Slovak Sayings

Slovak folk culture has a wealth of folk wisdom. This is a small selection of folk sayings from various regions around Slovakia, which are still popular and used in modern discourse:

Ako sa do hory volá, tak sa z hory ozýva. As you call to the mountain, the mountain calls back to you.

Koho chlieb ješ, toho pieseň spievaj. Whose bread you eat, his song you should sing.

Čo oko nevidí, to srdce nebolí. What the eye does not see will not cause an ache in the heart.

Dovtedy sa chodí s krčahom po vodu, kým sa mu ucho neodbije. People use the jar to ferry water until the ear breaks off.

Hlúposť a pýcha na jednom strome rastú. Stupidity and pride grow on the same tree.

Hovoriť striebro a mlčať zlato. To speak is silver, to remain silent is gold.

Keď ti dávajú, ber, keď ťa bijú, utekaj! When they are giving you something, take it, when they are beating you up, run!

Kto chce s vlkmi žiť, musí s nimi vyť. If you want to live with the wolves you have to howl with the wolves.

Lepší vrabec v hrsti, ako holub na streche. Better a sparrow in your palm than a pigeon on the roof.

Lož má krátke nohy - ďaleko neujde. Lies have short legs - they will not flee far.

Nebude zo psa slanina a z vlka baranina. You can not ever have bacon from a dog or mutton meat from a wolf.

Nová metla dobre metie, a starká necháva smetie. A new broom sweeps well and the old one leaves dirt behind.

Sprav čertovi dobre, peklom sa ti odslúži. Be good to the devil, he will pay you back with hell.