Spanish Proverbs How Natives Say Them

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Spanish proverbs came about just like any other proverb. Leaders, rulers, and writers would write catchy phrases about good judgement decisions widely accepted as common sense. They wrote simple and trendy phrases so they could easily be remembered. Here are some of the most common proverbs in Spanish.

A juventud ociosa, vejez trabajosa.
(To leisurely youth, laborious old age.) "Enjoy it while you're young." may be another translation. This means that when you age, you aren't as agile in the future to do what you once could. Any elderly person will testify to that.

Acabándose el dinero, se termina la amistad.
(Running out of money, the friendship ends.) Find out who your real friends are. Basically a lot of people only like you because of what you have to offer them. (Escape from loneliness, you give them money, you're good company, cars, a job) Very few people love you for who you are unconditionally.

Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.
(Shrimp that sleeps, is taken by the current.) You snooze you lose. Sometimes when you put things off too much, the opportunity vanishes.

El diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo.
(The Devil knows more because he's old than because he's the Devil.) With age comes experience. The more you live the more you learn. You learn something new every day. All of these are close to the meaning of the proverb. Most people that are wiser are so because they've been around longer, not because of a gift of wisdom.

En boca del mentiroso, lo cierto se hace dudoso.
(In the mouth of the liar, the certain becomes doubtful.) Don't cry wolf. If you lie once, people might have a hard time believing you if you tell the truth.

Gato escaldo del agua fría huye.
(A scalded cat from cold water runs.) When people learn lessons through experience they think they know all aspects and angles of the lesson. Some people have seen a homeless person use money for handouts so they assume that all homeless will buy drugs. Just like the cat learned that hot water burns so now it thinks that all water will burn.

La mejor palabra es la que no se dice.
(The best word is the one that is not said.) Sometimes it's best not to say anything at all. If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. That's the idea.

Más vale poco y bueno que mucho y malo.
(It is worth more little and good than much and bad.) Something's better than nothing. You might not have a lot, but too much could be a bad thing. Too much of a good thing is bad. Moderation in all things. These are all translations for this proverb.

Mejor solo que mal acompañado.
(Better alone than poorly accompanied.) It's better to walk alone than with bad company. You'd never want to be around someone who makes you miserable. You'd probably rather be by yourself.

Poco a poco se anda lejos.
(Little by little one goes far.) By an inch it's a cinch, by a yard it's hard. The race of a thousand miles begins with a single step. A journey begins with a single step. Take your tasks little by little. You'll see that those little improvements and accomplishments add up quickly.

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