Dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

Yiddish Sayings, Proverbs, Phrases,
Aphorisms, Curses, and Insults

A bad peace is better than a good war.

A shlekhter sholem iz beser vi a guter krig.

A dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. penny always turns up.

A falsheh matba’ieh farliert men nit.

A bad person is capable of doing anything bad (lit., what’s in the cards).

Vos in der kort.

A blow is forgotten; a spoken word lingers on.

A klap fargait, a vort bashtait.

A blow will heal but words you feel.

A patsh farheylt zikh, a vort gedenkt zikh.

A boil is fine as long as it’s under someone else’s arm.

A geshvir iz a guteh zach bei yenem untern orem.

A broken spirit is hard to heal.

A tserissen gemit dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

shver tsum hailen.

A buzzing in one’s (mind) head.

Zhu met (mir) in kop.

A child’s tears reach the heavens.

A kind’s treren reissen himlen.

A child’s wisdom is also wisdom.

A kindersher saichel iz oichet a saichel.

A cramp in his body / in his stomach / in his guts / in his bowels / in his finger.

A kramp im in layb / in boyakh / in di kishkes / in di gederem / in dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


A crowd of people, and not one real person among them.

A groyse oylem, un nito eyn mentsch.

A curse is not a telegram: it doesn’t arrive as quickly.

A kloleh iz nit kain telegrameh; zi kumt nit on azoi gich.

A curse on my enemies.

A klog tsu meineh sonim.

A curse on you!

A brokh tsu dir!

A cutie-pie showing off her (new) dress.

A maidel mit a klaidel.

A dog is sometimes more faithful than a child.

A hunt iz a mol getrei’er fun a kind.

A dog without teeth also attacks a bone.

A hunt on tsain varft zikh oich oif a bain.

A dog without teeth is just not a dog.

A hunt on tsain iz ois hunt.

A fault-finder complains even that the bride is too beautiful.

A khasuren di kalleh is tsu shayn.

A fitting expression makes a good impression.

A guter oysdruk makht a gutn ayndruk.

A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in a year.

A nar ken fregen mer frages in a sho vi a kluger ken entferen in a yor.

A fool doesn’t age and cold water doesn’t spoil.

A nar vert nit elter un kalteh vasser vert nit kalyeh.

A fool falls on his back and bruises his nose.

A shlamazel falt oifen ruken un tseklapt zikh dem noz.

A fool gives and the clever one takes.

A nar git un a kluger nemt.

A fool goes to the baths and forgets to wash his face.

A nar gait in bod arein un fargest zikh dos ponim optsuvashen.

A fool grows without rain.

A nar vakhst on regn.

A fool remains a fool.

A nar bleibt a nar.

A foolish rich man is still a lord.

A nogid a nar iz oich a har.

A frequent guest becomes a burden.

An ofter gast falt tsu last.

A friend is not someone who wipes your tears; he’s someone who doesn’t make you dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

A khave iz nit dafke der vos visht dir op di trern nor der vos brengt dikh bekhlal nit tsi trern.

A friend remains a friend up to his pocket.

A freint bleibt a freint biz di kesheneh.

A friend you get for nothing; an enemy has to be bought.

A freint bekamt men umzist; a soineh muz men zikh koifen.

A gentle word can even break a bone.

A veikher vort brekht a bein.

A golden key opens all doors.

A goldener shlisl efent ale tirn.

A good daughter makes a good daughter-in-law.

A guteh tochter iz a guteh dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

good friend is often better than a brother.

A guter freint iz oft besser fun a bruder.

A good Jew doesn’t need a letter of recommendation; for a bad one, it would do no good.

A guter yid darf nit kain briv, a shlechten yidden helft nit kain briv.

A good livelihood is a cure for all ills.

Parnosseh iz a refueh tsu alleh krenk.

A great doctor is accompanied by a great angel.

Mit a groissen roifeh gait a groisser malech.

A guest is like rain: when he lingers on, he becomes a nuisance.

A gast iz vi regen az er doi’ert tsu lang, vert er a last.

A guilty man is always self-conscious.

Oifen goniff brent dos hittel.

A half-fool is a very wise man.

A halber nar iz a gantser khokhem.

A half truth is a whole lie.

A halber emes iz a gantser ligen.

A happy mommy and daddy, and an easy upbringing.

A freylekhe tate-mame, un a gringe hodevaniye.

A heavy heart talks a lot.

A shver harts redt a sach.

A heavy purse makes a light-hearted spirit.

A shverer beitel macht a leicht gemit.

A hint hits harder than the truth.

Der remez shlogt shtarker vi der emess.

A homely girl hates the mirror.

A meiseh moyd hot faynt dem shpigl.

A human being learns to speak early and to keep silent late.

Der mentsh lernt fri redn un shpet shvaygn.

A hundred houses shall he have, in every house a hundred rooms and in every room twenty beds, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

and a delirious fever should drive him from bed to bed.

Hundert hayzer zol er hobn, in yeder hoyz a hundert tsimern, in yeder tsimer tsvonsik betn un kadukhes dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

zol im varfn fin eyn bet in der tsveyter.

A kind word is better than charity.

A guter vort iz karanter vi a nedoveh.

A lazy person has dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. do a task twice.

A foiler tut in tsveyen.

A leopard cannot change his spots (lit., a wolf loses his hair but not his nature).

A volf farlirt zayne hor, ober nit zayn natur.

A liar must have a good memory.

A ligner darf hoben a guten zechron.

A liar never believes anyone else.

A ligner glaibt kainmol nit.

A liar tells his story so often that he gets to believe it himself.

A ligner hert zikh zeineh ligen azoi lang ein biz er glaibt zikh alain.

A lie you must not tell; the truth you don’t have to tell.

A ligen tor men nit zogen; dem emess iz men nit m’chuyev zogen.

A little bit of luck is better than a ton of gold.

A shtikel mazel iz vert merer vi a ton gold.

A little charm and you are not ordinary.

A bisseleh chain iz shoin dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


A lock is good only for an honest man.

A shloss iz gut nor far dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. orentlechen mentshen.

A lot of words, a lot of foolishness—the less you talk, the healthier.

Marbe dvorim, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. shtus—vos vintsiker m’ret, gezinter iz.

“A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end”—and in the meantime it is good to drink vodka.

“Odem yesode meofe vesofe leofe,” beyno—lveyno iz gut a trink bronfn.

A man is not to be pitied; pitiable is one who is not a man.

Oif a mentshen iz nit kain rachmones; a rachmones iz dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

nit a mentshen.

A man should stay alive if only out of curiosity.

A mentsh zol leben shoin nor fun neigerikeit vegen.

A meowing cat can’t catch mice.

A kats vos m’yavket ken kain meiz nit chapen.

A mirror can be the biggest deceiver.

A shpigel ken oich zein der grester farfirer.

A mountain cannot be moved with a splinter.

Me ken dem barg mit a shpendel nit avektrogen.

A new broom sweeps clean.

A nei’er bezim kert gut.

A penny at hand is worth a dollar at a distance.

