This is a non-extensive (no, really!
) list of Norwegian proverb
s. There are many, many more. :) Actually, not all of these qualify as proverbs, I guess... Some of them are better named sayings.
En fugl i hånden er bedre enn ti på taket
"A bird in the hand is better than ten on the roof." Equivalent to "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
Å gå rundt grøten
"To walk around the porridge." Equivalent to "beating around the bush."
Å gå over bekken etter vann
"To cross the stream to get water." To do unnecessary work.
Å hvile på sine laurbær
"To rest on one's laurels."
Den skal tidlig krøkes, som god krok skal bli
"To become a good hook, you should be bent early."
Bedre føre var enn etter snar
"Better wary before, than quick after." Be prepared.
Den som er med på leken, må tåle steken
"If you're in the game, you must be able to take the heat" (Thanks, arj). This is what kids in the playground say when another kid starts crying. If you joined the game, you should realise that you could get hurt. Equivalent to "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" (thanks, lintilla).
Den som graver en grav for andre, faller ofte i den selv
"He who digs a grave for others, falls often in it himself."
Den som kommer først til mølla, får først malt
"He who comes first to the mill, grinds first." Equivalent to First come, first served. (Thanks for the correction, SwedishWhore)
Den som sover, synder ikke
"He who sleeps, does not sin."
Det går alltid et tog
"There is always a train." (Implicitly, another train.) Meaning, there are more chances than the one you just missed.
Ikke så galt at det ikke er godt for noe
"Not so bad that it isn't good for anything." Good, positive thinking.
Det er ikke gull alt som glimrer
"Not everyting that sparkles is gold"
Å skue hunden på hårene
"To see the dog by its hair." Equivalent to judging a book by its cover.
Eplet faller ikke langt fra stammen
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Usually refers to looking like your parents.
Gammel vane er vond å vende
"Old habit is hard to turn." Equivalent (obviously) to old habits die hard.
I mørket er alle katter grå
"In the dark, all cats are gray"
Å få noe i pose og sekk
"To get something in a bag and a sack." To get something both ways.
Å pisse i buksa for å holde varmen
"To piss in your trouser to keep warm." To do something that may help in the short run, but which is disastrous in the long run.
Morgenstund har gull i munn
"Morning hour has gold in its mouth." Equivalent to the early bird gets the worm.
Å kjøpe katta i sekken
"To buy the cat in the bag." Equivalent to buying a pig in a poke, i.e. to get less than you bargained for. See pig in a poke to see the connection to "letting the cat out of the bag."