Somali Proverbs


Author Quotes

The hare sits under one bush but looks out for another (to which it might run if endangered).

The herd of a man who knows only one place (i.e. pasture) does not grow. Another interpretation. The herd of a man who takes care only of his own animals does not grow (because in any disater no one would help him.

The jackal has changed its step but still does not walk like the Prophet (i.e. one cannot change oneself).

The Jackal who has got accustomed to fat brisket will die of starvation.

The fool knew where they fought but not where they were reconciled.

The arrow will not fall out of your body however hard you may shake (i.e. no excuse will help you if you have been exposed).

The best bed that a man can sleep on is peace.

The bridge is repaired only after someone falls in the water.

The camels went for water and a donkey skipped with them. (Said about an excessively complaisant person.)

The character of a man was formed before the arguments (and therefore no form of persuasion can change it).

The child you sired hasn't sired you.

The ear cannot hold as much water as it does news.

The finger knows where you ache (i.e. it always touches the sore spot).

Speech is like a tough bite of meat ?tendon?

Teeth bite something only when they bite together.

Tell lies, but let your lies resemble the truth.

The absence of knowledge is the absence of light.

The aggressive man ultimately encounters a more aggressive man.

Somebody else?s clothes do not warm you.

Sorrow is like rice in the store; if a basketful is removed every day, it will come to an end at last.

Only he who does not know a lion (and therefore is not afraid of him) can take a sheep from him (i.e. sometimes ignorance can be useful).

Only he who managers his own job can help with somebody else?s.

Only once did a bird take up some fire and even then it burnt its mother?s nest. Said when someone acts beyond his knowledge and competence.

Only water in your hands can satisfy your thirst.

Pain burns the who has it.

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