Sicilian Culture

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The Sicilian Dialect & Language: Proverbs

Sicilian: A ghiri e veniri si fa lu maccarruni
Translation: Go ahead, the maccaroni is made
Idiom: Often in order to catch up a scope it must try more times

Sicilian: Essiri sempri lu santu fora la chiesa
Translation: To be always like the statue of the saint outside from the church
Idiom:  He who is in contrast with the choices of others

Sicilian: Quannu la luna di jihnnaru e mancanti 'nziti, puti e chianti
Translation: When the moon of decreasing January you can prune a plant
Idiom:  In the month of January, remember the peasants whose jobs are made in the depths of winter

Sicilian: Prisintarisi panza e prisenza
Idiom:  It is said of those who have nothing, only try to obtain by not being able to give anything

Sicilian: A cani tintu catina curta
Translation: To bad dogs, a short chain is placed
Idiom:  People who are not very reliable do not get much freedom

Sicilian: Cu mancia fa muddichi
Literal English Translation: A person eating must make crumbs
Idiom: You have to break a few eggs to make an omlette

Sicilian: Chiddu arrusti u so pesci nte ciammi di l'incediu.
Literal English Translation: The fellow roasts his fish in the flames of a fire.
Idiom: He takes advantage of the misfortunes of others.

Sicilian: Cu gaddu e senza gaddu, diu fa journa
Literal English Translation: God will make the the sun rise with or without the rooster
Idiom: Give credit where credit is due.

Sicilian: Tinemu d'occhiu u scurpiuni e u sirpenti, ma nunni vardamu du millipedi
Literal English Translation: We keep an eye on the scorpion and the serpent, but we do not watch the millipede
Idiom: The devil dwells in details.

Sicilian: U pesci fet d'a testa
Literal English Translation: Fish start smelling from the head
Idiom: Corruption starts at the top

Sicilian: Nun si po' aviri la carni senz' ossu
Literal English Translation: You can't have meat without the bone
Idiom: Take the good with the bad

Sicilian: Vidi ch'un s'affaccia quacchi fungi
Literal English Translation: Watch out for the appearing mushroom
Idiom: Beware of the unforseen obstacle

Famous Sicilian Proverbs & Expressions
with Emphasis on Arabic Words & Idioms

Sicilian: Nenti mi ratta a manu comu i me unga
Literal English Translation: Nothing scratches my hand like my own nails
Idiom: No one knows my business better than I do

Sicilian: I palori nimici fannu ridiri chiddi di l'amici fanni chianciri
Literal English Translation: The words of enemies make you laugh, but those of friends can make you cry
Idiom: Disdain your enemies boasting, buy pay heed to friend's advice

Sicilian: Non essiri duci sinno tu mancianu, non essiri amaru sinno ti futanu
Literal English Translation: Do not be sweet lest you be eaten, do not be too sour, lest you be shunned
Idiom: All things in moderation

Sicilian: Camina chi pantofuli finu a quannu non hai i scarpi
Literal English Translation: Walk with your slippers until you find your shoes
Idiom: Make due with what you got (make the best of a bad situation)


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