Of human foolishness


Senior Member
Russian - Russia
Greetings all,

Foolishness knows no boundaries, so I wonder what proverbs or sayings in your languages may correspond to this Russian one:

Заставь дурака Богу молиться, он себе лоб разобьёт (расшибёт). [zɐˈstavʲ dʊrɐˈka ˈboɡʊ mɐˈlʲit͡sːə | on sʲɪˈbʲe ˈɫop rəzɐˈbʲjɵt]. Make a fool pray to God, and he will break his head (literally, forehead).
(When praying, people often bow, so the implication is that this proverbial fool will bow so lowly that eventually he will hit the ground/floor with his head).
Thank you!
  • ilocas2

    I know this one, maybe it's not originally Czech.

    Krása je pomíjivá, blbost je věčná. - Beauty is ephemeral, stupidity is eternal.
    We use a couple of ancient sayings as proverbs:

    «Τὸ δὶς ἐξαμαρτεῖν οὐκ ἀνδρός σοφοῦ» tò dìs ĕk͡sămarte̯în ouk ăndrós sŏpʰoû, MoGr pronunciation = [to ðis ek͡samarˈtin uk anðˈros soˈfu] --> making the same mistake twice, does not befit the wise (Μenander, 4th c. BCE).
    Used when we make the same stupid mistake over and over again.

    «Μωραίνει Κύριος ὅν βούλεται ἀπολέσαι» mōra̯íne̯i Kū́riŏs hón boúlĕta̯i ăpŏlésa̯i, MoGr pron. = [moˈɾeni ˈciɾi.os on ˈvulete apoˈlese] --> Whom the Lord would destroy, He first makes stupid (Ancient Greek proverb by anonymous; definitely constructed during the Christian era).
    Used when someone does something so stupid and dangerous, that almost cost one's life. Often abbreviated to a simple «μωραίνει Κύριος».

    «Η ανθρώπινη βλακεία είναι αήττητη» [i anθˈropini vlaˈci.a ˈine aˈititi] --> Human stupidity is invincible (I think it's one of Brecht's quotes).


    русский (россия)
    A very efficient Russian one: простота хуже воровства (a simple-minded one is more nasty than an evil-doer). The meaning is, both offend, but the second one does so on purpose, so it's easier to deal with that.


    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    There are, of course, some classic English sayings everybody knows, like, for example:
    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
    But I prefer this one, blunt and merciless,
    Give a fool rope enough, and he will hang himself.