Narat beni su dícius

The proverb says it well

Sardinian sayings and ways of speaking, also known as "naraus" according to the sentence, serve as metaphors, comparisons, sentences, expressions and eficatzis, even more than rhyming or rhythmic bortas that abound in memory. Ddus caraterizat unu linguàgiu simpli e craru, prenu de ironia e de sabiduria populari caraterísticas de sa cultura de is messajus e de is pastoris.

These words are passed on from father to son and, expressing a millenarian savoir-faire, they accumulate, in the impositions as in the denials, in the moments of anxiety as in those of sunshine, the vision of the world of a population, marking the positive and negative behaviour of the people.

Sa primu arregorta de didicius sardus dd'at publishada in su 1851 - 52 su canonigu Giovanni Spano chi iat inténdiu s'abbisóngiu de ndi fai una primu revisioni pondi in su Vocabbolàriu cosa sua. Apustis a sa de Spano funt bèssidas medas àteras òperas chi torrant a portarei dícius e maneras de nai scrittas in dialetus diferentis de sa Sardigna.


Sardinian proverbs and idioms, called dícius or dícios depending on the local dialect, are sayings, metaphors, paragons, sentences, incisive expressions, most often in rhyme or rhythm, that stick in the memory. They are characterised by a simple and clear language, full of irony and popular wisdom typical of agro-pastoral culture.

The dícius have been handed down orally for generations and, expressing millennia-old wisdom, describe a people's worldview, in impositions as in prohibitions, in happy hours as in times of suffering, emphasising people's positive attitudes and criticising their negative ones.

The first collection of Sardinian proverbs was published in 1851-52 by Canon Giovanni Spano, who felt the need to make an initial revision by incorporating them into his Vocabolario.

Many other works containing typical proverbs and sayings in the various dialects of Sardinia were subsequently born.


A mustazzu stampaxinu : femina biddanoesa / Bruno Mureddu ; family collection of sayings from Cagliari rearranged and edited by Patrizia Mureddu and siblings. - Cagliari : Sardinian School, 2003.

This collection of sayings and idioms, compiled by our father in the last years of his life, subjected to the competent scrutiny of our mother, supplemented with the recollections of those who wished to contribute (without any claim to completeness or scientificity), is primarily intended to preserve the memory of an uncommon way of expressing oneself, full of irony and fantasy, in an attempt to succeed in evoking, through the spontaneous testimony of language, the salient features of the city that has almost completely disappeared.

Dónnia fillu ndi liat unu pillu

A ognunu s'arti sua : collection of Sardinian proverbs, maxims, sayings from Decimo and the Campidano / Antonino Meloni. - Dolianova : Grafica del Parteolla, 2008.

A collection of Sardinian proverbs, sayings, sayings of our grandparents and ancestors from Decimo and Campidano.

At the end of the book, there is a small glossary of the words, disused or discontinued, used in the proverbs.

The author says: 'the proverb is an expression of few words, because to speak of certain things one does not need many, most often in rhyme so that they are more incisive and remain more impressed in the memory. Few words. Subtle words, ironic and biting, when speaking of vices and words of praise when speaking of beautiful inner riches."

Fillu de gatu, cassat topis

 Ancu ti currat sa giustizia / Paolo De Magistris, Paolo Matta ; illustrations by Franco Putzolu. - Cagliari : Edizioni R&Dt, 2006.

A work by Paolo De Magistris that aims to be a lively repertoire of the usual ways of speaking dialect, the heritage of a 'dying breed' because no longer in common use. An intriguing collection that essentially ranges over the 'cagliaritanità' while welcoming those more typical examples of the Campidanese agrarian civilisation that have entered the city thanks to the numerous relations of exchange and integration between the two realities.

Is bisus funt avisus

 Arregordendi Quartu : words, proverbs, curiosities, nicknames of ancient Quartu / Elia Olla ; edited by Rita Murgioni and Gianni Olla ; illustrations by Alfredo Bodano. - Cagliari : AM & D, c1996.

Arregordendi Quartu re-proposes in a bilingual version lumingius, dícius, modus de nai, fattus... and more: words, events, curiosities, toponyms, ballads and anecdotes of that Quartu which, with its great popular heritage, only the elderly can recount.