A noventer groshen iz besser vi a veiter kerbel.

A person is recognized by his speech.

A mentshn derkent men in zayn redn.

A piece of meat with two eyes (insult).

A shtik fleish mit tsvei oygn.

A pig remains a pig.

A chazer bleibt a chazer.

A plague on you!

(lit., cholera on you)

A khaleryeh (chaleyre) ahf dir!

A pony-tailed cutie-pie.

A maidel mit a vayndel.

A poor man is like a torn sack.

An oreman iz vi a lecherdiker zak.

A proverb tells the truth.

A shprikhvort, iz a vorvort.

A quiet fool is half a sage.

A shveigendiker nar iz a halber khokhem.

A rich miser and a fat goat are of no use until they are dead!

Fyn a kargn gvir in fet bok genist men ersht nukhn toyt!

A righteous man who knows he is righteous is not righteous.

A tsadik vos vais az er iz a tsadik iz kain tsadik nit.

A shame and a disgrace.

A shandeh un a charpeh.

A sick man you ask; a well man you give.

A kranken dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. a gezunten gitman.

A single log doesn’t warm the fireplace.

Ain sheitel holts macht nit varem dem oiven.

A slap heals but a harsh word is remembered.

A patsh farhailt zikh un a vort gedenkt zikh.

A sleepless night is the worst punishment.

A nacht on shlof iz di gresteh shtrof.

A story without a moral is like a meal without a sweet dish.

A mayse on a moshl iz vi a moltsayt on a tsimes.

A strange fool is laughable, but your own fool is shameful.

A fremder nar iz a gelekhter, an eygener a shande.

A superfluous word has no place.

An iberik vort hot nit kain ort.

A thief with connections is not self-conscious.

Oifen goniff in a tsilinder brent nit dos hittel.

A trade makes you a king but robs you of leisure.

A melocheh iz a melucheh, ober men hot nit kain minut menucheh.

A trick is clever only once.

Ain mol iz geven a chochmeh.

A wicked tongue is worse than an evil hand.

A baizeh tsung iz erger fun a shlechter hant.

A wise man conceals his intelligence; the fool displays his foolishness.

Der kluger bahalt dem saichel; der nar veist zein narishkeit.

A wise man hears one word and understands two.

A kluger farshtait fun ain vort tsvai.

A wise man knows what he says; a fool says what he knows.

A kluger vaist vos er zogt; a nar zogt vos er vaist.

A word helps a good person; but even a stick can’t help the bad.

A guten helft a vort; a shlechten helft afileh kain shteken oich nit.

A word is like an arrow—both are in a hurry to strike.

A vort iz azoi vi a feil—baideh hobn groisseh eil.

A word less, as long as it’s the truth.

Vainiker a vort, abi dem emess.

A young child should be named after him.

A kleyn kind zol nokh im heysn.

A young tree bends; an old tree breaks.

A yung baimeleh baigt zikh; an alter brecht zikh.

After a good cry, your heart is lighter.

Az me vaint rich ois, vert gringer afn harts.

After death one dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


Nochen toit vert men choshev.

After the wedding it’s too late to have regrets.

Noch di chupeh iz shpet di charoteh.

Ah, I’m getting dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. (lit., oh my, I’m not getting good).

Oi, mi nisht gut gevorn.

Aimless wandering (lit., he wanders around like a fart in a pickle-barrel).

Er drayt sich arum vie a dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

in roosl.

All brides are beautiful; all the dead are pious.

Alleh kalles zeinen shain; alleh maissim zeinen frum.

All fight for a piece of bread.

Es shlogen zikh aleh far di shtikeleh challeh.

All his teeth should fall out except one to make him suffer.

Ale tseyn zoln bay im aroysfaln, not eyner zol im blaybn oyf tsonveytung.

All in one (person) is to be found in no one.

Alles in einem is nisht do bei keine.

All of life is a struggle.

Dos gantseh leben iz a milchomeh.

All or nothing.

Oder gor oder gornit.

All problems I have in my heart, should go to his head.

Ale tsores vos ikh hob oyf mayn hartsn, zoln oysgeyn tsu zayn kop.

All spruced up (lit., like Chavele on her way to her divorce).

Vie Chavele tsu der geht.

All that glitters is not gold.

Nit als vos glanst iz gold.

All the world is on the tip of the tongue.

Di gantse velt shteyt oyf der shpits dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

animal has a long tongue, yet dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. can’t recite a blessing.

A behaimeh hot a langen tsung un ken kain brocheh nit zogen.

An embittered heart talks a lot.

A bitter dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. redt a sach.

An empty barrel reverberates loudly.

A pusten fas hilcht hecher.

An example is no proof.

A moshel iz nit kain rai’eh.

An imaginary illness is worse than a real one.

An einredenish iz erger vi a krenk.

An ounce of luck is worth more than a pound of gold.

Besser a loit mazel aider a funt gold.

An unlucky person is a dead person.

A mentsh on glik is a toyter mentsh.

Anger is like a thorn in the heart.

Der tsoren iz in hartsen a doren.

Animals have long tongues but can’t speak; men have short tongues and shouldn’t speak.

A behaimeh hot a langen tsung un ken nisht reden; der mentsh hot a kurtseh un tor nisht reden.

Another man’s disease is not hard to endure.

A makeh in yenems orem iz nit shver dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. trogen.

Another man’s tidbit smells sweet.

A fremdeh bissen shmekt zis.

Another’s cloak does not keep you warm.

A fremdeh pelz varemt nit.

Anything in excess is unhealthy.

Tsu gut iz umgezunt.

(Oh,) Are you ever a clever child!

(or, nice work!)

(Oy,) A gezunt dir in kepele!

Are you starting up again?

Du fangst shoyn on?

As long as one limb stirs, one does not think of the grave.

Kolzman es rirt zikh an aiver, klert men nit fun kaiver.

As long as you understand your foolishness, you are smart.

Vibald du farshtaist dein narishkeit, bistu a kluger.

As many years as he’s walked on his feet, let him walk on his hands, and for the rest of the time he should crawl along on his ass.

Vifil yor er iz gegangn oyf di fis zol er geyn af di hent un dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

iberike zol er zikh sharn oyf di hintn.

As one is at seven, so is he at seventy.

Vi ainer iz tsu ziben, azoi iz er tsu zibetsik.

As pretty as the moon.

Shein vi der lavone.

As the wallet grows, so do the needs.

Ven es vakst der teister, vaksen di baderftikaiten.

As the years go by, the teeth and the memory grow weaker.

Mit di yoren verren shvacher di tsain un der zikoren.

As you make your bed, so will you sleep in it.

Vi me bet zikh ois, azoi darf men shlofen.

Ask advice from everyone, but act with your own mind.

Barat zikh mit vemen du vilst; un tu miten aigenem saichel.

At a distance you fool others, close at hand just yourself.

Fun vaytn nart men laytn, fun neont zikh aleyn.

At night all cows are black.

Bei nacht zeinen alleh ki shvarts.

At other people’s parties one eats heartily.

