Proverbs about March from Europe

Monique Palomares works with me on the French and Spanish versions of Mama Lisa’s World. She sent me some proverbs about March from different European countries in response to a post I did about Italian Proverbs about March. Here’s what Monique wrote…

Here are some proverbs in Occitan, Catalan, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German about March.

I chose the “cuckoo” March proverbs on purpose to show that some things cross borders and languages. There’s an Italian proverb that says more or less the same thing about cuckoos, but it’s about April:

A’ cinque d’aprile, il cucco deve venire; se non viene a’ sette o agli otto, o ch’è preso o che è morto.
On April 5th, the cuckoo must come, if it doesn’t come on the 7th or the 8th, either it’s been taken or it’s dead.

Occitan Proverbs about March:
(Occitan is the language of the troubadours, spoken in southern France and parts of Italy and Spain.)

Quand en març trona, l’annada serà bona .
When it thunders in March, the year will be good.

Al mes de març, tan de nívols coma de clars .
In the month of March, as many clouds as clearings.

Se plòu en març, adiu lo blat .
If it rains in March, there will be no wheat. (Literally, “Farewell to the wheat”.)

Quand març maieja, mai marceja.
When March acts May-like, May acts March-like.. (I like these verbs built on the name of a month and meaning “to act name of the month-like” that exist in Occitan and Catalan.)

Entre març e abrial, se lo cocut es pas vengut , es qu’es malaut o s’es perdut!
Between March and April, if the cuckoo hasn’t come, it must be ill or lost.

Catalan Proverbs about March:

No hi ha Març que no marcegi, ni boig que no bogegi, ni fill d’ase que no brami.
There’s neither a March that doesn’t act March-like, nor a madman who doesn’t act mad, nor a son of an ass that doesn’t bray. (I like this one!)

Pel Març qui no té sabates ja pot anar descalç.
In March, he who has no shoes can now go barefoot.

De flor de Març, fruit no en veuràs.
On March flowers, you’ll see no fruit.

Si pel març no canta el cucut, ni per l’abril la puput, tant de bo que l’any no hagués vingut.
If by March the cuckoo doesn’t sing, and by April the hoopoe bird doesn’t, the year might as well not have come.

French Proverbs about March:

En mars quand il fait beau, prends ton manteau.
In March, when the weather’s fine, take your coat.

Soit au début soit à la fin, Mars nous montre son venin.
Either at the beginning, or at the end, March shows us its venom.

Mars sec et chaud, remplit caves et tonneaux
A dry and warm March fills cellars and casks.

Entre mars et avril, on sait si le coucou est mort ou en vie.
Between March and April, we know if the cuckoo is dead or alive.

Spanish Proverbs about March:

Marzo engañador, un día malo y otro peor.
Deceiving March, one day bad and the next one worse.

Marzo marcero, por la mañana rostro de perro, por la tarde valiente mancebo.
“Marchy” March, in the morning the face of a dog, in the evening a brave young man..

Marzo con lluvias, buen año de alubias.
March with rain, good year for beans.

En marzo, la veleta, ni dos horas está quieta.
In March, the weathervane doesn’t keep quiet for even two hours.

Si marzo se va y el cuco no viene, o se ha muerto el cuco o el fin del mundo viene.
If March goes away and the cuckoo doesn’t come, either the cuckoo died or the end of the world is coming.

Portuguese Proverbs about March:

Se queres bom cabaço, semeia em Março.
If you want a good basket, sow in March.

Quem poda em Março, vindima no regaço.
Whoever prunes in March; grapes harvest in his lap.

Em Março, cada dia chove um pedaço.
In March, it rains a little every day.

Vento de Março e chuva de Abril, vinho a florir.
March wind and April rain; thriving wine.

Em vinte cinco de Março, se o cuco não se ouvir, ou é morto ou não quer vir.
On March 25th, if the cuckoo can’t be heard, either it’s dead or it doesn’t want to come.

German Proverbs about March:

Nasser März ist Bauernschmerz.
Rainy March is the farmers’ grief.

März grün, Jungfrau kühn.
Green March; bold young woman.

Märzenschnee Tut der Frucht weh.
March snow wounds the fruit.

So remember, in March, even if the weather’s fine, take your coat!



This article was posted on Saturday, March 6th, 2010 at 10:28 pm and is filed under Catalan, Catalan, Catalan Proverbs, Countries & Cultures, Folk Lore, France, French, French Proverbs, German, German Proverbs, Germany, Italian, Italian Proverbs, Italy, Languages, Mama Lisa, Occitan, Occitan Proverbs, Portugal, Portuguese, Portuguese Proverbs, Proverbs, Proverbs about March, Proverbs about the Months, Sayings, Seasonal, Spain, Spanish, Spanish Proverbs, Spring, Winter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “Proverbs about March from Europe”

  1. Carol Says:

    Portuguese proverbs presented here talk about March and April, which I enjoyed learning. Did you know the one that says: Fevereiro quente traz o diabo no ventre. (I think it’s self-explanatory.)


    German & Jewish Proverbs…

    This maybe a little off topic, but I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to my catalog of off colored jokes. If we can’t laugh about it then what can we do? I hope you are not offended and that you enjoy :)…

  3. David Says:

    A Portuguese proverb about the weather in March that you may add:

    Março, Marçagão: de manhã cara alegre, à tarde cara de cão.

    March, Big March: gay face in the morning, dog face in the afternoon.

  4. Zath Says:

    I know this version of the same proverb written above (Portuguese):

    Março, marçagão: de manhã inverno, à tarde verão.

    March, big march: in the morning winter, in the afternoon summer.

  5. denise mirás Says:

    in Italian, if cuckoo doesn’t appear, “either it’s been taken or it’s dead”
    in Occitan, “it must be ill or lost” – an (kind of) optimistic point of view!
    in French, cuckoo “is dead or alive”
    in Spanish, dramaticaly, “either the cuckoo died or the end of the world is coming”
    in Portuguese, “either it’s dead or it doesn’t want to come” – he has his reasons…

    don’t you think those frases say a little bit about us?!
    and… poor cuckoo!

    well, in Brazil, it’s a kind of a crendice mainly in the Northeast of the country, that if rains don’t come till march 19th. (san Joseph’s day), it will be a year of of drought – and, consequentely, famine

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