Croatian proverbs

From Quotes
What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that's another matter.
Peter F. Drucker
Jump to: navigation, search

A selection of Croatian proverbs. Many are considered to be traditional so source cannot be determined.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

B

  • Bez muke nema nauke.
    • Translation: Without suffering, there is no learning.
    • English equivalent: No pain, no gain.
  • Bog je prvo sebi bradu stvorio.
    • Translation: God first created a beard for himself.
  • Bolje ikad nego nikad.
    • Translation: Better ever than never.
    • English equivalent: Better late than never.
  • Bolje spriječiti nego liječiti.
    • Translation: Better to prevent than to have to cure.
    • English equivalent: Prevention is better than cure.
  • Bolje vrabac u ruci, nego golub na grani.
    • Translation: A sparrow in your hand is better than a pigeon on the branch.
    • English equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

C

  • Čovjek je čovjeku vuk.
    • English equivalent: Man is man's wolf.
    • Latin equivalent: Homo homini lupus est.
  • Čovjek snuje, Bog određuje.
    • Translation: Men wishes(dreams), but god decides.
    • English equivalent: Man proposes, but God disposes.

G

  • Glava u oblacima.
    • Translation: (To have the) head in clouds.
  • Gdje ima dima ima i vatre.
    • Translation: Where there is smoke, there is fire too.
    • English equivalent: Where there's smoke, there's fire.

I

  • Il' kuj, il ne mrči gaćâ!
    • English equivalent: Shit or get off the pot.
  • Imati veće oči od želuca.
    • Translation: To have bigger eyes than the stomach.
    • English equivalent: Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
  • Ispalo vragu iz torbe.
    • Translation: (Something that has) fallen out of a devil's pouch.
    • English equivalent: untamed.
  • Iver ne pada daleko od klade.
    • Translation: A splinter doesn't land far from the trunk.
    • English equivalent: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

J

  • Jabuka ne pada daleko od stabla.
    • Translation: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
  • Jedna lasta ne čini proljeće.
    • Translation: One swallow does not make a spring.
    • English equivalent: One swallow does not make a spring.
    • Source of original proverb: Aristotle
  • Jutro je pametnije od večeri.
    • Translation: Morning is smarter than evening.

K

  • Kad mačke nema, miševi kolo vode.
    • Translation: When cat is absent, mice dance.
    • English equivalent: When the cat's away the mice will play.
  • Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe.
    • Translation: When willows bear grapes.
    • English equivalent: When pigs fly.
  • Kako došlo, tako prošlo.
    • Translation: The way it came is the way it will go.
    • English equivalent: Easy come, easy go.
  • Kao mačka oko vruće kaše.
    • Translation: Like the cat around the hot meal.
    • English equivalent: Beating around bush.
  • Kruh bez motike.
    • Translation: Bread without shovel.
  • Krv nije voda.
    • Translation: Blood is not water.
    • English equivalent: Blood is thicker than water.

M

  • Mi o vuku, a vuk na vrata.
    • Translation: (speaking) of the wolf as the wolf (comes) to the door.
    • English equivalent: Speak of the devil.
    • Latin equivalent: Lupus in fabula.

N

  • Na muci se poznaju junaci.
    • Translation: In trouble you know a hero.
  • Naći iglu u plastu sijena.
    • English equivalent: Finding a needle in a haystack.
  • Navika je dobar sluga, ali loš gospodar.
    • Translation: Habit is a good servant, but a poor master.
  • Ne gledaj poklonjenom konju u zube.
    • Translation: Don't look a gift horse in the teeth.
    • English equivalent: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Ne laje pas zbog sela.
    • Translation: The dog doesn’t bark because of the village.
  • Ne maljaj vraga na zid.
    • Translation: To not paint the devil on the wall.
  • Ne možeš imati i ovce i novce.
    • Translation: You can’t have both money and sheeps.
    • English equivalent: You can’t have a cake and eat it, too.
  • Ne kupuj mačka u vreći.
    • Translation: Don't buy a cat in a bag.
    • English equivalent: Don't buy a pig in a poke.
  • Ne stavljaj sva jaja u jednu košaru.
    • Translation: Don't put all you're eggs in one basket.
  • Ne trči pred rudo.
    • Translation: Don't run in front of a carriage.
    • English equivalent: Don't jump the gun.
  • Nesreća nikad ne dolazi sama.
    • Translation: A disaster never comes alone.
    • English equivalent: When it rains, it pours.
    • English equivalent: Bad luck comes in threes.
    • German equivalent: Bad luck rarely comes alone. (Ein Unglück kommt selten allein.)
  • Nije zlato sve što sja.
    • Translation: Gold is not everything that shines.
    • English equivalent: All that glistens is not gold.
  • Novac se na novac lijepi.
    • Translation: Money sticks to another money.
    • English equivalent: Money hangs around money.

O

  • Od Kulina bana i dobrijeh dana.
    • Translation: Since Koohleen the prince and the good times.
  • O mrtvima sve najbolje.
    • Translation: Speak only the best of the dead.
    • English equivalent: Don't speak ill of the dead.
    • Latin equivalent: De mortuis nil nisi bonum.
  • Odijelo ne čini čovjeka.
    • Translation: A suit doesn't make a man.
    • English equivalent: You can't tell a book by its cover.
    • French equivalent: L'habit ne fait pas le moine.
  • Odnijeti gaće na štapu.
    • Translation: To end up with underpants on a stick. (i.e. be really poor)
  • Ovca bleji, zalogaj gubi!
    • Translation: The sheep that bleats - loses it's share in food.

