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Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning - Politics - Nairaland

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Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by freepeople: 12:40pm On Dec 10, 2011
Eze mbe si na e jighi ehi kwa nne ya di na nso, mana a si ya wete na ya enweghi.
lit: The (king) tortoise said it is an abomination not to conduct his mother's funeral with a cow, but if asked to produce one he couldn't afford it.
Exp: Emphasizing the importance of the necessity of an object even though one cannot afford it.

Eze mbe si na nsogbu bu nke ya, ya jiri kworo ya n'azu
Lit: The tortoise said that trouble is its own; that's why it carries trouble on its back
Exp: One should try and shoulder one's own burden

Eze mbe si na olu oha di mma, mana oriri oha na-aka ahu.
Lit: The tortoise said that many hands at work is enjoyable, but many mouths to feed can be embarrassing.
Exp: A warning that it is not easy to feed the multitude.

Eze mbe si na ihe ya ji-achiri ihe egwu ya aga njem bu maka ya ezu ndiegwu
Lit: The tortoise said that it always travels with its musical instrument in case it meets other musicians.
Exp: Stressing a state of maintaining a state of preparedness.

Nwaanyi muta ite ofe mmiri mmiri, di ya amuta ipi utara aka were suru ofe.
Li: If a woman decides to make the soup watery, the husband will learn to dent the foofoo before dipping it into the soup.
Exp: one should learn to change tactics to suit a situation.

O na-abu a si nwata wuba ahu, o saba afo ya.
Lit: Tell a child to wash his body, he washes his stomach.
Exp: This is a sign of immaturity.

Agwo emeghi nke o jiri buru agwo, umuaka achiri ya hie nku.
Lit: If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood.
Exp: There are times when one defends ones capability.

Akwukwo juru n'ohia, ma a baa a choba okazi.
Lit: There are various leaves in the bush, but people go in to look for okazi leaves.
Exp: Many are called but few are chosen.

Ekpere niile bere n'Amen.
Lit: All prayers end in Amen.
Exp: The essence of true religion is righteousness.

Onwu egbuchughi ji e jiri chu aja, e mesie o pue ome.
Lit: If the yam used in sacrifice does not die prematurely, it will eventually germinate.
Exp: Things will eventually improve despite the present difficulties.

O te aka o di njo, emesie o ga-adi mma.
Exp: Things will eventually improve despite the present difficulties.

Aka a na-ana dike bu itube ya (abuba) ugo.
Lit: Appropriate handshake for the valiant is to cap him with an eagle (feather).
Exp: Noble deeds should be appreciated.

Azu na-eloghi ibe ya adighi ebu.
Lit: A fish that does not swallow other fishes does not grow fat.
Exp: There are occasions where one acts without qualms.

Isi kotara ebu ka ebu na-agba.
Lit: It is the head that disturbs the wasp that the wasp stings.
Exp: Used in warning trouble makers about serious consequences.

E tie dike n'ala, a nu uzu ya.
Lit: Knock a valiant man on the ground and the shouts will be tremendous.
Exp: The downfall of a famous man attracts public attention.

O bu mmuo ndi na-efe na-egbu ha.
Lit: It is the deity that people worship that kills them.
Exp: A reference to the efficacy of people's belief.

O na-abu akota ihe ka ubi, e lee oba.
Lit: Whilst farming, if one encounters what is bigger than the farm, one sells the barn.
Exp: One who incurs what is beyond one's ability may sell all one has.

E gbuo dike n'ogu uno, e ruo n'ogu agu e lote ya.
Lit: Kill a warrior during skirmishes at home, you will remember him when fighting enemies.
Exp: Don't destroy your leaders.

Ewu nwuru n'oba ji abughi agu gburu ya.
Lit: A goat that dies in a barn was not killed by hunger.
Exp: He has the means but his undoing is laziness.

A ma ka mmiri si were baa n'opi ugboguru?
Lit: Who knows how water entered into the stalk of the pumpkin?
Exp: Who can explain this puzzle.

A chuo aja ma a hughi udele, a mara na ihe mere be ndimmuo.
Lit: If the vulture fails to hover at the end of a sacrifice, then you know that something happened in the land of spirits.
Exp: The regulars must be around otherwise something is amiss.

Si kele onye nti chiri; enu anughi, ala anu.
Lit: Salute the deaf; if the heavens don't hear, the earth will hear.
Exp: Let us do the correct thing, there are those who will understand.

Nwunye awo si na di atoka uto, ya jiri nuta nke ya kworo ya n'azu.
Lit: The female toad said that husband is so sweet that when she got married, she carried her husband permanently on the back.
Exp: A humorous proverb used in cajoling women into loving their husbands.

Ugo chara acha adi(ghi) echu echu
Lit: A mature eagle feather will ever remain pure.
Exp: One well trained will stand the test of time.

Onyeubiam adi(ghi) aza "Omeokachie."
Lit: An indigent does not take the title of "Omeokachie" (i.e. one who completes whatever he puts his hand to)
Exp: Used in condemning false claims.


