Iranian Proverbs

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

  • Little by little, the wool becomes a carpet.
  • If you really have to sin, then choose a sin that you enjoy.
  • Forgiveness hides a pleasure that you can’t get back from revenge.
  • He is still alive because he cannot afford a funeral.
  • The arrow that has left the bow never returns.
  • I gave so much advice that hair grew on my tongue.
  • Necessity can change a lion into a fox.
  • Women are just like cats: they always land on their feet.
  • A greedy man is always poor.
  • While yearning for excess, we lose the necessities.
  • Woe is he who claims to have found happiness.
  • When fate strikes, physicians are useless.
  • A man without a child is a king without sorrows.
  • Every fault that a sultan pleases can be a quality.
  • Use your enemy’s hand to catch a snake.
  • It is nothing for one to know something, unless another knows you know it.
  • You cannot hang everything on one nail.
  • A wise man can laugh at his jokes.
  • For his master, the dog is a lion.
  • He gives a party with bathwater.
  • Once a friend, always a friend.
  • Who has not had a taste longs to do so, but for whom has tasted, then the longing is a hundred times more.
  • There are three things that have to be done quickly: burying the dead, opening the door for a stranger, and fixing your daughter’s wedding.
  • Every man is the king of his own beard.
  • Where the camel is sold for a cent, the ass is worthless.
  • Thinking well is wise; planning well, wiser; but doing well is the wisest and best of all.
  • I can only get better if I have good friends.
  • The mud that you throw will fall on your own head.
  • Work is twice done by the man in a hurry.
  • The guard’s sleep is the lamplight of the thief.
  • The drowning man is not troubled by rain.
  • To sin in secret is more pleasant than having pleasure in the open.
  • Credit is better than wealth.
  • If you fall into a pit, providence is under no obligation to come and look for you.
  • Sometimes, the body becomes healthy by being very sick.
  • The earth is a host who kills his guests.
  • A man can pose as wise when searching for wisdom, but if he believes to have found it, is a fool.
  • You only appreciate your father the day you become a father yourself.
  • Flies will never leave the shop of a sweet maker.
  • The loveliest faces are to be seen by moonlight, when one sees half with the eye and half with the fancy.
  • Only a heart can find the way to another heart.
  • Expect trust from a dog but not from a woman.
  • Beware a rickety wall, a savage dog, and a quarrelsome person.
  • A blind man who sees is better than a sighted man who is blind.
  • The best memory is that which forgets nothing, but injuries.
  • You don’t put a wooden pot on the fire twice.
  • Flies will easily fly into the honey; their problem is how to get out.
  • He who has been bitten by a snake fears a piece of string.
  • I eat what others have planted, and I plant what others want to eat.
  • I have no right to rejoice at the death of my enemy when I do not have eternal life myself.

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

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