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Nigerian Proverbs (in English) - Culture - Nairaland

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Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by hotangel2(f): 9:26am On Aug 26, 2005
I see pete edoche (nigerian actor) and other men, speaking in proverbs like it's their language. Well, I created this thread so we can all put in the Nigerian Proverbs we know. English ones only, not yoruba, hausa , Igbo... or else of course, you turned it to english.

We all know the Nigerian proverbs makes you think twice/thrice. wink

Okay I'll start with These.

# A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim.
# A farmer does not boast that he has had a good harvest until his stock of yams lasts till the following harvest season.
# Success is 10% ability, and 90% sweat.
# When the right hand washes the left hand and the left hand washes the right hand, both hands become clean.
# One does not become a master diviner in a day. A forest is not made in a season. The swoop of an eagle has seen many seasons and floods...
# A fowl does not forget where it lays it eggs.
# Pete Edoche said this one : It is from a small seed that the giant Iroko tree has its beginning.


Let the fun begin. cheesy
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by nike4luv(f): 10:03am On Aug 26, 2005
Let's fight, let's fight, no one knows whom fighting would favor.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by queen2(f): 2:12pm On Aug 26, 2005
If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, If you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by kazey(m): 3:29pm On Aug 26, 2005
A speech is like an egg, once it drops, it cant be withdrawn. Or how do you translate?

The avoidance to catch a theif in a farm, is what leads the theif to catch the owner. heheh yoruba proverbs sha!!

Anything that goes up, the faith is downfall? (direct translation again) yoruba.

bathing with gari does not heal hunger (hausa proverb)

and more coming soon...........
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by layi(m): 4:54pm On Aug 26, 2005
Agbajo owo la fi so ya - (u can't beat your chest with 1 finger. U need them all).

Ko ju ma ri bi. Ese lo gun e. - (If u don't want to see evil. Talk to your legs)

Bi o ba ni idi, obinrin ki je kumolu - (There's no smoke without fire)

Bi omi ba gbagbe orisun e, gbigbe ni n gbe - (If waters 4gets its source, it drys up)

A ni ko se to, o n se tototo, se ko ti se ju to lo? - (we asked him to work, he was murmurin' and grumblin', has he not done more than work?)
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by vexxy(f): 6:24pm On Aug 26, 2005
I don't know if these are specifically Nigerian but:

You cannont fatten a pig on the market day

It's not where you've fallen, but where you've slipped

You don't know the shade of a tree until it's been cut down

If you listen to the voice of the market, you won't buy

Come visit me and come live with me are two different things
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by layi(m): 6:29pm On Aug 26, 2005
Vexxy, u got any nigerian blood probably ur grandad or sum1 or u r pure american?
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by vexxy(f): 6:34pm On Aug 26, 2005
Pure American grin

Who know's where I've picked most of these things up from.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by hotangel2(f): 7:39pm On Aug 26, 2005
# It is little by little that a bird builds its nest.
# To do one's duty is to eat the prized fruit of honor.
# A farmer who would not work inside the rain and would not work under the sun, would have nothing to harvest at the end of the farming year.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by Scorpio(f): 2:16am On Aug 27, 2005
You do not beat a child on d day dat he breaks a pot
One cannot live by the river n wash his hands with spit
The child dat says his mother will not sleep, he himself will not sleep
You can't sleep with ur house on fire
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by hotangel2(f): 5:12am On Aug 27, 2005
# We do not use our bare feet to search for hidden thorns which we have seen in day time.
# The gods only hear one wish at a time, and nothing more.
# When will the goat be strong enough to kill a leopard.
# Every river knows where its water would not be soaked up into the earth, and that is where it flows past.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by vexxy(f): 5:17am On Aug 27, 2005
Strong people make things happen; weak people let things happen.

Why be a second rate version of someone else when you can be a first rate version of yourself
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by hotangel2(f): 5:24am On Aug 27, 2005
# Big muscles do not make a farmer.
# When a dying man cries, it is not because of where he is going which he knows nothing about, but because of what he wishes he would have done in the world he is leaving behind.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by queen2(f): 2:48pm On Aug 27, 2005
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile way - and barefoot.
Going to church doesn't make you a holy person any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
A closed mouth gathers no feet.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by nike4luv(f): 7:27pm On Aug 27, 2005
Criticism is easy but it does not create.

Love is better than a whip.

To eat from the same pot with another man, is to take an oath of perpetual friendship with him.

A child does not die because the mother's bosoms are dry.

The tree that cannot shed its old leaves in the dry season, cannot survive the period of drought.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by Pappy: 7:10pm On Sep 05, 2005
Monkey dey work, Baboon dey chop- my personal favorite.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by Latoya(f): 4:17am On Sep 06, 2005
u can only stop a bird from making a nest on your head but u can't stop it from flying over your head - Hausa

what an elder sees when sitting down,a child cannot see even on the highest mountain - grandpa

wise people use their tounges to count their teeth - Hausa

a child that washes his hands well will learn to eat and dine with elders - Hausa
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by jennyb(f): 9:04pm On Nov 22, 2005
"You can't fatten a pig on market day"
Why not
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by omoade(f): 12:24pm On Nov 25, 2005
Bi omode ba laso tagba, ko le ni akisa tagba (If a child has as man clothes as an elder, he cannot have as many rags as an elder)

Ba mi na omo mi, ko de ni olomo (Help me discipline my child, is not a heartfelt remark from the mother)

Oga ta, Oga o ta, owo alaru a pe (Whether the master sells or not, the servants wages are guaranteed)

