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Folk Sayings Animals
Italy - Pre 1969 or Around the World, Click here

Molise, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Folk Sayings or Proverbs on Birds -- by Region
     
     
      o in Italian: I soldi sono come gli uccelli se volano, non il trovi piu.
      o in English: Money is like a bird -- it flies away so fast, you can never find it.
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Ru cielle ze vede a ru nide.
      o in English: (Literally) One can see the bird from the nest. (Meaning) Some things you simply can't hide -- they are what they are.
     
Contributed by: Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #821355

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Sicily, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverb or Folk Saying on Animals -- Birds -- by Region -- Sicily
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Gaggia aperta, aceddu mortu.
      o in English: (Literally) Bird cage open, dead bird. (Meaning) If the fly on your pants is open, what's behind it will look dead.
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #821086

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Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys and Mules -- Italy (National)
     
      o in Italian: Chi nasce asino non puo morire cavallo.
      o in English: Who's born as a donkey can't die as a horse.
     
     
Contributed by: Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #822474

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Campania, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Folk Sayings or Proverbs on Donkeys and Mules -- by Region -- Campania
     
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Miette 'e denare 'ncanna a 'o ciuccio e 'o chiammano don ciuccio.
      o in English (Literally): Put your money in the ass of a donkey and they'll call him Don [Sir] Donkey. Meaning: If you're rich, you'll get respect. Equivalent: You are what you own.
     
      o In Italian (Dialect): 'O cicuccio che se crede cervo, quando va pe' zump 'o fuosso se ne addona.
      o in English (Literally): The donkey who believes himself to be a deer,when he tries to jump over a ditch, realizes he cannot do it.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): S'ae appicciato 'o ciuccio cu ttut'a carretta.
      o in English (Literally): The cart caught fire and everything in it including the donkey burnt down. Meaning: Everything was lost.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect) A o ricco ille more a mugliera, a o pezzente le more o cicuccio.
      o in English: (Literally) A rich man loses his wife, a poor man loses his donkey. (Meaning) The rich feel pain when they lose a loved one, but the poor not only feel pain when they lose a loved one but they also feel pain when one of their farm animals die as they can't make ends meet without.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect) A fimmena nun se sposa o ciuccio, pecche ille rompe 'e lenzole.
      o in English: (Literally) Women don't marry donkeys because they'll tear up the sheets. (Meaning) Women will chose as husbands those men who know how to make love properly, over those who don't.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Femmene, ciucce e crape tenono tutte una capa.
      o in English: (Literally) Women, donkeys and goats all have heads. (Meaning) Women, like donkeys and goats, are hard-headed or stubborn and too much trouble.
Contributed by: Image Courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #822475

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Calabria, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys and Mules -- by Region -- Calabria
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Quandu u ciucciu on vola u viva abbaca u frischi.
      o in English: When the donkey doesn't want to drink, it's useless to whistle [or hiss]. English equivalent: You can take the horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Na fimmina e 'na sumera arrebbellanu 'na hera.
      o in English: A woman and a donkey cause turmoil at a [country] fair.
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Ciucci, calavrisi e muli nun pisciano mai da suli.
      o in English: Donkeys, mules and Calabrese never pee alone [in the countryside].
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #62291

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Emilia Romagna, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys -- by Region -- Emilia Romagna
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Meju un asi san che un dutur mortu.
      o in English: Better a donkey in good health than a dead doctor.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Tre rob agli e beli da znen: e sumar, e majel e e' cuntaden.
      o in English: Three things are beautiful when they are small: the donkey, the pig and the peasant.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Da un esen a'n 's pol aspeter eter che d'i cheiz.
      o in English: From a donkey all you can expect are kicks.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): E sumar e' porta e' ven mo e be dl'aqua.
      o in English: (Literally): The donkey carries the wine but drinks water. (Meaning) It's not the worker (the little guy) who benefits from his labour, but his boss (the top dog).
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Library, Digital Gallery #1687571