Oif yenems simchah hot men a guten appetit.

At the baths all are equal.

In bod zeinen alleh gleich.

Bad fortune follows the poor man.

Noch dem oreman shlept dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

der shlimazel.

Bad fortune, where goest thou? To the poor man!

Shlimazel, vohin gaist du? Tsum oreman!

Bad temper and anger shorten the years.

Der ka’as un der tsoren farkirtsen di yoren.

Be careful, you got burned once already!

(said to a divorcé who’s contemplating remarrying)

Hit zikh, du host zikh shoyn eyn mol opgebrit!

Be sure to stay healthy—you can kill yourself later.

Abi gezunt—dos leben ken men zikh alain nemen.

Beautiful as the seven worlds.

Shein vi di zibben velten.

Beautiful is not what is beautiful, but what one likes.

Nit dos iz sheyn, vos iz sheyn, nor dos, vos es gefelt.

Before you utter a word you are the master; afterwards you’re a fool.

Aider me zogt arois s’vort, iz men a har; dernoch iz men a nar.

Being single has its advantages.

(lit., alone, one’s soul is pure.)

Aleyn iz di neshome reyn.

Being without money is always a mistake.

On mo’es iz tomid a to’es.

Better a blow from a wise man than a kiss from a fool.

Besser fun a gratsh a patsh aider fun a nar a kush.

Better a complete fool than half wise.

Besser a gantser nar aider a halber khokhem.

Better a crooked foot than a crooked mind.

Besser a krummer fus aider a krumer kop.

Better a good enemy than a bad friend.

Besser a guter soineh aider a shlekhter freint.

Better a Jew without a beard than a beard without a Jew.

Besser a yid mitun a bord, vi a bord mitun a yid.

Better a pain in your heart than shame before men.

Besser a vaitik in harts aider a charpeh in ponem.

Better a rich tenant than a poor landlord.

Besser a reicher shochen aider an oremer balabos.

Better an egg today dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

an ox tomorrow.

Besser heint an ai aider morgen an ox.

Better barley soup at home than a roast at someone else’s home.

Besser bay zikh krupnik, eyder bay yenem gebrotns.

Better caution at first than tears afterwards.

Besser frier bevorent aider shpeter bevaint.

Better good and a little rather than bad and a lot of it.

Besser gut un a bissel aider shlechts un a fuleh shissel.

Better not to live than to become dependent on children

Besser oyf der velt nit tsu lebn, eyder onkumen tsu kinder.

Better old wine than old strength.

Besser alter vein aider alter koiches.

Better one cow in the stable than ten in the field.

Besser ain ku in shtal aider tsen in feld.

Better one friend with a dish of food than a hundred with a sigh.

Besser ain freint mit gekechts aider hundert mit a krechts.

Better pour out your troubles to a stone, but don’t carry them within yourself.

Tsum shtain zol men klogen nor nit bei zikh zol men trogen.

Better that my enemy should see good in me than I should see evil in him.

Besser der soineh zol bei mir guts zen aider ich bei im shlechts.

Better the best of the worst than the worst of the best.

Besser dos besteh fun dem ergsten aider dos ergsteh fun dem besten.

Better to be a wise person in Hell than a fool in paradise.

Besser mit a klugn in gehenem eyder mit a nar in ganeydn.

Better to break off an engagement than a marriage.

Besser di tenoim tsereissen aider di ketubeh.

Better to die upright than to live on your knees.

Besser tsu shtarben shtai’endik aider tsu leben oif di kni.

Better to do nothing than to make something dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


Besser gornisht tsu machen aider tsu machen gornisht.

Better to have an ugly patch than a beautiful hole.

Besser a miesseh lateh aider a shaineh loch.

Better to hear curses than to be pitied.

Besser herren kloles aider herren nebech.

Better to lose with a wise man than to win with a fool.

Besser mit a klugn tsu farlirn, eyder mit a nar tsu gevinen.

Better to pray for yourself than to curse another.

Besser zikh tsu vintshen aider yenem tsu shelten.

Beware of your friends, not your enemies.

Hiten zol men zikh far di freind, nit dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

di feint.

Big deal! dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. (lit., a piece of luck happened to you).

A glick hot dich getrofen.

Black sorrow is all that his mother should see of him.

Finstere leyd zol nor di mama oyf im zen.

Blood doesn’t dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

into water.

Fun blut vert kain vasser nisht.

Blood is thicker than water.

Blut iz dicker fun vasser.

Boring, long-winded and annoying conversation; talking your ear off (lit., banging on the teapot).

Hoken a chainik (tchinik)

Borrow causes sorrow.

Borgen macht zorgen.

Borrowed brains have no value.

Geborgter saichel toig nit.

Break your own head!

(lit., bang your head on the wall).

Shlog zikh kop in vant.

Charity is also a habit.

Oif tsedokeh iz oich do chazokeh.

Charm is better than beauty.

Khein geit iber shein.

Cheapest is dearest.

Vos iz billik iz teier.

Children and money make a nice world.

Kinder un gelt iz a shaineh velt.

Children bring good fortune, children bring misfortune.

Kinder brengen glik, kinder brengen umglik.

Chopped liver is better than miserable troubles.

Gehakteh leber iz besser vi gehakteh tsores.

Clothes conceal the blemish.

Klaider bahalten dem mum.

Clothes make the man.

Klaider machen dem mentshen.

Conceit and an empty purse are no companions.

Ga’aveh un a laidiker teister zeinen nit kain por.

Couldn’t care less about it (lit., have him in the dirt).

Khob im in drerd.

Couldn’t care less about it (lit., have him in the bath).

Khob im in bod.

Crabgrass grows overnight.

Vildeh grozen vaksen iber nacht.

Cut it short (lit., without long introductions).

On langeh hakdomes.

Damn it!

A klog af defruf, halevay!

Damn you!

A klog af dayn kop, halevay!

Death doesn’t knock on the door (i.e., doesn’t warn of its impending arrival)

Der toyt (teyt) klapt nit in (der) tir.

Dignified silence is better than dignified speech.

Shaineh shveigen iz shener vi shain dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. me a favor.

Tu mir a toiveh.

Doctors and grave-diggers are partners.

A dokter un a kvores-man zeinen shutfim.

Dogs fight over a bone and mourners over an inheritance.

Hint beissen zikh iber a bain dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

availim iber a yerusheh.

Don’t ask for credit! Pay in cash in advance! Cash on the barrelhead!

Ribi-fish, gelt oyfen tish!

Don’t ask questions about fairy tales.

Oif a meisseh fregt men kain kasheh nit.

Don’t be an idiot!

Don’t be a damn fool!

Zei nit kain vyzoso.

Don’t be scared when you have no other choice.

Hob nit kain moirch ven du host nit kain ander braireh.

Don’t boast of your money because you can easily lose it.

Mit gelt tor men nit stolzieren, veil me ken es gleich farlieren.

Don’t bother me!

(lit., don’t twist my head)

Drai mir nit kain kop!

Don’t butt in (lit., don’t mix yourself into that).

