14 Cuban Sayings to Impress Your Friends

14 Cuban Sayings to Impress Your Friends

If you've ever been around Cubans, you know that our way of speaking is loud, vibrant, and full of unique expressions. Cuban sayings, or "dichos," are a significant part of the culture, adding flavor and wisdom to everyday conversations.

Let's dive into some popular Cuban sayings and their meanings!



Black T-shirt with a red devil graphic and the Cuban saying 'Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo' – Design by Martha of Miami


1. "Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo."

Translation: The devil knows more because he's old than because he's the devil.

Meaning: Experience is more valuable than knowledge or cunning. This saying highlights the importance of learning from life's experiences.

Check out our Más Sabe el Diablo T-Shirt – Funny Cuban Saying Black Tee, perfect for adding a touch of Cuban wisdom and humor to your wardrobe!

2. "Al mal tiempo, buena cara."

Translation: To bad weather, a good face.

Meaning: Stay positive in tough situations. It's all about keeping a good attitude even when things aren't going your way.

3. "Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente."

Translation: The shrimp that falls asleep gets taken by the current.

Meaning: If you snooze, you lose. This saying warns about the dangers of not paying attention or being lazy.

4. "A caballo regalado no se le mira el colmillo."

Translation: Don't look at the teeth of a gift horse.

Meaning: Be grateful for gifts and don't criticize them. Appreciate what you receive without focusing on flaws.

5. "Estar en la luna de Valencia."

Translation: To be on the moon of Valencia.

Meaning: To be daydreaming or not paying attention. This is used when someone is lost in their thoughts and not aware of their surroundings.

6. "No hay mal que por bien no venga."

Translation: There is no bad from which good doesn't come.

Meaning: Every cloud has a silver lining. This saying reminds us that good things can come out of bad situations.


Pink journal cover with the Cuban saying 'Lo Que Está Pa' Ti, Nadie Te Lo Quita' in decorative text – Available on Amazon from Martha of Miami


7. "Lo que está pa' ti, nadie te lo quita."

Translation: What is meant for you, no one can take away.

Meaning: This saying emphasizes the belief in destiny and the inevitability of what is meant to be.

Check out our Lo Que Está Pa' Ti, Nadie Te Lo Quita Journal – Inspirational Cuban Saying Journal, perfect for jotting down your thoughts and embracing the Cuban spirit of destiny and resilience!

8. "El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta."

Translation: He who embraces too much, holds on to little.

Meaning: Don't bite off more than you can chew. It's better to focus on a few things and do them well than to take on too many tasks and fail.

9. "Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos."

Translation: Raise crows, and they'll peck your eyes out.

Meaning: Beware of helping ungrateful people, as they may turn against you. This saying warns about the consequences of misguided generosity.

10. "A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina."

Translation: Where the heart inclines, the foot walks.

Meaning: People tend to follow their passions and loves. This saying reflects how our actions are guided by what we truly love.

11. "Cuando el río suena, piedras trae."

Translation: When the river makes noise, it brings stones.

Meaning: There's no smoke without fire. If there's talk about something, there's usually some truth to it.

12. "Perro que ladra no muerde."

Translation: A barking dog doesn't bite.

Meaning: People who make threats often don't follow through.

13. "Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres."

Translation: Tell me who you walk with, and I'll tell you who you are.

Meaning: People are influenced by the company they keep. 

14. "A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan."

Translation: A word to the wise is enough.

Meaning: Intelligent people grasp ideas quickly with few words

These are just a few examples of the rich tapestry of Cuban sayings. They reflect the wit, wisdom, and resilience of Cuban culture. Next time you're chatting with a Cuban friend, try dropping one of these sayings into the conversation—you'll be sure to impress!

Final Thoughts

Cuban sayings are more than just words; they're a window into the heart and soul of Cuba. They carry the history, humor, and hopes of a people who have seen it all and come through with a smile. So, embrace these expressions, share them with your friends, and let the Cuban spirit brighten your day!

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