Bessiri foras de arrastu

Circhiola a merì crasi bona dì : collection of proverbs, maxims, popular sayings in Campidanese Sardinian (dialect of the Middle Campidano), translated and explained in Italian / Giovanni Battista Melis ; preface by Eleonora Frongia. - Selargius : Domus de Janas, 2008.

The role that a collection of sayings such as this occupies in the Sardinian literary and, more properly, linguistic panorama is, therefore, that of strengthening identity. Dícius belonging to a language happily rich in concrete terms relating to rustic life, as Max Leopold Wagner pointed out, given the island's agricultural and pastoral vocation.

A arricu non depas - and a pòburu no impromitas

Confida in totus, et fidadì de pagus selezione di proverbi e modi di dire nella lingua della Sardegna con traduzione in italiano. - Milan : Simonelli, 2007.

A selection of 331 Proverbs & Ways of Saying in the Sardinian language, each with a facing Italian translation. An itinerary that unravels between wisdom, irony and popular fun, offering the youngest the opportunity to discover the creativity of their own dialect and the most mature the pleasure of rediscovering the 'voice' of their land. And to those who are not Sardinian, the opportunity to get to know another cultural community of beautiful Italy.

S'arrisu de is carrus furriaus

Popular sayings of Gallura / edited by Lucio Ragnedda ; drawings by Vittorio De Rosas ; preface by Eugenia Tognotti. - Cagliari : Edizioni della Torre, 1995.

As old as the world, proverbs represent the history, philosophy, virtues and vices of the world. A large part of Gallura's sayings is linked to the most traditional human activities, agriculture, sheep-farming, handicrafts, hunting, and with allegories, riddles, similes related to them are expressed and handed down to us.

Buconi partziu, s'angelu si ddoi setzit

 Dícios e Fainas. Arrejonos pro ischidare ammentos e imparos de su tempus passadu. Sardinian text. With DVD / Mariantonia Fara - Carlo Delfino Editore , 2014.

Dícios and fainas', two short terms that encapsulate an immensity of teachings and jobs, 'fainas', from the most humble to the most refined. To stay with the words just written, one only has to think of 'sweeping one's stretch of road', as they used to do, and 'distilling brandy', or abbardente. Two very different works, also dealt with in these pages, in which more than the 106 proverbs and works listed in the table of contents are presented. So many 'dícios e fainas', which, in a continuous intertwining of ancient wisdom and practical skills, have characterised the history of our recent past, woven, day after day, with toil and dignity. The main objective, in preparing the radio conversations, from which this text eventually emerged, was to use the Sardinian language to make those who knew it 'taste' it and make those who did not know it hear it. Now, in publishing this work, enriched by the translation into Italian of an entire chapter and many words, and accompanied by a DVD, the intention is to perform an act of due gratitude for the protagonists of the past and, at the same time, hand over the legacy of the fathers to the new generations, in the hope that the passion for the native language will be reawakened and the desire to regain possession of the ancient values that have distinguished our land and made Sardinians a truly special people revived.

Cojadi' e còmpora in bidda tua e, chi podis, in bixinau

Dícius , allumingius e verbos sardus : proverbs, nicknames, spells, amulets, witchcraft, masks, in the Sardinian language, translated into Italian / Marco Porcu. - Mogoro : PTM, 2008.

"Is Dícius', are part of popular sayings, of the traditions of the Sardinian people, of the collective imagination, with the addition of a certain prophetic belief, mixing the sacred with the profane, due to the need in the recent past to communicate with others, to join with others, in mutuality and belief in God and men, in the unity of the family, in the organisation of the community. Sometimes they warn those less experienced than others, and warn them and help them not to fall into error. Or they pass judgement on events that have happened, emphasise the positive or unscrupulous attitude of people, use the instinctive behaviour of animals and sew it onto people, as well as criticise people's lack of generosity, malice, honesty, moral integrity, dishonesty, laziness, cunning, dementia, apathy, indolence, avarice, arrogance, arrogance, haughtiness, pride, superficiality, sluggishness, misery, wealth, power, obedience, disobedience, and so on, leaving nothing out, affirming and passing judgement. -Su díciu - was in the everyday life of the Sardinian people, tried by real experiences that were not always happy, by the anguish of tomorrow, despite their great moral strength and the great dignity and pride they never tamed. The proverb therefore, as a philosophy and pedagogy where one can take refuge intellectually, a thought aid of certain comfort in the pedestrian amenities of everyday life.

