17 Profound Portuguese Proverbs

Learn with proverbs and quotes from Portugal and Brazil.



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Portugal Proverbs--

Mais vale prevenir do que remediar. 

It's best to prevent than to have to remedy.
English Equivalent: Better safe than sorry; An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Não fies, nem porfies, nem filho doutro cries.

Diffidence is the right eye of prudence.
Meaning: Diffidently pondering something will often lead to a sensible solution.

Mais vale andar só que mal acompanhado.
It is better to be alone than to be in bad company. 

Não chore sobre o leite derramado.

Don't cry over spilt milk.
English equivalent: There is no use crying over spilt milk.

Mais vale um pássaro na mão do que dois a voar.

Translation: A bird in the hand has more worth than two flying.
English Equivalent: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Quem está no convento é que sabe o que lhe vai dentro.

[Only] she who is in the convent knows what goes on inside.
English Equivalent: No one knows where the Shoe pinches, but he who wears it.
Meaning: Only people going through a problem know how it is.

Quem o pássaro quer tomar, não o há-de enxotar.

Idiomatic translation: Deal gently with the bird you mean to catch.



Picture taken by Huguys


Brazilian Proverbs


Digas com quem andas e eu te direi quem és

a man is judged by the company he keeps

Perfect for a quick toast when out with friends –


Alegria de uns, tristeza de outros

One man’s happiness is another man’s sadness.


Antes só do que mal acompanhado 

Better alone than in bad company. - 


Cavalo dado não se olha os dentes

Do not look a gift horse in the mouth


Faça como eu digo e não como eu faço.

Do as I say, not as I do.


Quem ri por último, ri melhor.

He who laughs last, laughs best.


Quem dá recebe.

Give and you shall receive.


Quem ama o feio, bonito lhe parece.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


O amor é cego.

Love is blind.