitter. But like all medicine, it is necessary to swallow
Many times the truth is painful, but it is almost always necessary to listen to it.
4. Some of the sweetest berries grow among the poiniest thorns
It is in the obstacles when we can learn the most. This Celtic phrase also comes to say that something positive can also be drawn from pain.
5. Against words full of anger nothing better than a closed mouth
Sometimes someone's indifference hurts more than the fact that he answers us in an aggressive or angry way.
6. Lie down with dogs and you'll wake up with fleas
This Celtic proverb has to do with our relationships with others; Sometimes we trust a lot in people who end up failing us, and that is why we must be careful who we tell things to and who we go with, for example.
7. Forgive the mistake, but don't forget
Sometimes it is easier to forgive than to forget.
8. A gentle response drives away anger
When we are involved in discussions with a lot of tension, responding in a calm and leisurely way can calm the spirits of the interlocutor.
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9. Your feet will take you where your heart is.
We always end up going where we feel we should be.
10. A kind response mitigates anger.
Responding in a calm way can reduce the aggressiveness of our listener.
11. Marry an islander and you will have married the whole island.
This phrase may refer to the fact that if we meet someone from an island they can teach us their entire life there, including family, friends... as if it were more "typical" than people who do not live on islands. Although it can be interpreted in another way.
12. The eye of a friend is a good mirror.
Good friends will tell us what they think about what we ask them, and they can tell us how we are, since they know us more than anyone else.
13. Those who open their mouths open their hearts the least.
There are people who talk a lot but without really expressing what they feel.
14. Choose your company before you sit down.
It is important to decide well who will be our “travel companions”, with whom we will want to share part of our life, and so on.
15. A little help is better than a lot of compassion.
Sometimes with compassion we go nowhere, and it is better to be "practical" and offer our help directly.
16. Share the load and it will be lighter.
The fact of sharing pain or bad experiences with others frees us and takes a weight off our shoulders.
Beware of the one who is too inclined to do favors and offer his friendship, as one day he will demand retribution from him.
There are people who offer a lot in order to ask for something in return over time.
18. If you cheat on your partner, you cheat on yourself.
When we cheat on someone, we are actually cheating ourselves too, because it means that at some point or another we do something that we don't really feel like doing.
19. He who tells you the defects of others, he will tell others your defects.
People who criticize, usually do almost everyone, so if they criticize someone in front of you, do not trust too much.
22. Whoever restrains the tongue keeps his friends.
Sometimes you have to be honest, but not always; there are things that are better to keep so as not to hurt others.
23. A shared joy is doubled, while a shared grief is cut in half.
Enjoying in company is enjoying more, and sharing suffering is suffering less (joys are multiplied and sorrows are divided).
24. May the roof never fall on top of you and may the friends gathered under it never leave. May you always have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and may the road always open to your door.
This proverb is a kind of short poem; they are good words to someone.
25. May you live more than a hundred years with an extra year to regret it. May the Lord keep you in his hand, and don't squeeze his fist too hard.
It is a religious phrase, it speaks of faith and love towards God.
26. Remember that you live in the shadow of your neighbor.
In the end, we are not so different from others; we all need love, for example.
27. Only the world does not tell lies.
It is a phrase that invites us to reflect on society, values and life.
28. Better old debts than old grudges.
Grudges do a lot of damage, even more than debts (which in the end are paid off).
29. May the saddest day in your future be no worse than the happiest day in your past.
This Celtic proverb speaks of optimism and being happy.
30. May your neighbors respect you, problems abandon you, angels protect you and heaven welcome you and may the fortune of the Celtic Hills embrace you.
This Celtic phrase is full of good messages towards someone.
31. There is no secret if three know.
According to this Celtic phrase, the true secrets are those shared between two, not between more.
32. If you want peace, friendship and praise... listen, look and be dumb!
It is important to listen and observe around us... sometimes by giving our opinions we can harm ourselves.
33. Knowledge comes through practice.
When we put our skills to use, it is when we learn the most.
34. Who speaks aloud, thinks little.
There are people who say what they think without thinking, and it shows.
35. Beware of secrets because they are a powerful weapon. You can use it to your advantage or it can be reused against you.
Knowing someone's secrets gives you a lot of power over that person, but you have to be vigilant because sometimes the secrets can play against us.
36. On the new trail, walk slowly.
When you do not know a place, a situation, a person... it is better to investigate little by little.
37. The shameful thing is not not knowing, but not learning.
We can all ignore some topic; however, it is worse not wanting to learn.
38. Don't show your teeth until you can bite down.
It is better to play it safe and prepare when we want to act for real.
39. A man may be alive after losing his life, but not after losing his honor.
This Celtic phrase alludes to the importance of honor, beyond life.
40. If you don't plant in spring, you won't harvest in fall.
To be successful, we must work little by little, all year round.
41. True greatness does not give up kindness.
Even if we are very successful, we must be kind and humble.
42. If you have to walk in rags, at least they are clean rags.
We may not have much money, but we can always be neat.
43. Reputation lasts longer than life.
If we have achieved something "important" in life, it will last beyond our death.
44. It is not the same to be than to have been.
Everything comes, but everything happens too.
45. There is no joy without sorrow.
The fact of being happy necessarily implies having known sadness on some occasion.
- Markale, J. (1992). The Celts and Celtic Civilization: Myth and History. Madrid: Taurus Ediciones.