60 Popular Brazilian Sayings and Proverbs
1. De grão em grão, a galinha enche o papo.
Little by little, the hen fills its belly.
(Small efforts add up to achieve a big goal.)
2. Cada macaco no seu galho.
Each monkey on its branch.
(To each his own.)
3. Quem não tem cão, caça com gato.
Those who don’t have a dog hunt with a cat.
(Make the most of what you have.)
4. À noite todos os gatos são pardos.
At night, all cats are gray.
(In the dark, appearances are not distinguishable.)
5. Caiu na rede, é peixe.
Once caught in the net, it's a fish.
(Everything can be made useful.)
6. Mais vale um pássaro na mão do que dois voando.
A bird in the hand is worth two in flight.
(It’s better to have a sure thing than to risk it for something uncertain.)
7. Cachorro que ladra não morde.
A barking dog doesn't bite.
(Those who make the most noise often pose no real threat.)
8. A cavalo dado não se olha o dente.
Don't look at the teeth of a gift horse.
(Don't question the value of a gift or favor.)
9. A pressa é inimiga da perfeição.
Haste is the enemy of perfection.
(Rushing can lead to mistakes.)
10. Quem espera sempre alcança.
Whoever waits always achieves.
(Patience pays off in the end.)
11. Devagar se vai ao longe.
Slowly one goes far.
(Take your time to achieve lasting success.)
12. Água mole em pedra dura tanto bate até que fura.
Soft water dripping on hard stone will eventually pierce it
(Persistence can overcome even the toughest obstacles.)
13. Quem não arrisca, não petisca.
Those who don't take risks don't get to have a snack.
(If you don't take risks, you won't achieve anything.)
14. Quem não se comunica, se trumbica.
Those who don’t communicate get into trouble.
(Lack of communication leads to problems.)
15. Quem tem boca vai a Roma.
Those who have a mouth go to Rome.
(Speaking can take you places.)
16. Quem não chora, não mama.
Those who don't cry, don't get breastfed.
(You need to express your needs to get what you want.)
17. Melhor prevenir do que remediar.
It’s better to prevent than to cure.
(It's wiser to avoid problems than to deal with the consequences.)
18. O seguro morreu de velho.
Safety died of old age.
(Better safe than sorry.)
19. Não adianta chorar pelo leite derramado.
There's no use crying over spilled milk.
(It's pointless to dwell on past mistakes or misfortunes.)
20. Quem semeia vento, colhe tempestade.
Those who sow wind reap the storm.
(You reap what you sow.)
21. Antes tarde do que nunca.
Better late than never.
22. A esperança é a última que morre.
Hope is the last one to die.
(Even in difficult times, hope remains.)
23. Quem com ferro fere, com ferro será ferido.
Those who strike with iron will be struck by iron.
(Those who harm others may face retaliation.)
24. Quem vê cara, não vê coração.
Those who see the face don’t see the heart.
(Appearances can be deceiving.)
25. As aparências enganam.
26. Nem tudo que reluz é ouro.
Not everything that glitters is gold.
(All that glitters is not gold.)
27. Em terra de cego, quem tem um olho é rei.
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
(Even a small advantage can make a big difference in certain situations.)
28. O pior cego é o que não quer ver.
The worst blind person is the one who doesn't want to see.
(Ignorance by choice is the most detrimental.)
29. Quem fala o que quer ouve o que não quer.
Whoever says whatever they want hears what they don't want.
(Be prepared for the consequences of speaking without restraint.)
30. Cada cabeça, uma sentença.
Each head has its own judgment.
(Different people have different opinions.)
31. Santo de casa não faz milagre.
The home saint doesn't perform miracles.
(Sometimes those closest to us are not the most helpful.)
32. Cada um por si, Deus por todos.
Each one for themselves, God for everyone.
33. Deus ajuda quem cedo madruga.
God helps those who wake up early.
34. Deus escreve certo por linhas tortas.
God writes straight with crooked lines.
(Unexpected or difficult situations can sometimes lead to positive outcomes.)
35. A voz do povo é a voz de Deus.
The voice of the people is the voice of God.
(Public opinion carries great weight.)
36. A ocasião faz o ladrão.
The occasion makes the thief.
(Opportunity can tempt people to do wrong.)
37. Ladrão que rouba ladrão tem cem anos de perdão.
A thief who steals from a thief has a hundred years of forgiveness.
(Sometimes an act considered wrong can be justified in certain circumstances.)
38. A união faz a força.
Unity makes strength.
(Working together can achieve greater results.)
39. Quem canta seus males espanta.
Those who sing frighten away their troubles.
(Singing or expressing oneself can provide relief from difficulties.)
40. Onde há fumaça, há fogo.
Where there's smoke, there's fire.
41. Quem cala consente.
Silence implies consent.
(By remaining silent, you are agreeing to what is happening.)
42. Antes só do que mal acompanhado.
Better alone than in bad company.
(It's preferable to be alone than in the company of negative or harmful people.)
43. Quem é vivo sempre aparece.
Those who are alive always show up.
(Normally said to someone who suddenly shows up after a long time not getting in contact).
44. De médico e de louco todo mundo tem um pouco.
Everyone has a bit of a doctor and a bit of madness.
(Everyone has some knowledge or quirks in different areas.)
45. Diz-me com quem andas e eu te direi quem és.
Tell me who you have as company and I’ll tell you who you are.
(The company you keep reflects your character.)
46. É dando que se recebe.
It is by giving that one receives.
(Generosity is rewarded.)
47. Escreveu, não leu; o pau comeu.
If you write something and don’t read afterwards, there’ll be trouble.
(Failure to pay attention to details can lead to undesirable consequences.)
48. Filho de peixe, peixinho é.
The child of a fish is a little fish.
(Talents or traits are often inherited.)
49. A mentira tem perna curta.
Lies have short legs.
(Lies will eventually be exposed.)
50. O barato sai caro.
The cheap turns out expensive.
(Opting for low-quality or cheap things can end up costing more in the long run.)
51. Para bom entendedor, meia palavra basta.
For an intelligent person, half a word is enough.
(An intelligent person can grasp the meaning of something with minimal information).
52. Pimenta nos olhos dos outros é refresco.
Pepper in other people's eyes is like a cold drink.
(It's easy to find amusement in someone else's misfortune.)
53. Quem ama o feio, bonito lhe parece.
(Those who love the ugly find it beautiful.)
54. Quem ri por último ri melhor.
Those who laugh last, laugh best.
(Situations can change, so don’t be boastful about a victory.)
55. Um dia é da caça, outro do caçador.
One day belongs to the hunter, another to the prey.
(Fortunes can change, and roles can be reversed.)
56. Faça o que eu digo, mas não faça o que eu faço.
Do as I say and not as I do.
57. Quem conta um conto aumenta um ponto.
Those who tell a tale add a point.
(Things can often be embellished or exaggerated when retold.)
58. Saco vazio não para em pé.
An empty sack doesn't stand upright.
(Without food one cannot thrive.)
59. Águas passadas não movem moinho.
Past waters don't move the mill.
(The past is the past.)
60. Todos os caminhos levam a Roma.
All paths lead to Rome.
(There are many paths to reach the same goal.)