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Latin Via Proverbs: Home - Previous - Next


Group 141: Latin


1818. Nec pleno flumine cernit aquas.

1819. A puro fonte defluit aqua pura.

1820. Parva volucris non ova magna parit.

1821. Natura plus trahit quam septem boves.

1822. Audacem reddit felis absentia murem.

1823. Longa fames macros mittit in arva lupos.

1824. Furem fur cognoscit et lupum lupus.

1825. Ovem in fronte, vulpem in corde gerit.

1826. In laqueos auceps decidit suos.

1827. Decipit incautas fistula dulcis aves.

1828. Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit.


Proverbs 1811-1820

Proverbs 1821-1830


Study Guide


1818. He can't see the water in the high tide. (You can find this saying in Ovid.)


1819. From the pure source streams pure water. (Compare the fabulous story in the Gesta Romanorum about the stream of water pouring forth from the dog's head.)


1820. A small bird does not lay big eggs. (I have to confess I find this proverb extremely funny and, metaphorically, most suggestive!)


1821. Nature has a stronger tug than seven oxen. (The English proverb goes to greater extremes: "Nature draws more than ten oxen" or even "Nature draws more than ten teams.")


1822. The cat's absence makes the mouse grow bold. (As in the English proverb, "when the cat's away, the mice play.")


1823. Long-lasting hunger drives the starving wolves into the fields. (Compare the similar saying: Fames pellit lupum e silvis, "hunger drives the wolf from the woods.")


1824. One thief knows another, and wolf knows wolf. (A fuller form includes the jackdaw: Graculus a graculo, fur a fure cognoscitur, lupus a lupo, "birds of a feather," so to speak.)


1825. He has the face of a sheep but the heart of a wolf. (This is a great variation on the notion of the "wolf in sheep's clothing.")


1826. The bird-catcher falls into his own snares. (This saying is adapted from Ovid.)


1827. The sweet-sounding whistle tricks the reckless birds. (You will find this medieval saying in Tosi, 527.)


1828. A smart man does not piss into the wind. (I always think about that great Jim Croce song, "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" with the lines, "You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with Jim." This saying circulates widely on the Internet in Latin but I am not sure if it has a classical source of any kind.)

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