Egyptian proverbs

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Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible—it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.
Barbara De Angelis
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This is a list of the Egyptian proverbs. Although these proverbs are in Arabic, Egyptian proverbs differ from Arabic proverbs due to the difference of the Egyptian dialect.

Egyptians also made some proverbs that share the same meaning with Arabic proverbs but differ in the way they were told.


  • " ديل الكلب عمره ماينعدل ولو علقوا عليه قالب"
    • Alternatives:
      • ديل الكلب ما ينعدل
    • literal translation: "the tail of the dog never get straight even if you set a mold for it"
    • "one never changes"
  • "ابن الوز عوام"
    • literal translation: "A goose’s child is an excellent diver"
    • "Like father, like son"
  • " القرد فى عين امه غزال"
    • literal translation: "A monkey is a gazelle in its mother’s eyes."
    • "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
  • " الغايب حجته معاه"
    • literal translation: "An absent person has his excuse."
    • "Don't blame someone for not being here until you hear him/her out."
  • " السلف تلف و الرد خسارة"
    • Alternatives:
      • السلف تلف
    • literal translation: "borrowing is good, and returning money is a loss"
    • "Don't lend or loan money"


  • "Time never gets tired of Running"

-Amad (The great Egyptian poet)

Bathe her and then look at her.

  • Meaning: Look at a girl without makeup and hairdo to see if she’s really pretty.

"اصبر على الجار السو يايرحل يا تجيله مصيبه تاخده" Be patient with a bad neighbor. Maybe he’ll leave or a disaster will take him out.

  • Meaning: Take your time before getting into fights you can avoid.

داري علي شمعتك تقيد Cover your candle, it will light more.

  • Meaning: Be cautious! Don’t brag about what you have.

لبس البوصه تبقي عروسه Dress up a stick and it’ll be a beautiful wife.

  • Meaning: Don't be fooled by women’s appearances; look deeper.

ماقدرش علي الحمار اتشطر علي البردعه He who couldn't overcome the donkey took on the saddle.

  • Meaning: Said of people who don’t face their match and pick on the weak instead.

اللي بيته من الأزاز مايحدفش الناس بالطوب He whose house is made out of glass, shouldn’t throw stones at people.

  • Meaning: Think of the repercussions before taking actions; you may be more liable to get harmed.

لو حبيبك عسل ماتلحسوش كله If your friend is (like) honey, don't lick it all.

  • Meaning: Don’t abuse people’s generosity towards you.

ياواخد القرد علي ماله يروح المال و يفضل القرد علي حاله If you marry a monkey for his wealth, the money goes and the monkey remains as is.

  • Meaning: Don’t get married to people for their money; it won’t bring you happiness.

العلم فالراس مش في الكراس Knowledge is in the head, not the copybook.

  • Meaning: Thinking is more important than just getting knowledge from books.

يا خبر بفلوس بكره يبقى ببلاش News that’s for money today will be for free tomorrow.

  • Meaning: Obvious

مد لحافك علي قد رجليك Stretch your legs as far as your quilt goes.

  • Meaning: Don’t do what’s beyond your capabilities. Don’t buy what you cannot afford.

This cub is from that lion.

  • Meaning: Like father, like son.

اللي اختشو ماتو Those who had some shame are dead.

  • Meaning: People don’t have boundaries anymore.

What comes easily is lost easily. Meaning: Obvious

اسمع كلامك اصدك اشوف امورك استعجب When I hear you, I believe you. When I see what you do, I’m surprised. Meaning: You speak reason yet you do weird stuff that contradicts it.

When the Angels arrive, the devils leave. Meaning: Said when people leave upon others’ arrival.

اللي يجوز امي اقوله يا عمي The man who marries my mother, I call him uncle. Meaning: If you can't beat them, join them.

ادعي علي ابني و اكره اللى يقول آمين I curse my son and I hate who says amen. Meaning: That parents may be tough to their children but that they love them.

قدم السبت تلقى الحد Give saturday, you will find sunday Meaning: That when you have a good history of doing good things, it will come back to you. Kind of What goes around comes around.

People died and came back to life preparing for Yehia's Wedding. Meaning: Often said when people spend a great deal of time preparing for a normal or usual event.

Give me a fish, i have the day's food. Teach me how to fish and i will have everyday's food. Meaning: Instead of giving me things for granted, teach me a useful skill.

The man a bald woman got will be easily seduced by a woman with beautiful hair. Meaning: What an incompetent person can achieve can be easily achieved by a more competent one.

يا مآمنة للرجال يا مآمنة للمية فى الغربال O! sister, you believe in a man's honesty; it's like you are believing in water in a sieve. Meaning : Women cannot trust anyone.

يقتل القتيل و يمشى فى جنازته He kills the victim and walks in his funeral. Meaning : Used to describe a person who is very deceitful yet openly claims innocence.

الكدب مالوش رجلين Lying has no legs. "Truth will Out"--> " الكدب مالوش رجلين" Meaning : Eventually a liar will be exposed.