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Collection of Irish Proverbs And Funny Sayings

Updated: 4 days ago

Celebrating St Patrick's Day with some Irish expressions of popular wisdom.

The words St Patrick's Day painted in green paint

Luck never gives; it only lends: Luck and chance are favourite topics for proverbs in Ireland. “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned,” seems to be the general view, although this goes along with a consensus that luck will be evened out in the long run. But there is a harsher verdict: "Success is purely a matter of luck," runs one view. "Ask any failure." Nonetheless, Captain Happenstance was often relied on in Ireland. “When your luck's in you can win on a tram ticket,” ran a popular proverb in the early 20th century.

In heaven there is no beer; that’s why we drink ours here.

As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.

It’s like the elephant in the front room: This popular phrase appears to have Irish origins. Dublin philosopher George Berkeley (18th century) used a version of it in his debates with scientists, asking whether or not there was "an invisible elephant in the room".

May your coffee be strong and your Monday be short.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.

May today be better than yesterday, but, not as good as tomorrow: This philosophy of optimism is found in many cultures, and appears to date as far back as mediaeval times - when tomorrow, most certainly, could not be guaranteed to see a marked improvement on the day before.

May the Good Lord take a liking to you - but not too soon.

He who keeps his tongue keeps his friends.

What a sober man has in his heart, the drunk has on his lips: Drink features in many Irish proverbs, and indeed across many cultures. The above proverb is found in such disparate places as Denmark, Germany and Andalucía.

May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.

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