Sicilian saying of the day: Bad habits


Sicilian donkeys

U sceccu chi si mancia a fichera u viziu si lu lava quannu mori.

The donkey who eats figs is only rid of the habit when he dies.

The humble donkey used to be the work animal of choice in Sicily, able to carry heavy loads and negotiate the mountain terrain common on the island it was a source of pride of every farming family. But a donkey who ate the figs off the fig tree was a real pain as the precious fig was a major part of the Sicilian’s die,t dried out in the sun they were preserved and served as a valuable nourishment in the harsh winters of the last century.

So the Sicilian agricultural and natural world gives us this metaphor, someone who has a bad habit will never give it up.

A guess for an English equivalent … a leopard never changes it’s spots.




4 thoughts on “Sicilian saying of the day: Bad habits

  1. hahaha. I’ll be using these now but randomly and completely out of context. THANK YOU! And remember, you can’t have a full jug of wine and a drunk wife! 😉

    1. I’m sure you in laws would love it! I must put in a pronunciation guide. I love all the references to donkeys, there are so many jackasses around these phrases are useful 😉

  2. Any more donkey sayings? Now that my family is the proud owner of two donkeys (one of whom looks exactly like the donkeys in your photo), we need more jackass proverbs. We haven’t spotted our donkeys eating figs yet, but they are rapidly depleting my kitchen’s stock of carrots.

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