Popular sayings


Sayings, proverbs, teachings.

We have different names for them, but when all’s said and done, we mean the same thing: expressions whose authors have long been forgotten, but which are said and repeated so often that they become part of a culture’s collective conscience. We often use such phrases in our everyday lives to express any number of different feelings and specific situations, making them important cultural items.

In Brazil, sayings are used in numerous situations, usually making light of awkward or unpleasant moments. Here is a list then, of a few popular Brazilian expressions and their closest English equivalents.


“Em time que está ganhando, não se mexe”

English equivalent: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”


“Pau que nasce torto nunca se endireita”

English equivalent: “A leopard cannot change its spots”


“Melhor um pássaro na mão do que dois voando”

English equivalent: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”


“Deus ajuda quem cedo madruga”

English equivalent: “The early bird catches the worm”


“Melhor prevenir do que remediar”

English equivalent: “Better safe than sorry”


“Filho de peixe, peixinho é”

English equivalent: “The apple never falls far from the tree”


“A grama do vizinho é sempre mais verde”

English equivalent: “The grass is always greener on the other side”


“Há males que vêm para o bem”

English equivalent: “Every cloud has a silver lining”


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