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Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations - Jokes Etc - Nairaland

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Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by ashmanpolo: 8:27am On Apr 06, 2013
This is practically for Nigerians abroad, trying to learn Pidgin English
Somehow this is our lingua franca
(1)
NA WHERE DEY PAIN PERSON, NA IM PERSON DEY PUT FOR NEAR FIRE
English translation: One has to treat whichever part of his/her body aches
Context: Justifying drastic action. Take whatever action necessary to resolve an issue.

(2)
UNTIL MAN MARRY NEW WIFE, IM NO GO KNOW SAY D FIRST WIFE NA ANGEL
English translation: A man will not realise his wife has good qualities until he takes a new wife
Context: A reminder to the discontent. The grass IS NOT always greener on the other side.

(3)
IF PERSON TOO TAY FOR TOILET, IM GO FORGET SAY SHIT DEY SMELL
English translation: If one spends too long in the toilet, s/he will become used to the smell.
Context: Warning against complacency

(4)      
CUNNY MAN DIE, CUNNY MAN BURY AM
English translation: The man faking death was buried by the man who faked the burial
Context: Same as ‘It takes a thief to catch a thief’


(5)      
SOFFRY, SOFFRY CATCH MONKEY
English translation: With patience, one can catch an elusive monkey
Context: Advising patience in one’s quest for an elusive goal.
Same as ‘The patient dog eats the fattest bone’

(6)      
IF U TOUCH FOWL PICKIN AND IM MAMA SHOUT.....NO FEAR.  BUT, IF IM MAMA QUIET, PUT THE PICKIN DOWN QUICK QUICK
English translation: If you pick up a chick and the mother-hen squawks, you can keep the chick. If the mother-hen watches you silently, put the chick down immediately
Context: Warning – Pick your battles carefully.

(7)
PERSON NO DEY BREAK GLASS FOR PARTY WEY DEM NO INVITE PERSON
English translation: When you are an uninvited guest at a party, make sure you do not destroy anything.
Context: Advice – do not draw attention to yourself in unfamiliar surroundings.


(cool
YOU FIT GIVE COAT TO HOUSE BOY MAKE IM WEAR... BUT HOUSEBOY GO ALWAYS BE HOUSEBOY
English translation: You can give a servant expensive garments to wear, but a servant will still behave like a servant.
Context: Same as ‘You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear’

(9)
EVERYDAY FOR THIEF, ONE DAY FOR THE OWNER
English translation: A thief can escape being caught most of the time – but not all of the time.
Context: Bad deeds will always be exposed – someday, sometime.


(10)
FINE GIRL BE LIKE FLOWER - EVERY BODY WANT AM. IF IM NO QUICK CHOOSE, IM BEAUTY GO FADE AND NOBODY GO WANT AM
English translation: A beautiful girl is like a flower – every man wants her. However, if she is too choosy, she might miss the boat and end up alone.
Context: Same as ‘It is best to strike while the iron is hot’


(11)    
IF GIRL TAKE HUSBAND DO BOYFRIEND, SHE GO TAKE BOYFRIEND DO HUSBAND.
English translation: When a girl is being courted by numerous suitors, she has to be smart or she will end up overlooking the man who would have been a good husband – and marrying someone who should have been a fling.
Context: Same as ‘Strike while the iron is hot’

(12)    
NOBODY DEY CRY SOTAY DEM DEY FOLLOW DEAD BODY ENTER GRAVE
English translation: It is very rare for a mourner to commit suicide – as proof of love for the mourned.
Context: Same as ‘Life goes on......’


(13)
AS WE DEY CRY FOR THE DEAD, NAH SO OUR TONGUE DEY COUNT OUR TEETH!
English translation: While we mourn, we are still using our tongue to count how many teeth we have !
Context: Same as ‘Life goes on......’

