Slogans & Sayings

50 Mexican Sayings and Proverbs You Need to Know

An apron, notebook, t-shirt, and tote bag with Mexican sayings and proverbs printed on them.

If you’re looking to infuse your designs with the spirit and culture of Mexico, you’re in the right place. These Mexican proverbs and sayings are nuggets of wisdom ready to burst into your designs and bring a smile to everyone’s face. From the hilarious to the heartwarming, these Mexican sayings offer a perfect blend of wisdom and fun that will enliven your custom designs and ignite curiosity about Mexican culture. Consider adding these proverbs and sayings to drinkware, notebooks, hats, activewear, bags, and more for your next events and outings.

Funny Mexican Sayings

Famous Mexican Sayings

Mexican Sayings About Love

Short Mexican Sayings

Mexican Proverbs About Life

Funny Mexican Sayings

1. Más vale llegar tarde que feo.

Literal translation: It’s better to arrive late than to look ugly.

This lighthearted proverb reminds us that taking the time to look good is important, even if it means being fashionably late.

2. El dinero no da la felicidad, pero sí te da la comodidad de llorar en un Ferrari.

Literal translation: Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you the comfort of crying in a Ferrari.

This saying takes a humorous approach to the English saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.”

3. El que nace para tamal, del cielo le caen las hojas.

Literal translation: One who is born to be a tamale, the corn husks fall from the sky for them.

This proverb references people who have been born with certain privileges and advantages. If you’re born a tamale, you’ll already have more corn husks than you’ll ever need.

4. Ves que el niño es pedorro y le das frijoles.

Literal Translation: You see that the child has gas and give him beans.

This proverb is a funny metaphor that is equivalent to “What did you expect?”

5. Al nopal solo se le arriman cuando tiene tunas.

Literal Translation: The prickly pear cactus is only approached when it has fruit.

The nopal (prickly pear cactus) is usually ignored because of its spikes, but opportunistic people will always find a way to pick its fruit when the time is right.

6. El que ríe al último, es porque piensa más lento.

Literal Translation: The one who laughs last is because they think slower.

This saying pokes fun at those who “have the last laugh.”

7. Las penas con pan son buenas. 

Literal Translation: All griefs with bread are less.

This brief proverb reminds us that we can always be comforted by life’s simple pleasures, and which of those is more iconic than bread?

8. No sabe ni papa.

Literal translation: He doesn’t even know potato.

This saying is used to describe someone who is completely clueless or ignorant.

9. Creerse la última Coca-Cola del desierto.

Literal meaning: to believe yourself to be the last Coca-Cola in the desert.

This saying is used to describe someone who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance or thinks highly of themselves.

10. No hay que buscarle ruido al chicharrón.

Literal Translation: No need to look for noise in the pork rinds.

This saying is similar to “don’t poke the bear” and reminds people not to look for trouble.

A group of people wearing their custom t-shirts.

Famous Mexican Sayings

11. Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente.

Literal translation: Shrimp that falls asleep is carried away by the current.

The English equivalent of this proverb is “You snooze, you lose.”

12. Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.

Literal translation: Out of sight, out of mind.

This one should be pretty familiar. What’s not directly in front of us usually won’t be on our minds.

13. El que con lobos anda, a aullar se enseña.

Literal translation: He who runs with wolves will learn to howl.

This proverb reminds us that the “company you keep” has more influence than you’d think.

14. Un paso firme es mejor que una carrera que cansa.

Literal translation: A steady step is better than a run that tires.

Similar to “slow and steady wins the race,” this proverb tells us it’s often smart to take our time.

15. En boca cerrada no entran moscas.

Literal translation: No flies enter a closed mouth.

This proverb could be equated to “loose lips sink ships.”

16. Árbol que nace torcido, jamás su tronco endereza.

Literal translation: A tree that is born crooked, its trunk never straightens.

This proverb uses a tree metaphor to show that “old habits die hard.”

17. Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr.

Literal translation: Water that you must not drink, let it run.

This Mexican proverb warns us not to involve ourselves in situations that are none of our business.

18. Los envidiosos nunca alaban, solo lo asimilan.

Literal translation: The envious never give praise; they only take it in.

This saying highlights the idea that people who never give out compliments are secretly jealous.

19. No hay mal que por bien no venga.

Literal translation: Every cloud has a silver lining.

This one is a classic. The sun still shines on a cloudy day.

20. Quien no se aventura, no pasa el mar. 

Literal translation: Who does not venture does not cross the sea.

This is a take on the English proverb, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Mexican Sayings About Love

21. “Escoge una persona que te mire como si quizás fueras magia.” – Frida Kahlo

Literal translation: Choose a person who looks at you as if you were magic.

Iconic artist Frida Kahlo knew the value of choosing a person who treats you with love and respect and looks at you with amazement.

22. “Amamos a un ser mortal como si fuese inmortal.” – Octavio Paz

Literal translation: We love a mortal being as if it were immortal.

This beautiful quote highlights that, while we may be mortals, our love for each other lasts forever.

23. El tiempo lo cura todo.

Literal translation: Time cures everything.

