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Folk Sayings on Death
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Sardinia, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Death -- Inheritance -- by Region -- Sardinia
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Buttegheri e porcu si biri appustis mortu.
      o in English: The worth of a shopkeeper and a pig is only appreciated after they die.
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Sardinia, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Death -- the Afterlife -- by Region -- Sardinia
     
      o in Italian (Dialect): Su mundu est de chie lu cheret, su chelu di chie l'alcansat.
      o in English: The world is for he who wants it, heaven is for he who gets it.
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Sicily, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Death and Dying (General) -- by Region -- Sicily
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Assai megghiu addivintirai si a la morti pinsirai.
      o in English: One becomes better if one thinks of death.
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Morti e maritu no spiari quannu veni.
      o in English: (Literally) Death and husband -- one doesn't know when they come round. (Meaning) It's best not to ask when one is going to die or when one's husband is coming home (One has to accept the timing as it is).
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) La morti a tutti trova e lu munnu s'arrinova.
      o in English: Death finds everyone and the world gets renewed.
     
      Contributed by Maria Tozzi
     
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Sicily, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Death and Dying -- Bereavement -- by Region -- Sicily
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Quannu ce lu mortu, bisogna pinzari a lu vivu [vivo].
      o in English: When there is a death, one needs to think of those who are living.
     
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Sicily, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Death & Dying -- the Afterlife -- by Region -- Sicily
     
     
      o in Italian: Megghiu muriri chi rumpiri la fidi.
      - in English: Better to die than to lose one's faith.
     
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Cu la morti 'un si perdi la speranza: la dannazioni si chiam, "Spartenza."
      - in English: With death one does not lose hope: damnation is called "Spartenza".
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Tuscany, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Italian Proverb or Folk Saying on Death & Dying -- by Region -- Tuscany
     
      o in Italian: Mangia bene e caca forte, e non aver paura della morte.
      o in English: Eat well and have a good shit, and don't be afraid of death. (Equivalent) Don't worry, be happy.
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Veneto, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Folk Saying or Proverb on Death & Dying -- by Region -- Veneto
     
      in Italian: (Dialect) Veciaja, debiti e morte non bussano mai alla porta.
      in English: Old age, debts and death don't ever need to be at the door.
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Veneto, Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Proverbs or Folk Sayings on Death and Dying -- the Afterlife -- by Region -- Veneto
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Senza santi no se va in paradiso.
      o in English: Without saints one does not go to Heaven.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Uno solo no sta ben gnanca in paradiso.
      o in English: Being alone is not good even in Paradise. (Meaning) Being alone is Hell.
     
      o in Italian: (Dialect) Chi ga inventa el vin, se noi xe in Paradiso, el xe vissin.
      o in English: Whoever invented wine, if he is not in Paradise, is nearby.
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Italy
Date: n.d.
Notes: The following Italian proverbs and sayings about death and dying, funerals, widows, widowers, grief etc. were originally published in Italian in the book, "Proverbi e Modi Proverbiali Italiani raccoliti da Giulio Franceschi" (Milano: Ulrico Hoepli, 1908). The English translations were done by Mary Melfi with help from Google's free translation service at www.translate.google.com. Giulio Franceschi's "Proverbi e Modi Proverbiali Italiani" is available for free at www.archive.org.
     
     
      ENGLISH: While one talks of death, another one dies.
      ITALIAN. Altro parlar di morte, altro morire.
     
      ENGLISH: Tears for the dead -- short tears.
      ITALIAN:. Pianto per morto - pianto corto.
     
      ENGLISH: Better a living donkey than a dead doctor.
      ITALIAN: Meglio asino vivo che dottore morto.
     
      ENGLISH: Better a dog that lives than a lion that is dead.
      ITALIAN: Meglio cane vivo che leone morto.
     
      ENGLISH: The end of the world is for those who die.
      ITALIAN: Fini mondo per chi muore.
     
      ENGLISH: The death of his wife lasts up to the door (Not long).
      ITALIAN: Doglia di moglie morta - dura fino alla porta.
     
      ENGLISH: The serpant is dead, the poison ends.
      ITALIAN: Morta la serpe, spento il veleno.
     
      ENGLISH: The bees died, no more honey.
      ITALIAN: Morta l'ape non si ha pi miele.
     
      ENGLISH: A few young people die, of the old no one stays alive forever.
      ITALIAN: Dei giovani ne muore qualcuno - dei vecchi non ne campa nessuno.
     
      ENGLISH: Death doesn't just look through the book of the old.
      ITALIAN: La morte non guarda soltanto nel libro dei vecchi.
     
      ENGLISH: One dies young by misfortune, in old age by duty.
      ITALIAN: Si muore giovani per disgrazia, e vecchi per dovere.
     
