On this page you will find a diverse list of Swedish phrases, Swedish proverbs, Swedish sayings and Swedish idioms. Enjoy them and use them as you wish. If you have a favorite you would like to share, please do so at the bottom of the page.
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Swedish Phrases, Proverbs, Idioms, and Sayings
It’s always something said the girl with a nosebleed.
It’s no good to prick the bear with a needle.
Lend to God and the earth — they both pay good interest.
Long vouched for is not donated.
Manure and diligence makes the farmer rich.
Luck never gives; it only lends.
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Behind the mountain there are people too.
If you buy what you don’t need, you steal from yourself.
A life without love is like a year without summer.
He who cannot keep silence cannot speak.
Promise freely, fulfill sparingly.
Take with you an onion to the funeral.
Alike children play the best.
All cannot have the Bishop for uncle.
All days’ evening is not come.
Amen, said the minister, he hit the old lady in the head with the New Testament.
Angry cats get scratched skin.
The day we fear hastens toward us, the day we long for creeps.
Love is like dew that falls on both nettles and lilies.
Don’t throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water.
Don’t let your sorrow come higher than your knees.
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.
Empty barrels make the most noise.
Sweep first before your own door, before you sweep the doorsteps of your neighbors.
I suspected this might happen, said the one that was kicked out.
Let the other party be heard too before you judge.
We notice faults of others and easily forget our own.
The damage of another is soon forgotten.
Do not judge all you see, do not believe all you hear, do not do all you can, do not say all you know, do not eat all you have, let no one know what you have in your heart or in your wallet.
All are not virgins that carry wreaths.
By being in front everywhere one may get a telling-off.
Alms do not decrease, going to church does not hinder.
Things are always rotten for me, said the farmer when they ran out of sacrament wine precisely when he wanted to go forward.
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Seriousness and pleasure should thrive together.
When the child is weaned, the nurse is fired.
Other times other customs.
It is well to learn from the errors of others, since there is not time enough to make all of them by yourself.
Pay back with the same coin.
Give equal in reply, answer according to the call.
One does not accept praise from anybody.
A bad reputation is seldom completely amiss.
A bashful dog rarely gets fat.
A bee does not touch a withered flower.
The bee has a sting but honey too.
Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.
Eyes that do not cry, do not see.
Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
Recognize gladly great exploits, but wait a while first.
A brother’s wrath is a devil’s wrath.
A business is good, when both parties make a good bargain.
A quarrel between brothers costs soul and life.
The waiting man gets the wind behind him.
Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.
If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I’d be picking roses for a lifetime.
Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.
What breaks in a moment may take years to mend.
Paid work progresses slowly.
The poorest payer is the best collector of his own credits.
The modest one gets nothing.
He gets a tailwind who bothers to wait.
Nothing beneath the sun is lasting.
One talks against praise in order to hear it once again.
Nobility follows the man’s line at a wedding.
When a blind man carries a lame man both go forward
Advice should be viewed from behind.
We praise in order to be praised in return.
A stern creditor is often a poor payer.
All are not men that wear trousers.
Many who kiss the child mean the nurse.
Do not hang the bread basket too high.
If it weren’t for my need to fill my belly, I would have gilded my arm.
The stomach is filled earlier than the eye.
He who fears every bush, comes late to the wood.
Who builds something, had better count two dollars for one.
Best to bend while it is a twig.
Better to be a poor woman than the slave of the rich.
Death is God’s broom.
Do not wake up the sleeping bear.
Don’t build bigger houses than you may set roofs on.
Hard bread does the cheek red.
We should not burn the light in both ends.
From damage one may get wiser.
Premature purchase is repented.
Quickly dear and soon forgotten.
The deepest well can also be drained.
Who digs many wells doesn’t get sweet water in all of them.
A tiny one seems arrogant.
A successful writer has a good memory and hopes that others do not have it.
A woman is the last judgment of the man.
An upstanding peasant is bigger than a nobleman on his knees.
After the rain the grass will grow; after wine, conversation.
Alder fences don’t last more than a year.
Another’s damage is soon forgotten.
Anyone can tame a shrew but he who has her.
As the master sleeps, the servant dreams.
As the question so the answer.
Away is good but at home is best.
Being young is a fault which improves daily.
Don’t judge the dog from its hairs.
Don’t sell the fur until the bear has been shot.
Even a blind dove finds a grain of wheat at times.
Evening song with drinks: morning song with coughs.
Fools and stubborn people make rich lawyers.
For lack of hens the fox catches crows.
Don’t throw pearls to the swine.
A child is a certain sorrow and uncertain joy.
A hard-working man is worth more than a crowd of loafers.
A hundred tailors, a hundred millers, and a hundred weavers make three hundred thieves.
A lazy thief is better than a lazy servant.
Envy is the truest form of flattery.
For the lack one thing, take another, whether better or worse.
Give a servant a proper meal and the cow will give more milk and the cat will drink less.
God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.
Give the white child so that the black child doesn’t cry.
He who builds and he who marries are never safe.
He laughs best who laughs last.
If we reject the chaff, we may easily lose the kernel.
If you marry money the devil lays an egg in your storeroom.
In a small house God has His corner; in a big house, He has to stand in the hall.
In spring no one thinks of the snow that fell last year.
In the shallowest waters, the ugliest fish swim.
It is seldom the fault of one when two argue.
It will once come to pass as the old goose quacked.
Many children and little food make thin smoerbroeds.
Midsummer night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.
Morning hour has gold in its mouth.
Not all who fold their hands, are praying.
One should go invited to a friend in good fortune, and uninvited in misfortune.
One should go out of the way for little children and drunks.
Evil gun powder doesn’t go away easily.
Fact is stranger than fiction.
He who has long fingers should also have long legs.
If a blind man leads another, they both fall together.
Farmers are people too.
Fear may force a man to cast beyond the moon.
Float on small clouds.
One time is no time – two times is a habit.
Out of the ashes into the fire.
Pitch and tar are the navy seaman’s pride.
Praise gets closer than blame.
Big in the words, small on the ground.
Butterflies forget that they were once caterpillars.
Charity supports both the giver and receiver.
Children act in the village as they have learned at home.
Children’s bread is hard to chew.
Daringly dared, half of it won.
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