Proverbs From Ukraine’s Language

A proverb is a brief saying commonly used by people and generally expresses a simple truth or practical principle. As with many cultures, Ukrainian proverbs frequently reflect the perceptions, lifestyle, customs, beliefs and inner workings of the community. Certain proverbs from Ukraine can be attributed to a particular individual whilst the majority of sources are unknown. By examining a variety of Ukrainian proverbs you can gain great insight into the culture of the country's people. Perceptions on family, work, friendship, love and other topics are revealed in a line of just a few words.

Let us consider as an example a Ukrainian proverb which states: “the sauna steams and gives health”. This is a well-known truth throughout the world and explains the popularity of saunas in Ukraine. Through the ages saunas have been known for their health benefits as is recognized in this folkloric proverb. Another proverb in Ukraine gives insight into what Ukrainians perceive the cause of poor relationships between women and mothers-in-law is. The proverb says: “The mother-in-law remembers her youth and because of that does not trust her daughter-in-law.”

Check out these great Ukrainian proverbs and see what insights you can gain.

Your head is not only for putting a hat on.
No matter how hard you try, the bull will never give you milk.
A husband wants to have a healthy wife; a brother wants to have a rich sister.
The church is near, but the way is icy. The tavern is far, but I will walk carefully.
Only when you eat a lemon do you appreciate what sugar is.
A dream is sweeter than honey.
He is guilty who is not at home.
For a job we need time. For fun we need one hour.
Love tells us many things that are not so.
A friendly word is better than a heavy cake.
A woman is not a harmonica that you put aside when you have used it.
A crow will never be a falcon.
Black souls wear white shirts.
A hungry wolf is stronger than a satisfied dog.
Drunkards know no danger.
Flies will not land on a boiling pot.
Borrowed bread lies heavy on the stomach.
Fire starts with sparks.
He who licks knives will soon cut his tongue.
Keep fire away from straw.
If the devil is powerless, send him a woman.
Love will find a way. Indifference will find an excuse.
If you chase 2 hares at the same time, you will catch neither of them.
No wind is too cold for lovers.
The devil always takes back his gifts.
The earth will cover the doctor’s mistakes.
The malicious cow disturbs the entire herd.
The word “enough” does not exist for water, fire and women.
Those sitting above can easily spit on those below.
Wisdom is in the head, not in the beard.
To see a friend no road is too long.

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