P

  • Papir trpi sve.
    • Translation: Paper can withstand anything.
  • Pas koji laje, ne grize.
    • Translation: A dog that barks does not bite.
    • English equivalent: His bark is worse than his bite.
    • Latin equivalent: Canis timidus vehementius latrat quam mordet. (Curtius)
  • Po jutru se dan poznaje.
    • Translation: The morning shows how the day will be.
  • Počisti prvo pred svojim vratima.
    • Translation: First sweep the ground in front of your own door.
  • Pomozi si sam pa će ti i Bog pomoći.
    • Translation: First help yourself and then God will help you.
    • English equivalent: God helps those who help themselves.
  • Pomozi sirotu na svoju sramotu.
    • Translation: Help the poor one for your own shame.
  • Pored takvih prijatelja što će mi neprijatelji.
    • Translation: With such friends, one doesn't need enemies anymore.
    • English equivalent: With friends like those, who needs enemies?
  • Poslije kiše dolazi sunce.
    • Translation: After rain comes sun.
  • Prodati rog pod svijeću.
    • Translation: To sell a horn as if it was a candle.
  • Prvo skoči pa reci: "hop"!
    • Translation: First leap, then say: "jump"!
    • English equivalent: Look before you leap.
      • First do your task, then talk about it
  • Puno baba, kilavo dijete.
    • Translation: Many midwives, child will be lazy.
    • English equivalent: Too many cooks spoil the broth.

R

  • Raditi račun bez krčmara.
    • Translation: To make the bill without the bartender.
  • Rugala se sova sjenici.
    • Translation: The owl mocked the tit.
    • English equivalent: The pot calls the kettle black.
  • Ruka ruku mije.
    • Translation: One hand washes the other.
    • English equivalent: You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
    • Latin equivalent: Manus manum lavat.

S

  • Sit gladnom ne vjeruje.
    • Translation: The well fed one does not believe the hungry one.
  • Svakog gosta tri dana dosta.
    • Translation: Three days of any guest is plenty.
    • English equivalent: Fish and visitors stink after three days.
  • Sve je dobro što se dobro svrši.
    • English equivalent and translation: All's well that ends well.
  • Sve što je dobro kratko traje.
    • Translation: All that's well lasts short.
    • English equivalent: All good things come to an end.
  • Svi putevi vode u Rim.
    • English equivalent and translation: All roads lead to Rome.
  • Strpljen – spašen.
    • Translation: Patient – saved.
    • English equivalent: All things come to he who waits.
  • Što bi gore sad je dolje, a što bi dolje sad je gore.
    • Translation: What once was up now is down and what once was down now is up
    • English equivalent: What goes around comes around.
  • Što možeš danas, ne ostavljaj za sutra.
    • Translation: Do not leave for tomorrow, things you can do today.
    • English equivalent: Better now than later.

T

  • Teško žabu u vodu natjerati.
    • Translation: It is difficult to chase a frog into the water. (sarcasticaly)
  • Tiha voda brege dere.
    • Translation: Still water wears down mountains.
    • English equivalent: Still waters run deep.
  • Tko kupuje što mu ne treba, prodavat će što mu treba.
    • Translation: He who buys what he does not need will (eventually have to) sell what he needs.
  • Tko pita, ne skita.
    • Translation: He who asks, need not wander.
  • Tko pod drugim jamu kopa, sam u nju pada.
    • Translation: He who digs a hole under someone else will fall into it himself.
  • Tko rano rani, dvije sreće grabi.
    • Translation: He who wakes up early, catches two fortunes.
    • English equivalent: The early bird catches the worm.
  • Tko s malom djecom liježe, popišan se budi.
    • Translation: If one goes to bed with small kids, wakes up wet.
  • Tko se zadnji smije, najslađe se smije.
    • Translation: He who laughs last has the sweetest laugh.
    • English equivalent: He who laughs last laughs best.
  • Tko umije, njemu dvije.
    • Translation: He who can, gets two.
  • Tri loša ubiše Miloša.
    • Translation: Three bad ones killed Milosh.

U

  • U laži su kratke noge.
    • Translation: In lies one has short legs.
    • English equivalent: A lie has no legs.
  • Umrijeti kumulativni zbir aligator.
    • Translation: The donkey that returns home is never welcome.
  • Uzdaj se u se i u svoje kljuse.
    • Translation: Trust yourself and your horse.

V

  • Vrijeme je novac.
    • English equivalent and translation: Time is money.
  • Vuk dlaku mijenja, ali ćud nikada.
    • Translation: The wolf changes his hair, but never his temperament.
    • English equivalent: A fox may change its skin, but never its character.
    • Latin equivalent: Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores.

Z

  • Željezo se kuje dok je vruće.
    • English equivalent and translation: Forge while the iron is hot.
  • Žuri polako.
    • Translation: Hasten slowly.
    • English equivalent: Slowly but carefully.
    • Latin equivalent: Festina lente.

See also