There are a lot of Hungarian proverbs, some of which are still used today, and there are some that are no longer part of the living language.
We put together a 20-item list before, and we will continue with that now.
The pitcher goes so long to the well, until it breaks. – Addig jár a korsó a kútra, amíg el nem törik. For example, Hungarians say that if someone does something wrong more than once, they will be punished sooner or later.
Stretch yourself as far as your cover reaches. – Addig nyújtózz, ameddig a takaród ér. You should only want as much as you can deal with, such as eating as much as you can eat.
Do not look at the tooth of a gift horse. – Ajándék lónak ne nézd a fogát! If you get a gift, be happy with it, and do not look for its faults. This is also true in a figurative sense if you get a chance in life.
Anyone looking for a flawless horse can walk. – Aki hibátlan lovat keres, járhat gyalog. Another Hungarian saying about horses, which means nothing is perfect in the world, so you often have to set the standard lower.
One fool makes a hundred. – Egy bolond százat csinál. People easily imitate someone’s stupidity en masse.
One swallow does not make a summer. – Egy fecske nem csinál nyarat. Without help, a person cannot achieve great results. Teamwork is needed. An exception, of course, is the fool, of whom one is more than enough.
A liar is caught sooner than a lame dog. – Hazug embert hamarabb utolérik, mint a sánta kutyát. The lie will sooner or later become apparent.
If you had kept your silence, you would have remained wise. – Ha hallgattál volna, bölcs maradtál volna. In addition, Hungarians say “to be silent is golden” as well. If we are not sure about something, we would rather not say anything. If someone is constantly talking back and forth, sooner or later they will lose their credibility in the eyes of people.
Tastes and slaps are different. – Ízlések és pofonok különbözők. If there is no agreement, we can end disputes with this saying.
For good work time is needed. – Jó munkához idő kell. You have to give your time to everything you do, so you should not rush because then the end result will not be good. We can add to this proverb that bad work needs even more time because it needs to be fixed.
Even of a good thing too much is harmful. – Jóból is megárt a sok. Less is more is the same saying in English.
Better a sparrow today than a bustard tomorrow. – Jobb ma egy veréb, mint holnap egy túzok. Use the options available to you today instead of expecting it to be even better tomorrow.
A bird is recognised by her feathers, a man by his friend. – Madarat tolláról, embert barátjáról. Our environment shows what kind of people we really are.
Its smoke is bigger than the flame. – Nagyobb a füstje, mint a lángja. It is not so serious.
Only the ox drinks alone. – Ökör iszik magában. Hungarians often drink alcohol, but most of the time, they do so in company.
He looks for a needle in a haystack. – Tűt keres a szénakazalban. He/she is undertaking a hopeless or enormous task.
It hit a nail into his head. – Szöget ütött a fejébe. We use this if someone remembered something and did not let the thought go. It set someone thinking.
There is something behind someone’s ears. – Valami van a füle mögött. This suggests that someone is hiding something.
Someone’s mind cuts like a razor. – Vág az esze, mint a borotva. That is, someone is very smart. We can say that someone’s mind is as sharp as a razor.
Someone is taking the card. – Veszi a lapot. We use this when people understand a hidden message, a reference, and even act on it.