The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          

 


Syrian Proverbs

   أمثال سورية

 

اذا كان صاحبك عسل فلا تلحسه كله

 

If your friend is honey, don't lick him all

 

 

عرج الجمل من شفته

 

The camel limped from its split lip

A bad workman blames his tools

 

 

الجار قبل الدار

 

Chose the neighbour before the house

We can live without friends, but not without neighbours

 

 

انا و اخي على ابن عمي، انا و ابن عمي على الغريب

 

My brother and I against my cousin, My cousin and I against a stranger

Blood is thicker than water

 

 

اللي فات مات

 

What is past is dead

Let bygones be bygones

 

 

يا رايح كثر ملايح

 

O departing one, leave behind good deeds!

A good deed is never lost

 

 

حبل الكذب قصير

 

The rope of a lie is short

The liar is sooner caught from the cripple

 

 

العجلة من الشيطان و التأني من الرحمن

 

Haste is the devil's work and patience is from God the Merciful

Patience is a virtue

 

 

فرخ البط عوام

 

The son of a duck is a floater

Like father, like son

 

 

علمناهم الشحادة، سبقونا على الأبواب

 

We taught them how to beg, they raced us to the gates

to beat someone at his own game

 

 

شحاد و مشارط

 

A beggar and he bargains!

Beggars cannot be choosers

 

 

القرد في عين امه غزال

 

In the eye of his mother, a monkey is a gazelle

All her geese are swans

 

 

من قلة الخيل، ركبنا على الكلاب سروج

 

With the lack of horses, we saddle the dogs!

There's nothing suitable, so they come with a useless alternative

 

 

الديك الفصيح من البيضة يصيح

 

 

The eloquent cock crows from the egg

It early pricks that will be a thorn

 

 

الصبر مفتاح الفرج

 

Patience is the key to relief

 

 

ضربني و بكى، سبقني و اشتكى

 

He hit me and cried, he raced me to complain!

It's all his fault, yet he pretends to be the victim

 

 

على قد لحافك مد رجليك

 

Stretch your legs according to your quilt

Cut your coat according to your cloth

 

 

عصفور باليد أحسن من عشرة على الشجرة

 

A bird in the hand is better than ten on the tree

A bird in the hand is worth ten in the bush

 

 

اسأل مجرب و لا تسأل حكيم

 

Ask one who has experience rather than a physician

Experience without learning is better than learning without experience

 

 

مثل الأطرش في الزفة

 

He is like a deaf man at a wedding procession

A fish out of water

 

 

مو كل مرة بتسلم الجرة

 

It is not every time that the clay pot survives

You cannot tempt providence and always triumph

 

 

اللي ايده بالمي مو مثل اللي ايده بالنار

 

He who has his hand in the water is not like him who has his hand in the fire

Attitudes are formed by circumstances

 

 

بيطعمي اللوز للي ما له أسنان

 

God sends almonds to those without teeth!

Good things sometimes come to those who do not deserve them

 

 

خيرها بغيرها

 

A better one in another one

Better luck next time

 

 

كل عقدة لها حلال

 

Every knot has someone to undo it

Every problem has a solution

 

 

ابعد عن الشر و غني له

 

Keep away from trouble and sing to it

Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you

 

 

تيتي تيتي، مثل ما رحتي جيتي

 

As you went, so you came back

So what else is new!

 

 

أصرف ما في الجيب يأتيك ما في الغيب

 

Spend what is in your pocket, you will get more from the unknown

Spend and God will send

 

 

بطيخ يكسر بعضه

 

Let the water melons break each other!

Let them stew in their own juice

 

 

يا اخذ القرد على ماله، راح المال و بقي القرج على حاله

 

He married the monkey for its money, the money went and the monkey stayed a monkey

As you make your bed, so you must lie on it

 

 

با داخل بين البصلة و قشريها، ما بنوبك إلا ريحتها

 

Whoever gets between the onion and its skin will get nothing but its stink

Never get between a man and his wife

 

 

مثل الحية من تحت التبن

 

Like a snake under the hay

Like a snake in the grass

 

 

با مسترخص اللحم، عند المرق تندم

 

If you buy cheap meat you'll be sorry when you come to the gravy

Beware of false economy

 

 

غابت السباع و لعبت الضباع

 

When the lions are away, the hyenas play

When the cat is away, the mice will play

 

 

طب الجرة على تمها، بتطلع البنت لأمها

 

Turn the pot upside down, the girl will still be like her mother

Like mother, like daughter

 

تاجرنا بالأكفان، بطلت الناس تموت

 

When we decided to trade coffins, people decided not to die!

 

 

الأمثال الفراتية

 
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Toronto - Canada
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