Somali Proverbs

Somali
Proverbs

Author Quotes

Poverty is slavery.

Real men are the men of old, and real words are those they pronounced.

Somalis can lie, but their lie will never become a proverb.

Somalis don't say a false proverb.

One should neither be late for the wedding nor stay too long at it.

One should rise to a person who sees you sitting.

One should take branches to the grave (marking the burying place), but should not take them away. (Meaning: one should help a man in need, but should not ask him for help.)

One surpasses the man from whom one has learnt something.

One thief does not steal from another thief.

Only a (timely) marriage or death (a grave) can keep your daughter (from disgrace).

Only God knows what is best.

One fears for the man who is fearless (i.e. who does not take care of himself).

One finger cannot wash a face.

One has to change many acts for the man who is incontinent (i.e. one has to be patient with an intolerable person).

One man does not have meat, another man does not know what to do with it (he sticks it to his buttocks). (Said by a hungry hyena at the sight of a monkey with ted buttocks.)

One naked man cannot carry another naked man (i.e. one poor man cannot help another poor man).

One pulls one?s feet (ankles) out of the mud one by one (i.e. one finishes one thing before beginning another.

One refusing a sibling?s advice breaks his arm.

One shares food not words.

One cannot sit at home (i.e. idle) and enjoy yi?ib nut soup. Somalis usually go to remote and often almost inaccessible places to gather these very nutritious nuts.

One cannot think of gain and please one?s pride.

One does not mourn so bitterly over a (lost) she-goat (there is obviously a more serious hidden reason).

One does not throw away fruit in the pocket for the sake of fruit on the tree.

One doesn?t tell a man ?go away? but one shows him something so he will go.

One drinks enough water only from one?s own palms.

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Somali
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Proverbs