20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (2024)

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Download FREE Mexican Quotes and Proverbs Postcards! Mexican Quotes About Love 1. Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr – Anonymous 2. Mejor solo que mal acompañado – Anonymous 3. Escoge una persona que te mire como si quizás fueras magia – Frida Kahlo 4. Amo el canto del cenzontle pájaro de 400 voces, amo el color del jade, y el enervante perfume de las flores, pero amo más a mi hermano, el hombre – Nezahualcóyotl 5. Todo acto de creación, es un acto de amor – José Revueltas 6. Amamos a un ser mortal como si fuese inmortal – Octavio Paz Mexican Quotes About Food 7. Barriga llena, corazón contento – Anonymous 8. La panza es primero – Anonymous 9. Salió más caro el caldo que las albóndigas – Anonymous 10. Echarle mucha crema a sus tacos – Anonymous Mexican Proverbs About Life 11. Al que a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija – Anonymous 12. Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo – Anonymous 13. El que se enoja, pierde – Anonymous 14. Mucho ayuda el que poco estorba – Anonymous 15. Ni tanto que queme al santo, ni tanto que no lo alumbre – Anonymous Mexican Quotes About Success 16. A quien madruga Dios lo ayuda – Anonymous 17. Hay que imponer nuestra voluntad a nuestras debilidades – Carlos Slim 18. Aquel que no espera vencer, ya está vencido – Benito Juárez 19. No estudio para saber más, sino para ignorar menos – Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 20. Más vale ser cabeza de ratón que cola de león – Anonymous Learn Spanish and Get Closer to Mexican Culture Ready to learn more about Mexico and Latin America? Check these out! FAQs References

20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (1)

November 11, 2022 by Nicole Canún Spanish Vocabulary 0 comments

These unique Mexican quotes in Spanish celebrate Mexican culture. They’ve shaped the thinking, traditions, and customs of generations of Mexicans.

Proverbs are phrases that reveal a general truth, a moral, or a piece of advice. Mexican proverbs about success, love, and life often include food, animals, or habits.

The many benefits of learning these classic Mexican proverbs include:

  • Learning colloquial sayings
  • Understanding Mexican culture
  • Sounding like a native Spanish-speaker
20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (2)

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Mexican Quotes About Love

1. Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr – Anonymous

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

This Mexican proverb warns us not to get involved in something that we won’t be able to face later. People normally say this to you so that you don’t dar alas (give wings) to anyone.

Dar alas means to seem interested in someone when you really aren’t. Someone who “gives wings” is often seen as abusive or unreliable, so you give them this advice to stop that behavior.

2. Mejor solo que mal acompañado – Anonymous

Literal translation: Better alone than In bad company.

It is better to be alone than to be around a toxic person. In Mexico when people ask about a boy’s girlfriend and he says she couldn’t come, people may joke with this saying.

3. 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.

This is a romantic Mexican quote from revolutionary artist Frida Kahlo. When you watch a magic trick, your face expresses admiration and surprise, and you can’t believe your eyes. This is the feeling Frida wishes for you, to be with a person that looks at you with such delight.

See also: 25 Famous Movie Quotes from Incredible Spanish Movies

4. Amo el canto del cenzontle pájaro de 400 voces, amo el color del jade, y el enervante perfume de las flores, pero amo más a mi hermano, el hombre – Nezahualcóyotl

Literal translation: I love the sound of the mound bird of 400 voices, I love the color of jade, and the unnerving perfume of the flowers, but I love my brother more, the man.

This poetic Mexican quote expresses gratitude for nature and its beauty, yet a greater love for humankind.

5. Todo acto de creación, es un acto de amor – José Revueltas

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

This José Revueltas Mexican quote in Spanish is true. When you create something purposely—a painting, a building, a baby—you put in the effort, focus, time, and money. That’s why endeavors like this are considered an act of love.

20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (4)

6. Amamos a un ser mortal como si fuese inmortal – Octavio Paz

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

Octavio Paz was a Mexican writer who won the Nobel Prize in 1990. He created this phrase as part of his response to the fascinating question “what is love?” in one of his last pieces. Octavio said writing about love while on his last days felt like a goodbye or a testament.

Mexican Quotes About Food

7. Barriga llena, corazón contento – Anonymous

Literal translation: Full belly, happy heart.

This is a typical Mexican grandma phrase. Whenever you feel sad, brokenhearted, or lonely Mexican matriarchs try to help by stuffing you with delicious food.

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8. La panza es primero – Anonymous

Literal translation: The belly is first.

In Mexico, once you eat you can do anything else because being hungry ruins any mood or party.

