Neapolitan sayings

Are you a fan of Neapolitan sayings?
Here you will find a complete collection of the main Neapolitan sayings, because you know that Neapolitan wisdom is always appreciated. And if that’s not enough for you, you can always read all the Neapolitan proverbs.

Ancient Neapolitan sayings

Ommo a cavallo sebbertura aperta
Man on horseback, grave set: ancient proverb to exhort caution

Io me sceto sempre matina
I am not lazy in business and I am always first in everything

Me ne vaco primm’ ‘e mo
I leave immediately; I disregard everything

Si è rosa, ha da sciurì
If they are roses, they will bloom

Funny Neapolitan sayings

Haje sbagliato ‘o palazzo
You deceived yourself, believing you deceived

A cavallo jastemmato le luce ‘o pilo
Fortune favours the highly envied

Me faccio ‘a croce cu ‘a mana manca
I am very surprised

‘O  lupo perse ‘o pilo ma nò ‘o vizio
Whoever is bad will never become good; whoever has a defect or weakness will hardly get rid of it

M’haje ‘mbriacato ‘e percòche
You filled me with chatter

A gallina fa l’uovo e a ‘o gallo l’abbrucia ‘o culo
One person grieves and another grieves or pretends to grieve

Aseno è ghiuto e aseno è venuto
He went to study, but returned ignorant

Campa tu e fa’ campà’
Live and let live

Carta canta cannuólo
Be calm, because there are written documents

Chi dorme non piglia pisce
Those who don’t work don’t earn

Durmì’ cumm’a ‘na vacca scannàta
Sleeping deeply

Essere cu uno caso cuòtto cu l’uóglio
Not having any relationship with anyone

Neapolitan sayings about love

Ammore e rogna nun s’annascónneno
Everything is discovered, the good as well as the bad

Spezzuliarse ‘na mascella
Talking at length, especially about love

Neapolitan sayings about envy

Tanta vote chi ride ‘a matina chiagne ‘a sera
One must not despise in order not to be despised

Astìpa ‘o milo pè quanno vène ‘a sète
Wait for a good opportunity to make up or to take revenge

Chi ride d’ ‘o male ‘e l’àute nun sape ca ‘o sujo sta arèt ‘a porta
He who desires the evil of others forgets that he has his own looming

Neapolitan sayings about women

Tu si’ bòna quant’a ‘o buono juòrno
Your beauty brightens a beautiful day

Quanto si’ bella: biata chella mamma ca te facette!
Blessed is your mother who brought you forth so beautiful!

S’è maretata cu ‘o sciòre ‘mmcocca
Girl who came to marriage honest and unfaithful

Mazze e panelle fanno ‘e figlie belle
Children must be brought up with love, but also with severity.

Ciccio mio, allàscame ‘o busto!
When young girls provoke the audacity of boyfriends

Vajassa: cótena grassa
Service women are always stocky because they steal

Chi nasce bella nun nasce puverèlla
Beautiful women will never remain in misery

‘E fèmmene tèneno sette spìrete comm’a ‘e gatte
Women have the same feline prerogatives as cats

Neapolitan sayings about friendship

A ‘a prova se cunosce ‘o mellone
In misfortune one knows one’s friends

Cuente spisse e amicizia longa
Pay cash and you’ll be friends with everyone

Essere dóje àneme e uno cuórpo
Two souls in one body: the ultimate in friendship between two people

Neapolitan sayings about women

Tu si’ bòna quant’a ‘o buono juòrno
Your beauty brightens a beautiful day

Quanto si’ bella: biata chella mamma ca te facette!
Blessed is your mother who brought you forth so beautiful!

S’è maretata cu ‘o sciòre ‘mmcocca
Girl who came to marriage honest and unfaithful

Mazze e panelle fanno ‘e figlie belle
Children must be brought up with love, but also with severity.