      ENGLISH: One pope dies, get another.
      ITALIAN: Morto un papa, se ne fa un altro.
     
      ENGLISH: Who doesn't have faith, death hurts.
      ITALIAN: A chi non crede duole la morte.
     
      ENGLISH: Who can live, can die.
      ITALIAN: Chi piti vive, pi muore.
     
      ENGLISH: For every corpse in the house, four living people are needed.
      ITALIAN: A cavar di casa un morto ci voglion quattro vivi.
     
      ENGLISH: A desired death, a hundred years for the house.
      ITALIAN: Morte desiderata, cent'anni per la casa.
     
      ENGLISH: All are born crying, no one dies laughing.
      ITALIAN: Tutti si nasce piangendo e nessuno muore ridendo.
     
     
      ENGLISH: A deadly pain, neither doctor or medicine will help.
      ITALIAN: A mal mortale - n medico, n medicina val
     
      ENGLISH: Who are born will die.
      ITALIAN: Chi nasce convien che muoia.
     
      ENGLISH: Doctor's errors, the will of God.
      ITALIAN: Errore di medico, volont di Dio.
     
      ENGLISH: Death comes when you least expect it.
      ITALIAN: La morte viene quando meno s'aspetta.
     
      ENGLISH: Death is a community debt.
      ITALIAN: La morte un debito comune.
     
      ENGLISH: Anything is better than death.
      ITALIAN: Ogni cosa meglio che la morte.
     
      ENGLISH: With little you live, with nothing you die.
      ITALIAN: Con poco si vive, con niente si muore.
     
      ENGLISH: The last thing to do is to die.
      ITALIAN: L'ultima cosa che si ha da fare il morire.
     
      ENGLISH: Tears of those who inherit -- you would have to be mad to believe them.
      ITALIAN: Alle lacrime d'un erede - ben matto chi
     
      ENGLISH: A dead mother, a blind father.
      ITALIAN: Madre morta - padre cieco.
     
      ENGLISH: When one is born everyone is beautiful, when one marries everyone is good, and when one dies, everyone is a saint.
      ITALIAN: Quando nascono son tutti belli - quando si maritano tutti buoni - e quando muoiono tutti santi.
     
      ENGLISH: Hope will accompany a man till his death.
      ITALIAN: La speranza sola accompagna l'uomo fino alla morte.
     
      ENGLISH: Where there is breath (life), there is hope.
      ITALIAN: Finch e' fiato e' speranza.
     
      ENGLISH: Who has seen 50 carnivals can put on his boots (To leave this world).
      ITALIAN: Chi ha cinquanta carnevali - si pu metter gli stivali.
     
      ENGLISH: The old that is healed -- lasts 100 years.
      ITALIAN: Il vecchio che si cura - cent'anni dura.
     
      ENGLISH: Who is old and doesn't believe it -- will trip into his grave without seeing it.
      ITALIAN: Chi vecchio e non lo crede - al saltar della
      fossa se n'avvede.
      E. Death of mother-in-law -- elbow pain.
      I. Morte di suocera dolor di gomito.
      death
     
      E. Even in Paradise it's not pleasant to be alone.
      I. Soli non si starebbe bene nemmeno in paradiso.
     
      E. Brothers are united without knowing each other -- are united without love and die without crying for each other.
      I. I frati si uniscono senza conoscersi - stanno uniti senza amarsi - e muoiono senza piangersi.
     
     
     
      E. Until death -- one doesn't know his fate.
      I. Fino alla morte - non si sa la sorte.
     
      E. You know where you are born, but you don't know where you will die.
      I. Si sa dove si nasce, ma non dove si muore.
     
      E. One is born warm, one dies, cold.
      I. Si nasce caldi - si muore freddi.
     
      E. Heat is life, the cold is death.
      I. Il caldo la vita, il freddo la morte.
     
      E. Don't recall the dead at the table.
      I. Non si rammentano i morti a tavola.
     
      E. At the table one does not speak of the dead.
      I. A tavola non si parla di morti.
     
      E. One mass when alive is worth more than hundred when dead (Going to one Mass when one is still alive is worth more than one hundred masses ordered for you when you are dead.)
      I. Val piu una messa in vita che cento in morte.
     
      E. One doesn't die of sorrow, but of joy yes.
      I. Di dolore non si muore, ma d'allegrezza s.
     
      E. Pain does not age.
      I. Il dolore non invecchia.
     
      E. Sleep is the relative of death.
      I. Il sonno parente della morte.
     
Contributed by: English translations, Mary Melfi; Italian text, courtesy of www.archive.org

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Italy
Date: Centuries-old
Notes: Taken from the book, "Proverbi Spiegati al Popolo" edited by Fanny Ghedini Bortolotti (Milan: Treves, 1869).
     
      147. E. A good death, honors life.
      I. Un bel morir tutta la vita onora.
     
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