Russian Proverbs and Sayings

This page continues the alphabetical list of Russian proverbs and sayings along with their English versions and literal translations.


Russian proverbs: н                             8 of 15 | < Prev   Next >

- H -
На безры́бье и рак -- ры́ба.
Something is better than nothing.
 Literal: On a fishing lull, even a crayfish is fish.
На Бо́га наде́йся, а сам не плоша́й.Trust in God, but lock your car.
 Literal: Hope for God, but do not be reliant.
На Бо́га поло́жишься -- не обло́жишься.
 Literal: If you rely on God, you won't fail.
На брю́хе шёлк, а в брю́хе щёлк.All hat and no cattle.
 Literal: On the belly there is silk, and in the belly - just a click.
На весь свет не угодишь.If you try to please all you will please none.
На вкус и цвет това́рищей нет.There's no accounting for taste.
 Literal: There are no friends in tastes and colors.
На во́ре ша́пка гори́т.A guilty mind betrays itself.
 Literal: A thief's hat is burning.
На всех не угоди́шьHe who pleased everybody died before he was born.
 Literal: You cannot please everybody.
На вся́кого мудреца́ дово́льно простоты́.Homer sometimes nods.
 Literal: For each wise man there are plenty of fools.
На зе́ркало не́ча пеня́ть, ко́ли ро́жа крива́.
 Literal: If your face looks skewed, don't blame the mirror.
На ловца́ и зверь бежи́т.Speak of the devil, and he appears.
 Literal: Prey runs into a trapper.
На миру́ и смерть красна́.Together with your people even the death is respectable.
На то и щу́ка в мо́ре, что́бы кара́сь не дрема́л.
 Literal: The pike in the sea is there to make the crucian to stay alert.
На халя́ву и у́ксус сла́док.Vinegar that is free, is sweeter than honey.
 Literal: Even vinegar is sweet when for freebie.
На что и шапка, коли головы нет.Не that has nо head needs no hat.
На чужо́й карава́й рот не разева́й.Don't keep your mouth open.
 Literal: Don't open your mouth to eat other people's bread.
На чужо́й рото́к не наки́нешь плато́к.It is impossible to throw a shawl over someone's mouth.
 Literal: you can't throw a handkerchief over somebody's mouth.
На чужо́й сторо́нушке рад свое́й воро́нушке.The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
 Literal: In the foreign country you are glad to see even the crow from your land.
На чужо́м го́ре сча́стья не постро́ишь.
 Literal: One can't build one's happiness on others' grief.
На языке́ мёд, а на се́рдце -- лёд.A honey tongue, a heart of gall.
 Literal: On the tongue there's honey, and on the heart there's ice.
Назва́лся гру́здем -- полеза́й в ку́зов.If you undertook something, do it; If you pledge, don't hedge.
 Literal: If you called yourself a milk-mushroom -- get into the basket!
Назло мужу сяду в лужу.To bite off one's nose to spite somebody's face.
Нашла́ коса́ на ка́мень.Diamond cut diamond.; You have met your match.
 Literal: The scythe has hit a stone.
Не бо́ги горшки́ обжига́ют.It is not the gods who burn our pots.
 Literal: It's not gods who make pots.
Не бо́йся соба́ки, что ла́ет, а бо́йся той, что молчи́т и хвосто́м виля́ет.It's the quiet ones you gotta watch.
 Literal: Don't be afraid of the dog who barks, but be afraid of the one who is silent and wags its tail.
Не буди́ ли́ха, пока́ спит ти́хо.Don't trouble till trouble troubles you; Let sleeping dogs lie.
 Literal: Don't wake up trouble while it sleeps quietly.
Не́ было бы сча́стья, да несча́стье помогло́.A blessing in disguise.
 Literal: I would have had no luck, if not for misfortune.
Не́ было у ба́бы хлопо́т, так купи́ла порося́.You've asked for trouble.
 Literal: The woman had no trouble, so she bought a piglet.
Не в свои сани не садись.Do not try to sit in the sledge not belonging to you.
Не в силе правда, в правде сила.Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true.
 Literal: Truth is not in power, rather power is in truth.
Не всё коту́ ма́сленица, бу́дет и вели́кий пост.Life's not all beer and skittles; Life's not all wine and roses; I never promised you a bed of roses
 Literal: Not every day is a Shrovetide, in time it will be a Lent.
Не всё то зо́лото, что блести́т.All that glitters is not gold.
 Literal: Not every glittering thing is gold.
Не говори́ гоп, пока́ не перепры́гнешь.Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
 Literal: Don't exclaim "Up" having not yet made a jump.
Не гони́ коня́ кнуто́м, а гони́ коня́ рублём.Money makes the mare go.
 Literal: Don't drive the horse with a whip, but drive the horse with a ruble.
Не да́вши сло́ва -- крепи́сь, а да́вши -- держи́сь.Don't make a promise you can't keep.
 Literal: Not having given a word try to prevent to promise, but having had given a word be strong.
Не за то во́лка бьют, что сер, а за то, что овцу́ съел.Love the sinner, but hate the sin.
 Literal: The wolf is beaten not for being grey, but for having eaten a sheep.
Не зна́я бро́ду, не су́йся в во́ду.Wait for the cat to jump.