9. Salió más caro el caldo que las albóndigas – Anonymous

Literal translation: The broth was more expensive than the meatballs.

We use this Mexican proverb plenty. You normally say this when the solution was more expensive or cost more effort than the original problem. Another analogy for this can be “the wrapping was more expensive than the present.”

Mexican quotes

10. Echarle mucha crema a sus tacos – Anonymous

Literal translation: Add a lot of cream to their tacos.

Someone “adds a lot of cream to their tacos” when they exaggerate their skills or achievements. It involves a lot of ego and people can easily perceive it as false.

Mexican Proverbs About Life

11. Al que a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija – Anonymous

Literal translation: He who gets close to a good tree is sheltered by good shade.

This Mexican quote teaches you to get close to a skilled person to help you. If you do, this experience will benefit you.

12. Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo – Anonymous

Literal translation: The devil knows more by being old than by being the devil.

This Mexican quote is about respecting your elders. It’s another way of saying “listen to what I am telling you, I know more than you because I’m older.”

13. El que se enoja, pierde – Anonymous

Literal translation: The one who gets mad loses.

This is a wise dicho (saying) that tells you to try to find solutions without getting angry. If two people are in conflict, the one who invests more anger loses.

20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (6)

14. Mucho ayuda el que poco estorba – Anonymous

Literal translation: The one who hinders little helps greatly.

This Mexican quote is an indirect way of saying “get out of the way!” Sometimes it’s best to stop trying to help—and start helping a lot by bowing out.

15. Ni tanto que queme al santo, ni tanto que no lo alumbre – Anonymous

Literal translation: Not so much that it burns the saint, not so much that it does not illuminate it

This Mexican proverb comes from the Catholic tradition. What it means is that both extremes are bad, if you put a lot of candles around the saint—something we do when we ask for a miracle or favor—you might burn it, if you put the only one you might not even be able to see it. Instead, the key is balance.

The most common way of using this Mexican quote is to make it short: ni tanto que queme al santo. It is easier to learn and say because that way it also rhymes.

See also: 25 Funny Mexican Spanish Quotes With English Translations

Mexican Quotes About Success

16. A quien madruga Dios lo ayuda – Anonymous

Literal translation: God helps the one who wakes up early.

Those who make an effort to wake up early and work are favored by God or other circ*mstances. Hard work results in good things.

17. Hay que imponer nuestra voluntad a nuestras debilidades – Carlos Slim

Literal translation: We need to impose our will over our weaknesses.

If your weaknesses include being unreliable, irresponsible, or lacking discipline, overcome them by imposing your will to achieve things first. To reach your goals, you need to have a powerful will.

18. Aquel que no espera vencer, ya está vencido – Benito Juárez

Literal translation: He who does not expect to win is already defeated.

This Mexican quote from the legendary president aims to inspire you and push you to believe you can do whatever you set your mind to.

19. No estudio para saber más, sino para ignorar menos – Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Literal translation: I don’t study to know more, but to ignore less.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the greatest exponents of the Golden Age of Literature in Spanish was a bright mind born in an archaic world. As a woman, she wasn’t allowed in school or intellectual circles So Sor Juana had to dress up as a man to get a formal education.

A famous historian once said that he studied to calm the anxiety produced by not knowing. This Mexican quote encompasses that idea and more.

20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (7)

20. Más vale ser cabeza de ratón que cola de león – Anonymous

Literal translation: Better to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.

It’s better to be the leader of a little group than to be the least remarkable in a big group. Mexican proverbs like this inspire you to concentrate on being good wherever you are, instead of always looking to be part of something big.

Learn Spanish and Get Closer to Mexican Culture

If you are curious about more Mexican quotes and proverbs and Mexican culture as a whole, why not visit Mexico? It’s a beautiful country with white sand beaches, picturesque villages they call “magic towns,” and modern cities.

Being bilingual helps you enhance your traveling experience in many ways. By learning Spanish you will be able to ask for opinions, directions, and tips. Talk to locals, learn from them, and create lasting friendships. Become one of +24,000 monthly enrolled students at Homeschool Spanish Academy who trust our 10 years of expertise. Learn from talking to actual native speakers. See our pricing and programs and prepare for your trip to Mexico by signing up for a free trial class today!

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Nicole Canún

Freelance Writer at Homeschool Spanish Academy

Blogger, content creator, and marketer. Proudly Mexican. Been to 30 countries. I love learning from different cultures and trying their cuisines. Obsessed with Asia. Fluent in Spanish and English, not so much in French.

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20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish (2024)

FAQs

20 Classic Mexican Quotes and Proverbs in Spanish? ›

The best one I can think of right away is one by the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who fought in the revolution and civil war of 1910-1920. Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas. In English, that's: "I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees."

