Swiss Proverbs

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

  • He who does not work is without food.
  • When in doubt about who will win, be neutral.
  • It is easier to beat two devils into a child, than one devil out.
  • It is always the fat ones who lead the dance.
  • The poor lack much, but the greedy lack more.
  • You learn how to cook with old pans.
  • Mountains and valleys stand firm, but people meet.
  • Each problem has two sides: the wrong side and ours.
  • He that sleeps soundly feels not the toothache.
  • If you close one eye, you will not hear everything.
  • Sometimes, you have to be silent to be heard.
  • He who mocks the cripple should be straight himself.
  • Time is most valuable when you don’t have it.
  • Marriage is a covered dish.
  • Think first, start later.
  • Every man is the maker of his own fortune.
  • When one shuts one eye, one does not hear everything.
  • When a neighbor gets divorced, everyone thinks of his own wife.
  • Where it is customary, the cow is brought to bed.
  • Words are dwarves; deeds are giants.
  • The night rinses what the day has soaped.
  • It is good fishing in streamy water.
  • He who starts well is in the middle of the work.
  • Ask ten brewers and you will get eleven opinions.
  • Who cares about every little feather should not make the bed.
  • At the bottom of the sack, you’ll find the bill.
  • When a merchant talks about sheep, he means the hide.
  • Better to sell with regret than to keep with regret.
  • What the farmer doesn’t know, he will not eat.
  • It’s easier to criticize than to do better.
  • A good spectator also creates.
  • The devil hides himself in the details.
  • Speech is silver; silence is golden.
  • If everyone looks after themselves, everyone is looked after.
  • Ask ten brewers, and you will get eleven opinions.
  • Luck is on your path: one takes it, the other passes by it.
  • Better to sell it with regret than to keep it.
  • Big fish eat little fish.
  • The tongue is the worst piece of meat in the world.
  • One simple maxim is often worth more than two good friends.
  • In a house of gold, the clocks are made of lead.
  • What good is a golden gallows if they are going to hang you?
  • To be a fool at the right time is also an art.
  • Little strokes fell great oaks.
  • The French work to live, but the Swiss live to work.
  • A greedy person and a pauper are practically one and the same.
  • As the stone leaves your hand, it belongs to the devil.
  • A clean house is a clean mind.
  • God lets things go, but only to a point.
  • You should not add oil to the fire.

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

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