Ciccio mio, allàscame ‘o busto!
When young girls provoke the audacity of boyfriends

Vajassa: cótena grassa
Service women are always stocky because they steal

Chi nasce bella nun nasce puverèlla
Beautiful women will never remain in misery

‘E fèmmene tèneno sette spìrete comm’a ‘e gatte
Women have the same feline prerogatives as cats

Nice Neapolitan sayings

È morta ‘a criatura: nun simmo chiù cumpare
Once an interest ends, the mutual needs ends

Avimmo magnato, avimmo vippeto e nc’è trasuto ‘o rièsto
Doing one’s business very profitably

Nun dà’ pònie a chi tène mane
Don’t spite those who can spite you the most

Viéste Ciccone ca pare barone; spuoglie barone ca pare Ciccone
A nice suit makes even a beggar look like a gentleman, and vice versa

‘A zetella quanno è maretata tutte ‘a vularrìano pè mugliera
Other people like other people’s stuff more than their own! You appreciate something when it is no longer useless to plead for it

Haje truvato ‘o francese!
You have mocked those who do not understand the game

Chi disprezza vo’ accattà’
Those who despise want to buy

Neapolitan sayings about men

So’ muorte chilli maste!…
Where are the men of past anymore?

‘O chielo dà funa longa a ‘e birbante
The rascals live a long time, as if God wants to give them time to repent for the wrong done

‘A famma fa ascì’ ‘o lupo da ‘o bosco
Need drives man to do what he would not normally do

Piglià’ sempe ‘a mezacanna
Always bring out the distance between oneself and others

Nun vulè’ aizà cappiello int’a ‘o quartiere
Don’t want to buy bad named

Chi se sóse matino s’abbusca ‘o carrino, e chi se sóse a ghiuòrno s’abbusca ‘no cuorno
He who is solicitous to toil, gains; the indolent will end up in misery

Chi fatica, magna; chi nin fatica, magna e beve
The shrewd man always ends up better off than the honest worker

Vaje truvanno guaje cu ‘a lanternella
You are a troublemaker

Ogne ligno tene ‘o fummo sujo
Everyone believes they are a person of great importance

Si ghiuto cu ‘a faccia int’a ‘o panecuótto
You covered yourself in shame or you got it all wrong

Puzza chù ‘na pruvasa ca addórano ciénte marre ‘e rose
A cretin has more pride than humility a hundred cultured men

Muntagna e muntagna nun s’affrontano maje
Mountains do not meet each other, but men do

Neapolitan sayings about food

Aggio magnato pane e annóre
I always did my duty honestly

Purtà’ ‘a sunnata a ‘e sunatùre
Bringing stuff where there is no abundance

Tricchitracche, tanto a parte
Paying the Roman way, each for his bill

‘A capa è ‘na sfoglia ‘e cepolla
The head is like an onion

A meglia mericina: vino e campagna e purpette e cucina

A ‘o munno quattro cose te fanno cunzulà: ‘a femmena, l’argiamma, lo suonno e lu magnà

Chi chieja ‘o sarvietto a tavula, è segno che llà nun ‘nce vo’ magnà cchiù

Chi s’impiccia co’ le frasche la minestra je pija de fumo

Chi semmena grano, nun coglie ardiche

Chi semina grano non coglie ortiche

Daje e daje le cipolle diventeno aje

Meglio murì sazio che campà digiuno

‘Na mela fracica ne guasta cento bbone

Nun è pussibbele avere grieco e cappucce, la votta chiena e a mugliera ‘mbriaca

Se ‘ngrassa ‘o puorco pe’ fa’ sasicce

Neapolitan sayings about life

Chi è puntual è padrone d’ ‘a sacca ‘e l’àute
Honesty opens all roads

‘A via deritta è ‘a chiù spicciativa
Always being fair and honest is the most effective way to succeed

A sfrunnata ¢e l’albere ne parlammo
We will talk about this in due course; in time, everything becomes known

Se ne chiacchiarèa a bino nuovo
This will be discussed in some time: a deal that is no longer feasible at present

Ùppelo e sùrece ‘mmocca
Keeping quiet so as not to betray a secret

Vuo’ caccià’ ‘a castagna da ‘o fuoco cu ‘a granfa ‘e l’àute
Achieving intent through the work of others and without compromise

Azzèccate, ca è surbetta!
Close, because it’s good stuff!

