Somali Proverbs


Author Quotes

To know something for sure, one would even part with a she-camel.

To try and fail is not laziness.

Too much talk doesn?t not fill vessel (talkativeness with no reasoning is always useless).

Truth and teeth should both be polished.

To count (money, things) is not shameful.

To get a bull, slaughter a heifer.

Threaten a fool with a stick and if he misunderstands you beat him.

Three types: beggars, ailing people and gluttons, are all disliked equally.

To advice good is true faith.

To an old woman who is sitting down, wrestling seems to be the most simple thing. (i.e. when one takes a detached view, every job seems easy.

To be without a friend is to be poor indeed.

To be without a woman is to be without life (this indicates the crucial importance of a woman?s support)

To be without knowledge is to be without light.

There is not yet a fire for the first dates (i.e. until one job is completed, one should not start another one).

There is nothing to cook yet, but he has started to gather brushwood.

These youth taught their mother to give birth.

Think before you do something.

Think before you do.

This goes back to a story about two herdsmen, whose cows calved at the same time. One giving birth to a he-calf, the other to a she-calf. While the owner of the cow which had calved a she-calf was asleep, his companion substituted it for his he-calf. Somalis consider that a she-calf is better than a he-calf, since when it grows it will give milk and have calves.

This goes back to a tale about a hyena who bit the lips off a camel calf and the udder of a she-camel, and then shed tears, pretending to be concerned with the fate of the poor calf.

Those who accept a favor are many (have been seen), but those who pay back are none (have not been seen).

There is always a better man for every good man.

The worst man is he who never sews, never consults and never economizes. (There is no social value for he who can?t consult his mind, can?t manage his assets wisely or can?t help himself otherwise)

There is a stone in every date (i.e. something bad in every good thing). It may also mean that there is a hidden sense in everything.

The truth does not make men squirm.

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