9 French Proverbs which use Animals


I am sure you could quickly rattle off a few English proverbs if I asked you and I am sure a few would include animals.  However whilst you will probably know straight away what I mean of I were to say "A bird in the hand .... " I am guessing most non-native speakers would be a bit lost.  It is certainly one of the ways my French language fails so I thought I'd write a mini tutorial with 9 animal based proverbs I have found.  I need to try and learn them and use the over the next few weeks (yeah right!).

9 Animal Themed French Proverbs


1.  Souris qui n'a qu'un trou est bientôt prise

A mouse that only has one hole is soon caught – better safe than sorry.

2.  On ne marie pas les poules avec les renards

One does not wed hens with foxes – different strokes for different folks.

3.  Faute de grives, on mange des merles

For want of thrushes, one eat blackbirds – half a loaf is better than none.

4.  Un chien vivant vaut mieux qu'un lion mort

A live dog is worth more than a dead lion - A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

5.   Petit à petit , l'ouiseau fair son nid

Little by little the bird builds his nest – every little bit helps.

6.  La faim chasse le loup du bois

Hunger flushes the wold out of the woods – necessity knows no law.

7.  Il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué

One should not sell the bearskin before killing the bear – don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

8.  Qui naît poule aime à caqueter

One who was born a hen likes to cackle – a leopard cannot change his spots.

9.  Quand on parles du loup, on en voit la queue

When you speak of the wolf, you will see his tail – speak of the devil (and he will appear).

Do you know any more animal based proverbs that I could try and learn?