In peddi allena, corria lada

Dícius  de Masuddas, sa terra de Predi Antiogu : proverbs, idiomatic expressions, formulas of good wishes, thanks and greetings, imprecations, similes and phraseological comparisons of the civilisation of Masullas and Parte Montis : with a glossary of the main paremiological terms / Mansueto Siuni, Antonio Ignazio Garau. - Ortacesus : Nuove Grafiche Puddu, 2015.

The work documents over 1,300 proverbs, idiomatic expressions, idioms, similes, phraseological comparisons, expletives and other linguistic gleanings collected in Masullas (OR) and the Parte Montis territory.

In the authors' intentions, the published paremiological and idiomatic corpus is not intended to be a nostalgic reminiscence of a past that no longer exists, a testimony to the ancient wisdom of the Masullesi, Marmillesi and Sardinians, but rather a snapshot of linguistic usages that are still vital in 2015, but risk disappearing in a few generations due to the progressive retreat of the Sardinian language from Italian. In addition to fostering (in those who wish to approach it) or consolidating (in those who already speak it or understand it) knowledge of the most widespread historical-identity idiom of Sardinia, which constitutes the minority language of the Italian State with the largest number of speakers, the ethno-texts presented help to grasp the spirit of the culture that has historically produced and expressed them, the underlying worldview, and the shared forma mentis of the Sardinian people.

A cuaddu friau sa sedda ddi pitziat

Fueddariu : Sardu campidanesu Italianu / Giovanni Melis Onnis. - Selargius (CA) : Domus de Janas, 2004.

Fueddus, dicius, suspus usantias e custumantzias de sa sotzedadi nostra e de cussa de is babus nostrus.

In this moment of study and research for the protection of the Sardinian language, Fueddariu offers a contribution by proposing in various ways, with its wealth of terms, with its most typical and colourful jargons (suspus) of the popular language, with its ancient adages, its proverbs (dícius), testimonies, often even uncomfortable, of the behaviour, creativity, but also of the socio-cultural level of the society that preceded us.

Corróxinu de molenti no artziat a celu

Fuéddus e chistiònis in sárdu e italiánu : freseological dictionary of Campidanese Sardinian - Italian /  Giovanni Mura. - Nuoro : Istituto Superiore Regionale Etnografico, c1999.

Collection of a set of lexical data and phraseological materials relating to the Sardinian-Campidanese dialect. "Even in Isili, Sardinian has undergone a process of decadence and abandonment like elsewhere in Sardinia. I am collecting in this book the voices and arguments, many proverbs, that the people of Isili have used to make themselves understood so that they may remain in the memory and, if they cannot be a stimulus for a certain recovery, at least the identity may be saved'.

Circhiola a mangianu, cras tempus malu

My mother says ...: sayings and proverbs in Campidanese Sardinian dialect / Daniela Casu. - Oristano : S'Alvure, print 2011.

This book of sayings and proverbs originated as a gift from the author to her mother, who brought her up quoting them to her as her mother did to her, and to her mother, her grandmother.

Circhiola a merì, cras bona dì

Narat on díciu : proverbs of the Sardinian people / Paolo Pillonca. - Cagliari : Edizioni della Torre, c 1987.

The proverb is one of the ways in which the wisdom of a people is most fully and highly defined. This book, says the author, stems from a profound hope that even a humble effort such as this may serve to call to the minds of today's Sardinians an important part of their historical memory that condenses, in sayings handed down from father to son, the worldview of a people in prescriptions, as in prohibitions, in hours of joy as in those of secret suffering.

Thing done near bessit a s'imbressi

Naraiant sos betzos : Sardinian sayings, proverbs and idioms, collected from the living voice of those who still use or remember them / Giuseppe Cau. - Dolianova : Grafica del Parteolla, c2005.

This collection of idiomatic expressions and sayings mainly concerns an area of modest demographic size (Borore, a village in central-western Sardinia of 2,400 inhabitants) and offers a fairly broad picture of the local situation, which is a mirror image of many other Sardinian realities. These are sayings widespread throughout Sardinia that preserve the centuries-old imprint of the peasant culture and therefore contain interesting elements for the study of this civilisation with its values, customs and approach to life and nature.

