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Persian Proverbs

Rigidity of ensnaring outlooks is not what is called for. Add mental well-well's to sayings as you please.


A drop of rain makes no impression on a hard stone. /

A pleasant voice brings a snake out of his hole.

Aspiration is not a defect in youngsters.

Bake the bread while the oven is hot.

Be not all sugar, or the world will swallow you up; be not all wormwood, or the world will spit you out.

Bravery without foresight is like a blind horse.

Do not cut down the tree that gives you shade.

Don't despise pepper because it is so small; eat, and see how pungent it is.

Friendship with a fool may turn into the hug of a bear [Mod].

Go and wake up your luck.

He who wants the rose must respect the thorn.

If you be a cock, crow; if a hen, lay eggs.

It seems like folly to give comfits to a cow [Mod] - It can be fun anyway.

Little by little the cotton thread becomes a turban.

Matury comes from impressions for a long time. [TK]

One pound of learning might have required many thousand persons of common sense to acquire it [Mod].

One pound of learning could require an army of common sense to apply it [Remade].

One scabby goat infects the flock.

Seek truth in meditation, not in mouldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond.

Take care lest your tongue should cut off your head.

The best mode of instruction is to practise what we preach.

The diamond fallen into the dunghill is not the less precious for it [Abr]

The earth is a host who kills his guests.

The world is like an old building on the banks of a stream it carries away piece by piece; in vain you stop it with a handful of earth.

Thinking well is wise; planning well, wiser; but doing well is the wisest and best of all.

Travel the highway, though it be roundabout where shortcuts are dangerous.

Water long stagnant becomes putrid.

When one is really thirsty, one thousand pearls are not what is craved for at all. [TK]

Where is the person who has not soiled his garments?

Yoke not a camel and a cat together. Be free to ask 'Why?'

You cannot hang everything on one nail.


Persian proverbs, Literature  

Proverbs marked with - are from Long's collection (below).:

Aram, Homayoon, coll. Wit and Wisdom of Three Worlds: A Bilingual Collection of Popular Persian Judaic and Western Proverbs and Expressions. Bethesda, MD: IBEX Publishers, 2008. ⍽▢⍽ Dr. Aram presents about 4 000 proverbs and sayings from Persian, Jewish and Western literature. Thematically arranged.

Eghbal, Farshid. Famous Proverbs: Persian-English. Script. Teheran: Sabokbaran, 2004. ⍽▢⍽ Here are perhaps 1800-2000 proverbs and idioms, without explanations. Many Persian proverbs are from the works of poets and philosophers. And some of them contradict one another, Eghbal tells too . . .

Elwell-Sutton, Laurence Paul. Persian Proverbs. London: John Murray, 1954. ⍽▢⍽ This is Volume 35 in the series The Wisdom of the East.

Habibian, Simin K., coll. One Thousand and One Persian-English Proverbs: Learning Language and Culture Through Commonly Used Sayings. 3rd. ed. Bethesda, ML: Ibex Publishing, 2002. ⍽▢⍽ Thematically arranged, literal translations of 1001 of the best know Persian proverbs, with English equivalents (similar proverbs).

Hayyim, Suleiman. Persian-English Proverbs, together with Idioms, Phrases, Glossarial Notes, Mother Stories, Etc. Teheran: Beroukhim, 1956. ⍽▢⍽ Useful, but perhaps hard to find. There are proverbs in Persian and English on 460 of 820 pages, and explanations of some of the proverbs. There may be about 4000 proverbs in all, perhaps some more. Sayings are separated from proverbs, and placed in their own section.

Long, James Long. Eastern Proverbs and Emblems Illustrating Old Truths. London: Trubner, 1881.

Wilson, Horace Hayman, red. A Collection of Proverbs, and Proverbial Phrases in the Persian and Hindoostanee Languages: Persian, Vol. 1. Calcutta: The Hindoostanii Press, 1824. ⍽▢⍽ 2222 Persian proverbs in Persian and English. Most of them were collected and translated by Thomas Roebuck.

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