Culled from:
http://www.kwenu.com/igbo/idioms/ekene_collection.htm

2 Likes

Re: Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by freepeople: 12:59pm On Dec 10, 2011
During my early years, I grew up in the company of my great-grandfather, grandfather and father. In those days, my great-grandfather hardly utters more than 2 sentences without dropping one funny proverb. To be honest, he has large database of Igbo proverbs. Some of those proverbs/sayings are:

1. Onye amu di mma a maghi ihe onye ibi na ahu

2. Egwu a naghi atu afo o bulu uzo.

3. Ngbada dara ibi bu uru nwa di nta

4. Nkita siri na ihe o ji eso onye afo ukwu bu na o bughi na onyughi anyu, o gboo agboo

5. A naghi e ji mgbagbu a ghara ogu.

[size=16pt]I invite Igbo NLers to share some of the sayings of our people[/size]

1 Like

Re: Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by Veacon: 12:01pm On Jun 02, 2015
Please can anyone help me with the following proverbs translation from English to Igbo

1. “When the music stops, a deaf person continues to dance.”
2. “Look for the lizard when he is on open ground before he enters the tall grass.”
3. No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person's teeth
4. A bad habit that lasts more than a year may turn into a custom.”
5. “A servant serves a king, he serves the king well; a servant serves two kings, he is true to one.”
6. “All you can tell about a big belly is that the owner has had a lot to eat, not what he had to eat.”
7. “Bump-thump-scratch. It's all on a big man's skin.”
8. “A man who shoots his arrows as he makes them does not realize when he has shot a whole sheaf.”
9. “Man must always be happy in order to perform well.”
10. “The knife can be worn down, but it will not be blunt.”
11. “If you ask a woman for a favour and you ask and ask again she may say yes and grant you your request.”
12. “The eyes that see a spirit will die.”
13. “A slave boy is blamed no matter what he does: If he does not wash his hands, he is accused of being dirty. If he washes his hands, he is accused of wasting water.”
14. “A person who uses the world as his carrying pad will find himself carrying his load on his bare head.”
15. “Criticism of the brave is behind their back.”
16. “The lizard says that he knows the condition of his underbelly. This is the reason he has it pressed against the ground.”
17. “When a poor man gets a little money, his thoughts go off in ten different directions.”
18. “The wealth of a child causes him to become a respected person."
19. “At whatever age a child gets a problem, at the same age she has to shoulder the responsibility.”
20. “A person who arrives at a feast when the cooked meat is being pulled out of the pot does not know what was endured by others to catch and cook it.
21. “The rabbit bores its hole in the night but in the morning the hole will be seen.
22. “If a deceitful person buries himself, one of his arms will stick out.”
23. “You may be clever but you can never lose your shadow.”
24. “A person can never run so fast as to run away from his backside.”
25. “You cannot bury smoke in the ground.”
26. “Stream said that it is because it has nobody to direct it that... it goes in a zigzag way.”
27. “The rainy season does not please the sky.”
28. One does not hide a corpse from the land.”
29. “The thing that the hawk ate returns to the vulture's stomach.
30. “Ignorance is a sickness.”
31. “The chicken pecks a thing to death before eating.”[/color]

Thanks
Re: Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by Ndeewonu: 1:30pm On Feb 26, 2016
Veacon:
Please can anyone help me with the following proverbs translation from English to Igbo

1. “When the music stops, a deaf person continues to dance.”
2. “Look for the lizard when he is on open ground before he enters the tall grass.”
3. No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person's teeth
4. A bad habit that lasts more than a year may turn into a custom.”
5. “A servant serves a king, he serves the king well; a servant serves two kings, he is true to one.”
6. “All you can tell about a big belly is that the owner has had a lot to eat, not what he had to eat.”
7. “Bump-thump-scratch. It's all on a big man's skin.”
8. “A man who shoots his arrows as he makes them does not realize when he has shot a whole sheaf.”
9. “Man must always be happy in order to perform well.”
10. “The knife can be worn down, but it will not be blunt.”
11. “If you ask a woman for a favour and you ask and ask again she may say yes and grant you your request.”
12. “The eyes that see a spirit will die.”
13. “A slave boy is blamed no matter what he does: If he does not wash his hands, he is accused of being dirty. If he washes his hands, he is accused of wasting water.”
14. “A person who uses the world as his carrying pad will find himself carrying his load on his bare head.”
15. “Criticism of the brave is behind their back.”
16. “The lizard says that he knows the condition of his underbelly. This is the reason he has it pressed against the ground.”
17. “When a poor man gets a little money, his thoughts go off in ten different directions.”
18. “The wealth of a child causes him to become a respected person."
19. “At whatever age a child gets a problem, at the same age she has to shoulder the responsibility.”
20. “A person who arrives at a feast when the cooked meat is being pulled out of the pot does not know what was endured by others to catch and cook it.
21. “The rabbit bores its hole in the night but in the morning the hole will be seen.
22. “If a deceitful person buries himself, one of his arms will stick out.”
23. “You may be clever but you can never lose your shadow.”
24. “A person can never run so fast as to run away from his backside.”
25. “You cannot bury smoke in the ground.”
26. “Stream said that it is because it has nobody to direct it that... it goes in a zigzag way.”
27. “The rainy season does not please the sky.”
28. One does not hide a corpse from the land.”
29. “The thing that the hawk ate returns to the vulture's stomach.
30. “Ignorance is a sickness.”
31. “The chicken pecks a thing to death before eating.”[/color]

Thanks


Do you need the Dynamic Equivalence or the Literal Translation?
Please, confirm.

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Re: Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by Nobody: 1:20pm On Oct 15, 2016
Atua iru ngiriga nkata.. Onye tara ahu amara... please what does this mean in english?
Re: Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by MXrep: 2:31pm On Oct 15, 2016
Ochie dike dibia chuo aja o di ka ewere ya nye ndi mmuo n'aka
Lit: when an old native doctor makes sacrifice it will be as if he put it directly in the hands on of the spirits
Exp: When an expert does things, it flows naturally
my own contribution, will add more later
Re: Igbo Sayings And Their Meaning by mrvitalis(m): 8:37am On Jun 13
My favorite igbo saying

" if the gods thinks it has become too powerful ...u show it the tree it was carved from ....

Lol

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