Genti mala non ndi morit

Lullabies, nursery rhymes, riddles, proverbs, etc. Gavino Ledda and orality / Giovanni Mari. - Sassari : Gallizzi, 1988.

A collection of lullabies, nursery rhymes, riddles, proverbs, superstitions, invectives and caresses (to use the author's own words), published at the turn of the century by the patient and expert hands of Giovanni Mari, for the Istituto Italiano d'Arti Grafiche in Bergamo. The collection will allow you to spend a few hours in the serenity, but also in the harshness of the agro-pastoral culture from which most of the references in the text draw.

In dònnia terra ddoi at margianis

Paraìnas : sayings and words of Barbagia / Salvatore Niffoi ; with a note by Matteo Codignola. - Milan : Adelphi, 2009.

The excessive, fierce and comical way of Barbagia's idioms.

Portable vocabulary Paraìnas, a name invented by the author by merging root and desinence of paragulas (words) and radichinas (roots). The title can be considered an acrostic, meaning 'the roots of words' or 'the words of roots'. Niffoi has brought together sayings, epithets, proverbs collected over the years in Barbagia. The very few exceptions concern forms, and formulas, that have run throughout the island.

Maju fait segnori su messaju

Le parole del sardo : large glossary of Sardinian idioms / Giuseppe Ruju. - Cagliari : Edizioni Della Torre, 2001.

From his long and passionate experience not only in books but above all in contact with the living reality of the Sardinian language and those who speak it, Giuseppe Ruju has compiled this extraordinarily extensive glossary: 2662 idioms typical of the Logudorese variant, an authentic treasure trove of words to give voice to actions, thoughts, feelings, ways of living and working.

Nai a sorga po inténdiri nura

Sardinian proverbs and sayings : of the speakers of the Sardinian language - Logudorese / Enzo Espa ; illustrated by Stanis Dessy. - Sassari : Gallizzi, 1981. 2 volumes.

The proverbs are presented divided into sections in order to make the texts easier and more logical to understand. The rubrics of the proverbs collected in the first volume open with texts on divinity. Sayings relating to the family, man, marriage, woman and the home are collected under special headings. A special heading, in the second volume, collects sayings relating to superstitions. The diffusion of each proverb or saying has also been indicated, in the sense of its dissemination or popularity.

Non fait a ddu ghetai a surcu

Sardinian proverbs and idioms : the extraordinary portrait of an island through the words of a people ever mindful of tradition / Gianmichele Lisai. - Rome : Newton Compton Editori, 2017.

The proverbs collected in this book come to us from the age-old Sardinian folk tradition, handed down from grandfather to grandson, from generation to generation. Many of them are still in common use today, others rarer, others forgotten and yet to be rediscovered. The character, customs, rituals and wisdom of the Sardinians in 1200 popular sayings.

Non dd'aderetzat mancu su fogu

Sardinian proverbs / Salvatore Loi. - Milan : A. Martello, 1972.

A tribute to the colourful expressiveness of Italian dialects through a selection, divided by subject, of the most characteristic Sardinian proverbs: advice dictated by experience, but also joking and irreverent, witty or superstitious sayings. It is surprising how much the proverbs (whose origins are lost in time, born from the creative blending of oral tradition and literature, of popular experience and learned quotations), which are the most spontaneous expression of a very ancient popular wisdom, are still relevant and very modern today.

Po'un'arriali de pìbiri nci at pérdiu sa cassola

Sardinian proverbs : translated into Italian and compared with those of ancient peoples / Giovanni Spano ; edited by Giulio Angioni. - Nuoro : Ilisso, 2003.

Published in 1851-52 as an appendix to his Vocabolario Sardo-Italiano e Italiano-Sardo, the collection appeared as a self-contained volume in 1871 under the title Proverbi sardi trasportati in lingua italiana e confrontati con quelli degli antichi populi (Sardinian proverbs transposed into Italian and compared with those of ancient peoples), to be then reissued several times in the 20th century. Spano's intentions are not only linguistic-philological, but above all pedagogical-moral. A lively wit, Giovanni Spano already enjoyed the reputation among his contemporaries of being 'the most learned man in the whole of Sardinia'. Among other merits, he gave the first impulses to two disciplines, linguistics and archaeology, which turned out to be fundamental for the discovery of regional identity. In Sardinian Proverbs, he has collected the countless colourful expressions of daily life on the island, in many of which the reader will find reflected the entire system of moral, religious and symbolic references that underpin Sardinian culture.

