Greek Proverbs

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

  • It is useless to knock at the door of a deaf man.
  • If you steal something small, you are a petty thief, but if you steal millions, you are a gentleman of society.
  • Not speech, but facts, convince.
  • The people make the town.
  • Never give a sword to a fool or power to an unjust man.
  • A young man should not marry yet; an old man, not at all.
  • In baiting a mousetrap with cheese, always leave room for the mouse.
  • Don’t forget to distrust.
  • Pity the man who has no nails to scratch himself.
  • A fox is not caught twice in the same snare.
  • Think with the wise, but talk with the vulgar.
  • He who wants to be happy must stay at home.
  • A good bird begins chirping while in the egg.
  • No need to teach an eagle to fly.
  • You easily forget the eyes that don’t see you anymore.
  • Give me today and you may keep tomorrow.
  • Envy accomplishes nothing.
  • Men’s wishes are different from what God orders.
  • Even from a foe a man may learn wisdom.
  • If you do not have brains, you follow the same route twice.
  • Better the first of its kind than the last.
  • If you are truthful, you will have as much gold as you want.
  • A lazy tailor finds his thread too long.
  • No one loathes the smell of himself.
  • The tongue has no bones, yet it breaks bones.
  • Know all and you will pardon all.
  • Friendships and loves are forgotten, and when they meet, they talk like strangers, like passersby.
  • The dream is realized where you do not expect it.
  • If you wish to be good, first believe that you are bad.
  • Old men are twice children.
  • Great abilities produce great vices as well as virtues.
  • Who hunts two hares will catch neither.
  • When you go to bed with a clear head, you will not get up with a headache.
  • The fox that waits until the chicken falls from the perch dies from hunger.
  • Live today; forget the past.
  • Remorse is worse than a beating.
  • Listen carefully, speak seasonably.
  • Whoever feeds the wolf in the winter will be eaten by him in the spring.
  • Ignorance of one’s misfortunes is clear gain.
  • A thousand people cannot undress a naked person.
  • Time is the soul of the world.
  • It is sweet for the saved man to recall labor.
  • To have five drachmas in the hand is better than ten drachmas on paper.
  • God loves the burglar, but he loves the householder too.
  • Old age and poverty are wounds that cannot be healed.
  • Keep no secrets of thyself from thyself.
  • One witness, one liar; more witnesses, all liars.
  • Pleasures are transient; honors are immortal.
  • Men never moan over the opportunities lost to do good, only the opportunities to be bad.
  • Women are as changeable as the sea.

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

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