Iraqi Proverbs

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

  • Their fire eats their wood.
  • The provision for tomorrow belongs to tomorrow.
  • One who is drowning will even grab onto a snake.
  • If you conduct yourself properly, then fear no one.
  • Stealing leads to poverty.
  • Accusation always follows the cat.
  • He who is watching the club does not understand the one who is beaten with it.
  • Life is like a cucumber: you get one in your hand and ten in your ass.
  • Someone who does not know how to dance says the ground is sloping.
  • You will discover your true friends in moments of crisis.
  • When a ship increases its sailors, it will sink.
  • The chicken dies and her eyes look upon rubbish.
  • You want a rabbit, take a rabbit; you want a deer, take a rabbit.
  • Trust in Allah, but keep a tight leash on your camel.
  • A beautiful bride needs no dowry.
  • The tree is diseased by its own worms.
  • Two-thirds of a boy is his uncle.
  • You can have a lord, you can have a king, but the man to fear is the tax collector.
  • He who can’t manage his wheat himself will eat his barely.
  • The day will wipe out all the promises of the night.
  • He wants to put eyeliner on an eye, but he blinds it.
  • He can steal eyeliner from the eye.
  • Go drink from the river.
  • When stomachs are operating, eyes become blind.
  • You do not exit the bathroom the same as you entered.
  • There are three plagues in the world: the rat, the locust, and the Kurd.
  • An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
  • He is not the owner, yet he makes noise on the roof.
  • Sometimes you need to sacrifice your beard in order to save your head.
  • All authors should prepare to encounter criticism.

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

One thought on “Iraqi Proverbs

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    Seth says:

    Iraq will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve learnt so much about the people and place from Gertrude Bell’s incredible work.

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