Proverbs about money in your language

malexandric

New Member
Serbian
Could you please share proverbs or sayings in your language that are related to money?
It can be anything related to saving, spending, managing, having, or not having money.

For example, in Serbia, we say, "Ne može i jare i pare". The literal translation would be "You can't have the baby goat and the money too," while the true meaning of it would be something like "You can't have your cake and eat it too."

I'm especially looking to find proverbs whose literal translation is funny or weird :)
 
  • Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    For example, in Serbia, we say, "Ne može i jare i pare". The literal translation would be "You can't have the baby goat and the money too," while the true meaning of it would be something like "You can't have your cake and eat it too."
    The French equivalent is:
    On ne peut pas avoir le beurre et l'argent du beurre.
    Literally: You can't have the butter and the money for the butter.

    Sometimes, we also add:
    ... et le sourire de la crémière.
    (... and the smile of the dairywoman)
    :cool:
     
    Greek:

    «Γρόσια έχεις; Έγνοιες έχεις» [↗︎ˈɣro̞s̠ça ˈe̞çis̠ ↘︎ˈe̞ɣɲe̞s̠ ˈe̞çis] --> You have money? you have worries («γρόσι/γρόσια» [ˈɣro̞s̠i] (neut. nom. sinɡ.)/[ˈɣro̞s̠ça] (neut. nom. pl.) was the currency used in the Ottoman period in Greece < Ottoman Turkish قروش‎ (kurush)).

    «Έχεις φλουριά; Έχεις θωριά» [↗︎ˈe̞çis̠ fluˈrʝa ↘︎ˈe̞çis θo̞ˈrʝa] --> You have money? you have face («φλουρί/φλουριά» [fluˈɾi] (neut. nom. sinɡ.)/[fluˈrʝa] (neut. nom. pl.) was the ɡold coin in the Late Byzantine period < Florentine fiorino d'oro).

    «Κάλλιο πέντε και στο χέρι παρά δέκα και καρτέρει» [ˈkaʎo̞ ˈpe̞nde̞ ˌce̞sto̞ˈçe̞ɾi paˈɾa ˈðe̞ka ˌcekarˈte̞ɾi] --> Better five in the hand than ten tomorrow

    «Μάζευε κι ας είν' και ρώγες» [ˈmaze̞ve̞ ˌcas̠ˈiɲce̞ ˈɾo̞ʝes̠] --> Rack up even if it's just ɡrapes

    «Φασούλι το φασούλι γεμίζει το σακούλι» [faˈs̠uli ˌto̞faˈs̠uli ʝeˈmiz̠i ˌto̞s̠aˈkuli] --> Βean after bean infills the baɡ
     

    Terio

    Senior Member
    Français (Québec)
    French :

    Plaie d'argent n'est pas mortelle (Money wound is not mortal).

    L'argent n'a pas d'odeur (Money is odourless.)

    L'argent ne fait pas le bonheur (Money does not make you happy). [We sometimes add, to mock it : ... mais il aide à supporter le malheur : ... but it helps enduring misfortune.]

    Argent mal acquis ne profite jamais (Money dishonesty won never generates profits).
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    "Geld is het slijk der aarde." [the mud/ the dirt/ the mire of the earth] Might be a reference to Habakuk 2:6, and/or to Zachariah 9: 3-4. (Ideas suggested by Henk Peelen at proz.com)

    "Het geld groeit niet op mijn rug." [Money does not grow on my back] Said by parents for instance who tell their children off because they ask for/ want too much money...
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Some in Catalan:

    Diners d'altri i brou de peix, no fan greix
    -Money from others and fish broth, none will make you fat.

    Vols enemics? Deix diners als amics.
    -Do you want enemies? Lend money to friends.

    Barcelona és bona si la bossa sona.
    -Barcelona is fine if your pouch jingles.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Arabic:

    بالمال ولا بالعيال
    Better [to lose] money than [to lose] children.

    Diners d'altri i brou de peix, no fan greix
    -Money from others and fish broth, none will make you fat.
    What's the moral of this one?
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    What's the moral of this one?
    My interpretation is that, just like you won't get fat by eating fish soup, don't expect to get rich thanks to money coming from others, you'll have to earn it yourself.
     