Mish zikh nisht (nit) arayn.

Don’t climb too high and you won’t have to fall.

Krich nit tsu hoich, vestu nit darfen falen.

Don’t depend on miracles.

Oif nisim tor men zikh nit farlozen.

Don’t depend upon others—do it yourself.

Alain iz di neshomeh rain.

Don’t do business with a fool.

Mit a nar tor men nit handlen.

Don’t do me any favors (sarcastic).

Tu mir nit kayn toives.

Don’t eat the challah before you’ve made the blessing.

Es nisht di khale far a moitse.

Don’t get excited!

(lit., it’s not burning!)

Se brent nit!

Don’t get on my dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. stop nagging me (lit., don’t bang my teapot).

Hok mir nit kayn chainik (arain).

Don’t give me a canary (lit., don’t give me an evil eye).

Gib mir nit kain aynhorah.

Don’t hit me and don’t lick me

Shlog mikh nit, un lek mikh nit.

Don’t lie down with a healthy head in a sick bed.

Laig zikh nit mit a gezunter kop in a kranken bet.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

A geshenktn ferd kukt men nit in/af di tseyn.

Don’t mix business with pleasure.

Handelshaft iz kain brudershaft.

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Laig nit op oif morgen vos du kenst heint bazorgen.

Don’t rub your belly when the little fish is still in the pond.

Patsh zikh nit in beicheleh, ven fisheleh iz dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

in teicheleh.

Don’t sell the skin off the bear that’s still in the forest.

Fun dem ber in vald zol men dos fel nit farkoifen.

Don’t throw away the soiled until you have the clean.

Varf nit arois di shmutsikeh aider du host di raineh.

Don’t trust a relative in business.

In handlshaft iz nito ken bridershaft.

Don’t worry about it (lit., do not say woe).

Zok nit kin vey.

Don’t worry; doesn’t worry.

Nisht gedeiget.

Drop dead (lit., I have you) (Americanism).

Ich hob dir.

Drop dead!

Ver derharget!

Drop dead!

Ver geharget!

Drop dead! (lit., you should get killed).

Geharget zolstu veren.

Drop dead! (lit., you should lie in the earth!).

Zolst ligen in drerd.

Easy to promise, hard to fulfill.

Gring tsu zogen, shver tsu trogen.

Eat like a bird, excrete like a horse! (vulgar)

Ess vie ein foygl sheise vie ein ferd!

Eat, pray, don’t act like a jerk!

Ess, bench, sei a mensch!

Either all or nothing.

Oder gor oder gornisht.

Either it doesn’t help or it isn’t needed.

Oder es helft nit oder men darf es nit.

Either too much or not enough (vulgar) (lit., either a wallop or a fart)

Oder a klop, oder a forts.

Enjoy it!

(sarcastic) (lit., it [the food] should not “agree”)

Zol es dir farshatn!

Envy breeds hate.

Fun kinah vert sinah.

Even a poor man wants to live.

An oreman vil oich leben.

Even for bad luck one needs luck.

Tsum shlimazel muz men oich mazel hoben.

Even the best swimmer can drown.

Der grester shvimmer kon zikh trenken,

Even though a cow has a long tongue, it can’t recite a blessing.

A beheyme hot a lange tsung un ken keyn brokhe nit zogn.

Every day brings forth its own sorrows.

Yeder morgen dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

zikh zorgen.

Every heart has secrets.

Yedeh harts hot soides.

Every limb wants to speak but the tongue alone does the talking.

Ale glider viln redn un di tsung aleyn shtelt men aroys.

Every man has a madness of his own.

Itlecher mentsh hot zikh zein shigoyen.

Every man has his burden.

Yeder mentsh hot zein peckel.

Every man has his own idiosyncrasies.

Yeder mentsh hot zein aigeneh meshugass.

Every man is blind dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

his own faults.

Yeder mentsh iz oif zikh alain blind.

Every man knows he will die but dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. one wants to believe it.

Yeder mentsh vaist az er vet shtarben, ober kainer vil es nisht gloiben.

Every mother thinks her child is beautiful.

Yedeh mutter denkt ir kind iz shain.

Every one fears a goat from in front, a horse from the rear and a fool on every side.

Far a tsap hot men moireh fun forent, far a ferd fun hinten, far a nar fun alleh zeiten.

Every only daughter has her charms.

Itlecheh bas-yechideh hot zikh ir chaindel.

Every town has its fool.

Itlecheh shtot hot ir meshugenem.

Every way up has dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

way down.

Yeder barg-aroif hot zein barg-arop.

Every word in its place.

Yedes vort oyf zayn ort.

Everyone else has committed a crime (lit., a thief’s hat burns).

Afn gonif brennt das hittel.

Everyone knows where his shoe pinches.

Yeder vaist vu se drikt im der shuch.

Everything ends in weeping.

Altsding lozt zikh ois mit a gevain.

Everything is good but only in its time.

Alts iz gut nor in der tseit.

Everything revolves around bread and death.

Alts drait zikh arum broit un toit.

Evil tongues are silenced by the tinkle of coins in your pocket.

Es shtumeh di tsinger ven du host in kesheneh klinger.

Excess is unhealthy.

Vos tsu iz umgezunt

Fear God, but be wary of men.

Far Got hot dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

moireh; far mentshen muz men zikh hiten.

Fools and weeds grow without rain.

Naronim on kropeveh vaksen on regen.

Fools don’t have to be sown; they grow up by themselves.

Kain naronim badarf men nisht tsu zaien; zai vaksen alain.

For a little love, you pay all your life.

Far a bisel libe batsolt men miten gantsen dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

better, for worse.

Tsum glik, tsum shlimazel.

For compassion and for cowardice there dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. no remedy.

Fun rachmones un fun pachdones ken men zikh nit oishailen.

For the disease of stubbornness there is no cure.

Far an akshen iz kain refueh nito.

For the smallest favor you become a debtor.

Far der klenster toiveh vert men a ba’al-choiv.

For dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

I went to college? (Usually said when describing a menial task.)

Darf min gehn in kolledj?

For your children’s sake you would tear the world apart.

Far kinder tsereist men a velt.

Fortunate is the man who has a happy old age.

Voil tsu dem mentshen vos baglikt oif der elter.

Fortune makes you smart, because fortune makes you rich.

Der mazel macht klug, veil der mazel macht reich.

Fortune provides shelter.

Dos mazel hot hazel.

Friends are better at a distance.

Guteh freint fun veiten.

Friendship is stronger than kinship.

Khavershaft iz shtarker vi brudershaft.

From a doctor and from a bathhouse attendant.

there are no secrets.

Faren doktor un faren beder zeinen nito kain soides.

From a fool dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. has grief.

Fun a nar hot men tsar.

From afar you fool others; nearby, only yourself.

Fun veiten nart men leiten; fun der noent, zikh alain.

From an old maid you get a faithful wife.

Fun an alte moid vert a getraye vayb.

From bad matches also come good children.

Fun krume shidukhim kumen arois glaikheh kinder.

