Hungarian proverbs

proverbs, sayings, idioms, … – Magyar szólások, mondások, közmondások, …

Az Isten háta mögött.

Az Isten háta mögött.
[ˈɑz iʃtɛn haːtɑ møɡøtː]

Behind God’s back.

Very far from here.

Isten [ˈiʃtɛn] – God
hát [ˈhaːt] – back
mögött [ˈmøɡøtː] – behind


Halvány lila gőzöm sincs.

Halvány lila gőzöm sincs.

[ˈhɑlvaːɲ lilɑ gøːzøm ʃintʃ]

I don’t even/either have a light purple steam.

I don’t have the foggiest idea. | I don’t have the slightest idea. | I don’t know.

halvány [ˈhɑlvaːɲ] – light; pale; faint
lila [ˈlilɑ] – purple
gőz [ˈgøːz] – steam; fume; vapour
sincs [ˈʃintʃ] – neither; either there is (not)

Hasadra süt a nap!

Hasadra süt a nap!
[ˈhɑʃɑdrɑ ʃyt ɑ nɑp]
– The sun is shining on your belly!
Hasatokra süt a nap! [ˈhɑʃɑtokrɑ ʃyt ɑ nɑp]
– The sun is shining on your belly! (plural)
This phrase is mostly used by Hungarian parents who want to wake up their children earlier on a (weekend) morning, so that they will not spend half of the day sleeping. It is mostly used as “Kelj fel, hasadra süt a nap!” (Wake up, the sun is shining on your belly!). We could say, that it’s pretty logical, for when the sun is so high that it can shine on your belly through the window, it is really time to wake up! 😀
has [ˈhɑʃ] – belly; stomach; abdomen
sütni [ˈʃytni]
1) to bake
2) to roast
3) to shine (mainly the Sun)
nap [ˈnɑp]
1) day
2) sun

Hungarian proverbs #48

Majd ha piros hó esik!
[ˈmɑjd hɑ piroʃ hoː ɛʃik]
When red snow falls! | When red snow will fall!
That will never happen! | It is impossible to happen! | When pigs fly!
majd [ˈmɑjd hɑ piroʃ hoː ɛʃik]
1) later; at a time in the future; sometime
2) and then; after it
3) almost; nearly (also as “majdnem”)
ha [ˈhɑ] – if
piros [ˈpiroʃ] – red
[ˈhoː] – snow
esni [ˈɛʃni]
1) to fall
2) to rain
[e.g.: Esik az eső. / Esik. – It is raining.]
3) to make somebody feel somehow
[e.g.: Hogy esne neked, ha…? – How would you like/feel if …?]
[e.g.: Jól esett az ebéd. – The lunch was(/felt) good.]
4) to happen
[e.g.: Úgy esett, hogy … – It happened that …]
Even though it is said in this saying, it is incorrect to say “esik a hó” (the snow is falling). We say “hull a hó”.
hullani [ˈhulːɑni]
1) to fall (snow)
2) to flow (tears) [e.g.: hullanak a könnyeim – my tears are flowing]
3) to fall out (hair) [e.g.: hullik a hajam – my hair is falling out/falls out]
4) to die [e.g.: hullanak, mint a legyek – they are dying off like flies]

Hungarian proverbs #45

Nem hajt a tatár! [ˈnɛm hɑjt ɑ tɑtaːr] 

The Tartars are not herding us. | The Tartars are not behind us.

There is no need to hurry!

We use this proverb when somebody is rushing us to do something quickly, or we see that somebody is about to do something quickly, but we know, that there’s no need to make it fast, because it might will not be done very well, or that there is really no rush to do it at the moment. By Tatars in this proverb we do not mean the Mongol tribe, but the medieval Turkic people’s cruel warriors. When they came, you’d better run away. ~


tatár [ˈtɑtaːr] – Tartar
tatárjárás [ˈtɑtaːrjaːraːʃ] – he Mongol invasion of Hungary and Eastern Europe in the 13th centur