[From Manx Proverbs and Sayings, 1905]


Tra ta'n ghrian soilshean, yn traa dy yannoo seose traagh.
When the sun shines is the time to make up hay.

Moyll yn laa mie fastyr.
Praise the fine day in the evening.

'Tra ta'n laa gaase liauyr, ta'n feayraght gaase ny stroshey
As the day lengthens, the cold strengthens.

Cre-erbee yn airt ta'n gheay shenn laa Souney, shun yu airt bee ee daa ayrn jeh'n vlein.
Whatever airt the wind is at on Old Hollantide Day, it will be at that airt two-thirds of the year.

Tra. ta'n eayst girree roish yn laa, t'ee dy mennick yn oie ny share.
When the moon rises before day, it often makes the night better.

Ta'n gheay niar fowanagh cur mow dy-chooilley nhee.
The blighting east wind destroys every-thing.

Tra ta'n gheay jiass çheet ayes thummaghyn te cowrey jeh sterrym. Tra te jiarg ayns yn shiar ayns y voghrey, te cowrey jeh. fliaghey as geay. Tra te jiarg ayns yn sheear ec croymmey ny greiney, to cowrey jeh laa aalin laa ny vairagh.
When the south wind comes in gusts it is a sign of storm.
When the sky is red in the east in the morning it is a sign of wind and rain.
When it is red in the west an sunset, it is a sign of a fine day to-morrow.

Fastyr jiarg as moghrey glass
Cowrey jeh aalid as çhiass.
Evening red and morning gray
Is a sign of a fine day.

Fliaghey moir geay.
Rain is the mother of wind.

Lurg fliaghey hig çhirrymid, lurg sterrym hig kiuney.
After rain will come drought, after storm will come calm.

Tra ta'n gheay sheedey,
T'a'n muir raisey.
When the wind blows the sea is moving.

Tra ta ny froggyn breh ayns çheshvean yn poyll, te cowrey jeh arragh çhirrym ; agh tra ta ny froggyn breh ayns lhiatteeyn yn poyll, te cowrey jeh arragh fliugh.
When frogs spawn in the middle of the pool, it is a sign of a dry spring; but when they spawn in the sides of a pool, it is a sign of a wet spring.

Taarneeyn geurey, yindysyn sourey.
Winter thunders, summer wonders.

Laa'l Thomase 'sy Nollick va toshiaght yn rio,
Cha rem eh rieau theinniu gys Laa Biridjey Noa.
St. Thomas's Day in the Christmas was the first day of the frost, and it never thawed, until new St. Bride's Day.

Ollick vog, rhullick vea.
A wet Christmas, a fat churchyard.

Choud as hig yn ghrian stiagh Laa-Breeshey, hig yn sniaghtey stiagh roish Laa Boaldyn.
As far as the sun shines on St. Bride's Day, so far will the snow come in before May Day.

Ta eayst Jesarn 'syn ouyr dy-liooar cheayrt ayns shiaght bleeaney.
A Saturday's moon in harvest is enough once in seven years.

Soilshey 'n ghrian, yn soilshey share ayns Nherin.
Sunlight is the best light in Ireland.

Laa'l Moirrey ny gianle, lieh foddyr lieh aile.
At Candlemas Day, half fodder half firing.

Note.-Mr. Roeder's informant said Va'd ayes shenn traaghyn goll mygeayrt jeeaghyn row foddyr dy-liooar oc da'n maase er Laa Moirrey. (In olden times there were men who went about to see if the farmers had enough fodder for the cattle on St. Mary's Day.)

Mr. Roeder's informant thought that this saying referred to the Fodder Jury, but it seems more likely that it is a survival ,of something shill more ancient, viz., of the old Celtic divisions of the year. An old Manxman told me that he always understood this proverb to mean that if half the turf for firing and half the fodder for the cattle remained unconsumed on Candlemas Day there was enough in stock to last until May 1st, which opened the summer half of the Celtic year, it being enacted that no turf must be cut before that day. No farmer put his cattle out before that date-if he did so, he was considered a poor farmer.


Cha vel annoonidyn shenn eash oyr cooie son garaghtee, neayr as shegin daue ve yn ayrn ain ooilley ec y jerrey.
The weaknesses of old age are no fit cause for laughter, since they must be our own portion at the end.

Ta mraane as deiney aegey feer aarloo dy insh folliaghtyn ta toiggal oc jen, trooid fardalys dy vel ad er ve treishtit lhien ; ny treisht shiu veg jen shoh myr ta shiu abyl scapail eh.
Young women and men are very ready to tell secrets that they know, through their vanity in being trusted with them; do not trust any with them if you are able to avoid it.

Ta dooinney ayns graih ny vlebbin as shenn ghooinney ayns graih t'eh yn vlebbin smoo jeh ooilley.
A man in love is a fool, and an old man in love is the greatest fool of all.


Choud's ta shiu shirrey caarjyn noa, cum shiu gys y çhenn.
While seeking now friends, hold to the old.

Reih shiu eshyn son carrey ta griennagh shiu gys obbraghyn mie.
Choose him for a friend who incites you to good works.

Ta cooinaghtyn yn chree ny share na cooinaghtyn yn chione.
The remembrance of the heart is better than the remembrance of the head.

