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Persian Proverbs


"آب از دستش نميچکه"

Literal Translation: Water does not trickle out of his hand.

Literal Translation: Even water doesn't trickle out his hand.

Connotation: He is a skinflint. She is tight-fisted.

English Equivalent: Short arms, long pockets. First one out the taxi, last one to the bar.


"آب از سر چشمه گل آلوده"

Literal Translation: Water is muddy at the fountainhead.

Connotation: The issue is muddled at the core.

English Equivalent: It's rotten to the core.


"آب از آب تکان نميخوره"

Literal translation: The water doesn't move.

Connotation: Nothing is disturbed. No waves are made.

English Equivalent: All quiet along the Potomac.


"آب از سرش گذشته"

Literal Translation: Water is past his head.

Connotation: He has lost his chance; it's over for him.

English Equivalent: She's in deep water. He's got in over his head.


"آب در کوزه و ما تشنه لبان ميگرديم"

Literal Translation: Water is in the jug, yet we're wandering around with parched lips.

Connotation: The solution is under our nose, yet we're searching far and wide for it.

English Equivalent: We can't see the wood for the trees


"آب را گل آلود ميکنه که ماهي بگيره"

Literal Translation: He makes the water muddy to fish.

Connotation: He creates a confusing situation for opportunistic reasons.

English Equivalent: He is fishing in troubled waters.


"آب زير پوستش افتاده"

Literal Translation: Water has seeped under her skin.

Connotation: She has become hale. Her appearance has improved.

English Equivalent: She is in the pink.


"آب که يه جا بمونه، ميگنده"

Literal Translation: When water remains in one place, it spoils.

Connotation: Absence of change causes stagnation.

English Equivalent: A rolling stone gathers no moss.


"آبکش و نگاه کن که به کفگير ميگه تو سه سوراخ داري"

Literal Translation: Look at the colander telling the pierced serving spoon, "You have three holes."

Connotation: Applied when a person mentions the problems of another without seeing his own bigger problems.

English Equivalent: The pot calling the kettle black.


"آب که از سر گذشت، چه يک ذرع چه صد ذرع ـ چه يک ني چه صد ني"

Literal Translation: Once water goes over your head, may it be one zar or hundred zars, may it be one nay or a hundred nays.

Connotation: Once one is in deep trouble, the exact magnitude of one's misfortune becomes immaterial.

English Equivalent: Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. In for a penny, in for a pound.


"آب که سر بالا ميره، قورباغه ابوعطا ميخونه"

Literal Translation: When water flows uphill, frogs sing Abu Ata.

Connotation: An event is so improbable that its occurrence is akin to cacophony sounding mellifluous.

English Equivalent: Pigs might fly.


"آبي از او گرم نميشه"

Literal Translation: No water is heated by him.

Connotation: He is not an agent of change. He is not a difference-maker. He provides no support or benefit.

English Equivalent: He's a good-for-nothing.


"آتش که گرفت، خشک و تر ميسوزد"

Literal Translation: Once fire spreads, the damp and the dry burn.

Connotation: Once a situation gets out of hand, the guilty and the innocent get harmed equally.

English Equivalent: Fire is a good servant but a bad master.


"آخر شاه منشي، کاه کشي است"

Literal Translation: He who puts on lordly airs winds up hauling hay.

Connotation: He who has had his nose in the air bites the dust in the end.

English Equivalent: Pride comes before a fall


"آدم تنبل، عقل چهل وزير داره"

Literal Translation: A sluggard claims the wisdom of forty viziers.

Connotation: He talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk

English Equivalent: Great talkers are little doers.


"آدم خوش معامله، شريک مال مردمه"

Literal Translation: An honest broker shares in people's wealth.

Connotation: People entrust an honest man with their wherewithals.

English Equivalent: Share and share alike.


"آدم دست پاچه، کار را دوبار مي‌کنه"

Literal Translation: A hasty man does things twice.

Connotation: A slapdash work requires rework.

English Equivalent: Haste makes waste. Measure twice, cut once.


Source: wikiquote.com

Other Links:

Belgian Proverbs

Bosnian Proverbs

Argentine proverbs

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