Somali Proverbs


Author Quotes

One fat piece of meat spoils many other pieces.

One cannot count on riches.

Oh Father, save me from the small one, the big one i shall manage myself. (Said when somebody is unable to solve a small problem, but thinks he can deal with a big one)

Oh fool, your fire is too hit. Said when a silly person offers his help: one cannot even ask him to kindle a fire, he will burn everything around him

Oh hyena, you cannot drag away hides without making a sound.

Oh mouth, you have eaten something, now keep quiet (i.e. do not object to he who has fed you).

Oh, coward, the victory was at hand (but you let it go).

On the road the one who has no shoes falls behind, not the one whose shoes are bad (i.e. it is better to have something bad than to have nothing).

One can quickly put on town clothes, but it takes a long time to become a townsman.

One can tear something only with two hands.

One cannot be cured of foolishness.

My father has killed a mouse, will he fail to kill a man (people)? (Said about a coward who pretends to be brave.)

News hurries to a meeting place (i.e. secrets become known).

Not to fulfil a promise is just the same as not believing in God.

Nothing can help a caught thief.

Nothing is so close to teeth as a tongue and event then that sometimes bite it.

Of all men, three types are the worst: he who does not know how to sew (clothes for himself), he who does not know how to get (clothes) and he who does not know how to take care (of them).

Oh Allah, do not punish a man who sins through ignorance.

Misfortune can be caught only from the front, it cannot be caught from behind (i.e. one can avert misfortune, but cannot control it if it has already happened).

Men?s wealth is countable by hand and remembered by heart.

Milk which is gulped and words which are said rashly will hurt your ribs (in the first case they will ache from coughing, in the second from a beating).

Lost cattle (i.e. which are looked for by their owner) find themselves at the disposal of the man who does not need it (i.e. sometimes a thing belongs not to the man who cannot do without it, but to a man who does not need them).

Love emerges when hands give something to each other.

Make a dam before the flows.

Man makes mistakes (as easily) as he jumps over a log.

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