From Iceland — Just Sayings: ‘Dropinn holar harðan stein’

Just Sayings: ‘Dropinn holar harðan stein’

Published January 14, 2021

Just Sayings: ‘Dropinn holar harðan stein’
Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Jason Walsh

This saying is one of my all-time favourites and is still widely used today. Translated, “Dropinn holar harðan stein” literally means: “Drops of water will make a hole in the stone.” As it goes, most people have their own personal interpretation of this idiom, but the basic meaning is that with time, even a small, concerted action will have an effect. Basically persistence is key, and if you needed an illustration of this saying, just watch ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’ Sorry for the spoiler, people who haven’t watched films since 1994. Incidentally, torturers through the ages have also understood this saying and have used it to inflict pain on their victims by letting a drop of water drip on the same place on their forehead until they feel like someone is hitting them with a hammer. So, yeah, it’s also that.

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