    Money doesn't grow on trees.
    What? Don't you have «λεφτόδεντρο» [le̞ˈfto̞ðe̞ndro̞] (neut.) --> money-tree (= oblique «λεφτο-» [le̞ˈfto̞] as first member in compounds < neut. nom. pl. «λεφτά» [le̞ˈfta] --> moneys, dissasimilation of the Byzantine «λεπτόν/λεπτά» leptón (neut. nom. sinɡ.)/leptá (neut. nom. pl.) --> smaller coin denominations of Byzantine currency, chanɡe < neuter form of Classical adj. «λεπτός» lĕptós + «δέντρο» [ˈðe̞ndro̞] (neut.) --> tree < Classical neut. noun «δένδρον» déndrŏn) in the States?
    «Λεφτόδεντρο» is used sarcastically by the media when politicians during the electoral campaign promise everything to everyone.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian (in rough translation):
    "Happiness doesn't lie in money." (Не в деньгах счастье.)
    "Money likes counting." (Денежка счёт любит.)
    "Don't have one hundred roubles but have one hundred friends." (Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.)
    "An agreement made is worth more than money." (Уговор дороже денег.)
    "One kopek saves one rouble." (Копейка рубль бережёт.)
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Greek:

    «Γρόσια έχεις; Έγνοιες έχεις» [↗︎ˈɣro̞s̠ça ˈe̞çis̠ ↘︎ˈe̞ɣɲe̞s̠ ˈe̞çis] --> You have money? you have worries («γρόσι/γρόσια» [ˈɣro̞s̠i] (neut. nom. sinɡ.)/[ˈɣro̞s̠ça] (neut. nom. pl.) was the currency used in the Ottoman period in Greece < Ottoman Turkish قروش‎ (kurush)).
    < German Groschen < Czech groš < Latin (denarius) grossus.
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    P.S.: That expression is familiar to Russians, of course ("деньги не пахнут"), but it's actually just a translation of Latin "pecunia non olet", usually ascribed to the emperor Vespasian.
    ....the story being that the emperor introduced a tax on the use of public latrines.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    What? Don't you have «λεφτόδεντρο» [le̞ˈfto̞ðe̞ndro̞] (neut.) --> money-tree (= oblique «λεφτο-» [le̞ˈfto̞] as first member in compounds < neut. nom. pl. «λεφτά» [le̞ˈfta] --> moneys, dissasimilation of the Byzantine «λεπτόν/λεπτά» leptón (neut. nom. sinɡ.)/leptá (neut. nom. pl.) --> smaller coin denominations of Byzantine currency, chanɡe < neuter form of Classical adj. «λεπτός» lĕptós + «δέντρο» [ˈðe̞ndro̞] (neut.) --> tree < Classical neut. noun «δένδρον» déndrŏn) in the States?
    «Λεφτόδεντρο» is used sarcastically by the media when politicians during the electoral campaign promise everything to everyone.
    Hahaha! We have τάρτα στον ουρανό.
     

    swindaff

    Senior Member
    Italian - Neapolitan
    In Italian we have:
    I soldi non crescono sugli alberi = Money doesn't grow on trees.
    Il tempo è denaro = time is money
    I soldi non fanno la felicità = money doesn't buy you happiness.

    There is another one, but I believe it is not Italian, but rather regional (Campania):
    ti sei fatto i soldi! = literally "you became rich", you use it when you haven't heard from someone for a long time (the idea is that if you become rich, you try to keep a low profile so that people won't steal your money or something)
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Cymraeg/Welsh

    arian bath (minted money) - silver coins
    arian benthyg (lent money) - borrowed money
    arian byw (living money) - quicksilver/mercury
    arian cildwrn (fist of money) - a tip
    arian cochion (red money) - copper coins
    arian drwg (bad money) - counterfeit coins
    arian gwynion (white coins) - silver coins
    arian melynion (yellow coins) - gold coins
    arian mudandod (muting coins) - hush money
    arian parod (ready money) - (ready) cash
    arian sychion (dry coins) - hard cash
    arian taw (quietening coins) - hush money

    money for old rope - arian hawdd (easy money)
     
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    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    If we are now with simple expressions, then French:
    monnaie de singe (lit. monkey money) = worthless money, funny money, money to swindle
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    German: „Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt, ist des Talers nicht wert“. „Whoever does not honour the penny is not worthy of the dollar”. I know, so stupid.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Another saying/proverb for you in Welsh: Diwedd y gân yw'r geiniog (The end of the song is the penny) - "It all comes down to money".

