"Seanfhocal" (pronounced SHAN-uck-ull), is an Irish word meaning "old adage". The plural is "seanfhocail" (pronounced SHAN-uck-will). Seanfhocail are often humorous, and oh-so-true! Here are some of my favourites. The pronunciations are only approximate, and may vary from one dialect to another.

Bíonn gach duine go lách go dtéann bó ina gharraí.
   BEE-un GAKH DIN-uh guh LAKH guh JANE BOH IN-uh YAR-ree.
   Everybody is pleasant until a cow goes into his garden.

Is minic a bhris beál duine a shrón.
   It is often that a person's mouth broke his nose.

Ní scéal rúin é ó tá a fhios ag triúr é.
   NEE SHKALE ROON eh OH TA uh ISS egg TROO-er eh.
   It is not a secret after three people know it.

Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste, ná Béarla cliste.
   Better broken Irish than clever (smarty-pants) English.

Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile.
   ATH-nee-un KEE-rohg KEE-rohg ELL-uh.
   A beetle recognizes another beetle. (Not sure what that means, but I like it!)

Níor bhris focal maith fiacail riamh.
   NEAR VRISH FUCK-ul MY FEE-uh-cull REE-uv.
   A good word never broke a tooth.

Bíonn dhá insint ar scéal agus dhá leagan déag ar amhrán.
   BEE-un GHAW IN-shint air SHKAYL uh-gus GHAW LAG-un JAYG air OW-rawn.
   There are two versions to a story and twelve arrangements to a song.

Fóireann spallaí do bhallaí cómh maith le clocha móra.
   FOR-un SPALL-ee DOH WALL-ee KOHV MY luh KLOKH-uh MOHR-uh.
   Walls require spalls as well as large stones. (Spalls are chips broken off a rock by a hammer. The proverb refers to the building of a dry stone wall.)

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