(14)    
IF PERSON TOO TAY FOR PARTY, IM GO FOLLOW DEM WASH PLATE
English translation: If one stays too long at a party, you will definitely end up assisting with the after-party clear up.
Context: Same as ‘Best to leave when the ovation is at its loudest’

(15)    
ONE DAY, ONE DAY...BREEZE GO BLOW AND WE GO SEE FOWL YANSH
English translation: One day, a strong wind will reveal the fowl’s bum
Context: Nothing can remain hidden forever
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by ashmanpolo: 8:29am On Apr 06, 2013
(16)
WHEN PICKIN START TO ANSWER IM PAPA BACK......YOU GO KNOW SAY IM DON DEY DO THE TING WEY PAPA AND MAMA DEY DO
English translation: If a child starts answering back rudely, it is likely that s/he is already indulging in ‘adult activities’
Context: Sudden bad behaviour from a child is likely to be as a result of deeper issues.

(17)    
DEM NO DEY TELL OLD MAN SAY IM MOUTH DEY SMELL
English translation: One should never tell an old man that he has bad breath
Context: Always respect your elders

(18)
OBA NO DEY GO TRANSFER
English translation: The King can never be forced off his throne
Context: One’s birth right is not transferrable

(19)
BIG MAN JOKE NO DEY DRY
English translation: A rich man’s joke is always funny
Context: Same as ‘Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan’

(20)
DIRTY WATER DEY QUENCH FIRE
English translation: Even dirty water can put out a fire
Context: Desperate times call for desperate measures – Same as ‘A drowning man will clutch at straw’
(21)
WATER NO GET ENEMY
English translation: Water has no enemies
Context: Acceptance – some things do not need much deliberation

(22)
BIG YANSH NO DEY HEAVY D OWNER
English translation: A heavy backside is never too heavy for its owner 
Context: Individuality – ‘Too each his own’

(23)
FREE FOOD DEY RUN BELE
English translation: Free food causes diarrhoea
Context: Same as ‘There is nothing like a free lunch’

(24)
WHO NO KNOW......GO KNOW
English translation: The ignorant will surely gain knowledge someday
Context: A reminder to the discontent. The grass IS NOT always greener on the other side.

(25)
OLD MAN WEY DEY CARRY SMALL GIRL NO SUPPOSE COMPLAIN WHEN D GIRL SLAP AM FOR PUBLIC
English translation: If an old man likes sleeping with young girls, he should not complain when they disrespect in public
Context: Self-respect. Same as ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’

(26)
FARMER WEY SLEEP FOR PLANTING SEASON GO SURELY HUNGRY WHEN HARVEST COME
English translation: The farmer who sleeps all through planting season should be prepared to starve when harvest season comes
Context: Failure to plan is planning to fail

(27)
PERSON WEY BORN PICKIN DEY STILL CHOP
English translation: Parents still have to eat
Context: The responsibilities that come with parenthood should not stop the parents from having a life

(28)
NA WHO KNOW MAN DEY KILL MAN
English translation: It is most likely that a killer will be known to his/her victim
Context: Caution - Those closest to you are more likely to hurt you

(29)
MONKEY NO DEY BORN FOWL
English translation: A monkey can never give birth to a fowl
Context: Like begets like. Same as ‘Like father like son’

(30)
BODY NO BE FIREWOOD
English translation: The human body is not the same as a piece of wood
Context: Humans have feelings/ limits. Same as ‘Man does not live by bread alone’

(31)
IF YOU COMOT YOUR EYE MAKE YOU FOR NO SEE YOUR ENEMY, HOW YOU GO SEE YOUR FRIEND ?
English translation: If you choose to pluck out your eyes because you do not want to see your enemies...How will you see your friends?
Context: Same as ‘Do not cut off your nose to spite your face’

(32)

COW WEY NO GET TAIL...NA GOD DEY DRIVE FLY FOR AM
English translation: God drives away flies that bother the tail-less cow
Context: God helps the helpless

(33)
‘I WAS ONCE A BIG MAN’..........NO BE BETA TING TO HEAR
English translation: ‘I was one a rich man’.......is sad to hear
Context: Repeatedly recounted stories about lost wealth/ past glories is sad to hear

