"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.
s are only approximate
, and may vary from one dialect
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.
ISS MIN-ick uh VRISH BAIL DIN-uh uh HROWN.
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.
ISS FAR GEHL-guh VRISH-tuh NAW BARE-luh KLISH-tuh.
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.)