French Proverbs from 1611: Earthy proverbs that might turn your ears red

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Main Page

known | booze | church | clothes | devil | dirty | english | farm | food | fool | friends | government | illness | latin | love | luck | marriage | money | music/dance | animals | theft | war | women

Note the interesting translations for many of these: the French "femme" is often turned into "whore" or other unflattering terms. I'm not sure if this reflects the connotations of the proverbs, or Cotgrave's attitude on life.


[`A bon bluteur may propice:] [Pro.] [Somewhat as stiffe as a maypole does well with him that boults in a fleshlie tub.]
[`A bon bluteur May propice:] [Prov.] [A wooer speeds (oft times) the better for his weapon.]


[`A cul de foirard tousiours abonde merde:] [Prov.] A filthie tale seld wanteth filthie Auditors.
[`A cul de foirard tousiours abonde merde:] [Prov.] A shitten taile hath euer store of ordure; a shitten fellow is stored with filthie humours, or scuruie followers.
[`A cul de foirard tousiours abonde merde:] [Prov.] [There wants no turd at shitten fellowes tayles.]


[`A faincte Foire chandelle de merde:] [Prov.] A gift agreable to her nature, or humor; fit (and filthie) Lettuce for her (stinking) lips.


[`A mol pasteur le loup chie laine:] [Prov.] [A gentle Pastor makes the Wolfe cacke wooll.]
[`A mol Pasteur le loup chie laine:] [Prov.] [A gentle shepheard makes the Wolfe shite wooll.]
[`A mol pasteur le loup chie laine:] [Prov.] [A gentle shepheard stuffes the wolfe with wooll.]


[Amour de garse, & faut de chien ne dure si l'on ne dit, tien:] [Prov.] Whores and dogs fawne on a man no longer then he feeds them; or, a whores loue, and a dogs leaping continue but while they are fed.


[Assez faict qui s'en desfaict:] [Prov.] He does enough that rids himselfe of (a whore.)


[Assez fait qui fortune passe, & plus encor qui putain chasse:] [Prov.] He does much that ill fortune misses, but he does more that quits a whore.


[Danse du loup la queuë entre les iambes:] [Prov.] [Lecherie.] {needsdef}


[Iamais putain n'ayma preud hom, ny grasse geline chapon:] [Pro.] Neuer did whore loue honest man, nor wanton wife her weake man.


[L'amour, la tousse, & la galle ne se peuvent celer:] [Pro.] We say, Loue, and the Cough cannot be hidden.
[L'Amour, la tousse, & la galle ne se peuvent celer:] [Prov.] Loue, scabs, and coughing will not bee concealed.
[L'amour, la tousse, & la galle ne se peuvent celer:] [Pro.] We say, Loue, and the Cough cannot be hidden.


[Oignez vilain il vous poindra:] [Prov.] [The base vnthankfull chuffe returnes bad offices for good.]
[Oignez vilain il vous poindra:] [Pro.] [(Applyable to the base ingratitude of a base chuffe, or churle.)]
[Oignez vilain il vous poindra:] [Pro.] [(Like our homelie one)] claw a churle by the breech, and he will shite in your fist.


[Petite pluy abat grand vent:] [Prov.] [(So sayd a mad fellow, who, lying in bed, bepist his farting wiues backe.)] {needsdef}


Return to French Proverbs from 1611