Chiacchiere e tabacchere ‘e ligno ‘o banco nun ne ‘mpigna
Don’t lend credence to the words and promises of blabbermouths

Haje magnato cu ‘o sarvietto!
Mistakenly believing that you got a good deal

Io me chiammo cannovaccio: nun me ‘ntrico e nun me ‘mpaccio
i don’t care about other people’s affairs

Mmece ‘e ‘na cernia, magna baccalà
Content with the little and modest, not being able to have the very good

Cammìsa can un vo’ stà’ cu mico, ‘a piglio e ‘a straccio
Do not care for those who do not care for us

A cetrangolo spremmuto mièttece ‘e càuce ‘ncoppa
Oppress more those who are already oppressed

Róseca fave nòve
Murmuring and complaining about everything

‘E fatte d’ ‘a pignata ‘e sape ‘a cucchiara
Everyone knows their own constraints and shortcomings

Io cammino cu ‘a carrozza d’ ‘o scarparièllo
I always walk

Te faccio cammenà’ a piede scàuze
I make you do penance for the wrong done

Tanto va ‘a lancella int’a ‘o puzzo ‘nzì a ca nce resta ‘a màneca
Whoever does something wrong will sooner or later end up being punished

‘E maccarune se màgnano teniènte teniènte
Business must be done promptly

Perde chiù l’avaro ca ‘o liberale
He who thinks too much loses more than he who solves things promptly

Fa acqua ‘a pippa
Being in poverty

Cammenà’ cu duje piède int’a ‘na scarpa
Straight ahead, thinking nothing wrong

Menà’ mazzate ‘e cecate
Do without thinking, act blindly

Maccarune e matremmuónie càude càude
Many things, to come out well, must be done without subtlety and time-wasting

‘O cielo nun è mercante ca pava a ‘o sabbato
Punishment for evil done often comes suddenly

A liètto stritto cóccate ‘mmiézo
Not being able to fully realise one’s desires, at least make the best of it

Nun sempe lilia fròlia e cecàlia canta
Things, especially bad things, do not always turn out well

Haje fatta ‘a frittata!
You have made a mess!

Mercante falluto n’abbada a ‘nteresse
He who is in bad waters does not pay too much attention to the means to save himself

‘Ncopp’a o cuòtto acqua volluta
Over one evil another greater

È asciuto ‘o sole a mezanotte
When an asset arrives suddenly, it can save you from serious situations

Stóngo dint’a l’uoglio fritto
I am severely embarrassed

T’haje jucato sette e t’è asciuto trentanove
You lost a deal when you were already on the verge of realising it

Tu haje fatto primèra e io aggio fatto frùscio
You wanted to cheat me and I cheated you

Era dóce ‘o cannaméle
Things were going too well for you!

Esce ‘o sole e squaglia ‘a neve
Never despair, because everything can turn out well

Se ‘nzerra ‘na porta e s’aràpe ‘no purtone
A small hope or benefit is lost and a greater one comes along

Chiano vaje e ‘o servizio dorme
Slow and steady wins the race

Tutto ‘o stuorto s’ ‘o porta l’ascia
Little by little the snags are eliminated

Puté’ durmì’ a quattro cuscine
Being certain of a certain fact or the success of any undertaking

Chi nasce quatro non po’ murì tunno
No one can change its nature

‘O cane mózzeca ‘o stracciato
Trouble always strikes the hardest hit

Tenè’ ‘a votte chiéna e ‘a muglièra ‘mbriaca
Having luck in everything

‘A gatta scippa pure quanno l’accarizze
The cheater or the ungrateful repay you badly even when you do them good

Te tengo schiaffato e rebbattuto
I don’t care about you

Là truove mamma e tata
You will find everything you need

Nun me passa manco p’ ‘a cimma d’ ‘e capille
I don’t even think about it; it doesn’t interest me at all

Se so’ stutate ‘e lampiunciélle
All hope is over

‘O zegrino va sempe ‘a sotto
The poor man is always wrong

Chi sputa ‘nciélo ‘nfaccia le torna
He who intends to do an evil receives as much or falls back on him

Quanno nun haje che ghiucà’, joca coppe!
When an ailment seems to be beyond remedy, try the last card and don’t despair

Vatte ‘o fièrro quanno è càudo
Seize the opportune moment; don’t waste time on business when it looks favourable

Cuorve e cuorve nun se càcciano l’uocchie
Two rascals never hurt each other

Chi cucina allécca e chi fila secca
He who knows how to do business succeeds; he who deludes himself remains empty-mouthed

Quanno sì’ martiéllo, e tu vatte; quanno si’ ‘ncunia, e tu statte
When you have the upper hand you know how to take advantage of it, when you are underneath use caution and submissiveness

O munno è chiù viecchio ‘e mamma e tata
An ancient fact that seems new and is not