Ikan ti a fi eyin ti, to o gba ni, to ba wo, ko le wo pani   (What we lean on for support that does not support one, when it falls cannot kill one)

Excuse the rusty translations  cheesy
Omo
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by chy(f): 5:26pm On Mar 29, 2006
.when the elephant fights is the grass that suffers
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by babymine(f): 11:58am On Mar 30, 2006
The dance of a millipede does not impress he who has seen the dance of a snake. grin

1 Like

Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by mamaput(f): 9:17am On Mar 31, 2006
If you want to chop toad chop the big one
a fool at 40 is a fool for ever
( My envented one for my kids) a crook cannot be better than his master.
Its the person that steped into the poo that feels it.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by babymine(f): 11:48am On Mar 31, 2006
A child that says his mother won't sleep would also not sleep. N that's so true. grin cheesy
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by Blue2(m): 4:42pm On Apr 15, 2006
It is in the house of a coward that people gather and point to the tomb of yesterday’s warrior

It is better to eat mushroom in freedom than to eat meat in slavery

If you choose to lie down with dogs then you must be prepared to wake u with fleas

It is a foolish fly that is buried with a corpse

It is in the eyes of a lazy man that maize ripens

He who cannot rest cannot work; he who cannot let go, cannot hold on; he who cannot find footing, cannot go forward.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by loriann(f): 3:35pm On Apr 18, 2006
wish i knew enough to say sad sad
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by mamaput(f): 8:35pm On Apr 18, 2006
tHIS ONE USED TO MADDED MY DAD

DO ME I DO YOU GOD NO GO VEX
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by davidylan(m): 7:42pm On Apr 19, 2006
Since all lizards lie on their bellies, we cannot tell which one has a belly ache.
The monkey believes his bushy eyelashes cost him his beauty

If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood
A sheep that will grow horns should ask the ram how its neck feels.]
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by larger20(m): 8:49pm On Apr 19, 2006
jennyb:

"You can't fatten a pig on market day"
Why not

Yes u can. I remember one of the goats i sold when i was in the village. I took her to the water side and feed her until she could no longer drink. The buyer taught she was pregnant and bought it at a high price cheesy cheesy cheesy cheesy cheesy

1 Like

Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by Crownvilla(m): 9:18pm On Apr 19, 2006
IBO PROVERB-He who the Gods want to destroy, they first make mad.

YORUBA PROVERB-'Eni to ba ya igbe sile kin ranti, eni to ma ko lo man ranti'- He who shits on the ground never remembers, but the person who cleans up the mess never forgets

PIDGIN ENGLISH PROVERB-'Who no know go know'-Anyone who is not aware of what's going on will eventually find out.

YORUBA PROVERB-'To ba tori isu je epo, wa tori epo je isu'-If you don't eat yam for the sake of palm oil, you'll eat palm oil for the sake of yam.
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by zeb(m): 11:00pm On Apr 19, 2006
This Are All Afrikan Proverbs cool


When a fool is told a proverb, its meaning has to be explain to him

Proverbs are the daughters of experience

It is the wife who knows her husband

The ruin of a nation begin in the homes of it people

When the rooster is drunk he forget about the hawk

It is the calm salient water that drawn a man

One can not both feast and become rich

Being well dressed does not prevent one from being poor

Wood may remain ten years in the river, but it will not become crocodile

To love someone who does not love you, is like shaking a tree to make a dew drop

Sleep is the cousin of death

A close friend may became a close enemy

Restless feet may walk into a snake pit

Woman without man is like field without seed

If a friend hurts you, run to your wife

He who digs too deep for a fish, may come out with a snake

The dog I bought, Bit me, the fire I kindle, burned me

Too modest man goes hungry

A silly daughter teaches her mother how to bear children

Too much discussion means a quarrel

He who marries a beauty marries trouble

The rat cannot call the cat to an account

Fine words do not produce food

Children of the same mother do not always agree.

When one is in trouble one remembers God.

Time destroy all things.

If you son laughs when you scold him, you ought to cry, for you have lost him, if he cries, you may laugh, for you have a worthy heir.

Don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves, for he will still go on loving. but he will hate you,

Invite some people into your parlor, and they will came into your bedroom.

Do not tell the man carrying that he stinks.

Poverty is slavery

With wealth one wins a woman

Follow the customs and flee the country

The rich are always complaining

Even an ant may harm an elephant

Copying every body else all the time, the monkey one day cut his throat,
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by palabest: 9:40am On Apr 20, 2006
A MOTHER DOES NOT THROW THE BABY AWAY WITH THE BATH WATER

YOU CANNOT SHAVE A MAN'S HAIR IN HIS ABSENCE (MKO ABIOLA)

HE WHO FIGHTS AND RUNS AWAY LIVES TO RUN ( sorry FIGHT) ANOTHER DAY

GRAMMAR NO GO PUT FOOD FOR YOUR TABLE (SHINA PETERS)

JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH ONE STEP

HE WHO PAYS THE PIPER (or DRUMMER) DICTATES THE TUNE.

THE CHICKEN DOES NOT KNOW THE COST OF CORN

THE RABBIT DOES NOT RUN IN THE DAY TIME FOR NOTHING

MY MOTHER'S SOUP IS ALWAYS SWEETER THAN YOUR MOTHER'S
Re: Nigerian Proverbs (in English) by niterider(m): 8:01am On Apr 21, 2006
When a tse-tse fly perches on ur balls,it takes great skill not force to kill it.I love this one grin

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