Sicilian sayings…

A friend recently sent this to me and I thought that it would be fun to share.


What are the Sicilian sayings that you know?




With a rooster or without a rooster, God will still make the dawn.

Nothing scratches my hand like my own nails.

The war is lost for too much advice.

The words of your enemies can make you laugh, but those of a friend can make you cry.

Crooked wood is straightened with fire.

You can’t have meat without the bone.

Do not be too sweet lest you be eaten, do not be too sour lest you be shunned.

He who digs a grave for his brother falls in it himself.

If it doesn’t stain, it soils.

A person eating must make crumbs.

A rock offered by a friend is like an apple.

A fish starts smelling bad from the head.


Oh, here are a bunch more!


The Sicilian Dialect & Language: Proverbs

Sicilian: A ghiri e veniri si fa lu maccarruni
Translation: Go ahead, the maccaroni is made
Idiom: Often in order to catch up a scope it must try more times

Sicilian: Essiri sempri lu santu fora la chiesa
Translation: To be always like the statue of the saint outside from the church
Idiom: He who is in contrast with the choices of others

Sicilian: Quannu la luna di jihnnaru e mancanti ‘nziti, puti e chianti
Translation: When the moon of decreasing January you can prune a plant
Idiom: In the month of January, remember the peasants whose jobs are made in the depths of winter

Sicilian: Prisintarisi panza e prisenza
Idiom: It is said of those who have nothing, only try to obtain by not being able to give anything

Sicilian: A cani tintu catina curta
Translation: To bad dogs, a short chain is placed
Idiom: People who are not very reliable do not get much freedom

Sicilian: Cu mancia fa muddichi
Literal English Translation: A person eating must make crumbs
Idiom: You have to break a few eggs to make an omlette

Sicilian: Chiddu arrusti u so pesci nte ciammi di l’incediu.
Literal English Translation: The fellow roasts his fish in the flames of a fire.
Idiom: He takes advantage of the misfortunes of others.

Sicilian: Cu gaddu e senza gaddu, diu fa journa
Literal English Translation: God will make the the sun rise with or without the rooster
Idiom: Give credit where credit is due.

Sicilian: Tinemu d’occhiu u scurpiuni e u sirpenti, ma nunni vardamu du millipedi
Literal English Translation: We keep an eye on the scorpion and the serpent, but we do not watch the millipede
Idiom: The devil dwells in details.

Sicilian: U pesci fet d’a testa
Literal English Translation: Fish start smelling from the head
Idiom: Corruption starts at the top

Sicilian: Nun si po’ aviri la carni senz’ ossu
Literal English Translation: You can’t have meat without the bone
Idiom: Take the good with the bad

Sicilian: Vidi ch’un s’affaccia quacchi fungi
Literal English Translation: Watch out for the appearing mushroom
Idiom: Beware of the unforseen obstacle

Famous Sicilian Proverbs & Expressions
with Emphasis on Arabic Words & Idioms

Sicilian: Nenti mi ratta a manu comu i me unga
Literal English Translation: Nothing scratches my hand like my own nails
Idiom: No one knows my business better than I do

Sicilian: I palori nimici fannu ridiri chiddi di l’amici fanni chianciri
Literal English Translation: The words of enemies make you laugh, but those of friends can make you cry
Idiom: Disdain your enemies boasting, buy pay heed to friend’s advice

Sicilian: Non essiri duci sinno tu mancianu, non essiri amaru sinno ti futanu
Literal English Translation: Do not be sweet lest you be eaten, do not be too sour, lest you be shunned
Idiom: All things in moderation

Sicilian: Camina chi pantofuli finu a quannu non hai i scarpi
Literal English Translation: Walk with your slippers until you find your shoes
Idiom: Make due with what you got (make the best of a bad situation)

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