Daltai na Gaeilge
Proverbs

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Is iad ná muca ciúine a itheas an mhin.

It is the quiet pigs that eat the meal.

Note: Spinoza was almost as eloquent as this week's seanfhocal when he wrote,

Surely human affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as that to speak. But experience more than teaches that men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues.

Ethics, pt. III, proposition 2, note.

Silence may be golden, metaphorically, but this seanfhocal alludes to the more tangible rewards of being quiet.

Note also: This week's seanfhocal strays a bit from the Caighdeán Oifigiúil (the official standard) Irish grammar. According to the official standard, the direct relative clause of the sentence would be "a itheann an mhin" (that [he] eats the meal). However, a special form is widely used in the present and future tenses which appends a broad 's' to the verb. So in this case, the direct relative clause becomes "a itheas an mhin." The penultimate letter, or the last vowel, 'a' in 'itheas' is simply an indicator vowel that tells the reader this is a broad 's.' We strayed here because this special form is very often found in conversation, literature, prayers, and in seanfhocail.