Clichés by definition are phrases that have been overused to the point of losing meaning. However, they are still a great way to quickly communicate a point that is easily understood. Some English clichés include “the grass is always greener on the other side” and “ignorance is bliss”.
There are many clichés used in the Croatian language as well. We’ve put together a list of the 10 most used Croatian clichés. Drop one of these into a conversation with a Croat and watch their smile grow.
#1 Sto ljudi, sto ćudi.
Literal translation: A hundred people, a hundred tempers.
True meaning: Everyone has their own opinion.
#2 Ne miješaj kruške i jabuke.
Literal translation: Don’t mix pears with apples.
True meaning: Don’t confuse different things.
#3 Ispeci pa reci.
Literal translation: First bake it, then say it.
True meaning: Think before you say something.
#4 Kad na vrbi rodi grožđe.
Literal translation: When the willow brings grapes.
True meaning: This will never happen.
#5 Kako ćemo, lako ćemo.
Literal translation: How are we going to do this? Don’t worry, just go slowly, there is no rush.
True meaning: To say that someone is “easy going”.
#6 Neće grom u koprive.
Literal translation: The thunder won’t go to the nettles.
True meaning: To say that there is no way that something will happen.
#7 Teško žabu u vodu natjerati.
Literal translation: It isn’t easy to get the frog into the water.
True meaning: To persuade someone to do something.
#8 Strpljen – spašen.
Literal translation: Patient – saved.
True meaning: To say that everything is going to be okay if you are patient.
#9 Puno babica, kilavo dijete.
Literal translation: A lot of midwives, a lousy child.
True meaning: To say that when too many people are involved, it will lead to a bad result. Kind of like “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
#10 Po jutru se dan poznaje.
Literal translation: The day is known after the morning.
True meaning: The day will be exactly the same as in the morning.
Are there any Croatian cliches you use that we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments.
View other vocabulary posts
- 10 ways to use “Može”
- All the ways to say “Hi” and “Bye“ in Croatian
- Exclamations for when you need to shout
- Holiday words and phrases
- How to ask how someone is doing
- How to use “Veze” and express connection in Croatian
- Immigration words and phrases
- Sledding and winter vocabulary
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.