May 31, 2021
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The meaning of the proverb “Do not have a hundred rubles, but have a hundred friends”

The meaning of the proverb

In our mercantile age, the value of true friendship falls in inverse proportion to the rate at which prices rise.

Busy making money, people are less likely to find time to communicate with loved ones. But the soul asks for warmth. This is why the proverb “Do not have a hundred rubles, but have a hundred friends” remains relevant to this day.

The meaning of the proverb

The expression “Don’t have a hundred rubles, but have a hundred friends” means that friendship is much more valuable than material wealth. No amount of wealth can replace friendly sympathy, attention, care, the ability to speak the same language.

The real tests that fall on the lot of every person prove the truth of the proverb. If someone is seriously ill and it is necessary to collect a large amount of money for treatment, friends are ready to do anything to get it.

They will not only help financially, but also listen in difficult times, find the strength to hide tears and joke, come up with general plans for the future.

Money can do a lot, but not everything. You cannot buy affection, kindness, love. What one soul gives to another as a result of free choice is not bought or sold. Friendship is the greatest gift that would be unbearable to live without.

Origin of expression

For the first time, a proverb was recorded in the collection “Proverbs and Sayings of the Russian People” by V. I. Dahl in 1854. Like many other proverbs about friendship, it arose from everyday observations.

In the old days in the countryside, it was customary to cope with big tasks with the whole world. This is how they built houses, erected churches, or cultivated the land. Even such a simple matter as preparing supplies for the winter, they preferred to do together.

For example, the November cutting of cabbage for sourdough was carried out in one hut. For this, all the women gathered, young people helped them. After the work was completed, gatherings were arranged with jokes, songs, riddles. Such evenings are called skits.

The experience of our ancestors, recorded in the proverb, suggests that it is easier to overcome difficulties together. The more friends, the more reliable the support. Just do not forget that each of these hundred will need help in return at some point.


Among the synonymous idioms about the value of good relationships, there are several of the most striking:

  • Friendship and brotherhood are the first wealth;
  • Not to live with money, but with kind people;
  • A bird is strong with its wings, and a man is strong with friends.

It is difficult to argue with these statements. However, don’t rush to count your social media followers. Even if there are many more than a hundred of them, remember: there are never many real friends.

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