Old Manx proverbs and sayings

From The Folklore of the Isle of Man by A.W. Moore 1891

“No account of the Customs and Superstitions of the Manx would be complete without touching upon their proverbs and characteristic sayings. For nothing shows the peculiarities in the character and prevailing habits of thought of a people more vividly than its proverbs. Any one reading the Manx proverbs would at once say that many of them were similar to those of other peoples, but this does not necessarily show that they are not of native origin. It is, indeed, a well-known fact that there is a remarkable similarity m the proverbs of all peoples, e.g., our comparative philologists tell us of the likeness between the proverbs of the Zulu and the Finn. Yet this simply proves that human thought runs in a common groove, and does not disprove the separate origin of the thoughts of each people.

“In fact the proverbs of different peoples, which may be defined as the result of their common-sense welded into trite sayings, are similar, because their ordinary ideas and wants are sure to be much the same. Still, national characteristics do appear in proverbs, and, as will be seen from those which follow, the special Manx attribute, that of caution, is no exception to this rule. These proverbs, which appear in the various forms of Maxims, Axioms, or Precepts, are, for convenience, classified under the following headings:— (i) Proverbs relating to General Truths ; (2) Proverbs inculcating Caution, Contentment, Thrift, Independence, Industry, and Charity ; (3) Proverbial Weather- Lore ; (4) Miscellaneous Proverbs and Sayings.”


Backgound by the author, melyn:

“These are old Gaelg proverbs from an 1891 book. To capture them from the book, I took the PDF, copied the text, pasted it into a text editor and proofed the text as well as I could. There will still be errors in the proverbs and sayings. My aim in running this site is to have regular updates of the Manx language which can be published, not only on this site but also, with this site as a source on Twitter and Facebook.” – Gareth Morlais, Dec 2017.