(34)
THE PERSON WEY BORROW YOU TROUSER GO ALWAYS DEY LOOK YOUR WAIST
English translation: If you wear borrowed trousers, it is likely the owner of those trousers is watching them closely
Context: Better be a lender than a borrower

(35a)
NA COCONUT TREE WEY FALL, NA IM MAKE GOAT FIT CLIMB AM
English translation: It is only because the coconut tree fell that the goat was able to climb it
Context: Same as 'familiarity breeds contempt' or 'How the mighty have fallen'



(35b) 
NA CONDITION MAKE CRAYFISH BEND 
English translation:  Extraordinary conditions made the crayfish get bent
Context: Similar to No 35a

(36)
IF E BE LIKE SAY EVERYBODY DEY CRAZE....NA YOU DEY CRAZE !
English translation: If you feel everyone is crazy, then its is likely that you are the crazy one
Context: Introspection is a good quality

(37)
ORDINARY FRIEND GO SAY ‘WAIT TILL MORNING’......REAL FRIEND GO SAY..’OYA, COME MAKE I FOLLOW YOU GO’
English translation: If you invite friends to accompany you on a journey/task....An ordinary friend will say ‘Let’s wait till morning’. However, a real friend will say ‘Let’s go immediately
Context: A friend in need is a friend indeed

(38)
U NO FIT SAY MAKE PICKIN NO GET BIG TEETH ........BUT U MUST PRAY SAY D PICKIN GO GET BIG LIPS WEY GO FIT COVER THE BIG TEETH.  
English translation: One cannot prevent a child from becoming buck-toothed. However, one must pray that his lips are big enough to cover the teeth
Context: Warning - As you lay your bed, so you shall lay on it!

(39)
IF U WAN ADVISE PERSON AND EVERYBODI DEY SAY – ‘LEAVE AM, LEAVE AM..NA SO IM BE’ – U GO KNOW SAY DE PERSON DON DEY CRAZE.
English translation: If you attempt giving out advice to a person and everyone else warns you
saying - 'Dont bother, that's the way s/he is’ - You must realise the person is beyond
redemption!            
Context: Defending unsolicited advice OR warning one to accept a lost cause

(40)
IF YOU NO LET PEOPLE LAFF U, DEM GO CRY FOR YOU
English translation: If you are afraid that people will mock you; then a time will come when they will find you tragic


 Context: Similar to ‘Who dares wins.’ Whenever one is afraid to take action because others might mock you

(41)
IF PERSON DEY SLEEP, D TIME WEY IM WAKE UP, NA IM DAY BREAK FOR THE PERSON.
English translation: Whenever one wakes up from night sleep - is your dawn
Context: Regret is futile. Whenever one decides to make an important life-changing decision change is when his/her new life begins.

(42)
NO BE HOW BODI DEY SCRATCH PERSON NA IM PERSON DEY SCRATCH AM
English translation: You should not scratch an itch with the same ferocity you feel the itch.
Context: Calm down and think rationally. Easy does it.

(43)
WHEN ELEPHANTS FIGHT, NA GROUND DEY SUFFER
English translation: When elephants fight it is the ground that suffers
Context: Warning – when the powerful fight, it is the powerless who suffer.

(44)
D PERSON WEY SHIT FOR GROUND FIT FORGET BUT THE PERSON WEY PACK THE SHIT NO GO EVER FORGET.
English translation: When a person defecates on the floor, he might forget. However, the person who clears up after that person will never forget.
Context: A reminder to an ingrate.

