Somali Proverbs


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Where there is breast there can be no brain.

When a man whose teeth are too big, for his mouth is dying, people think that he is laughing.

When a she-camel sees a lion her milk disappears (because of fear).

When I had strength I did not have brains, now I have brains but do not have strength.

When milk spills one tries to save the last drop at least (catches milk by its tail).

When a labor pains start, shame must be thrown off.

When a man sleeps, it is the same person when he wakes up.

What you see is what you believe.

When a fool laughs, even a clever man cannot refrain from laughing.

When a grown-up falls, children laugh.

What is known is not interesting.

What is nourishing in appearance is nourishing indeed.

What is play for children is death for a lizard.

What is straight to one man is crooked to another (i.e. what is liked by one man is disliked by another).

What will ruin you is what you have got accustomed.

What you give a man you will not get back (it will stick with him).

Under every tree there is something which hampers its growth (burns it). This means everyone has his own troubles.

Unless one of the debaters gives in, it will not rain (i.e. no headway will be made in the matter.

Until you know how the fire burns you are not afraid of the ashes (i.e. until you know how the man is when he is angry you are not afraid of him when he is calm).

Water and milk do not mix.

Water flows to a low place.

What does not eat you is eatable.

What if we were to strike the enemy with a sling?

Truth can frighten a man, but it does not harm him.

To get rid of smoke, you also throw out a fire-brand (i.e. together with a bad thing one throws out a good thing).

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