[From Manx Proverbs and Sayings, 1905]

 Manx Proverbs

Ta gennallys marish poagey follym ny share na anvea marish poagey lane.
Cheerfulness with an empty pocket is better than discontent with a full one.

Carrey liorts ny share na braar foddey jeh.
A friend by thee is better than a brother far off.

Ta'n toshiagh-joarey as yn leighder gaase roauyr er streeu ny blebbinyn.
The coroner and the lawyer grow fat on the quarrels of fools.

T'eh ny share faagail red ennagh da neid na dy yeeassaghey voish carrey.
Better leave something to an enemy than borrow from a friend.

Myr shegin dy ve, bee eh.
What must be, will be.

Boght, boght dy bra'; as quoi-erbee to er yn veggan cur yn veggan da.
A man that's poor, let him be poor for ever ; and whoever has a little, give him a little.

T'ou gialdyn ny ushagyn dou, agh shegin dou tayrtyn ad mee-hene.
Thou art promising me the birds, but I must catch them myself.

Ny smoo vees er y tailley, ny strimmey vees yn eeck.
The more on the tally, the heavier the payment.

Nee eh jannoo mie dy-liooar.
It will do very well.

Hig eh hooin my nee mayd fuirraghtyn foddey dy-liooar.
It will come to us if we will wait long enough.

Gow dty hraa, nee eh cheet mayrt.
Take thy time, it, will come with thee.

Te aashagh fuinney raad to palçhey meinn.
It is easy to bake where there is plenty of meal.

Ta ushylagh ayns dy-choilley chuilleig.
There is a skeleton' in every cupboard.

Astan er e amman, Yernagh er e ockle.
An eel by his tail, an Irishman at his word.

Cur da, she Yernagh eh; (or) t'eh Yernagh.
Hit him, he's Irish.

Veryms y banjagh dhyt.
I'll give thee the fallow land; i.e., I'll make thee work.
(This is said of a ne'er-do-well.)

Poose son graih, as obbree son argid; ny-yeih bee shickyr dyn chur graih raad nagh ved veg.
Marry for love, and work for money; but yet be sure not to love where there is none.

Yn ven aeg ta mee gull dy phoosey, shegin dou fakin staak yn jaagh dy hie yn ayrey wish yn thorran ainyn.
Never marry a woman unless you can see the smoke of her father's chimney from your midden.

Ta meir frioosagh ny share na toghyr-poosee.
Thrifty fingers are better than a marriage portion.

Shimmey çhyndaa t'ayns carr-y-phoosee.
There's many a turn in the wedding march.
[Formerly wedding processions to the church were headed by a fiddler playing the "Black and Gray," the only tune struck up on such occasions. Before entering the church, the whole party marched three times round it.-Manx Society, vol. xxi., p. 192. Hence the proverb.]

Ayns yn Ollick bee mayd gennal,
Tra ta 'n jough goll mygeart,
Tra ta'n chiollagh ooilley sollys,
As yn foaid mooar ooilley kiart.

At the Christmas we'll be merry,
When the ale is flowing round,
When the hearth is all ablaze,
With the big turf in its place.

Eddyr yn Ollick as Laa'l Breeshey, dorrin ny bleeaney.
Between Christmas and St. Bridget's Day, the storms of the year. [St Bridget = 1st Feb]

Another version is: -

Eddyr yn Oie'1 Thomaase as yn Oie'l Breeshey, daa ayrn joh dorrin ny bleeaney.
Between St. Thomas's Eve and the Eve of St. Bridget's, lie two-thirds of the storms of the year. [St Thomas = 21st Dec]

My nee ny ushagyn gherrym er Laa Breeshey, nee ad keayney roish Laa Pharick.
If the birds crow on St. Bridget's Day, they will cry before St. Patrick's Day. [St Patrick = 17th March]

Bee eh fliugh, ta ny fooilleigyn gull dys yn clieau.
It will be wet, the gulls are going to the mountain.

Ta'n eariih troggal seose, ta'n uinnag sollys ayns y twoaie.
The weather is lifting up, the bright window is in the north.

Ta aile meeley jannoo bry millish.
A slow fire makes sweet malt.
[Similar to " Safte fire maketh sweete malte," in Roister Doister, 1550.]

Goll mygeart myr pan ny skeerey.
Going about like a parish pan.
[This is said of a gad-about.-One kettle for brewing generally served a whole neigh-bourhood, and in some instances the pan was the property of the parish; this is alluded to in the song of "Hunt the Wren." It passed from one landed proprietor to another, as often as they required a fresh supply of home brewed.-Manx Society, vol. xvi., p. 36.]

Dooinney fegooish cloan to saynt shiaght saggyrtyn ayn.
A man without children has the greed of seven parsons.