(45)
WETIN OLD PERSON FIT SIDDON SEE, SMALL PICKIN NO FIT STAND SEE.
English translation: What an elder can see sitting down, a young person cannot see – even when up-standing
Context: Wisdom comes with age. More often than not, elders have more experience and wisdom than the young

(46)
TWENTY PICKIN NO FIT PLAY TOGETHER FOR TWENTY YEARS.
 English translation:  Twenty children cannot remain friends for twenty years
Context: Childhood friendships might not last forever – that is a fact of life

(47)
PICKIN WEY NO LISTEN TO IM ELDERS GO USE BASKET FETCH WATER FROM RIVER ONE DAY
English translation: A child who doesn't listen to his/her elders’ advice will one day use a raffia basket to fetch water from the stream.
Context: A stubborn child who ignores elders’ advice will regret it in future

(48)
DEM NO DEY TELL BLIND MAN SAY MARKET DON CLOSE.  BY THE TIME IM NO HEAR VOICES, IM GO KNOW !
English translation: You don’t need to tell an blind man that the market has closed. He can tell when he doesn’t hear any more voices.
Context: Similar to: ‘A dog will always find its way home’

(49)
NA WHO MARRY CRIPPLE, KNOW AS IM DEY TAKE SLEEP WITH AM!
English translation: It is only a cripple’s spouse who knows how they manage to have sexual intercourse
Context: Similar to ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’ and ‘One should not wash your dirty linen in public’

(50)
WETIN CONCERN AGBERO WITH OVERLOAD ?
English translation: Why should the motor-park tout worry about excess luggage?
Context: Similar to ‘Oil and Water don’t mix’
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by Akshow: 9:00am On Apr 06, 2013
Hilarious. Let me add one. Na wit style them de carry kill mosquitoe wey de blokos. Meaning: delicate issues should be solved wit utmost care grin
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by Nobody: 9:01am On Apr 06, 2013
nice stuff, let me add mine.

- "One day Monkey go go market e no go return".

unfortunately i can't translate it, can anyone help.
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by lacicrips(m): 10:20am On Apr 06, 2013
This is very good. OP nailed it with the 'context' addition. I think it deserves to be on the homepage.
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by Adufaye(m): 10:24am On Apr 06, 2013
Pikin wey wan follow him papa get bar head,na headache go kil am

a child dat wnt 2 walk in his fada ways must work hard
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by ashmanpolo: 11:54am On Apr 06, 2013
Adufaye: Pikin wey wan follow him papa get bar head,na headache go kil am

a child dat wnt 2 walk in his fada ways must work hard

ℓO̲̣̣̥ℓz @bald head
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by ashmanpolo: 11:56am On Apr 06, 2013
51)
DOUGH MUST ENTER FIRE BEFORE E RISE
English translation: Dough must be baked before it becomes bread
Context: Perseverance in the face of adversity. Similar to ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’

(52)
NAH WOMAN WEY NEVER SEE PROBLEM...NA IM DEY STILL HOLD BREAST RUN
English translation: In times of trouble, if a woman still remembers to hold her breasts while running; she is not running away from a serious problem.
Context: Reality check

(53)
IF WOMAN NO TALL, SHE MUST GET BREAST OR YANSH BECOS SHE NO FIT LOSE TWO THINGS
English translation: If a woman is short, she must have a nice boobs or backside because she cant lose out in every way
Context: Everyone has a redeeming feature

(54)
FLY WEY NO DEY HEAR WORD, GO FOLLOW DEAD BODY ENTER GRAVE
English translation: The fly that refuses to listen will end up in a grave with a corpse
Context: Same as ‘A word is enough for the wise’

(55)
DOG WEY NO DEY HEAR IM MASTER WHISTLE GO SURELY LOST
English translation: A dog that ignores its owner’s whistle will surely get lost
Context: Same as ‘A word is enough for the wise’

(56)
NA WHO WEAR SHOE KNOW WHERE THE SHOE DEY PAIN
English translation: It is only the wearer of a shoe that knows where it pinches
Context: To each his own

(57)
MY OWN, YOUR OWN AND OUR OWN DIFFERENT
English translation: Mine, yours and ours are all different
Context: To each his own

(58)
TEETH AND TONGUE NO DEY FIGHT O
English translation: Teeth and tongue cannot have a misunderstanding
Context: For a common purpose, opposites must work together

