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Igbo Idioms (Ilu) - Culture - Nairaland

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Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 7:19am On Mar 13, 2006
Post Igbo Idioms/Ilu (For Those That Can Speak Igbo)

I just wanted to know how many of us ( d ibos ) can still write idioms in our language. i'll start by writing some( and explain to the best of my ability).
Also post some titles in igbo (afa otutu)

oke afa ana etu dibia na akari ihe ona agbata n'afa.( The big names given to native doctors are more than what they do)
Anu na agum aburo maka mgbada dara ibi. ( I want to eat meat doesn't mean i'll eat a bush meat with malaria)

Eme ngwa ngwa , emaghara odachi. ( make hay while the sun shines)
Jiri ututu choba ewu ojii.( Make hay while the sunshines)
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by romeo(m): 10:11am On Mar 13, 2006
Orimiri atu nnu

just go and taste the mediterranean sea and see how awfully salty it is
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 10:18am On Mar 13, 2006
the sea can b salty, but u can just imagin one that can't be. How interesting
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by kajad(m): 11:23am On Mar 13, 2006
you are an Aro Girl i guess?
Amu Siri gi ike!
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by romeo(m): 12:03pm On Mar 13, 2006
hahahahahaha don't insult my girl with that ilu!! nonny let me make my list and i'll hit back
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 5:20pm On Mar 13, 2006
Oh boy! Nonny u are good! Damn! It's interesting to see this post.
Well, I don't have them on top of my mind now because I'm in school and English is wiring in my brain at the moment but once I get home my English stops right at the door and igbo takes over.
Sometimes after thinking about how years it will take to finish my major I said to myself,

nwayo nwayo ka eji alacha ofe di oku,
Ebe ejije eteka mana  ka ana aga n'ubi ka ji na aka.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Onyibaby(f): 5:27pm On Mar 13, 2006
ina aju nkita na nsi obu gi ga eriya.
asawa akwa agadi nwayi, agasputa nsi.
otu anya ji onye isii ugwo.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 5:29pm On Mar 13, 2006
Sometimes I just don't feel comfortable listening to my friends discuss some topics that I'm yet to take, anyways abeg make I no worry myself "maka ebe onye oso ruru ka onye ije ga eru".
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by SIFA(m): 7:20pm On Mar 13, 2006
Yes ma people, "agadi nwayi anaghi akanka na-egwu oma agba".

and "ogbu opi na eficha imi"
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by legs(f): 9:02pm On Mar 13, 2006
this is the title that really trips me the most - ''ohia-ana-wara-ego"
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Idekeson(m): 3:32am On Mar 14, 2006
Ife madu amaghi dika otu nne ya. (what you don't know is like your mother's private part). X-rated but true.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 4:52am On Mar 14, 2006
chai! Idekeson, so na this be the only idom u know. And why did u kowaciate the thing in oyibo? Nna nawa for u ooooo.

1 Like

Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 9:06am On Mar 14, 2006
Good ilus people . y'all gotta hit me wit some more.( Ilu mara mma ndi ibem. Una ga akum with otutu)
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 9:08am On Mar 14, 2006
Egwu ona atu ike okpere azu (is the ass scared for it to come last?)
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 9:12am On Mar 14, 2006
Anu anaagba egbe ona ata nri (an animal being shot-yet it continues eating)
ji ahughere n'oku-ona epu ome (yam that is being roasted-yet it germinates)
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by dafman(m): 10:11am On Mar 14, 2006
O dikwa risky grin
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by kajad(m): 10:34am On Mar 14, 2006
I hereby give nonny the title of "Ada eji eje Mba!" because nwata kwo aka osoro okenye rie nri. She is the daughter of her father and her mother can bear witness to that.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 10:56am On Mar 14, 2006
Thanks Kajad 4 the title. i am just trying to represent iboland.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by romeo(m): 11:51am On Mar 14, 2006
"nne buru igwe akpuo ya nu uzu" if mother is iron the blacksmith will make another copy of her

"ehihie ka eji acho ewu oji" it's better to search for the black goat in broad daylight

"acho mma ekwu, agba ama ife eriri n'abali" people know what you ate last night when you start looking for the kitchen knife

"eto dike na nke omere omekwa ozo" if you praise a man for his actions he'll do more

"uzo di mma agakwa ya ugboro abuo" good things are worth repeating
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by t4cash(m): 2:11pm On Mar 14, 2006
I have an entire book of these, but let me drop a few that I can remember right away:

First, the one I consider the most important Igbo idiom (if any of you did igbo in School, like we that schooled in the East, you must know what I mean. This one was always the first idiom you learn in igbo class) :

Atuo ilu, kowara nwata, i mara na ego eji luo nne ya furu efu (If a proverb is said and explained to a child, then the money used to marry his/her mother was a waste)

Others:

Agadi nwanyi da ada ugboro abuo, agu a ihe obu n'ísi onu (If an old woman falls twice, the number of things things she is carrying on her head must be rechecked)

