Friday 14 June 2024

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Greek Proverbs and sound advice

My poetry collection Sunshine after Rain was inspired by old sayings and phrases and many of my Twitter friends and followers on IG contributed too. I took their favourite saying and used it to create a poem. But it also got me thinking about some of the wise sayings that my own Greek Cypriot grandparents and parents have said over the years. Many of them have given me sound advice about how to live my life and while I may have paid little attention as a teenager, I have found that as I am getting older I am taking more heed.

These sayings or proverbs are innate to supporting greater empathy and understanding of my Greek heritage and culture too. It helps me to understand my roots and the way my parents think and why they behave or react to things in certain ways.


Proverbs or in Greek : οι παροιμίες. (E ba-ree-mee-ez)


  1. The donkey called the rooster big headed.

This means that a person criticises another person for a fault he has himself. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Look who’s talking’.

  1. When the cat’s away, the mice dance.

This means that when the person in charge is not present, others enjoy their freedom. The nearest English equivalent is ‘When the cat’s away, the mice will play’.

  1. The camel cannot see her own hump.

This means that we criticise and point out other people’s faults and weaknesses but we fail to notice our own. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the one in your own?’

  1. Too many opinions sink the boat.

This means that it’s difficult to make decisions when there are too many opinions. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’.

  1. My home, my little home, a little house of my own.

This means loving and having your own home. The nearest English equivalent is ‘Home sweet home’.


Source material:


I’m sure you know of many sayings and proverbs from your own country or origins so why not share them here – I could post an international blog on the ones mentioned in the future.

Thank you for joining me, and as always, happy reading, happy writing, happy you!



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