 Literal: Don't wade into a river without knowing a ford.
Не име́й дру́га пота́тчика, а име́й дру́га попере́чника.
 Literal: Don't have a friend who always agrees with you, but have a friend who argues with you.
Не име́й сто рубле́й, а име́й сто друзе́й.A faithful friend is better than gold.
 Literal: Don't have hundred rubles, rather have hundred friends.
Не клади́ все я́йца в одну́ корзи́ну.Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
 Literal: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Не ме́сто кра́сит челове́ка, а челове́к -- ме́сто.It isn't the place that graces the man, but man the place.
 Literal: It isn't the place that graces the man, but man the place.
Не красна́ изба́ угла́ми, а красна́ пирога́ми.A fine cage does not fill a bird's belly.
 Literal: The house is good not for its wealth, but for its cordial and hospitable owners.
Не мечи́те би́сер пе́ред сви́ньями.Don't cast your pearls before swine.
 Literal: Don't cast beads in front of pigs.
Не мытьём, так ка́таньем.By hook or by crook.
 Literal: If not by washing, then by rolling.
Не надобен и клад, коли в семье лад.A family that lives in love and accord does not need any treasures.
 Literal: Treasure is not required when there is harmony in the family.
Не ошиба́ется тот, кто ничего́ не де́лает.He who makes no mistakes makes nothing.
 Literal: Only he who does nothing makes no mistakes.
Не плюй в коло́дец -- пригоди́тся воды напи́ться.Never cast dirt into that fountain of which you have sometime drunk.; Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
 Literal: Do not spit into a well--it may be useful to drink water.
Не по словам судят, а по делам.Actions speak louder than words.
 Literal: They judge not by words, but by deeds.
Не по́йман -- не во́р.Innocent till proven guilty.
 Literal: Unless caught stealing, one is not a thief.
Не рой друго́му я́му, сам в неё попадёшь.Curses like chickens come home to roost.
 Literal: Don't dig a pit for somebody to fall into, or you will end up in it yourself.
Не руби́ сук, на кото́ром сиди́шь.Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
 Literal: Don't hack the branch you are sitting on.
Не сади дерева корнем кверху.Do not plant a tree with its root upward.
Не спра́шивай ста́рого, спра́шивай быва́лого.Ask not the old, but the old-timer.
 Literal: Don't ask the old one, ask the experienced one.
Не суди́те и да не суди́мы бу́дете.Judge not, lest ye be judged.
 Literal: Don't judge and you won't be judged.
Не так стра́шен чёрт, как его́ малю́ют.The devil is not so terrible as he is painted.
 Literal: The devil is not as scary as they paint (draw) him.
Не учи́ учёного.Don't teach fish to swim.
 Literal: Do not teach a learned person.
Незва́ный гость ху́же тата́рина.Uninvited guest is worse than a Tatar.
 Literal: An unsolicited guest is worse than a Tatar.
Нем, как ры́ба.Silent as a grave.
 Literal: Mute as a fish.
Нет ды́ма без огня́.There is no smoke without fire.
 Literal: There is no smoke without fire.
Нет ничего невозможного.Nothing is impossible.
Нет плохи́х судо́в, нет плохи́х ветро́в, есть плохи́е капита́ны.
 Literal: There are no bad ships or winds, there are bad captains.
Нет ху́да без добра́.Every cloud has a silver lining.
 Literal: There's no bad without the good.
Ни бэ, ни мэ, ни кукаре́ку.
 Literal: Neither 'baaah', nor 'maaah', nor even 'cock-a-doodle-do'.
Ни к селу́, ни к го́роду.Neither here nor there
 Literal: Not for village, not for town.
Ни пу́ха, ни пера́.Good luck!
 Literal: Neither bird's down, nor feather.
Ни ры́ба, ни мя́со.Neither fish nor flesh.
 Literal: Neither fish nor meat.
Ни складу ни ладу.Neither rhyme nor reason; You told it through your hat; You lied through your teeth.
 Literal: Neither rhyme nor harmony.
Ничего святого.Nothing is sacred for you.
Ничто не вечно под луной.Morning sun never lasts a day.
Ничто не ново под луной.There is nothing new under the sun.
Но́вая метла по-но́вому метёт.A new broom sweeps clean.; In with the new and out with the old.
 Literal: A new broom sweeps in a new way.
Новые хозяева -- новые законы.New lords, new laws.

                                                           8 of 15 | < Prev   Next >

Index of Russian proverbs and sayings

  1. Russian proverbs and sayings: а-б
  2. Russian proverbs and sayings: в
  3. Russian proverbs and sayings: г
  4. Russian proverbs and sayings: д
  5. Russian proverbs and sayings: е-з
  6. Russian proverbs and sayings: и-к
  7. Russian proverbs and sayings: л-м
  8. Russian proverbs and sayings: н
  9. Russian proverbs and sayings: о
  10. Russian proverbs and sayings: п
  11. Russian proverbs and sayings: р-с
  12. Russian proverbs and sayings: т-у
  13. Russian proverbs and sayings: ф-х
  14. Russian proverbs and sayings: ц-ч
  15. Russian proverbs and sayings: ш-я

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