From envy grows hate.

Fun kine vert sine.

From fortune to misfortune is a short step; from misfortune to fortune is a long way.

Fun glik tsum umglik iz a shpan; fun umglik tsum glik iz a shtik veg.

From one deep ditch comes dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

water than from ten shallow ones.

Fun ain tifeh grub hot men mer vasser vi fun tsen flacheh.

From one ox you can’t skin two hides.

Fun ain oks tsit men kain tsvai fellen nit arop.

From overeating one suffers more than from not eating enough.

Fun iberessen cholyet men mer vi fun nit deressen.

From tale-bearing and secrets run as from ghosts.

Fun rechiles un soides antloif vi fun shaidim.

From your mouth to God’s ears.

Fun dayn moyl in gots oyern.

Get a move on.

Gib zikh a traisel.

Get lost, hit the road; beat it!

(lit., go defecate in the ocean!)

Geh kaken oifen yam!

Give a pig a chair, he’ll want to get on the table.

Az me lozt a chazzer aruf afn bank, vil er afn tish.

Go bang your head against the wall.

Geh shlog dein kup en vant.

Go fight city hall! (lit., go fight with God).

Shlog zikh mit Got arum!

Go look for someone who cares.

Lech hapess me yenanea otcha.

Go screw yourself (vulgar).

Geh tren zikh.

Go split your guts (lit., go drop).

Geh plats.

Go talk to the wall.

Geh red tsu der vant.

Go to hell (lit., I have you in the ground).

Ich hob dir in drerd.

Go to hell!

Geh in drerd arein!

Go to the devil!

(lit., a devil should enter your father’s father!).

Ruach in dein taten’s taten arein!

Go to the toilet.

Geh in der klozet.

Go understand a girl: she looks forward to her wedding and weeps as she walks to the marriage ceremony.

Gai farshtai a maidel: zi vart oif di chasseneh un vaint tsu di chupeh.

God created a dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

full of many little worlds.

Got hot zikh bashafen a velt mit klaineh veltelech.

God gave the fool hands and feet and let him run.

Got hot gegeben dem nar hent un fis un hot im gelozt loifen.

God helps the poor man: He protects him from expensive sins.

Got helft dem oreman: er farhit im fun tei’ereh avaires.

God is a father; luck is a stepfather.

Got iz a foter; dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

mazel iz a shtif-foter.

God is not rich; all He does is take from one and give to the other.

Got alain iz nit reich—er nemt nor bei ainem un git dem anderen.

God loves the poor and helps the rich.

Got hot lib dem oreman un helft dem nogid.

God punishes but man takes revenge.

Got shtroft, der mentsh iz zikh noikem.

God punishes with one hand and blesses with the other.

Got shtroft mit ain hant, un bentsht mit der anderen.

God save us from having one shirt, one eye, and one child.

Got zol hiten fun ain hemd, ain oig un ain kind.

God send the weather according to your needs.

Got shikt di kelt noch di klaider.

God sends the remedy for the disease.

Got shikt di refueh far der makeh.

God should bestow him with everything his heart desires, but he should be a quadriplegic and not be able to use his tongue.

Got zol gebn, er zol hobn altsding vos zayn harts glist, nor er zol zayn geleymt oyf ale ayvers un nit kenen rirn mit der tsung.

God should bless dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

with three people: one should grab him, the second should dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. him and the third should hide him.

Got zol im bentshn mit dray mentshn: eyner zol im haltn, der tsveyter zol im shpaltn un der driter zol im ba’haltn.

God should bless me so that I don’t need people.

Got zol mich bentshen, ich zol nit broichen mentshen.

God should visit upon him the best of the ten plagues.

Gut zol oyf im onshikn fin di tsen makes di beste.

God sits on high and makes matches below.

Got zitst oiben un poret unter.

God takes with one hand and gives with the other.

Got nemt mit ain hant un git mit der andereh.

God watches over fools.

Got hit op di naronim.

Gold glitters even in the mud.

Gold sheint fun bloteh.

Gold never rusts (lit;, golden dishes will never turn black).

Goldene keylim vern ka mol nit shvarts.

Good for nothing!

It’s worth nothing!

Toig ahf kapores!

Good health to you (lit., good health on your head).

A gezunt ahf dein kop.

Good tidings are heard from far away.

Guteh psures hert men fun der veitens.

Goodness just radiates from her face!

Di gutskayt ligt ir uysgegosn afn punem!

Gossiping is the worst habit and the biggest calumny.

Loshen horeh iz di ergsteh mideh un gresteh tsoreh.

Great wealth will marry off even an old woman.

Es stayet di bobben chasseneh tsu machen.

Had they put your brain inside a bird, it would have started flying backwards!

Im hayu samim et hamo’ach shelcha betoch tsipor, hi hayta matchila la’uf achora!


Half an answer also says something.

A halber entfer zogt oichet epes.

Hang yourself dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. a sugar rope and you’ll have a sweet death.

Heng dikh oyf a tsikershtrikl vestu hobn a zisn toyt.

Happy poverty overcomes everything.

A lustiger dales gait iber alles.

Have facts at one’s fingertips.

Kenen oyf di finger.

Have no end of trouble (lit., to sing and to talk).

Hobn tsu zingen un tsu zogen.

Having an only child is like having one eye.

Ain kind iz azoi vi ain oig.

He dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

believe in God, yet asks His mercy.

Er glaibt nit in Got un bet zein genod.

He dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. as if he just recovered from a sickness.

Er est vi noch a krenk.

He fell for her “hook, line, and sinker”!

Er iz gevorn far ir di kapore!

He is completely crazy!

Er iz meshuge afn gantsn kop!

He is mediocre—not near to a wise man, not far from dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


Er iz a seredniak—nit no’ent tsu a khokhem un nit veil fun a nar.

He is smart whose fortune follows him.

Der iz klug vos zein mazel gait im nokh.

He just can’t stop praising her!

(Can’t praise her enough)

Er ken zikh fun ir nit oploybn!

He may be frum, but he’s still a thief!

Er iz Got’s ganef!

He owes everybody money.

Er iz Got di neshome shuldik.

He owes him the hole in the bagel

Er iz im shuldik di lokh fun beygl.

He pretends he doesn’t know he is doing something wrong, e.g., breaking into a line.

Er macht zack nisht visindicht.

He should be transformed into a chandelier, to hang by day and to burn by night.

Migulgl zol er vern in a henglayhter, by tog zol er hengen, un bay nakht zol er brenen.

He should burn up!

(lit., a fire should meet him)

A feier zol im trefen!

He should crap blood and pus.

Er zol kakn mit blit un mit ayter.

He should drink too much castor oil.

Azoy fil ritzinoyl zol er oystrinkn.

He should drop dead.

Paigeren zol er.

He should get so sick as to cough up his mother’s milk.

Oyskrenkn zol er dus mame’s milakh.

He should get the (insert town name) calamity.

Krugn zol er di ____ brokh.

He should give it all away to doctors.

Oyf doktoyrim zol er dos avekgebn.