What is a famous quote from Mexico? ›

The best one I can think of right away is one by the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who fought in the revolution and civil war of 1910-1920. Prefiero morir de pie que vivir de rodillas. In English, that's: "I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees."

What is the most famous Spanish quote? ›

There are many famous and inspirational Spanish quotes, but perhaps the most iconic is: Que sera sera, which means "what will be will be." There are many other inspirational Spanish quotes including: Si puedes soñarlo, puedes lograrlo, meaning "If you can dream it, you can achieve it." This is one of the most ...

What is an example of a Spanish proverb? ›

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.

“Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't feel.” If you don't see it, you can't feel it. This popular Spanish proverb means that people don't suffer for what they don't know.

What is the Mexican proverb for hard work? ›

Al que madruga Dios lo ayudo. Meaning: God helps he who rises early. English equivalent: The early bird gets the worm. This Mexican proverb is used to encourage people to be diligent and hardworking to achieve their goals.

What are some famous quotes from Hispanic people? ›

You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore." — Cesar Chavez. "The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever." — Sonia Sotomayer. “If we could light up the room with pain, we'd be such a glorious fire.” — Ada Limon, "Bright Dead Things"

What is a famous quote about success in Spanish? ›

No apuntes al éxito si lo deseas; solo haz lo que amas y en lo que crees, y vendrá naturalmente. Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. He fallado una y otra y otra vez en mi vida y por eso tengo éxito.

What are Mexican quotes? ›

Mexican Sayings About Life
  • En boca cerrada no entran moscas. Literal meaning: No flies enter a closed mouth. ...
  • Al mal tiempo, buena cara. Literal meaning: To bad times, a happy face. ...
  • Zapatero, a tus zapatos. Literal meaning: Shoemaker, to your shoes. ...
  • Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo. ...
  • El que busca encuentra.
Mar 7, 2024

What is a famous Chicano quote? ›

"I'm not a follower, I am the Leader. I'm not a student, I am the Teacher. I'm not a fellowship, I am the Preacher.

What are some cute quotes in Spanish? ›

To a boyfriend, girlfriend and/or romantic love
EnglishSpanish
Life would be empty without youLa vida estaría vacía sin ti
My heart is yoursMi corazón es tuyo
You are my everythingEres mi todo
I love you with all my soulTe amo con toda mi alma
34 more rows
Mar 10, 2022

What are 10 examples of Proverbs? ›

  • Many hands make light work.
  • Strike while the iron is hot.
  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • Don't judge a book by its cover.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • Better late than never.
  • Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

What is the Spanish proverb for kindness? ›

Haz el bien y no mires a quien.

Be good to others no matter who they are or what they've done. Kindness is key in becoming a better person, and love can be expressed through the tiniest acts.

What is a famous Spanish saying about life? ›

La primera obligación de todo ser humano es ser feliz, la segunda es hacer feliz a los demás. This phrase translates as: The first obligation of every human being is to be happy, the second is to make others happy.

What is a good Spanish quote? ›

Más vale pájaro en mano, que ciento volando. When we use this popular Spanish saying, we mean that we should not be greedy and we have to be happy with what we have. It is more important to have little but to have it really (and of good quality!), rather than to have a lot and it can escape from us.

What is the most Mexican thing to say? ›

Most Common Mexican Slang Words:
  • ¡Aguas!: Watch out!
  • Sale: Alright.
  • Chido: Awesome.
  • Padre: Cool.
  • Ándale: Come on.
  • Avísame: Let me know!
  • Órale: All right.
  • Porfis: Please.

What is the Mexican saying about work? ›

Echarle ganas”: This is a motivational phrase meaning to put effort into something. In a work context, it's like saying "give it your all." For example, "Echale ganas a esa presentación" - "Put effort into that presentation." “Tener mucha chamba”: When you're swamped at work, this is the phrase you'd use.

What are the most famous quote? ›

Best Quotes by Famous People
  • 1. “ Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein.
  • 2. “ Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • 3. “ ...
  • “I have a dream.” ...
  • 5. “ ...
  • 6. “ ...
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” ...
  • 8. “

What is a good slogan for Mexico? ›

Mexico: A Fiesta for the Senses! Escape to Paradise, Escape to Mexico! Mexico: Where History Comes to Life! Live Life Mexi-Style!

What is a very famous quote? ›

Famous quotes in English
QuoteWho
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.Albert Einstein
May the Force be with you.Star Wars (many characters)
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.Eleanor Roosevelt
Not all those who wander are lost.J. R. R. Tolkein
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