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What are some traditional Irish sayings?

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Quick Answer

The most famous traditional Irish saying is "Erin go bragh," which means "Ireland forever." Traditional Irish sayings or Irish proverbs cover various topics including life, friendship and humanity.

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Full Answer

Many traditional Irish sayings offer advice on life. One saying that promotes the quality of being optimistic is, “A light heart lives long.” A saying that encourages hard work is, “There is no luck except where there is discipline.” A proverb that extols precaution is, “A lock is better than suspicion.” A saying that gives advice for relating with the young is, “Praise the young and they will blossom.”

A number of Irish proverbs extol the value of friendship. “Two shorten the road” is one famous example. A less-known example that speaks about the value of taking advice from a friend is, “A friend’s eye is a good mirror.” A traditional Irish saying that speaks about the importance of having friends in general is, “There is no need like the lack of a friend.”

Many traditional Irish provide a view on the nature of life and of human beings. A saying that speaks about the complexity of life is, “There are no unmixed blessings in life.” A saying that speaks about the tendency for wealthy people to understand to those who are poor is, “The well-fed does not understand the lean.” Not all traditional Irish sayings are proverbial, however. The saying, “May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat” is a double condemnation.

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