He should go nuts and run around (through the streets).

Meshuga zol er vern un arumloyfn (iber di gasn).

He should grow a wooden tongue.

A hiltsener tsung zol er bakumn.

He should grow like an onion with its head in the ground.

Er zol vaksn vi a tsibele mit dem kop in drerd.

He should have a large store, and whatever people ask for he shouldn’t have, and what he does have shouldn’t be requested.

A groys gesheft zol er hobn mit shroyre: vus er hot, zol men bay im nit fregn, un vos men fregt zol er nisht hobn.

He should have Pharaoh’s plagues sprinkled with Job’s scabies.

Er zol hobn paroys makes bashotn mit oybes krets.

He should laugh with lizards.

Lakhn zol er mit yashtherkes.

He should marry the daughter of the Angel of Death.

Khasene hobn zol er mit di malekh hamoves tokhter.

He should see everything, but have no reason (with what) to buy it.

Er zol altsting zen, un nit hobn farvos (mit vos) tsu koyfn.

He who becomes angry dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

no reason becomes friendly again for no reason.

Ver es vert umzist baroiges, vert umzist vider gut.

He who cannot stand the smell of gunpowder should not engage in war.

Ver es kon kain pulver nit shmeken, der zol in der malchumeh nit gaien.

He who has money has the whole world!

Ver es hot gelt hot di gantseh velt!

He who has not tasted the bitter does not understand the sweet.

Der vos hot nit farzucht bittereh, vaist nit voz zies iz.

He who has the ax gives the whacks.

Ver es hot di hak, git dem knak.

He who has the money has the authority.

Ver es hot di matbaieh, der hot di daieh.

He who hesitates is lost.

Vos mer gevart, mer genart.

He who is aware of his folly is wise.

Der vos farshtait zein narishkeit iz a kluger.

He who is destined dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

hang won’t drown.

Ver es darf hengen vert nisht dertrunken.

He who is no good to himself is not good to another.

Ver es toig nit far zikh, toig nit far yenem.

He who is silent means something just the same.

Der vos shveigt maint oich epes.

He who keeps quiet is half a fool; he who talks is a complete fool.

Az me shveigt iz men a halber nar; az me redt iz men a gantser nar.

He who laughs at the poor will become the butt of others’ jokes.

Ver es lacht fun an oreman, der vet veren oif gelechter.

He who lies in the dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

will be eaten by the pigs.

Az me laight zikh in kleien, shlepen di chazzerim.

He who likes his work, to him work comes easy.

Ver es hot lib di melocheh iz im leicht di melocheh.

He who likes to take does not like to give.

Der vos gleicht tsu nemen, gleicht nit tsu geben.

He who looks for light work goes very tired to bed.

Der vos zucht leichteh dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

gait zai’er mid tsu bet.

He who praises himself will be humiliated.

Es libt zikh alain, shemt zikh alain.

He who throws stones on another gets them back on his own bones.

Ver es varft oif yenem shtainer krigt tsurik in di aigeneh bainer.

He’s a low down good-for-nothing.

Er iz a niderrechtiker kerl.

He’s a motor-mouth!

(lit., he talks like fire and like flood)

Er ret far fayer un far vaser!

He’s got nothing to offer!

Er hot nit vos tsu farkoyfn!

He’s no great sage and no small fool.

Nit kain groisser khokhem, nit kain klainer nar.

He’s playing the field (looking for a mate).

Er shteyt in shidukhim.

Health comes before making a livelihood.

Gezunt kumt far parnosseh.

Heaven and earth have sworn that the truth shall be disclosed.

Himmel un erd hoben geshvoren az kain zach zol nit zein farloren.

Heaven and hell can both be had in this world.

Ganaiden un gehenem ken men baideh hoben oif der velt.

Hell is not so bad as the way to it.

Der gehenem iz nit azoi shlecht vi dos kumen tsi im.

His flesh should be eaten by venereal disease.

Fransn zol esn zayn layb.

His luck should be as bright as a new moon.

Zayn mazl zol im layhtn vi di levone in sof khoydesh.

Honey on the tongue, gall in the heart.

Honik oifen tsung, gall oifen lung.

Honor is measured by him who gives it, not by him who receives it.

Der koved iz fun dem vos git im, un nit fun dem vos krigt im.

Honor is much dearer than money.

Ehreh iz fil tei’erer far gelt.

Honors will came to you by themselves if you don’t run after them.

Loif nit noch dem koved, vet er alain tsu dir kumen.

Hope for miracles but don’t rely on one.

Hof oif nissim un farloz zikh nit oif a nes.

Hoping and waiting makes fools out of clever people.

Hofen un haren machen klugeh far naren.

Hurry up!

(lit., give yourself a shake)

Gib zikh a shukl!

I am (not) in a hurry.

Ich eil zikh (nit).

I am disappointed.

Ich bin ahntoisht.

I am fainting.

A response to receiving extremely upsetting information or news (lit., it’s getting dark in my eyes).

Es vert mir finster in di oygn.

I am happy to make your acquaintance.

A fargenign aich tzu kenen.

I can’t dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

you astray.

Ich ken dir nisht farfeeren.

I can’t sing, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. I’m an expert on it.

Zingen ken ich nit, ober a maiven bin ich.

I complain and I keep going.

Me krechts, me geht veyter.

I despise you.

Go to the devil (lit., I whistle on you).

Ich feif oif dir.

I did wrong?

dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

So call me dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. nut!

Ruf mich k’nak-nissel!

I don’t care.

A gesheft hob nicht.

I don’t care. I should worry.

A deigeh hob ich.

I don’t envy you.

Ich bin dich nit mekaneh.

I don’t want to know.

Ich vill nicht vesn.

I hate him.

Ich hob im feint.

I have a heartburn.

Es brent mir ahfen harts.

I have no alternative.

A breyre hob ich.

I have no idea.

Ich hob nicht kain anung.

I have your measure (lit., I have you in my pocket).

Ich hob mir fer pacht.

I haven’t got the faintest idea!

(lit., I should know from trouble as I know about this!)

Zol ich azoy vissen fun tsores!

I keep on dropping things.


Es falt fun di hent.

I love you!

Ich hob dir lieb!

I need it like a hole in the head!

Ich darf es vi a loch in kop!

I should have such good luck.

Az a yor ahf mir.

I should know as little about trouble (as I know about what you are asking me).

Ich zol azoy vissen fun tsores.

I should outlive him long enough to bury him.

Vi tsu derleb ikh im dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

tsu bagrobn.

I sure told him off!

Ikh hob em arayngezogt in tatn’s tatn arayn!

I trust you, but send cash!

Bist a botu’ach, ober shik arein m’zumonim!

I wish that I could dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

the pain instead of you, my child! (said by a loving mother to her suffering child)

Mir zol zayn far dir, mayn dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. wish you to have ten houses, each house with ten rooms, each room with ten beds and you should roll from one bed to the other with cholera!

