Proverbs, Sayings, and Legislation

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Scottish proverb:
It tak's a long spoon to tae sup wi' the devil--or wi' a Fifer.
The first drop of broth is the hottest.

Hungarian proverbs:

Olcsó húsnak híg a leve. Cheap meat yields poor soup.

Nem eszik a levest olyanforróa hugy fozik. Soup is not eaten as hot as it's cooked.

Hútra van mé a fekete leves. The black soup (coffee) is still to come. (From the Turkish occupation, when unpleasant matters at dinner were never broached by the invaders until dinner was over and their exotic coffee was served)

Többe kerül a leves, mint a hús. The soup cost more than the meat.

Sok szakács elsózza a levest. Many cooks put too much salt in the soup.

Welsh expressions:
"To be full of loud-mouth soup" is to be drunk.
A spoon does not know the taste of soup, nor a learned fool the taste of wisdom.

Mexican expression, contributed by Aimee Day of Seattle:

hacer caldo, or to "make soup," is a common expression that means to cuddle, to neck, or to pet.

French proverbs:

La soupe fait le soldat, or "Soup makes the soldier"
"Old chickens make the best soup"
"Eat soup first and eat it last,
and live to till a hundred years be passed"
"To make a good soup, the pot must only simmer or 'smile'"
On British cooking--"If it's cold it's soup, if it's warm, it's beer
About someone who is short tempered and will boil over easily--"soup au lait" or "milk soup"
un potage à la grecque--a tasteless soup, a disappointment, a counterfeit.

Hot & Cold soup lessons:

Arab--"One who has been burned by the soup begins to blow on the yoghurt"
Japanese--"Having learned his lesson with hot soup, he blows cold fish salad"
Russian--"Who has been scalded with hot soup blows on cold water"
Rumanian--"He who burnt himself with soup blows also in the sour milk"

Spanish proverb:

"Of soup and love, the first is best"

Corsican proverbs:

Ou mange la soupe ou...saute par la fenêtre, "Either eat your soup...or jump out the window" (contributed by Art Meyer)
Mettrez due lentiglie dans la marmite pour le dîner, or "Put 'two lentils' (meaning lots) in the soup kettle for dinner"
Avez vous deja souper?, or "Have you eaten dinner yet?"

African proverbs:

Annang--"A soup that tastes good by licking must taste better by eating"
Wolof--"Much soup is better than much broth"
Igbo--"The chicken always blames the soup pot for its tragic circumstance instead of the person who slit its throat"
Yoruba: Soki l'obe oge, "Soup is not measured by its quantity"
Nigerian President Obasanjo's quote on the eve of his team match with the Brits in World Cup 2002: "The soup wey go sweet go need plently fire" (no sweat, no win)
Nigeria--"Mother's soup is always the best in the world"
Ghana: "Plenty fish or meat does not spoil the soup"

Armenian proverb:

"Eat bad soup with a big spoon"

Balkan proverb:

He is not an honest man who will burn his tongue and not tell the company that the soup is hot.

Estonian proverb:

"One cannot make soup out of beauty"

Chinese proverbs:

Lies in newspapers are like rat droppings in clear soup. Not only disgusting but obvious."
The chicken in the coop has grain but the soup pot is near; the wild crane has none but its world is vast.
"A rat's dropping can spoil a whole cauldron of soup"

Dutch verse on windy snert:
Aan de oever van de Nete
heb ik erwtensoep gegeten.
Wat mij danig heeft gespeten.
want ik liet heel vieze windjes.

At the bank of the Nete (small river in Belgium)
I had pea soup.
But I regretted it for days
because of the consequences.
--translated by good friend W.H. van der Molen, though a more literal translation would include "release smelly farts"

Anon. (A most contrary limerick, contributed by Scots-born author Jill McGown):

"There was an old man of Dunoon
Who always ate soup with a fork
For he said 'As I eat
Neither fish, fowl nor flesh,
I would otherwise finish too quick"

Childhood rhyme:

"As ships go out to sea
I spoon my soup away from me"

Ancient Chinese recipe for Tiger Soup:

"First catch the tiger...."

City law in Ocean City, New Jersey:

"It is illegal to slurp your soup."

Maggie Owens describes an epicure in the following limerick:

"An epicure, dining at Crewe,
Found quite a large mouse in his stew,
Said the waiter, 'Don't shout,
And wave it about,
Or the rest will be wanting one too!"

Sloppy slurping:

German--"Between the hand and the lip the soup may be spilled"
Spanish--"Between the hand and the mouth the soup is lost"
Italian--"Between the hand and the mouth the soup is spoiled"

paraphrase of James Thurber (American humorist):

Further to the Right than a Soup Spoon (meaning, very very Conservative indeed)

Bennet Cerf, 20th century American humorist:

"Good manners: The noise you don't make when you're eating soup."

According to Sid McKeen, Sunday Telegram (Worcester, Massachusetts):

"State law in Nebraska prevents bar owners from selling beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.

Yiddish saying:

"Troubles are easier to take with soup than without."
Cheap borshch is a blessing for the toothless

Iranian proverb:

"The bowl cannot be warmer than the soup," or
"The plate is trying to be hotter than the soup"

Mongolian saying:

"Winter is over when it isn't cold enough to freeze soup"

Russian proverbs:

Shchi ta kasha, pisha nasha or "Cabbage soup and kasha is our food"
"A house without soup is an unlucky soup"
"Drink a glass of wine after your soup and you steal a ruble from the doctor."
"Like a chicken in cabbage soup" (or Kak kur vo shchi)--in trouble