My favorite Swedish proverbs and sayings


If you're a native English speaker, you might have heard some of these proverbs and sayings in slightly different versions. What is so enjoyable with proverbs and sayings is they say so much with just a few words. Here are some of my favorites:

När katten är borta dansar råttorna på bordet - When the cat is away the rats will dance on the table
(My parents often used this after they came home and saw something I had done ... hmmm wonder why lol).

Den som väntar på något gott väntar aldrig för länge - Someone who waits for something good never waits too long
(My mom made me wait - and I mean WAIT - for dessert or sweets. Or something else I was looking forward to. I guess she wanted to teach me patience. I have plenty of it - most of the time - so I guess mission accomplished).


Det är alltid mörkast före gryningen - It's always darkest before dawn.


Det är inte ens fel när två träter - It is not one's fault when two argues.


Ett gott skratt förlänger livet - A good laughter prolongs life
(Scientifically proven - if you're happy, you live longer).

Ett rent samvete är bästa huvudkudden - A clear conscience is the best pillow
(meaning you can sleep best if you have a clear conscience).


Genom sig själv känner man andra - Through your self you know others
(often used when someone is saying something judgmental about someone else - you know, everyone is your mirror type of thing).


Gå inte över ån efter vatten - Don't walk over the creek to fetch water.

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