Estonian proverbs

A collection of proverbs and sayings in Estonian (eesti keel).

pikkade hammastega
with long teeth = to do something unwillingly

nagu kass ümber tulise/palava pudru
like a cat around hot porridge = to beat about the bush

pöialt hoidma
to hold one's thumb = to keep fingers crossed

kus suitsu, seal tuld
where there's smoke, there's fire = where there're signs of something suspicious, there indeed is something wrong

(tundma) nagu oma peopesa
(to know) like my palm = to know like the back of my hand

igal oinal oma mihklipäev
every tup has his St. Michael's day = everything has it's endtime

meest sõnast (, härga sarvest)
a man by his word (, an ox by his horn) = you know a man by his words (and expect him to act as promised)

näljane nagu hunt
hungry like a wolf = very hungry

käbi kännust kaugele ei kuku
the cone does not fall far from the tree = like father, like son

ära käi mulle pinda
(untranslatable: do not go - to me - surface) = to not iron my head

nina püsti
nose up in the air = to be conceited

nagu kala vees
like a fish in the water = very comfortable in a situation

ära hõiska enne õhtut
don't rejoice before the evening = don't rejoice too early

veri on paksem kui vesi
blood is thicker than water

hommik on õhtust targem
morning is wiser than the evening = it's wise to sleep before deciding

targem annab järele
the wiser gives in

vana karu tantsima ei õpi
an old bear will not learn to dance

kingitud hobuse suhu ei vaadata
one does not look into the mouth of a horse given as a present = one does not complain about gifts

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