Irish proverbs or ‘Seanfhocal’ simply means ‘old word’. They are filled with humor and knowledge, standing the test of time with wisdom that still speaks to us in our modern lives. Here is a collection of the 10 of the best Irish Proverbs and their meanings. Shop our collection of Irish Prints.
The saying literally translates as ‘there’s no fireside like your own fireside’ meaning there is no place like home. The past year has seen us spend more time than ever at home and many of us have rekindled our love for it. The proverb explains how we can find comfort in the simple joys of our surroundings and warmth in the place we call home.
This proverb simply acknowledges the fact that happiness lengthens our lives. A burdened heart brings stress and worries that can impact health and wellbeing. It serves as a reminder of the importance of setting aside a little time each day for doing what makes you happy.
This proverb is a reminder of the importance of finding a balance in our lives, that it is better to ‘bend’ in situations of adversity than to be broken by them. The ego, pride and stubbornness can lead to inflexibility but we must be reminded that by being adaptable we can trive. ‘The tree that can bend in the wind is not damaged in the storm, but the rigid tree will often snap.’
Life is strange, random and unpredictable but it doesn’t have to be something to fear. This proverb is to remind us that the journey is beautiful, joyful and terrifying all at the same time. We are reminded that we will have the bad but we will also have the good.
This is one of the better known Irish proverbs, it was originally written in the Irish language as a prayer. It evokes a very old Irish connection with nature, references the three elements wind, sun and rain. In full, the blessing reads ‘May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.’
‘Giorraíonn beirt bóthar’ is a lovely Irish phrase which means ‘Two people shorten the road’. It really means that good company makes navigating life a little better. So long as you have someone by your side, the journey becomes easier.
This proverb is Irish optimism at its best. A self-fulfilling prophecy, that if you envisage good that good will inevitably come. It is an intention that anyone can manifest their destiny and that intent can summon good fortune.
A powerful and truful proverb, the idea that we are stronger together than on our own. It gives a sense of belonging and the importance of togetherness.
Change is fundamental to life. By doing something different we can challenge any stagnant aspects of our everyday and take a new perspective. This ‘Seanfhocal’ is a reminder that things are always altering, adapting, moving and that we must do the same.
An áit a bhfuil do chroí is ann a thabharfas do chosa thú’ – Your feet will bring you to where your heart is
One of the most beautiful Irish proverbs, the meaning resonates with so many. It is a reminder that what our hearts truly desire is what will lead us along our path. Listening to the whispers of our lives and paying attention to the energy we put into our true passions is what will take us to where we are meant to be.