    And English: to turn on a sixpence. To turn quickly or with agile precision, especially with limited room to manoeuvre. Primarily heard in UK.
     

    djara

    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    Tunisian:
    flayyis ma'a flayyis ywalliw kdayyis; one penny with another penny become a heap.
    bayyidhli kaffi, literally whiten the palm of my hand i.e. give me money (jocular)
    el flous tnattiq el bakkush, money makes a dumb person speak
     

    Terio

    Senior Member
    Français (Québec)
    Yes indeed, and in French, in memory of the emperor, public toilets were for a long time called vespasiennes.
    In Montreal, in the thirties or early forties, the mayor (Camillien Houde) had public toilets intalled to sanitize some parts of the city. People used to call them, as a joke, camilliennes.
     

    raamez

    Member
    Arabic
    Syrian:
    مال الخسيس بيروح فطيس maal-el khasiis biyrouh ftiis: the money of the greedy one goes in vain
    In Fusha there is a very common proverb which goes like this درهم وقاية خير من قنطار علاج one dirham spent on prevention is better than one qintaar spent on treatment.
    Dirham is from Greek Drachma and Qintaar is from Latin Centenarius
     
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    Kaoss

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Yo lo conozco como:

    Por la plata baila el mono.
    Catalan versión: Pagant, Sant Pere canta. --> If you pay him, Saint Peter will sign.

    Spanish say (I think i comes from Quevedo): Poderoso caballero es don dinero --> Mr. Money is a powerful gentleman.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Also Arabic:
    يا ماخذة القرد ع ماله، يروح المال ويظل القرد ع حاله = you that has taken (married) the monkey for his money, the money might go but the monkey will [always] be a monkey.

    المال السائب يعلّم السرقة = unattended money teaches stealing.

    الفلوس تغيّر النفوس = money changes peoples’ souls/characters.

    هين قرشك ولا تهين نفسك = demean your qirsh (money) not yourself.

    القرش الأبيض ينفع في اليوم الأسود = a white (silver) qirsh (coin) is useful on a black day.

    اصرف ما في الجيب يأتيك ما في الغيب = spend whatever’s in your pocket and you will get whatever has been destined (to come to you). Basically meaning “spend today, tomorrow will deal with itself”.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In Fusha there is a very common proverb which goes like this درهم وقاية خير من قنطار علاج one dirham spent on prevention is better than one qintaar spent on treatment.
    There's an English equivalent, but it uses weights rather than monetary values:
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    "Happiness doesn't lie in money." (Не в деньгах счастье.)
    I soldi non fanno la felicità = money doesn't buy you happiness.
    In English: Money doesn't buy happiness. (no "you," as in Italian)

    Another English one, from the Bible: The love of money is the root of all evil.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    I’ll add a few Arabic ones.

    From Classical Arabic (in metered verse):
    المال يبني بيوتاً لا عمادَ لها والفقر يهدمُ بيت العزّ والشرف
    Money erects houses without pillars, and poverty destroys the house of glory and honor
    إذا شاب رأس المرء أو قلّ مالهُ فليس له في ودّهنّ نصيبُ
    If a man’s head turn grey or his money be little, no part shall he have in their [women’s] affections

    From the Qur’an:

    المال والبنون زينة الحياة الدنيا، والباقيات الصالحات خيرٌ عند ربّك ثواباً وخيرٌ أملا
    Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world; and the ever-abiding, the good works, are better with your Lord in reward and better in expectation.

    From our native dialect (also in verse):

    المال لو هو عند عنزٍ شيورت وقيل يا امّ قرين وين المنزلِ
    Money if it be with a goat she will be consulted, and it will be said ‘oh horned one, where shall we set our camp?’
     
    Polish

    Czas to pieniądz. = Time is money.

    Pieniądze szczęścia nie dają, ale żyć pomagają = Money does not bring happiness , but they help to live.

    Gdy pieniędzy wiele, wokół przyjaciele. =lit. When there is a lot of money , there are friends around.
    You have a lot of friends if you have money; otherwise there are only strangers.

    Człowiek najpierw pragnie być pięknym, potem bogatym a na końcu tylko zdrowym. = Man first wishes to be beautiful, then rich and at the end only healthy.

    Dziewczyny nie lubią chłopców. Dziewczyny lubią samochody i pieniądze! = Girls don't like boys. Girls like cars and money!

    Kiedy nie wiadomo o co chodzi, to chodzi o pieniądze. =lit. When you don't know what the matter is , it's about the money.
     
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