This proverb can also be said as “time heals all wounds.”

24. Mejor solo que mal acompañado.

Literal translation: Better alone than in bad company.

Sometimes it’s better to be alone than with someone who causes pain or strife.

25. El amor no tiene cura, pero es la cura para todos los males.

Literal translation: Love has no cure, but it’s the cure for all evils.

Love may often cause pain and heartbreak, but it has equal power to heal.

26. En el amor, el que se duerme, pierde.

Literal translation: In love, the one who sleeps loses.

Those who are passive and indecisive in love will never get to experience it or what it can offer.

27. “Todo acto de creación, es un acto de amor.” – José Revueltas

Literal translation: Every act of creation is an act of love.

This quote reminds us that any act of creation, either artistic or otherwise, is driven by a deep sense of love and passion.

28. El amor es un fuego que arde sin ser visto.

Literal translation: Love is a fire that burns unseen.

This proverb reflects the concept of love as a personal, intimate experience that may not always be openly displayed or expressed.

29. El amor no se busca, se encuentra.

Literal translation: Love is not sought; it is found.

This proverb emphasizes the notion that love is not something that can be actively pursued or sought out; instead, it happens naturally and unexpectedly.

30. El amor es el idioma universal del corazón.

Literal translation: Love is the universal language of the heart.

This proverb suggests that love is a powerful force that can bridge differences and connect people on a deeper level.

A Spanish class wearing their matching custom t-shirts.

Short Mexican Sayings

31. El amor es ciego. 

Literal translation: Love is blind.

A classic, this proverb tells us that love will blind us to other people’s flaws.

32. Más vale tarde que nunca.

Literal translation: Better late than never.

As any chronically late person will tell you, “better to be late than never to show up.”

33. El que busca, encuentra. 

Literal translation: Seek, and you shall find.

Often said as a motivational quote, this proverb encourages us to go after what we want.

34. El muerto al hoyo y el vivo al bollo.

Literal translation: Life goes on.

We all need a little reminder sometimes that “this, too, shall pass.”

35. El que no arriesga, no gana. 

Literal translation: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Another motivational proverb, this one tells us that we must act in order to achieve our goals.

36. Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.

Literal translation: Out of sight, out of mind.

This proverb is short and sweet. What we don’t see won’t be on our minds.

37. Zapatero, a tus zapatos.

Literal translation: Shoemaker, to your shoes.

This metaphor is equivalent to the English phrase “mind your own business.”

38. No hay rosa sin espinas.

Literal translation: There is no rose without thorns.

This proverb is a familiar one, which reminds us that nothing is as perfect as it seems.

39. Cada loco con su tema.

Literal translation: To each their own.

This idiom tells us to respect other people’s tastes, preferences, and opinions.

40. Ser pan comido.

Literal translation: To be a piece of cake.

If it’s easy, it’s a piece of cake.

Mexican Proverbs About Life

41. En la vida no se trata de esperar a que pase la tormenta, sino de aprender a bailar bajo la lluvia.

Literal translation: In life, it’s not about waiting for the storm to pass but about learning to dance in the rain.

This proverb speaks to remaining resilient, adaptable, and embracing life’s challenges.

42. La vida es un lienzo en blanco, tú decides qué pintar en él.

Literal translation: Life is a blank canvas; you decide what to paint on it.

This would be equivalent to the English saying, “Life is what you make it.”

43. La vida es como una bicicleta: para mantener el equilibrio, debes seguir adelante.

Literal translation: Life is like a bicycle: to keep your balance, you must keep moving forward.

This saying tells us to always look ahead, embrace change, and not dwell on the past.

44. La vida es corta, pero los recuerdos son eternos.

Literal translation: Life is short, but memories are eternal.

This proverb reminds us that we’ll always have our memories.

45. En la vida, no se trata de cuántas veces caes, sino de cuántas veces te levantas.

Literal translation: In life, it’s not about how many times you fall but how many times you get up.

This proverb would be equivalent to the English saying about “getting back on the horse.”

46. La vida es como un espejo, te devuelve lo que reflejas en ella.

Literal translation: Life is like a mirror; it gives back what you reflect upon it.

This proverb would be equivalent to “You get out what you put in.”

47. A falta de pan, tortillas.

Literal translation: Lack of bread, tortillas.

This would be like saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

48. Al mal tiempo, buena cara.

Literal translation: To bad times, a good face.

This proverb highlights the importance of always having a good attitude. It could also be interpreted as “chin up.”

49. El que busca encuentra.

Literal translation: If you search, you will find.

This proverb speaks to the importance of persistence and determination. It can also be equated to “following your dreams.”

50. El sordo no oye, pero bien que compone. 

Literal translation: The deaf man cannot hear, but he composes well.

This expression is about those who never listen but manage to do all the talking. It can also be interpreted as referring to people who love to gossip.

Stephanie Self loves to tell stories and expose new perspectives through writing. When she's not typing on a laptop or buried in a book, she loves watching horror movies and pro wrestling, playing video games, and snuggling with her cat, CleoCatra. Lest you should think she never sees the light of day, she also spends time practicing hot yoga, hiking, and traveling.

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