Zolst hobn tsen haizer, yeder hoiz zol hobn tsen tsimern, in yeder tsimer zoln zain tsen betn un zolst zij kaiklen fun ein bet in der dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

mit cadojes!

I work for nothing! (lit., I work in an empty world)

Ikh arbet af a puster velt!

I’ll give you nothing! (lit., I’ll give you a fever).

Ich vel dir geben kadoches!

I’ll give you such a smack!

Ich vel dir geben a khamalye!

I’m a worn-out old shoe.

Oy, ikh bin an alter shkrab.

I’m about to faint (from sheer exhaustion).

Ich gai chaleshen bald avek.

I’m gonna dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

his wagon! (lit., I’ll make him miserable!) dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. em umgliklekh makhn!

I’m not in a hurry.

Ich yog zikh nit.

I’m nothing more than a piece of a broken old pot.

Ikh bin nisht mer vee a tsebrukhener sharbm.

If a girl has no other virtues, even a freckle can be considered one.

Az es zenen nito keyn andere mayles, iz dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

zumer-shprinkele oykh a mayle.

If all men pulled dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. one direction, the world would topple over.

Ven alleh mentshen zollen tsien oif ain zeit, volt zikh di velt ibergekert.

If dumbness was a drop of water, you would have been an ocean!

Im hatimtoon haya tippa, ata hayita okianoos!

If everybody says so, there’s some truth to it.

Az di velt zogt, zol men gloiben.

If fortune calls, offer him a seat.

Ven dos mazel kumt, shtel im a shtul.

If God lived on earth, all his windows would be broken.

Az Got volt gelebt oif der erd, volt men im alleh fenster oisgeshlogen.

If I don’t come today, I’ll come tomorrow (procrastinator’s motto).

Kum ich nisht heint, kum ich morgen.

If I live, I'll see you Monday, if not, Tuesday.

Oyb ich leb'n, ich oyt zayn ir Montik, oyb nayt, Dinstik.

If I would be like someone else, who will be like me?

Az ich vel zein vi yener, ver vet zein vi ich?

If it doesn’t get better, depend on it, it will get worse.

Az es vert nit besser, vert dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


If it would help to pray to God, then people would be hiring others to dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

for them.

Ven es zol helfen Got betten, volt men shoin tsugedungen mentshen.

If it’s done at the right time, it’s not a sin.

Shpilt tsu di shoh, iz kain zind nito.

If luck plays along, cleverness succeeds.

Az di hatslocheh shpilt, gilt ersht di dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. my grandmother had testicles she would be my grandfather.

Az di bobe dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

gehat beytsim volt zi geven mayn zeyde.

If not for the fear of punishment, it would be dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. to sin.

Ven nit di moireh, volt geven zis di avaireh.

If not for the light, there would be no shadow.

Ven nit di shein, volt kain shoten nit geven.

If one asks, one does not err.

Az me fregt, blonzhet men nisht.

If one could do charity without money and favors without aggravation, the world would be full of saints.

Tsedokeh zol kain gelt nit kosten un gemilas-chassodim zolen kain agmas-nefesh nit farshafen, volten geven di velt fil tsadikim.

If one has nothing to say, it’s best to shut up.

Az men hot nit tsu entfern, muz men farshveign.

If one is fated to drown, he will drown in a spoonful of water.

Az es bashert ainem dertrunken tsu verren, vert er dertronken in a leffel vasser.

If one soldier knew what the other thinks, there would be no war.

Ven ain zelner volt gevust vos der anderer tracht, volt kain krig nisht geven.

If one wants to beat a dog, one finds a stick.

Az mir vill schlugen a hunt, gifintmin a schtecken.

If someone tenders money, take it!

(Take it now, and ask questions later.)

Az me git gelt, nemts!

If stupidity was a tree, you would have been a forest!

Im hatipshut hayta etz, ata hayita chorshat kakal!

If the bride can’t dance, she finds fault with the musicians.

Az di kalleh ken nit tantsen, zogt zi az di klezmorim kennen nit shpilen.

If the cobbler sticks to his last, his pot is full.

Der shuster beim kapul un der top iz ful.

If the eyes wouldn’t see, the hands wouldn’t take.

Di oigen zollen nit zen, volten di hent nit genumen.

If the fool didn’t belong to me, I’d be laughing too.

Ven der nar volt nit geven mein, volt ich oikh gelakht.

If the horse had anything to say, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

would speak up.

Ven dos ferd volt gehat vos tsu zogn volt es geret.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

Oib der shuch past, kenst dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. trogen.

If the student is successful, the teacher gets the praise.

Az der talmid iz a voiler, iz der rebbi oich a voiler.

If the world will ever be redeemed, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

will be dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. through the merit of children.

Oib di velt vet verren oisgelaizt, iz es nor in zechus fun kinder.

If there’s bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won’t make life sweeter.

Az oif dem hartsen iz bitter, helft nit in moil kain tsuker.

If there’s nothing in the pot, there’s nothing on the plate.

Az s’iz nito in top, a nito in teller.

If they had to put your brain in a chicken, it would run straight to the butcher.

Im hayu samim et hamo’ach shelcha b’tarnegol, hu haya ratz yashar l’shochet.


If two people confirm something, it’s true (lit., if two people say you’re drunk, the third one goes to sleep).

Az tsvei zuggen shiker, leigst zikh der driter shloffen.

If we thanked God for the good things, there wouldn’t be time to weep over the bad.

Ven me zol Got danken far guts, volt nit zein kain tseit tsu baklogen zikh oif shlechts.

If you can’t do as you wish, do as you can.

Az me ken nit vi me vil, tut men vi me ken.

If you can’t endure the bad, you’ll not live to witness the good.

Az men ken nit iberharn dos shlechteh, ken men dos guteh nit derleben.

If you can’t go over, go under.

Az me ken nit ariber, gait men arunter.

If you deal with tar, expect your hands to get dirty.

Ver es poret zikh mit staleh, shmirt zikh ein di hent.

If you dig a pit for someone else, you fall in it yourself.

Az me grubt a grub dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

yenem, falt men alain arein.

If you don’t eat garlic, you won’t smell bad.

Az men est nisht kain knobl, shtinkt men nit.

If you don’t save the penny, you’ll not have the dollar.

Az me shport nit dem groshen, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. men nit dem rubel.

If you don’t want to get old, hang yourself when you’re young.

Az me vil nit vern alt, zol men zikh yingerheyt oyfhengern.

If you have bread and butter, you have good luck.

Host broit mit puter, iz der mazel a guter.

If you have, hold on to it; if you know, be silent; if you can, do!

Host du, halt; vaist du, shveig; kenst du, tu!

If you have the money, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

have the voice.

Az men hot di matbai’eh, hot men di dai’eh.

If you have—hold, if you know—keep silent!

Hostu—halt, veystu—shvayg!

If you keep on talking, you will end up saying what you didn’t intend to say.

Az me redt, derredt men zikh.

If you lie down with the dogs, you get up with the fleas.

Az me shloft mit hint shtait men oif mit flai.

If you lie on the ground, you cannot fall.

Az me ligt oif der erd, ken men nit fallen.

