McIntyre Crest McIntyre Tartan

Scottish Sayings

and their translations - compiled by Allan Morrison.

Oot on the branch, the fruit is gey ripe.
The most successful ventures entail the greatest risks.

If ye dinna see the bottom, dinna wada.
Don't go into a venture if you can't see your way through with it.

The cow may want her tail yet.
You may want a favor in the future from me, though you're not giving me one right now!

First offer's ne'er accepted.
People who advertise 'first reasonable offer accepted', never accept it.

Trade wi' honest men and ye talk to few.
Honest businessmen are few and far between.

Don't test the depth of the burn wi' both feet.
Don't commit everything to one venture.

The stars shine brightest when the moon is on the wane.
When large concerns falter, opportunities arise to further your own business.

A freen at court is worth a penny in the purse.
Maintaining good contacts is always worthwhile

He's a fool that asks ower muckle and a bigger fool that gives it.
A fool will ask for too much, but a bigger fool will agree to give him it.

A nod's as guid as a wink tae a blind horse.
Always ensure you make your meaning clear.

Nae post then send a post.
When you don't receive a letter - send a letter.

Kindly words are best for the mooth.
Say gentle words only - you may have to eat them later.

Haud yer wheesht.
Be quiet!

Birds and blethers fly.
Rumors travel as quickly as birds.

A wee bit disagreement keeps the talk lang.
Too much agreement kills a conversation.

Haud on a wee minent.
Slow down and take your time.

Nicht is the mither o' thoughts.
Many profound thoughts come at night.

Think twice on a' thing.
Don't make decisions hastily. Second thoughts are usually better than the first ones.

E'en guid sermons cause a snore.
Even the best communicators have their faults.

Hae a guid whittle at yer belt.
I pays to have a ready answer.

Blethers say nought.
People who say too much say nothing.

Some Folks' minds are like the wind in a winter's nicht.
Some people's contributions are valueless.

Talkin' discloses a' tae the folk in the street.
Never say too much in public.

Dinna clothe your language in ragged attire.
Don't spoil what you say by using bad language.

A tongue's a fearsome tool.
What you say can be a powerful asset.

Nae words, nae quarrel.
If you stay silent, no one can argue with you.

Time and thinking tame the strongest grief.
Time and contemplation are the greatest healers of grief.

Hae life right to the end.
Live as though tomorrow were your last.

It's no the ramblin' cart that fa's first owner the brae.
It's not always the person you expect who dies first.

Folk may die, but the toon cock will chime again.
People die but life goes on.

Relations are a wilful lot.
Relatives can be stubborn over wills.

Toilin's the hard bit-dyin's easy.
Dying is easy-it's living that is hard.

Thon doctors canny keep you goin' forever.
Doctor's only postpone death.

Death's the cost o' living.
Death is the payment we make for living.

Dinna look for death-it'll come and find you sure enough.
Death is inevitable.

Heaven dims wi' guid health.
Thoughts of one's mortality recede when in good health.

At death's door oor life begins.
Death is not the way out-it is the way in.

Even gentry hae but a short time here.
Even landowners live on borrowed property.

He's got the look o' wet cley aboot him.
He looks as though he is dying.

Double check your measure afore you cut.
Consider well before you make a final decision.

Here's yer meat-tak it or leave it.
You've two choices in many situations.

Twa' wrongs can dim the morrow.
Two wrongs may not make a right but they do make a dangerous precedent.

Crooked hooses cam fae committees.
It is better to make your own decisions.

Ye canna sell the cow and sup the milk too.
You cannot have it both ways.

It's as plain as the nose on yer face!
The solution is surely clear!

Say 'no' and ye'll no go far wrang.
Sometimes, saying 'no' is a positive thing to do.

Naething to be done in haste but grippin' o' fleas.
Never act hastily-unless you're trying to kill fleas.

A red nose maks a ragged back.
If you drink to excess, you may have no money for necessities.

Watch them waur to drink than to corn.
Be wary of those who spend their money on drink, rather than food.

Drink little, that ye may drink lang.
Too much alcohol shortens the lifespan.

A dram brings truth unco close.
Beware, whisky brings out the truth.

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