Another version is:-

Ta saynt shiaght saggyrtyn ayns dooinney dyn chloan, as to saynt shiaght eirinee ayns dy-chooilley haggyrt.
There is the greed of seven parsons in a man without children, and the greed of seven farmers in every parson.

Gaccan as goll.
Grumbling and going.

Eddyr shiu-hene bee eh.
Between yourselves be it.

Ta muck doe er e ghreeym, scuitch eh.
There is a black pig on his back, whip it.
[This is said of a sulky child.]

Cha nel mee madyral mie ny sie.
Good or bad, it's the same to me.

My she breag t'aym, breag cheayll mee.
If it is a lie I tell, it is a lie I heard.
[A story is often begun or ended with this saying.]

Yiow eh yeealley ; (or) rowlins.
Thou'll get a beating.
[Rowlins-to slightly cure fish by tossing them in a basket with salt.]

Ta çhengey eck yinnagh giarrey clooidyn.
Her tongue would cut rags.

T'ee gollrish yn gheay niar.
She is like the east wind. [A sharp scold.]

Gob mooar.
Big mouth. [A babbler.]

Gob rhollian.
A wheel of a mouth, i.e., an incessant scold.
[Rhollian-a whirler, a small wheel.]

Gob broigh curlesh scammylt da-hene.
A dirty mouth (bad tongue) brings disgrace to itself.

T'ou gollrish fooilleag.
Thou art like a gull.
[Lightheaded; a bit of a simpleton.]

T'ou cha glass as fannag.
Thou art as gray as a crow.
[This is said of a sickly-looking person.]

T'ou cha cam as eairk rea.
Thou art as crooked as a ram's horn.
[This is said of a perverse person.]

T'eh feer shliaun.
He is very slippery. [An inconstant person.]

Laa'ta geay niar as ta sheebey sniaghtey ayn,
Gollrish lea Thom Nick yannoo yn plan.
A day of easterly wind and drifting snow,
Like the day Tom Nick made the plan. [This is said of a bad day.]

Shoh baase da nya reik carrey.
Here's death to our best friend.
[A fisherman's toast during the herring season.]

Ta'n festyr çheet orrin ooilley.
The evening comes to us all, i.e., the shadow of death comes to all.

Lhig y crottag ve boght ny roauyr, t'eh curlesh groat er e ghreeym.
Let the curlew be poor or fat, he carries a groat on his back.
[There is a mark on a curlew's back like the figure four, and fourpence equals a groat.]

My s'beg mee-hene as keyll my chass,
She daa Bean jeig veryms lesh ass.
Small though I am and slender my leg,
Twelve chicks I can bring out of the egg.
[Sung by the wren at a birds' convention to sett!e an old dispute as to which bird was the cleverest. The wren won.]

Nane, jees, three, kiare, queig,
Cur mee mwaagh mcoar cooill cleigh ;
Shey, shiaght, hoght, nuy, jeig,
Hayrr eh wooym ny-yeih.
One, two, three, four, five,
I put a big hare behind the hedge;
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
He escaped from me nevertheless.

Cronk ard, high hill;
Mwyllin-geayee, wind-mill;
Skynn liauyr, long knife;
Ben-saggyrt, parson's wife.
[Children's rhymes to be said quickly in one breath.]

Dy bannee Jee yn eayst noa.
God bless the new moon.
[This is said when the new moon is first seen.]

Jeeagh, Pharick, orrym!
Patrick, look on me!
[An exclamation of surprise frequently heard.]

Gob Greeba ny clagh, road nagh rieau dooinney feer berchagh ny boght.
Stony top of Greeba, where never was a man very rich or poor.
[Said by Saint Patrick when his horse, in taking a flying leap across the Island front Peel Hill to Maughold Head, brushed against Greeba Mountain, and broke the leg of the saint. Where the horse touched ground on Peel Hill and Maughold Head, springs of pure water burst forth-horse-shoe shaped holy wells, renowned for the virtues of their waters.]

Dy bannee Pharick Noo shin as nyn maatyn.
May St. Patrick bless us and our boats.

Parick Noo bannee yn Ellan ain, dy bannee eh shin as yn baatey, goll magh dy mie çheet stiagh ny share lesh bio as maaroo 'sy vaatey.
St. Patrick, who blessed our Island, bless us and the boat, going out well, coming in better, with living and dead* in the boat.
* i.e., Herring.

Dy bannee yn Noo Pharick shin as nyn maatey, goll magh dy mie as cheet stiagh ny share, ooilley bio as ny merriu marin.
May S. Patrick bless us and our boat, going out well and coming in better, all alive and the dead with us.
[Prayers formerly said by fishermen when putting out to sea.]

Gow magh dy loam, trooid thie dy mullagh.
Go out bare, come home rough, i.e., with plenty.
[This was said when shooting the nets.]

T'ou er y varney veayl.
Thou art on the bare gap, i.e., You are at the end of your tether.


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