Proverbs Quotes

45+ Famous Swedish Proverbs & Sayings

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Awesome Swedish Proverbs

“That day, that sorrow.”
Note : Note: This proverb is an adnomination in Swedish.
Source: Bengtsson (1957), 27

“The drunken man’s words is the sober man’s thoughts.”
Note : Source: Strom (1981), 136

“The death of one, the bread of the other.”
Meaning – One person often prospers from the misfortune of another.
Note : Source: Bengtsson (1957), 28

“The ones sty is the others palace.”

The cow that use to roar probably gets the most.
Meaning – A person that complains about a service will often get much.
Note : Similar phrase: “Squeaky wheal gets the grease.”

“The one who always [thinks he] knows the best never learns anything.”

“The one who never has time accomplishes the least.”
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 373

“The one who bids for much, often loses the whole deal.”
Note : Similar phrase: “Grasp all, lose all.”
Note: This proverb is rhyming in Swedish.
Source: Holmqvist (1981), 66

“He who enters the game must endure it.”
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 255

“The one who digs a pit for others often falls into it him-/herself.”
Meaning – If you’re trying to make things go bad for someone else, you yourself will probably be the one it’ll go bad for.
Note : Note: From the Bible, the book of Proverbs 26:27, Ecclesiastes 10:8 and Psalms 7:16.
Source: Bengtsson (1957), 36

“Only dead fish follow the stream.”
Meaning – It’s better to think for yourself than unquestioningly following the group.
Note : Note: Originally a Russian proverb.
Source: Rooth (1968), 47

Mind Blowing Swedish Proverbs

“The scammer often gets scammed himself”.

“Treat others as you would be like to be treated yourself.”
Note : Note: This is the golden rule.
Source: Martinsson (1996), 141

“Blood is thicker than water.”
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 298

“Merely Sweden has Swedish gooseberry’s.”
Meaning – Sweden is a unique country in many ways.
Note : Note: Originally from Carl Jonas Love Almqvist.
Source: Grenholm (2000), 189

“Sweep before your own door first.”
Meaning – Don’t criticize others for things you yourself can be criticized for.

“Away is good but at home is best.”
Note : Note: This proverb is an alliteration in Swedish.
Similar phrases: “There’s no place like home.”, and “East or West, home is best.”
Source: Holmqvist (1991), 91

“A good man manages on his own.”
Meaning – Avoid being dependent on others.
Note : Source: Rooth (1968), 47

“Burnt child shuns the fire.”
Note : Note: This proverb is an alliteration in Swedish.
Similar phrase “Once bitten, twice shy.”
Source: Ström (1981), 351

“Better ‘breadless’ then ‘councilless’.”
Meaning – It is better to be poor and with ideas, rather then on the contrary.
Note : Source: Topelius Bokförlag (1974), 15

“It is better to have bad memory then to have bad memories.”

“Better with an honest ‘no’ then a false ‘yes’.”
Meaning – It is better to say a bitter truth then a sweet lie.
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 361

“It is better to forestall then to get forestalled.”
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 173


Impressive Swedish Proverbs

“Better is one bird in the hand than ten in the bush.”
Note : Source: Holmqvist (1981), 138

“It is better to flee then to fence badly.”
Note : Note: This proverb is an alliteration in Swedish.
Source: Ström (1968), 34

“It is better to be alone then to be in bad company.”
Note : Source: Holm (1981), 29

“Better late than never.”
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 363

“Better to dam the brook than the creek.”
Meaning – It is best to prevent something adverse from happening early.
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 361

“It is better to be quiet then to speak badly.”
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 57

“It is better to loved and lost then to never have lost.”
Note : Source: Lind (2004), 25

“Not everything that glimmers is gold.”
Meaning – Something that seems to be good judged by its outward appearance is not necessarily so.
Note : Source: Strom (1981), 239

Children will do you like you, not what you tell them.
Note : Source: Rooth (1968), 47

“All good things are three.”
Note : Note: Derived from the Christian conception of trinity.
Source: Strom (1981), 368

“All ways are good except the bad ones.”
Meaning – Unconventional solutions are just as good.
Note : Note: Originally “All ways are good except the boring ones.” from Voltaire.
Source: Holm (1981), 162

“All roads lead to Rome.”
Note : Note: This proverb is originally from Ancient Rome.
Source: Grenholm (2000), 284

Popular Swedish Proverbs

“We are all children in the beginning.”
Meaning – Everyone is bad at something when they just started.
Note : Note: This proverb is alliteration in Swedish.
Source: Ström (1981), 364

“‘It’s always something’ said the girl with a nosebleed.”
Meaning – You always have some worry.
Note : Source: Holmqvist (1991), 114

“Everything has an end except the sausage – it has two, and if it is cut in half – it has two of them nonetheless.”
Note : Note: This proverb rhymes in Swedish.
Source: Ström (1981), 364

“Attack is the best defence.”
Note : Source: Grenholm (2000), 18

“Angry cats get scratched skin.”
Meaning – A person that behaves badly towards others will get badly treated himself.
Note : Similar phrase: “Quarrelsome dogs come limping home.”
Source: Ström (1981), 316

“To separate is to die a little.”
Note : Note: Originally a French proverb

“To dare is to lose your foothold for a moment, not to dare is to lose yourself.”
Meaning – It is best to dare something even if it momentarily feels bad.
Note : Source: Ström (1981), 179

“From children and madmen you get to hear the truth.”
Note : Source: Strom (1981), 179

“The damage makes you wise.”
Note : Source: Strom (1981), 202

“Envy never takes a rest.”
Note : Source: Strom (1981), 116

“Strike while the iron is hot.”
Note : Source: Rooth (1968), 48

“The one who lives shall see.”
Meaning – Sometimes you just can’t know how the future is going to be like.
Note : Source: Bengtsson (1957), 38

“He who sleeps does not sin.”
Note : Source: Martinsson (1996), 298

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