The 68 best French proverbs (and their meanings)

France is a central European country founder of the current European community and its origins bring us back to ancient Gaul and the ancient village of the Franks, from which it takes its name.

Due to its geographical location, France has been a meeting point for many peoples over time, accumulating the cultural and material wealth that they possessed. In contemporary times, France is considered one of the most advanced countries in Europe, and shines with its gastronomic culture and tourist attractions.

    Table of Contents

    French proverbs (and their translation)

    Proverbs are a source of wisdom that the French have known how to use since Antiquity, That’s why we made this selection of the 68 best French proverbs that we should all know and that you might not know.

    1. Other times, other customs.

    Other times, other ways.

    2. Put water in your wine

    Put water in your wine.

    3. Anyone who smells mucus will blow their nose.

    Anyone who feels mucous, sounds mucous.

    4. The price is forgotten, the quality is maintained.

    The price is forgotten, the quality is maintained.

    5. Be like a rooster on a block.

    Be like a rooster in pâté.

    6. The cow that cries the loudest does not give more milk.

    It is not the cow that cries the loudest that gives the most milk.

    7. Throw the money down the drain.

    Throw money down the drain.

    8. The water goes to the river.

    Water goes to the river

    9. You can’t have bacon or pork.

    You can’t have bacon and pork.

    10. Shoemakers are always the worst shoes.

    The shoemakers always wear worn shoes.

    11. There is no fallen feather without a torn bird.

    There is no fallen feather without a feathered bird.

    12. A penny is a penny.

    A tough guy is a tough guy.

    13. We do not know the wine on the label.

    The wine is not known by the label.

    14. A drunken blackbird, bitter cherries.

    Bitter cherries bitter cherries.

    15. The barking dog does not bite.

    The barking dog does not bite.

    16. The doors open, making a thief of an honest man.

    In an open day, righteous sin.


    17. Serve according to the taste of the master, or not serve at all.

    Walk towards your master at ease, if you want to be a servant.

    18. The sage proves everything before resorting to arms.

    The prudent must try everything before pushing.

    19. You cannot measure oil without having greasy hands.

    Whoever measures the oil anoints his hands.

    20. Inexpensive, tripled clientele.

    Do it cheap and you’ll sell for four.

    21. Well-founded jokes are the worst.

    Real teasing is bad.

    22. not drilled, the tail on the frame.

    On the dead donkey, barley on the tail.

    23. To flatterers he is neither a rich fool nor a poor sage.

    For the flatterers, there is no such thing as a rich fool, nor a poor discreet one.

    24. A fool knows more about himself than a clever man about others.

    The idiot at home knows better than the other idiot.

    25. Thanks to hairdressers, the bride becomes bald.

    Many flatterers lose their girlfriends.

    26. The woman and the sardine, the smallest, are the most beautiful.

    The woman and the sardine, the smaller is the thinner.

    27. Unattached beef can be licked.

    The beef is loose, well licked.

    28. Look for noon together.

    (Search one hour after another)

    29. Call a shovel to a shovel.

    Call the cat, cat.

    30. Hunger like a wolf.

    To be as hungry as a wolf.

    31. Help yourself, heaven will help you.

    The French equivalent of “To God praying and with the giving mallet”.

    32. Paris was not done in a day.

    Paris did not fall in an hour.

    33. Not having a voice in the chapter.

    Not to have a candle at this funeral.

    34. Love does a lot, but money does everything.

    Love does a lot, but money does it all.

    35. The doors open, making an honest man a thief.

    In an open day, righteous sin.

    36. He who sows thistles collects the stings.

    Whoever sows thistles takes thorns.

    37. Good lawyer, bad neighbor.

    Good lawyer, bad neighbor.

    38. Childish love, water in a basket.

    Childhood love, water in the basket.

    39. No absent who is right or present who is wrong.

    Neither absent without guilt, nor present without excuses.

    40. In war, in hunting and in love, for pleasure, a thousand sufferings.

    War, hunting and love, for fun, a thousand sufferings.

    41. Life without friends, death without witnesses.

    Life without a friend, death without a witness.

    42. Many people at risk have all limbs.

    They are more threatened than injured.

    43. Do whatever your master wants, then sit down at his table.

    Do what your master tells you to do and sit with him at the table.

    44. Neither for fun nor for good, share the fruits with your head.

    Neither out of mockery nor in truth, with your master do not separate the pears.

    45. Tell me who you’re going with, I’ll tell you who you are.

    Tell me who you’re going with and I’ll tell you who you are.


    46. ​​Cry if you have to learn, later you will laugh.

    Learn by crying, you will laugh when you win.

    47. No trace, no discomfort.

    No shortcuts, no work.

    48. He who does not want to take risks will not cross the sea.

    Who does not venture, does not cross the sea.

    49. The game must be worth the candle.

    In vain the oil lamp burns.

    50. Bad sowing, never good melons.

    Bad eggplant, never good pumpkin.

    51. The joke should end when it is best.

    Out of mockery, leave her when she prefers.

    52. A young horse, an old rider.

    A new horse, old knight.

    53. As for his eye, it was not very large, and yet he held it in his hand.

    The one in the eye was nothing and he held it in his hand.

    54. Never absent is innocent.

    Those absent were never judged fair.

    55. Affection harms reason.

    Hobby of blind reason.

    56. The devil takes care of us and of us others.

    Us for the stranger and the devil for ours.

    57. Good love, don’t forget.

    Well love, who never forgets.

    58. Health and joy give beauty.

    Health and joy, beauty reproduces itself.

    59. Being friends with everyone or no one is the same.

    Friendship of all and of the head, all is one.

    60. Attend obligations and you will become obligations.

    Join the good ones and you will be one of them.

    61. Hand play, villain play.

    Teasing of the hands, teasing of evil.

    62. mute mouth, God does not listen to him.

    Mouth that does not speak, God does not hear it.

    63. Give to the grateful beyond their request.

    Fortunately, more than requested.

    64. It is not the temperament of the arms, but that of the heart that gives victory.

    Mood wins war, not a good weapon.

    65. Who cannot walk, let him run!

    Who can’t walk, let him run.

    66. Deal with a bad teacher, lest you find a worse one.

    Bad master, you must save, for fear of getting worse.

    67. I don’t mind if a friend bites with his beak while covering himself with his wing.

    I renounce the friend who covers with the wings and bites with the beak.

    68. Cats like to show their teeth first.

    The cat loves, growling enter.

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