Austrian Money Proverb

über geld spricht man nicht das hat man es

About money do not talk that has it

You don’t talk about money, you have money

My informant said that this proverb reflects the modesty surrounding talking about one’s wages in Austria.

This saying isn’t only reflective of the modesty of Austria, but is also emblematic of the whole of Europe’s being modest about one’s earnings and not talking about one’s wealth. Unlike in America, where the first thing out of someone’s lips when you tell them you have a job is, ‘how much do you make?,’ in Europe and many other countries in the world, it is incredibly uncouth and impolite to talk about what one earns, because that is a private matter, and should have no bearing on your relationship with that person. In fact, it’s normal for people to be friends without even knowing exactly what kind of work they do. So, this proverb works to show the culture’s separation between work and play, which doesn’t exist in America.