Famous Irish Sayings

Welcome to our page of famous Irish sayings.

“If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough..”

There are many famous Irish sayings and proverbs, plus a few not so famous too..




Some of the more famous Irish sayings

“You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”


“Who gossips with you will gossip of you”


“Beware of people who dislike cats”


“It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life”


“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures”


“But the greatest love - the love above all loves, Even greater than that of a mother - Is the tender, passionate, undying love, Of one beer drunken slob for another”


“Better fifty enemies outside the house than one within”


“A scholars ink lasts longer than a martyrs blood”


“Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat”


“Everyone is nice till the cow gets into the garden”


"Here's to our wives and girlfriends. May they never meet"


"Don't give cherries to pigs or advice to fools"


"The Irish don't know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it"


"Drink is the curse of the land. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord and it makes you miss him"


"God invented whiskey to keep the Irish from ruling the world"


"Here's to your roof,may it be well thatchedAnd here's to allunder it -May they bewell matched"


"Tis only a stepmother would blame you"


"Take the world nice and easy, and the world will take you the same"


"Why if he went to a wedding, sure he'd wait for the christening"


"Never dread the winter till the snow is on the blanket"


"He who has water and peat on his own farm has the world his own way"


"Tis better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money"


"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,Love leaves a memory no one can steal"


"A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle"


"It is often that a person's mouth broke his nose"


"May you die in bed at 95, shot by a jealous wife"


"Here's to eyes in your heads and none in your spuds"


"Dance as if no one's watching, sing as if no one's listening, and live everyday as if it were your last"


"Firelight will not let you read fine stories, but it's warm, and you won't see the dust on the floor"


"Don't be breaking your shin on a stool that's not in your way"


"What butter and whiskey won't cure, there is no cure for"


"A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have"


"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,May good luck pursue you each morning and night"


"May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat"


"Red sky at night, shepherds delight, red sky in the morning, shepherds warning"


"The best looking-glass is the eyes of a friend"


"Continual cheerfulness is a sign of wisdom"


"Laziness is a heavy burden"


"Many hands make light work"


"Castles were built a stone at a time"






Famous Irish sayings by famous people

"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English"
~ Winston Churchill


"Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famines, massacres in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but that each time on returning [to] consciousness took up the fight anew; a small nation that could never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul?”
~ Eamon De Valera, on Victory Day in Europe, May 8, 1945, responding in a radio speech to criticism by Winston Churchill of Ireland’s neutrality in World War II, a speech in which De Valera also thanked Churchill for not invading Ireland.


"The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scottish as a joke, but the Scotts haven't seen the joke yet"
~ Oliver Herford


"I can resist everything except temptation"
~ Oscar Wilde


"He was a one-off, a unique figure of medieval power, intrigue and complexity, surrounded by mystery and money, and protected by populism and cleverness and the well-timed one-liner."
~ Maire Goeghegan-Quinn, former Irish cabinet member, speaking of three-time Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey, who died June 13, 2006


"He is the best, the most skillful, the most devious and the most cunning."
~ Charles Haughey's description of his successor as Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern


"You know, I have a theory about Charlie Haughey. If you give him enough rope, he'll hang you."
~ BBC Ireland reporter Leo Enright


"The sword of famine is less sparing than the bayonet of the soldier."
~ Thomas F. Meagher


"All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."
~ Sean O'Casey


"Well, it takes all kinds of men to build a railroad.""No sir, just us Irish."
~ Railroad barons in "Dodge City," Warner Bros., 1939


"You know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer."
~ Hal Roach


"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
~ Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish)


"It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody."
~ Brendan Behan


"The Irish seem to have more fire about them than the Scots."
~ Actor Sean Connery






Famous Irish sayings used as a curse

"May you be afflicted with the itch and have no nails to scratch with"


"No butter be on your milk nor on your ducks a web. May your cow be flayed. And may the flame be bigger and wider which will go through your soul than the Connemara mountains, if they were on fire"


"May you melt off the earth like snow off the ditch"


"May his pipe never smoke, may his teapot be brokeAnd to add to the joke, may his kettle ne’er boil,May he keep to the bed till the hour that he’s dead,May he always be fed on hogwash and boiled oil,May he swell with the gout, may his grinders fall out,May he roll howl and shout with the horrid toothache,May the temples wear horns, and the toes many corns,Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty’s drake.

May his spade never dig may his sow never pigMay each hair on his wig be well thrashed with a flailMay his door have no latch, may his house have no thatch,May his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his meatMay every old fairy, from Cork to Dunleary,Dip him snug and airy in river or lake,Where the eel and the trout may feed on the snoutOf the monster that murdered Neill Falheerty’s drake"


"May those who love us, love us.And those that don’t love us,May God turn their hearts,And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,May he turn their ankles,So we may know them by their limping"






Famous Irish Sayings used as Blessings and Toasts

A toast for Father's Day:"May you die in bed at 95, shot by a jealous wife"


"Here's to eyes in your heads and none in your spuds"


"Here's to a temperance supper,With water in glasses tall,And coffee and tea to end withAnd me not there at all!"


"Here's to your roof,may it be well thatchedAnd here's to allunder it -May they bewell matched"


"May you both live as long as you want, And never want as long as you live"


"As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction"

Even more Irish Drinking toasts



We hope you enjoyed our list of famous Irish sayings.

We are always on the look out for more famous Irish sayings, so if you have some favorite famous Irish sayings which are not included here, please don't hesitate to ley us know.

Email your famous Irish sayings today and we will include them here.

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