Coontee shiu mooar jeh nyn gaarjyn son foddee nagh bee ad foddey meriu.
Think highly of your friends, for perhaps they may not be long with you.

Ny jean shin dy bragh paardail roosyn ta shiu graihagh orroo fegooish focklyn graihagh, foddee ny jean shiu meeiteil ad arraagh.
Never part with those you love without loving words, perhaps you will not meet them again.

Eshyn to ginsh foiljyn sleih elley diu nee eh ginsh ny foiljyn euish dauesyn.
He that tells you the faults of others will tell your faults to them.

Quoi-erbee to shirrey son carrey ta fegooish foill cha vod eh dy bragh gheddyn.
He who seeks for a friend without a fault can never find him.


Yn argid ta shin dellal lesh foddee mayd y choayl, agh bee yn tashtey ain ayes niau ayes sauçhys.
The money we are dealing with we may lose, but our treasure in heaven will be in safety.

Ta dooinney berçhagh fegooish giastyllys gollrish billey fegooish mess.
A rich man without liberality is like a tree without fruit.

Te ny share dy ve cooinit ayns padjer dooinney mie na dy ve, cooinit ayns çhymney dooinney berçhagh
Better to be remembered in the prayer of a good man than in the will of a rich man.

Te ny share dy ve boght as onneragh na dy ve berçhagh as breagagh.
Better to be poor and honest than to be rich and lying.

Cha nee shen ny to shin goaill seose, agh shen ny ta shin cur seose ta jannoo shin berçhagh.
It is not what we, take up, but what we give up that makes us rich.

Myr smoo vees er yn tailley shen myr smoo veer yn eeck.
The more on the tally the more the pay.

Baarail ommijagh ta ayr boghtynid.
Foolish spending is the father of poverty.


Yn dooinney ta jeeaghyrn lurg e obbyr :rene ta palçhey echey dy yannoo dy reayll dy-chooilley nhee kurt.
The man who looks after his own work has plenty to do to keep everything right.

My yinnagh shiu gaase boght gyn-yss dill cur shiu labreeyn gys obbyr as gow shill dty chadley.
If you would grow poor without knowing it, put your helpers to work and ga you to sleep

Etshyn ta jannoo ny smoo jiu na v'e, chliaghtey t'eh kiarail dy volley shiu ny laccal shiu.
He who does more to-day than usual designs to deceive you or fail you.

Ny gow to shiaght lesh obbyr laa fegooish brishey dty hrostey.
Begin not the d'ay's work without breaking thy fast.

To ny s' doillee dy ghoaill toshiaght ec yn trass oor na ec yn chied oor.
It is more difficult to begin at the third hour than at the first hour.

Dooinney nagh vel creeney ayns e obbyraghyn cha vel eh ereeney ayns e chredjue.
A man that is not wise in his works is not wise in his faith.

Tra ta deiney gobbragh dy cairagh ta nyn daitnys gaase ass nyn obbyr.
When men are rightly occupied their happiness grows of their work.

Jean shiu laboraght as farkaght;ta traa chreenagh yn arroo, agh cha jean eh traaue ny magheryn..
Labour and wait; time ripens the corn, but will not plough the fields.


Yn ven ta cur streean er e çhengey clan vel ee jannoo monney caartrey.
The woman who puts a bridle on her tongue does not make much mischief.

Onid aalid ben.
Simplicity is the beauty of a woman.

Ver oo enney er drogh inneen liorish e sooill daney ; freayll fo ee as ny cur rouyr reamys jee ny ver ee lesh oo gys neirey.
You will know a bad girl by her impudent eye ; keep her under and don't give her too much liberty, or she will bring you to shame.

Graih ben as e treishteil,
Screeut 'sy joan nee ad failleil.
A woman's love and her trust are written in dust — they will fail.

Maynrey ta'n ven-phoosee ta'n ghrian soilshean urree.
Happy is the bride the sun shines on.

Bannit ta'n dooinney ta ben echey lesh hene.
Blessed is the man who has a wife of his own.

Poose ben, as eisht strieu cre'n aght yiow rey ree.
Marry a woman and then try how you will get done with her.

Ben ta freayll sheshaght risp deiney elley cha vel egi coontey monney jeh yn dooinney eck hene.
A woman who seeks the society of other men does not think much of her own Husband.

T'ee son knittal as whaaley as scrabey puddaseyn,
As lhisagh oo ve booiagh er lheid er y haartyn
She's for knitting and sewing and scraping potatoes, and thou should be glad to catch the like. (Part of a song.)

Part of a Song.

Dooinney ta poost ta e hreishteil roit ass,
Te kiart gollrish muck lesh teidd er v chass.
A man that is married has lost. all his hope,
He is just like a pig with his leg in a rope.

Oie dorraghey yn traa share dy gholl dy hooree.
A dark night is the best time to go a-courting.

Cha vel monney maynrys ec dooinney ta ayns seihll ny lomarcan.
There is not much happiness for a man who is in the world alone.

Bannit t'adsyn ta ruggit bwoirrin,
T'ad sauchey veik dagte geay as dorrin.
Blessed are they who are born females;
they are safe from every wind and tempest.


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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2002