If you live long enough, you will live to see everything.

Az men lebt, derlebt men zikh alts.

If you lose your self respect, you also lose the respect of others.

Az men falt bei zikh, falt men oich bei andereh.

If you mix around, you learn quite a bit.

Fun itlechen hoiz trogt men epes arois.

If you put something in, you can take something out.

Az me laigt arein, nemt men arois.

If you repeat often enough that you’re right, you will discover you’re wrong.

Az men chazert tsu fil iber vi gerecht men iz, vert men umgerecht.

If you seek, you will find.

Az me zucht, gefint men.

If you talk a lot, you talk of yourself.

Az me redt a sach, redt men fun zikh.

If you walk straight, you will not stumble.

Az me gait gleich, fait men nit.

If you want something, you have to work for it.

Gebroteneh teibelech flien nit in moil arein.

If you want to avoid old age, hang yourself in youth.

Az me dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

nit alt verren, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. men zikh yungerhait oifhengen.

If you want to please everybody; you’ll die before your time.

Vest vellen zikh oisfeinen far leit, vestu shtarben far der tseit.

If you’re at odds with your rabbi, make peace with your bartender.

Az men krigt zikh miten rov, muz men sholem zein miten shainker.

If you’re going to do something wrong, enjoy it!

Az me est chazzer, zol rinnen fun bord.

If you’re going to eat pork, eat the best kind (lit., if you’re going to eat pork, get it all over your beard).

Ez men est khazer zol rinen ariber der bord.

If you’re going to eat pork, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

it be good and fat.

Az me est chazzer, zol men essen fetten.

If your grandmother had a beard, she’d be your grandfather.

Ven di bobbeh volt gehat a bord, volt zi geven a zaideh.

In a good apple you sometimes find a worm.

In a shainem epel gefint men amol a vorem.

In a lucky time it’s good to talk; in an unlucky time, it’s better to be silent.

In a guter sho tsu reden; in a baizer sho tsu shveigen.

In a quarrel, each side is right.

In toch iz yeder tsad gerecht.

In a quarrel, leave the door open for a reconciliation.

Az da krigst zikh, krig zikh azoi du zolst zikh kennen iberbeten.

In sleep, man doesn’t sin, but his dreams do.

In shlof zindikt nit der mentsh, nor zeineh chaloimes.

In the mirror everybody sees his best friend.

In shpigel zet itlecher zein besten freind.

Ink dries quickly; tears don’t.

Tint trikent shnell ois; treren nisht.

It can’t (wouldn’t) hurt.

Es ken nisht (nit) shatn.

It costs money to sin.

A nevaireh kost oich gelt.

It costs nothing to look.

Onkuken kost kain gelt.

It doesn’t cost anything to promise and to love.

Tsuzogen un lib hoben kost nit kain gelt.

It doesn’t matter to me.

Es macht mir nit oys.

It doesn’t take long to get used to good things.

Tsum guten vert men bald gevoint.

It gives me great pleasure (often said sarcastically).

Es tut mir a groisseh hanoeh.

It helps like blood-cupping helps a dead person.

Zolst helfen vi a toyten bankes.

It is better to live in joy than to die in sorrow.

Es iz besser tsu leben in naches aider tsu shtarben in tsar.

It is conceivable.

It is imaginable.

Es ken gemolt zein.

It is easier to find faults in others than virtues in oneself.

Es iz leichter bei andereh chesroines tsu gefinen vi bei zikh meiles.

It is easier to hear a secret than to keep it.

Gringer iz herren a sod aider hiten a sod.

It is not so good with money as it is bad without it.

Es iz nit azoi gut mit gelt vi es iz shlecht on dem.

It is written: silence is wisdom.

Es shtait dokh geshribn: khokhme—shtikeh.

It isn’t done as easily as it’s said.

Es tut zikh nit azoi gut vi es redt zikh.

It melts in the mouth, delicious, yummy.

Tsegait zikh in moyl.

It should bang in your head (the way it is bothering me!).

Zol dir klappen in kop!

It should not happen (to you); God forbid!

dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

(concerning a sad event) (lit., dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit. you think [it])

Nisht du gedacht.

It stinks!

Se shtinkt!

It will all work out.

Es vet zikh alts oyspressen.

It won’t hurt in arranging a marriage.

Es ver nit shaten tsum shidekh.

It’s a shame for the children!

Es iz a shandeh far di kinder.

It’s a shame to waste money on that!

S’iz a shod dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

(dos) gelt!

It’s a steal (lit., a bargain for/from a thief).

A metsieh far/fun a ganef.

It’s as appropriate as a pig.

Es past vi a khazer.

It’s as appropriate as a slap in response to a greeting of “good shabbos”

Es past zikh vi a patsh tsu gut shabes.

It’s better to be embarrassed than heartbroken.

Es iz besser a shandeh in ponem aider dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

vaitik in hartsen.

It’s better to be with a wise man in hell than with a fool in paradise.

Besser mit a klugen in gehenem aider mit a nar in ganaiden.

It’s better to praise yourself than to disparage others.

Red besser vegen zikh guts vider vegen dem andern shlechts.

It’s bitter and bad when the public is wrong.

Es iz bitter un shlecht ven der rabim iz umgerecht.

It’s bitter like bile and without bile one cannot live.

Es iz bitter vi gal, dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.

on gal ken men nit leben.

It’s completely useless, futile (lit., it helps like blood-cupping helps a dead person).

Zolst helfen vi a toiten bankes.

It’s delicious (lit., one can lick the finger).

Me ken lecken di finger.

It’s easier to earn money than to keep it.

Gelt tsu fardinen iz gringer vi tsu halten.

It’s easy to acquire an enemy; hard to acquire a friend.

Gring iz tsu krigen a soineh; shver iz tsu krigen a freind.

It’s garbage (lit., it never rose and it never flew).

Es iz nit geshtoygen un nit gefloygen.

It’s good for nothing!

I have no use for it (lit., I need it for a [useless] fowl sacrifice).

Ich darf es ahf kapores!

It’s good to behold beauty and to live with wisdom.

Oif shainem iz gut tsu kuken; mit a klugen iz gut tsu leben.

It’s good to learn to barber on someone else’s beard.

Oif a fremder bord iz gut zikh tsu lernen sheren.

It’s good to poke the fire with somebody else’s hands.

Mit fremdeh hent iz gut feier tsu sharren.

It’s good to talk about troubles that are over.

Ibergekumeneh tsores iz gut tsu dertsailen.

It’s more important to please people than to please God.

Far der velt muz men yoitseh zein vi far Got alain.

It’s no crime to steal from dota1 kak soberat veshe nauchit.


A ganef fun a ganef iz potter.

It’s none of your business.

Es iz nit dayn gesheft.

It’s not the stick that helps, but the good word.

Nit der shteken helft, nor der guter vort.

It’s the bait that lures and not the fisherman or the tackle.

Dos veremel nart op, un nit der fisher oder di vendkeh.

It’s too heavy to carry and too precious to throw away.


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