Onye akwo n'azu, ike ya ho onu (A person who is being carried, his yansh is exposed- this means ''there is always a downside to being helped"wink

Onye akwo n'azu anaghi akwo nmadu? ( a person who is being carried on someon's back, does not carry someone else)

Oke soro ngwere ma mmiri, ahu kocha ngwere, o ga akocha oke? ( if a rat follows the lizard to play in the rain, when the lizard's body dries, will the rat's also)

Anaghi agwa ochinti na ahia esu (No one tells the stubborn/deaf person that the market is on fire)

Onye mkpumkpu dara n'ala, si na ya eru go ulo ( A short person fell down and said "i have reached home"wink

Mgbe onye ji tete, bu ututu ya (Whenever any one wakes up, is his/her own morning)

Ukpana ukpoko gburu, nti chiri ya (A grasshopper that was killed by a train must have been deaf)


So, as you can see, my mom's bride price was not a waste. Though, as my kids barely know Igbo, I don't know about my wife's smiley Now I just need to find time and I put up more. However, I am sure its already been done by someone on this internet.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 2:37pm On Mar 14, 2006
Nwata kwo aka osuru okenye rie nri.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 2:38pm On Mar 14, 2006
from my dad,
Beta anu, beta anu bukwonu n'aru efi.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 2:44pm On Mar 14, 2006
Damn this is cool! Are we gonna have "gwam gwam gwam" oh maybe later or something.
Here is another ilu, Ejiro akpata atufue aba oganyara.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by t4cash(m): 2:48pm On Mar 14, 2006
Ana eji anya eke azu di n'ime ofe (the eyes are used to divide the meat in the soup, when eating communually)

Wepu aka enwe n'ofe tupu o ho aka mmadu (Remove the hand of the monkey from the pot, before it becomes the hand of a human being)

Etuo dike na nke omere, o me kwa ozo ( If a man is praised for what he did, he will do more)

Egbuo dike na mgba núlo, ubochi aga aga agha, acho ya acho (IF a great warrior is killed in a mere wrestling match at home, in the day of war he will be missed)

Onye ulo ya na agba oku, a dighi achu oke (A person whom his house is burning does not chase rats and ohter vermin)
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by kajad(m): 3:06pm On Mar 14, 2006
@missworld
you must be making a lot of demand from daddy ' maka na nwata akwo n'azu amagi n'uzo di anya.
but then to whom much is given much is expected 'maka na oku agu nyere nwata n'aka anagi eregbu ya'.
i know what i talking about maka na nwanyi n'ere ogiri ma Ijiji anya kporo.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by t4cash(m): 3:09pm On Mar 14, 2006
Mana nwata n'ata akara na-ata ego ya (A child demanding akara, is eating her future pocket money)
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Wendydoks(f): 4:35pm On Mar 14, 2006
umu igbo kwenu o grin
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by ocho(f): 7:41pm On Mar 14, 2006
ukwa ru oge ya, o daa! cool

means : Everything happens at it's own time/pace (i think) undecided

Nnwa agu anahu ata ahihia(a Lion's child dosen't feed on grass) cool

@wendylocks:kwezuonu!!!! cool cool
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Nobody: 11:05pm On Mar 14, 2006
Isi kote ebu,ogba ya-Bees only sting a person that stir them up.
Nwata erughi eru juwa ihe mere nna,ihe mere nna ya emee ya-A child must wait until he is of age b4 inquiring into what killed his father or else,what killed his father will also kill him.
Onye kpatara nku ahuhu si ngwere biara ya ugwo-A person who brings home ant infested firewood should expect a visit from the lizard.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by t4cash(m): 11:16pm On Mar 14, 2006
Another of my favourites:

Egbe bere, ugo bere, nke si ibe ya ebena, nku kwa ya. (Let the hawk perch, let the eagle perch. Whichever says the other should not perch, may its wing break)

Nwanza si na onye gbara ya agbaka mana yanwa zere eze ezeka kwa ( The wren praised the person who shot at it, but remarked that it equally dodged the bullets expertly)

And one of the funniest i ever heard:

Enwe si na o bu onye iro ya na-kpo ya monkey, na ezigbo aha ya bu Mike (The monkey said that it is his enemies that used to call him Monkey, that his actual name is Mike) smiley
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by t4cash(m): 11:27pm On Mar 14, 2006
O na-abu e kelee onye na-agho ube, o di ka a na-ario ya ube (Salute someone who is plucking pears and it will seem like you are begging the person for pear)

Nwanyi di ya choro ikpo asi , adighi e site ya n'ofe uto (a wife whose husband wants to hate can not save herself by preparing a delicious soup)

If I remember more, i go add.
Re: Igbo Idioms (Ilu) by Missworld(f): 12:52am On Mar 15, 2006
@t4cash, I've received worse than that. When I was very young but likes to put on eyeliner, my mom would say Ukpaka gba na ibe ya gba, o gba na akaraka.

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