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Many of the major links within this site are sourced from data provided by the Gazetteer for Scotland at http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/ and used with their permission.

Scottish Proverbs

SCOTS PROVERBS

A' are gude lasses, but where do the ill wives come frae?
"All are good maids, but whence come the bad wives?"-- Spanish.
A' are no friends that speak us fair.
"All are not friends who smile at you."-- Dutch.
A' are no thieves that dogs bark at.
A bad wound may heal, but a bad name will kill.
A bairn maun creep afore it gangs.
A bald head is sune shaved.
A bark frae a teethless dog is as gude as a bite.
A bauld fae is better than a cowardly friend.
A bawbee cat may look at a king.
A beggar's wallet is a mile to the bottom.
Because it generally contrives to contain all he gets.
A bird in the hand's worth twa fleeing by.
A bit is aften better gi'en than eaten.
A black hen can lay a white egg.
A Blainslie lawin'--there's mair for meat than drink.
A blate cat maks a proud mouse.
When discipline is not enforced, subordinates are apt to take advantage of it.
A blind man needs nae looking-glass.
A blind man's wife needs nae painting.
A blythe heart maks a bloomin' look.
A body's no broke while they hae a gude kail stock.
"When all is not lost, all can be recovered."-- English.
A bonnie gryce may mak an ugly sow.
"Fair in the cradle may be foul in the saddle. "-- English.
A borrowed len' should gae laughing hame.
When we return an article which has been borrowed, to its owner, we should do it with a good grace.
A bow o'erbent will weaken.
Abundance o' law breaks nae law.
A careless watch invites the thief.
A' cats are grey in the dark.
A close mouth catches nae flees.
"A shut mouth keeps me out of strife."-- Portuguese.
A cock's aye crouse on his am midden-head.
"A cock is valiant on his own dunghill."-- Danish.
A' complain o' want o' siller, but nane o' want o' sense.
A coward's fear maks a brave man braver.
A crackit bell will never mend.
A' cracks mauna be trew'd.
All that is heard must not be believed.
A crafty man's ne'er at peace.
A crammed kyte maks a crazy carcase.
"A full belly sets a man jigging."-- French.
A craw will no wash white.
A crooked man should sow beans, and a woad man peas.
"The one agrees to be thick sown, the other thin."-- Kelly.
A crookit stick will throw a crookit shadow.
A cuddy's gallop's sune done.
A cumbersome cur is hated in company.
A daft nurse maks a wise wean.
A day to come seems langer than a year that's gane.
A dear ship lies lang in the harbour.
A dish o' married love grows sune cauld.
A dog winna yowl if ye fell him wi' a bane.
"Pelt a dog with bones, and you will not offend him."-- Italian.
friend's past services.
A dreigh drink is better than a dry sermon.
A drink is shorter than a tale.
An excuse for drinking during the telling of a story.
A drink is shorter than a tale.

An excuse for drinking during the telling of a story.
A dry summer ne'er made a dear peck.
"Drought never bred dearth."-- English.
A duck winna dabble aye in ae hole.
A dumb man hauds a'.
That is, figuratively, makes no disclosures.
A dumb man ne'er got land.
A dumb man wins nae law.
A loquacious advocate is more likely to gain his case than a taciturn one.
Ae fine thing needs twa to set it aff
Ae gude friend is worth mony relations.
Ae gude turn deserves anither.
Ae half o' the warld disna ken how the ither half lives.
Ae hand winna wash the ither for nought.
Ae hour in the morning is worth twa at night.
Ae hour's cauld will drive oot seven years' heat.
Ae lawsuit breeds twenty.
Ae man may steal a horse where anither daurna look ower the hedge.
A man with a bad character is liable to be blamed for any misdeed which may be done; while a person who is not open to suspicion may commit depredation without challenge.
Ae man's meat is anither man's poison.
Ae scabbit sheep will smit a hirsel.
One bad character may pollute a whole company.
Ae scone o' that baking's enough.
Ae shook o' that stook's enough.
One specimen of a bad article is sufficient.
Ae swallow disna mak a summer.
Ae word before is worth twa behint.
A' fails that fools think.
A fa'ing maister maks a standin' man.
A fair maid tocherless will get mair wooers than husbands.
A fair offer is nae cause o' feud.
Affront your friend in daffin', and tine him in earnest.
Affront him not in jest, lest you lose him in earnest.
A fidging mare should be wed girded.
"A thief does not always steal, but always be on your guard against him."-- Russian.
A findsilly bairn gars his faither be hang'd.
A fisherman's walk--twa steps and overboard.
A fool and his money are sune parted.
A fool at forty will ne'er be wise.
A fool is happier thinking weel o' himself, than a wise man is o' others thinking weel o' him.
A fool may earn money, but it taks a wise man to keep it.
A fool may gie a wise man a counsel.
A fool may speer mair questions than a wise man can answer.
A fool's bolt is sune shot.
A fool winna gie his toy for the Tower o' London.
A foul hand maks a clean hearthstane.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
A friend to a' is a friend to nane.
"Everybody's friend is nobody's friend."-- Spanish.
A friend's dinner's sune dished.
That is, a true friend is easily served, and will not readily take offence.
A friend's ne'er ken't till he's needed.
Aft counting keeps friends lang thegither.
"Short accounts make long friends."-- English.
After a storm comes a calm.
After cheese, naething.
After clouds comes fair weather.
After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.
After joy comes annoy.