(59)
EYES WEY DEY CRY DEY STILL SEE ROAD
English translation: Crying eyes still see the road ahead clearly
Context: Life goes on

(60) IF U SABI POUND, POUND FOR MORTAR.....IF NOT...POUND FOR FLOOR
English translation: If you know how to pound, use the mortar, if not use the floor
Context: Achieve your goal – by whatever means neccessary


(61) PAM AND STILETTO NO BE MATES
English translation: Flat shoes and Stiletto shoes are in different categories
Context: All fingers are not equal

(62) PICKIN WEY SAY IM MAMA NO GO SLEEP...IM TOO NO GO SLEEP
English translation:  A child who wants his mother to stay awake also has to stay awake
Context: If you seek trouble, be ready for the consequences

(63) MONKEY DEY WORK, BABOON DEY CHOP 
English translation: The monkey works while the baboon eats
Context: The poor work, the rich eat

(63) IF YOU BEAT PICKIN WITH YOUR LEFT HAND, YOU MUST USE YOUR RIGHT HAND DRAW AM NEAR 
English translation: If you smack a child with your left hand, you must use your right hand to pull him close to you
Context: Temper justice with mercy

(64) RIVER WEY FORGET IM SOURCE GO RUN DRY
English translation: A river that forgets its source will run dry.
Context: same as ‘Dont forget those you met on your way up because you might meet them on your way down’

(65) MONKEY NO FINE BUT IM MAMA LIKE AM 
English translation:  The monkey might be ugly but his mother loves him
Context: Same as ‘Love is blind’

(66) SHINE YOUR EYE' NO BE CURSE
English translation:  'Look properly' is not an insult
Context: Dont take offence at being told to get street-smart

(67) WETIN YOU DEY FIND FOR SOKOTO DEY FOR SHOKOTO
English translation:  Whatever you are looking for in Sokoto state is already in your trousers (shokoto)
Context: The grass is NOT always greener on the other side


(68) NA WHO LOOK NEW WIFE EYE, NA IM KNOW SAY SHE DEY CRY 
English translation:  Only those who bother to look at the face of the new bride will realise that she is weeping.
Context: Soldiering on in the face of distractions - Similar to 'Every man for himself' and ' See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'


(69) NO BE TODAY YANSH DEY FOR BACK 
English translation:  One's bum has always been at one's back
Context: Same old story....Similar to 'There is nothing new under the sun' 

(70) KHAKI NO BE LEATHER 
English translation: Khaki fabric is not the same as leather
Context: Similar to No. 61 - All fingers are not equal
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by ashmanpolo: 12:15pm On Apr 06, 2013
(71) IF PESIN WEY IM HAND 'DIRTY' PACK SHIT, NO BI DI SHIT DIRTY IM HAND 
English translation: If a man with dirty hands uses those hand to pick up feaces, it is not the feaces that got his hands dirty
Context: One cannot blame circumstances for changing one's personality, values or beliefs 

(72) NO USE SHAME CHOP POISON
English translation: Do not eat poison just because you are too shy to say no.
Context: Similar to ‘No 40 - Who dares wins.’ Whenever one is afraid to take action because others might mock you, you might end up worse off.

(73) WATER DON PASS GARRI
English translation: The  amount of water has exceeded the quantity of cassava flour in the mix
Context: Referring to a situation that has spiraled out of control

(74) NA THE NAME WEY DEM GIVE DOG, NA  IM THE DOG DEY ANSWER 
English translation:  A dog answers to whatever name the owner has given him
Context: Similar to: ' Whoever pays the piper, dictates the tune' 

(75) FIRST TO DO NO DEY PAIN ......................             English translation:   The first strike doesn't often hurt as much as the second
Context: This proverb might be concluded thus:  'First to do no dey pain........but, second to do dey pain pass'. 
Similar to: 'Revenge is a dish best served cold'
Re: Pidgin English Proverbs And Translations by Pseudonymous: 7:30am On Mar 02, 2018
Lalasticlala

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