Danish Proverbs

Enjoy dozens of witty and insightful Danish proverbs and idioms that have been passed down from one generation to the next for hundreds of years!

  • Give your wife the short knife, and keep the long one for yourself.
  • Don’t cross the stream to get water.
  • Gray hairs are death’s blossoms.
  • Care, and not fine stables, make a good horse.
  • Weighty work must be done with few words.
  • Beauty draws with a single hair.
  • From praise, as from a shadow, a man is neither bigger nor smaller.
  • Everything has an end—except a sausage, which has two.
  • Envy does not enter an empty house.
  • One bite brings another.
  • A blind pigeon may sometimes find a grain of wheat.
  • Wise men do not quarrel with each other.
  • One mangy sheep spoils a whole flock.
  • Meddle with dirt and some of it will stick to you.
  • A small cloud may hide both sun and moon.
  • Every fox looks after his own skin.
  • A slight suspicion may destroy a good repute.
  • It is no disgrace to be poor, but it can be inconvenient.
  • He who feeds the hen is out to have the egg.
  • Young people must be taught, old ones be honored.
  • Ask advice of your equals.
  • It is hard to make a fire on a cold hearth.
  • Better half a loaf than none at all.
  • Cunning has little honor.
  • Beware of the dog himself, his shadow does not bite.
  • No man limps because another is hurt.
  • He scolds most that can hurt the least.
  • He who rises early will gather wisdom.
  • Many a cow stands in the meadow and looks wistfully at the common.
  • Art and knowledge bring bread and honor.
  • Do as others do, and few will mock you.
  • Age is a sorry traveling companion.
  • He knows best where the shoe pinches, who wears it.
  • It is time enough to take off your hat when you see the man.
  • Advice after the mischief is like medicine after death.
  • A lord without land is like a cask without wine.
  • While the dogs yelp, the hare flies to the wood.
  • When wisdom fails, luck helps.
  • You cannot take a shirt from a naked man.
  • If you can’t heal the wound, don’t tear it open.
  • You must have good luck to catch hares with a drum.
  • Unwilling service earns no thanks.
  • The sword keeps the peace of the land.
  • “Relatives are the worst friends,” said the fox as the dogs took after him.
  • The bow may be bent until it breaks.
  • Unworthy offspring brag the most about their worthy descendants.
  • Flowers are the pledges of fruit.
  • Every day has its evening.
  • The nobler the blood, the less the pride.
  • The sheep is shorn, not the horse.

For thousands more proverbs and words of wisdom, collected from over 40 countries, check out Proverbs from Around the World!

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