After Lammas, corn ripens by day and night.
After that comes a cow to be shod.
After words come weird: fair fa' them that ca' me "Madam."
After libel comes proof: let those who speak ill of me look to themselves.
After you is gude manners.
"Spoken when our betters offer to serve us first"-- Kelly.
Aft ettle, whiles hit.
Often try, occasionally succeed.
Aft times the cautioner pays the debt
A fu' cup is ill to carry.
A fu' heart is aye kind.
A fu' heart never lee'd.
Intimating that the truth generally comes out under the impulse of the feelings.
A fu' man and a hungry horse aye mak haste hame.
A fu' man's a true man.
A man under the influence of drink, if he speak at all, usually speaks truth.
A fu' purse maks a haverin merchant.
A man with a full purse engaged in commercial transactions is apt to "haver," or gossip freely.
A fu' purse never lacks friends.
A fu' wame maks a straught back.
A full stomach makes a man walk erectly.
A gentle horse should be sindle spurr'd.
A gi'en game was ne'er won.
A voluntary concession may be no tribute to the skill of the opponent
A gi'en horse shouldna be looked i' the mouth.
A gi'en piece is soon eaten.
A gowk at Yule'll no be bright at Beltane.
He that is a fool at Christmas will not be wise in May.
A great rooser was ne'er a gude rider.
A great boaster is rarely a great performer.
A greedy e'e ne'er got a fu' wame.
A greedy e'e ne'er got a gude pennyworth.
This and the preceding proverb signify that a covetous or greedy man is never satisfied.
A green wound is half hale.
A groat is ill saved that shames its master.
A grunting horse and a graneing wife seldom fail their master.
People that are constantly in the habit of complaining how ill they are, generally contrive to live as long as their neighbours.
A gude beginning maks a gude ending.
A gude calf is better than a calf o' a gude kind.
The one is good already, while it is possible that the other may turn out bad.
A gude cause maks a strong arm.
A gude conscience is the best divinity.
A gude day's darg may be done wi' a dirty spade.
A gude dog ne'er barkit about a bane.
A gude face needs nae band, and an ill ane deserves nane.
A gude fellow is a costly name.
A gude fellow ne'er tint but at an ill fellow's hand.
A gude goose may hae an ill gaiflin.
A gude green turf is a gude gudemother.
A mother-in-law is best in the churchyard.
A gude grieve is better than an ill worker.
A gude ingle maks a roomy fireside.
A gude lawyer may be an ill neighbour.
A gude man maks a gude wife.
A gude name is sooner tint than won.
"Good repute is like the cypress; once cut, it never puts forth leaf again."-- Italian.
A gude paymaster ne'er wants hands to work.
A gude steel is worth a penny.
A gude tale's no the waur o' being twice tauld.
A gude tongue's a gude safeguard.

A gude wife and health is a man's best wealth.
A gude word is as easy said as an ill ane.
A gude year winna mak him, nor an ill year mar him.
"A beggar will ne'er be a bankrupt."-- English.
A guilty conscience self accuses.
A hadden tongue maks a slabbered mou'.
A hairy man's a geary man, but a hairy wife's a witch.
A half burn'd peat is easily kindled.
A hanfu' o' trade is worth a gowpen o' gold.
Literally, the knowledge of a trade is worth a handful of gold.
A hantle cry Murder! and are aye upmost.
Many that are least hurt cry loudest.
A hasty man is never lusty.
A hasty man never wanted wae.
A hearty hand to gie a hungry meltith.
A hen that lays thereout should hae a white nest-egg.
Some attractions should be provided at home for those who are not naturally attached to it.
A' his buz shakes nae barley.
All his talking does no good, or, vice versa, all his stormy temper does no harm.
A hook is weel tint to catch a salmon.
"Throw sprats to catch whales."-- Spanish.
A horse broken and a wife to break, is a horse made and a wife to make.
A horse hired never tired.
A horse wi' four feet may snapper.
Snapper, to stumble. Even the best of men may err.
A house built and a garden to grow never brought what they cost.
A house fu' o' folk, and a pouch wi' three fardens i' the corner o't, dinna sort weel thegither.
Poverty and a desire to keep up appearances do not "sort weel."
A house in a hastrie is downright wastrie.
A house wi' a reek and a wife wi' a reard will mak a man rin to the door.
"Smoke, a dripping roof, and a scolding wife, are enough to drive a man out of his life."-- Spanish.
A hungry louse bites sair.
"Spoken when the needy are importunate in their cravings, or exacting."-- Kelly.
A hungry man has aye a lazy cook.
A hungry man's an angry man.
A hungry man smells meat far.
A hungry stomach is aye craving.
A hungry wame has nae lugs.
A hungry man is deaf to reason.
A' I got frae him I could put in my e'e, and see nane the waur for't.
A satirical way of expressing that some service has been allowed to go unrewarded.

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