Scottish proverbs

Scottish proverbs translated to English and Catalan

Previously on Nuts ~ Tocat del Bolet we posted the most important Catalan Sayings and Proverbs translated to English. A saying is a short, pithy, commonly known expression which generally offers advice or wisdom, and contains truth or value. As everybody knows, Scotland is a beautiful country full of history and folk wisdom. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some delightful Scottish proverbs:

Glasgow from Queen’s Park.

Like father, like son

Scottish Gaelic: Am mac mar an t-athair.
Catalan: De tal pare, tal fill.

Nobody can serve two masters

Scottish Gaelic: Chan urrainn do dhuine ‘sambith seirbhis a dhéanamh do dhà mhaighstir.
Catalan: Ningú pot servir a dos senyors. (literally, Nobody can serve two lords).

A leopard can’t change its spots

Scottish Gaelic: an car a bha san t-seana mhaide ‘s duilich a thoirt às (literally, the twist which is in the old stick is difficult to take out).
Catalan: Cabra avesada a saltar, fa de mal desvesar (literally, A goat used to jump is difficult to unveil).

Every cloud has a silver lining

Scottish Gaelic: tha a’ ghrian air cùlaibh gach sgothan (literally, The sun is behind each boat).
Catalan: Es tanca una porta i s’obre una finestra (literally, a door closes and a window opens) or No hi ha mal que per bé no vingui (literally, there is no evil that does not come for a good purpose).

He who loses his language loses his world

Scottish Gaelic: Am fear a chailleas a chanain caillidh e a shaoghal.
Translation into Catalan: Qui perd el seu idioma, perd el seu món.

It is the milk of the goat foaming and warm, that gave the strength to the past generations of people

Scottish Gaelic: Bainne nan gobhar fo chobhar ’s e blàth, ’s e chuireadh an spionnadh sna daoine a bha
Catalan: És la llet escumosa i calenta de la cabra, la que va donar força a les anteriors generacions.

Do you know any other Scottish proverbs? Tell us! We look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Big fish eat little fish

Scottish Gaelic: A’ bhiast as mutha ag ithe na beiste as lugha.

Catalan: el peix gran es menja el petit.


What’s meant to happen will happen

Scottish: Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye! 

Catalan: El que hagi de passar, passarà.

Many a little makes a mickle

Scottish: Mony a mickle maks a muckle! (Saving a small amount soon builds up to a large amount)

Catalan: De mica en mica s’omple la pica.


Don’t try to teach someone something they already know

Scottish: Dinnae teach yer Granny tae suck eggs! 

Catalan: No vulguis ensenyar res a algú que ja en sap.

Thank you for your visit. Nuts ~ Tocat del Bolet is a blog that aims to promote and share Catalan language and culture throughout its most typical expressions, in a fun and informative way.

Recommended posts:

Scottish Gaelic ⇆ Catalan Simple Greetings

Scots gaelic and Catalan greetings

Greetings in Scots Gaelic and Catalan

Here is a list of the main greetings in Scots Gaelic translated to Catalan language. Scottish Gaelic is a Goidelic language of the Celtic and Indo-European language family, native to the Gaels of Scotland. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic. One curious fact about Scots Gaelic Gaelic is that it has no words for “yes” (in Catalan, ) and “no” (in Catalan, No), and replies are made with the relevant verbs. For questions beginning with “a bheil?”, the appropriate word for “yes” is “tha”. An alternative is “seadh”, pronounced shugh, which means “yeah” or “uh-huh”. At the end of this post there is a comprehensive list of resources to learn Scottish Gaelic or Catalan.

English > Scots Gaelic (pronunciation) ⇆ Catalan (audio)

Hello > Halò. (ha-LAW) ⇆ Hola

Welcome > fàilte – (faaltshæ) Benvingut

My name is [your name]> Is mise … [your name] ⇆ En dic… [your name]

How are you? > Ciamar a tha thu/sibh? (KEM-mer uh HA oo?) ⇆ Com estàs?

Good morning > madainn mhath (matin vah) ⇆ Bon dia

Good day > latha math (laah mah) ⇆ Bon dia

Good afternoon/evening > feashar math – (fesker mah) ⇆ Bona tarda / vespre

Good night > oidhche mhath – (oychæ vah) ⇆ Bona nit

Bye for now > tiaraidh an dràsda (tsheearee an draasha)Fins ara!

Goodbye > beannachd leibh (byannachk leyv) ⇆ Adéu

Excuse me > gabh mo leisgeul (gav mo leshæl)Perdoni

I am sorry > tha mi duilich (haa mee doolich)Perdó

Thank you > tapadh leibh (tah leyv)Gràcies / Mercès

Many thanks > mòran taing (mohræn tigh -ng)Moltes gràcies

You’re welcome ( Reply to thank you ) > ´s e ur beatha (shey oor behah) ⇆ De res

Gaelic> Gàidhlig [ˈkaːlɪkʲ]  ⇆ Gaèlic · Catalan > Catalanach ⇆ Català

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Sayings and proverbs in Catalan
Most important Catalan sayings

Scottish Gaelic learners’ materials on the Internet:

Adhartach (Advanced)

  • Clilstore – Videos of authentic and natural (while also clear and relatively simple) conversations with fluent Gaelic speakers, including a transcript with all words linked to online dictionaries
  • BBC Alba iplayer
  • Language Skills – Online literacy for fluent speakers – Course by SCIR, Lews Castle College, on Gaelic Orthographic Conventions
  • Stòras na Gàidhlig aig Foghlam Alba
  • An t-Oide – blog WordPress aig Steaphan MacRisnidh


Supplements to particular textbooks (Advanced)

E-books – $

Catalan learners’ materials on the Internet:


Information about Catalan

Courses and lessons

Gamified lessons & Flashcards(most sites here have mobile apps)

Online dictionaries

Catalan monolingual


Verb conjugation


Maps & Images

Interactive Dialect/Pronunciation/Accent maps

MediaOnline radio







You can normally find Catalan dubs of popular anime on YouTube if you search “title + catala”, but they’re frequently removed due to Copyright restriction, so the below links may not work forever.


TextOnline News




Information on Catalancheck out the versions of the pages!

Tapadh leibh, Gràcies!

Thank you and see you soon!