Thai Proverbs

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

  • Don’t pull out your intestines to feed the crow.
  • When a dog bites you, do not bite back.
  • Life is so short that we must move very slowly.
  • In a town where people wink, you must also wink.
  • With one stump, you can’t make a good fire.
  • Home is where the heart is, not where it once was.
  • The heart of a woman is as capricious as a drop of water on a lotus leaf.
  • Belief makes all things possible—including ignorance.
  • Slow fires will smolder for a long time.
  • Love each other deeply.
  • Don’t spoil a cool place under a hospitable tree.
  • Bald people can always find a comb.
  • A rabbit aims for the moon.
  • A husband loves the charm of the ladle’s tip until dying.
  • The best advice is advice already forgotten.
  • Don’t help the elephant to carry its tusks.
  • Ride an elephant to catch a grasshopper.
  • Dance poorly and blame the oboe and the drum.
  • Love the older sister, but yearn for the younger sister.
  • Work is the source of all good.
  • Put a gold leaf on the back of a Buddha statue.
  • When people take it easy on you, they make it harder on others.
  • The fights that can’t be won, those you fight.
  • You can erase the past, but you can’t erase the finish line.
  • To a man, wine is like water is to the boat: it can carry him or guzzle him up.
  • Don’t borrow someone else’s nose to breathe with.
  • Talk to a priest and die a thousand deaths.
  • Love me, love my dog.
  • Who is timid in the woods boasts at home.
  • Wrapped within rags might be gold.
  • A centipede will not stop for a cripple.
  • You don’t have to bend over to turn the other cheek.
  • When you dig up the past, you bury the future.
  • You should always prefer wind to water.
  • The store of rice in your attic is your enemy: it makes them who have none jealous.
  • At high tide, the fish eat ants; at low tide, the ants eat fish.
  • Don’t swim with or against the current—swim above it.
  • Ten tongues that spread the word are worth less than two eyes that have seen, and two eyes that have seen are worth less than one hand that feels.
  • Taking revenge is like shooting the streetlights outside your home.
  • Friends for a meal are easy to find; friends until the end of life are difficult to find.
  • Arguments are never won—only lost.
  • Sometimes, burning a bridge is the only way to make it to the other side.
  • Gold that falls to earth never dims.
  • On the way out, the road is rough; returning, it is smooth.
  • Your life’s work is measured by attitude, not by magnitude.
  • The bird leaves no trail.
  • A virtuous person sleeps well.
  • If you are going into the wood, don’t leave your axe at home.
  • Wait until the tree has fallen before you jump over it.
  • A cheerful heart is good medicine, but not on an empty stomach.

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

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