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Lombardy, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys and Mules -- by Region -- Lombardy
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) 'ntat che 'l to asen, l' indaa a scoela, ol me 'l turnaa 'ndre a pieni voti.
      o in English: (Literally) While your donkey went to school, I turned around and got good marks. (Meaning) Book learning is not as valuable as life experience.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) La fo' teuti li spiandadi cme 'l asan dal straser.
      o in English: (Literally) Enter the house like the donkey of a rag man. (Meaning) Said of one who gossips a lot.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Un asen sciur, l'e un sciur. Un asen purett, l'e un asen.
      o in English: (Literally) A rich ass is rich, a poor ass is poor. (Meaning) The rich can be asses and get away it, but not the poor.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Asen de natura ch no conoss la soa scrittura.
      o in English: (Literally) A donkey by nature who doesn't understand his own handwriting. (Meaning) If someone's handwriting is so bad he himself can't read it, then he's an ass at heart.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) La gioventu l'e la bellezza de l'asen.
      o in English: Youth has the beauty of a donkey.
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #819983

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Molise, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys and Mules -- by Region -- Molise
     
      MOLISE (Casacalenda)*
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): E megliee n'asene vive che nu miedeche muorte.
      o in English: (Literally) A live donkey is better than a dead doctor. Meaning: Owning property does more for your health than having an incompetent doctor.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect) L'asn port'a pagl'e, l'asn's l'magn'.
      o in English (Literally): The donkey brings the hay and the donkey eats it. Equivalent: He who brings home the bacon gets to eat it.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Z'e squarrata l'asena
      o in English: (Literally) The donkey collapsed. (Meaning) Something suddenly and unexpectedly went wrong.
     
      o in Italian: Un solo asino ve per la fieria.
      o in English: (Literally) One donkey goes to the animal fair? (Meaning) There's more where that came from. Or, there's plenty of other fish in the sea (Reference to marriage mates).
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Ciente niente hanne eccise u ciucce.
      o in English: (Literally) A hundred nothings killed the donkey. (Equivalent) The straw that broke the camel's back.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Chi chummatta chi femmene e ore chi cuicci non te uai nieute da veuvre.
      o in English: Those who have to deal with women and plow with a donkey, don't have any wheat to sell.
     
      * Contributed by Antonio (Tony) Fantillo
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Il toro che dice cornuto all'asino.
      o in English: (Literally) The bull says cuckold to the donkey. (Meaning) Someone accuses a man of having an unfaithful wife, when he is the one who is being cheated on. And/or Someone is being taken advantage of tells another person that he is being taken advantage of and should have cause to worry.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Ai vogl a fschia s l'asn nn te set
      o in English: (Literally) He wants to talk to the donkey that doesn't understand. (Meaning) There is no point trying to talk sense to someone who doesn't want to listen to what you have to say.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) I cicc r' fichella, cient rfiette e la cora fracera.
      o in English: My grandfather's donkey has over 100 defects and his tail is broken.
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): L'asn annanz, i cavali arret.
      o in English: (Literally) Donkeys in front, horses in the back. (Meaning) The incompetent move up the ladder faster than those who are competent.
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #62237

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Piedmont, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys -- by Region -- Piedmont
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) A val pusse n'aso a ca soa che un dotor a ca d'j'ait.
      o in English: A donkey in one's own house has more value than a doctor that is in someone else's house.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Asu c'a porta 'l vin e beiv l'acqua.
      o in English: The donkey that brings the wine and drinks the water.
     
      o in Italian: (in dialect) In mancanza di cavalli trottano gli asini.
      o in English: (Literally) Lacking horses, donkeys trot out. (Meaning) If one can't get the best, one will have to settle for second best.
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #67538

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Puglia, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Donkeys and Mules -- by Region -- Puglia
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) A lava' la cape o ciucce, se strusce iacque e sapone.
      o in English: To wash the head of a donkey, one wastes water and soap.
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #62235

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