Si ddu ghettant de pala in coddu

Sardinian proverbs and idioms of Marmilla and Medio Campidano : translated into Italian with meaning and circumstances in which the phrase is pronounced / Carlo Fadda. - Ortacesus : Sandhi, 2019.

Proverbs are popular wisdom. Convinced of this motto, Carlo Fadda has written his new book on 'Sardinian proverbs and idioms from Marmilla and the Middle Campidano', translated into Italian. The book contains almost 1300 quotations, collected in three hundred pages and divided in alphabetical order, all still in use among the people of central Sardinia. 'During one's existence, one often finds oneself, as happened to me, in the need to write something to pass on to future generations, so as not to forget the cultural heritage, history, traditions, folklore and customs we have lived with, to hand it down to the children and Sardinians of tomorrow,' explains author Carlo Fadda. It is with this spirit that the author has undertaken the interest, desire and curiosity to keep alive the memory of what the communities of this corner of inland Sardinia have been, trying to better understand what the ancestors have left behind: character, temperament, joys and sufferings experienced, wisdom and the common sense of each people. They are often impertinent and sometimes even exaggerated, but the intent is almost always for good. They have played and still play a pivotal role, a foundation in local communities and beyond. This research lasted several years, consulting and talking to local historical memories, the many elders of the villages of the Marmilla and Medio Campidano, who with their information and advice, were decisive and true creators of the publication.

Su predi no andat chentza de sagrestanu

Popular collection of 1720 Dícius in the southern Sardinian language : proverbs-frastimus-modi di dire and the like with introduction and general index / Luigi Cherchi. - Cagliari : Tea, 1990. - 3 v.

My present 'COLLECTION' is due to what I had procured from the living voice of the people when I went around preaching in the various parishes; from what Prof. Alziator and the great scholar Canon Giovanni Spano provided - and suggested to me; and various other authors, but above all from what my affectionate readers wrote to me. However, it is a study and documentation of ancient customs and times. Certain 'Dícius', rather than a sentence, is an idiomatic expression, that is, a particular one that needs an explanation because it refers to a saying or a historical fact.

Chini cantat in mesa o in letu, o è macu o est fertu

Raighinas : pregadorias, dícios , modos de narrer, frastimos, cantones e ... atteru de sas biddas de Pianalza / Luciano Sechi. - Nuoro : Solinas, printed 2004.

A collection of prayers, proverbs, sayings, expletives, little-known dialect poetic compositions that surprise us with their caustic liveliness, their timeless wisdom: such popular expressions are a deep heritage of Sardinia, which refers to the true identity of the Planargia villages. This work is the result of a long research conducted by Lt-Colonel Luciano Sechi, best known perhaps for being the author of the words and music of 'Dimonios', the hymn of the Sassari Brigade.

No est farra de fai òstias

The Sardonic laughter : history of an ancient proverb / Sergio Ribichini. - Sassari : Carlo Delfino Editore, 2003.

To explain the different meanings of Sardonic rice, the Greeks told stories and customs far removed from their customs, all connected with the island of Sardinia. With the help of philology and archaeology, anthropology and historical-religious comparison, Ribichini investigates and verifies the value of the testimonies, breaks down and recomposes the different traditions on Sardonic rice to reconstruct the origins of the proverb and its function within classical culture.

Àcua e soli, annada de lori

Popular traditions of the Monte Arci area / Agostino Garau. - Oristano : Editrice S'Alvure, printed 1983.

Collection of popular traditions of Villaurbana and the surrounding villages of Mount Arci. This essay is rich in curious customs, singular traditions, language, icastic idioms, sensible proverbs, superstitious beliefs, myths and legends, and the poetic inventiveness of the peasant and pastoral culture possessed, at least until yesterday, by the Sardinian people. The author's desire is to build a bridge between generations through the documentation of his book: between the generation of those who lived in a world that was not very open to innovation and on the whole harsh, although interwoven with deep affection and intense human relationships, and that of those who live today in a world that is perhaps easier but also of more superficial relationships.

In buca serrada non bintrat musca

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