Mamás have a wealth of knowledge – I know my mom does. She shares a lot of wisdom, and life lessons, often framed into clever little sayings, proverbs, or dichos. After decades with her in my life, she still manages to say some I’ve never heard of before. Here are 10 golden nuggets of wisdom, in the form of dichos.
“Visteme despacio que tengo prisa.”
Literally means: “Dress me slow because I’m in a hurry.”
Lesson: If you rush, you will be more prone to making mistakes, so you should just start slowly and get it right the first time. Similar to the saying, “Measure twice, cut once.”
“Dime de que presumes y te diré de que careces.”
Literally means: “Tell me of what you presume, and I will tell you of what you lack”.
Lesson: People who hype up, or try to show off something, often don’t have what they appear to flaunt. It’s the equivalent of doing too much, or trying too hard.
“No ensilles antes de traer la bestia.”
Literally means: “Don’t saddle before bringing the beast.”
Lesson: Don’t get ahead of yourself, be impatient, and/or do things out of order. This is the Spanish equivalent of “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”
“Del afán no queda sino el cansancio.”
Literally means: “From the eagerness, nothing remains but tiredness.”
Lesson: This is another “calm down there, buddy” saying. Sometimes one can be so eager that you don’t even have the energy to get started. Slow and steady wins the race (another saying!)
“Mas sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.”
Literally means: “The devil knows more from being old than from being the devil.”
Lesson: Age and experience bring more intelligence than being smart does.
“Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.”
Literally means: “Tell me with who you are with, and I will tell you who you are.”
Lesson: Basically means that you are who you hang out with. Similar to the saying “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”
“No por mucho madrugar amanece mas temprano.”
Literally means: “It doesn’t dawn earlier if you get up earlier.”
Lesson: Everything happens in its own time. Just because you’re ready doesn’t mean it will happen now.
“Dios aprieta pero no ahoga.”
Literally means: “God squeezes but doesn’t drown.” (Alternative is “…pero no ahorca,” which means “but doesn’t choke.”)
Lesson: God might put you through trials, but he won’t break you. This is similar to the saying “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
“En boca cerrada no entra mosca.”
Literally means: “In a closed mouth, a fly doesn’t enter.”
Lesson: Sometimes it’s better to be not say anything. If you don’t say anything that you probably shouldn’t, you won’t have to deal with the consequences. I’ll add to this another gem from my mom: “Calladita te ves mas bonita,” (Silent, you look prettier – or in other words – shut it).
“Suerte te dé Dios que el saber nada te vale.”
Literally means: “God gives you luck, because knowledge isn’t worth it to you.”
Lesson: Sometimes it’s not about what you know. A lot of great things that happen to you are a result of old-fashioned, plain luck.