Chi ha i denti non ha il pane e chi ha il pane non ha i denti*

* Who has teeth has no bread and who has bread has no teeth

Italian Italy

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Everyone

It means that some people have talents and ambitions but no opportunity to realise them and some others have means (usually financial resources) but no aspirations to realise. It is used both to feel sorry for a talented person who can't afford what they want and to criticise a person who has occasions that they don't deserve.

"Maria parla benissimo l'inglese ma non più permettersi il viaggio a Londra, quindi il suo posto verrà preso da Marco, che non parla una parola di inglese. È proprio vero che chi ha i denti non ha il pane e chi ha il pane non ha i denti!"

"Maria speaks English very well, but she can't afford the trip to London, so her place will be taken by Marco, who doesn't speak a word of English. It is true that who has teeth has no bread and who has bread has no teeth!"


Confirmed by 2 people




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Dopo sette fette, ha capito che era polenta*

* After seven slices, s/he realized it was polenta

Italian Lombardy and Tessin, Italy and Switzerland

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Mostly old people

Used to describe someone who realizes something obvious, especially after doing the same thing in a more long or difficult way for a long time.

Note: In the past, polenta was the main meal for people living in the Northern Italian countryside, so everyone knew how it tasted and it was impossibile not to recognize that you were eating it. The number of slices of polenta may vary basing on the area.

"Ieri mio fratello ha scoperto che può sbloccare il suo telefono con l'impronta digitale." "Beh, dopo sette fette ha capito che era polenta!"

"Yesterday my brother discovered he can unlock his phone with his fingerprint." "Well, after seven slices he realized it was polenta!"


Confirmed by 2 people




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Quien mucho abarca poco aprieta*

* Who embraces a lot little will squeeze

Spanish Spanish speaking countries

Proverb USED Very frequently BY Almost Everyone

It is a proverb meaning that whoever tries to do many things at the same time will not be able to do any of them well.

"No trates de hacer todo al mismo tiempo: quien mucho abarca poco aprieta."

"Don't try to do everything at the same time - who embraces a lot little will squeeze."


Confirmed by 6 people




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Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof*

* Life is not a pony farm

German German speaking countries

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Almost Everyone

This phrase is used when trying to express that life is not easy.

"Du musst dir dein Geld selbst erarbeiten, das Leben ist schließlich kein Ponyhof."

"You have to work for your own money, life is not a pony farm after all."


Confirmed by 8 people




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Parli del diavolo e spuntano le corna*

* You speak of the devil and the corns come out

Italian Italy

Proverb USED On Occasion BY Everyone

When you talk or think of someone and they suddenly appear.

"Hai sentito di Marta? Ah, eccola... Parli del diavolo e spuntano le corna."

"Did you hear about Marta? Oh, there she is... You speak of the devil and the corns come out."


Confirmed by 6 people




lang may yer lum reek*

* long may your chimney smoke

Scots Scotland

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Older Generations

A Scots proverb wishing someone a long and healthy life, "Live long and prosper".

"See ya laters pal, lang may yer lum reek"

"Farewell, live long and prosper"


Confirmed by 2 people




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holnapután, kiskedden*

* on the day after tomorrow, on small Tuesday

Hungarian Hungary

Proverb USED On Rare Occasion BY Some People

An ironic saying, it means "never". Similar to the expression "when pigs fly".

"Mikor fejezik már be a felújítást?" "Holnapután, kiskedden".

"When will the renovation be finally done?" "On the day after tomorrow, on small Tuesday."