Jamaican Proverbs

Jamaican Proverbs on Warnings

Jamaican Proverbs
Written by Staff Writer

Do you know what the proverb ” A nuh lack a tung mek cow nuh talk ” means? Learn it’s meaning in our Jamaican Proverbs on “Warnings “.

A nuh lack a tung mek cow nuh talk.
T. It’s not for the lack of a tongue why a cow does not talk.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. You don’t have to repeat everything you hear. 2. Some things are better left unsaid.

Any dutti waata kool hat iron.
TRANSLATION:Any dirty water will cool a hot iron.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. Not everyone who says they are your friend really is 2. Be careful in your relationships.

A nuh ebreeting soak up waata a sponge
TRANSLATION:It is not everything that soaks up water is a sponge.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Scrutinize carefully before making decisions.

Book learnin a nuh intelligence.
TRANSLATION:Book learning is not intelligence.
MEANING:1. Education does not result in common sense. 2.Not because someone is educated they have common sense.

Chiga toe frade a grabble.
TRANSLATION: Chigger toes are afraid of gravel.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Someone with an injury knows what to avoid.

Nuh mek yuh  lef han kno wha yuh right han a do.
TRANSLATION:Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: It is best to keep some things a secret even from those who are close to you.

Duppy know who fi fright’n.
TRANSLATION:A ghost knows who to scare.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. Bully’s know who they can pick on. 2.People will take advantage of those who are vulnerable.

A faitful pramise mek fool glad.
TRANSLATION: A promise delights the heart of a fool.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Do not be fooled by big promises.

Ow waata waak go eena pumpkin belly.
TRANSLATION:How water gets inside a pumpkin.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1.It’s a mystery 2. It cannot be explained

Kibba yuh  mout.
TRANSLATION: Cover your mouth.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. Be tight lipped 2. Be quiet. 3. Keep it as a secret

Learn fi dance a yaad before yuh  dance abraad.
TRANSLATION:Learn to dance at home before you dance abroad.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Try perfecting a skill in private before displaying it in public.

Nuh dash wey yuh  tick before yuh  dun crass riva.
TRANSLATION:Do not throw away your stick before you have gone across the river.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1.Don’t celebrate until your victory is confirmed  2.Be sure you are safe and sound before you commend yourself.

Nuh hide yuh  tick an Iick a man.
TRANSLATION:Do not hide your stick and hit someone.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Be honest from the beginning when dealing with others.

Tek time mash ant yuh fin im belly.
TRANSLATION:Take time in killing an ant, you will find his belly.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Take the necessary time to investigate and you will get the answers you seek.

Ole file cyaan shaap’n new machete.
TRANSLATION:An old file cannot sharpen a new machete.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Always use the right tool for the job.

Oily tung nuh mus tell Di truth.
TRANSLATION:An oily tongue does not have to tell the truth.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Be wary of a person who is a smooth talker.

Scawnful dawg nyam dutty pudd’n.
T:. A scornful dog eats dirty pudding.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. Never say never 2. The same situation you were critical of may apply to you at a later time.

Tiddeh fi mi tomorra fi yuh .
TRANSLATION:Today is mine tomorrow is yours.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Everyone has problems but at different times. 2. One day you have a victory and the next day someone else will.

Yuh  life lang but yuh  cayliss wid it.
TRANSLATION: Your life is long but you are careless with it.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Don’t give up a safe situation for a risky situation one.

Dawg wid to much massa sleep widout suppa.
TRANSLATION:Dawg with too many masters will go hungry.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: You will lose focus if you influenced by the opinions of too  many people.

Cack mout kill cack
TRANSLATION:Cock’s mouth kills cock.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1.A lose mouth can get you in trouble 2.The statement a person makes may back fire on them.

Hat neegle bun tred.
TRANSLATION:Hot needle burns thread.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Impatience can be disastrous.
Being angry or impatient about something will destroy the desired result.

Ef  yuh get your han inna devil mout tek eeh out.
TRANSLATION: If you put your hand in the devils mouth, take it out.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Act carefully & cautiously in getting out of trouble.
If you find yourself in trouble, get out of the situation carefully.

A nuh ebryting good fi eat good fi tawk.
TRANSLATION:It’s not everything that is good to eat should be talked about.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: It is not always appropriate to repeat everything you hear.
Talking about things is not always a good idea.
“Loose lips sink ships.”

A nuh wan day monkey waan wife.
TRANSLATION:It is not for a day that a monkey wants a wife.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Be mindful of tomorrow.
Things that happen today will have an impact in the future.

A nuh same day leaf drap it ratten.
TRANSLATION:It is not the same day, a leaf falls, it rots.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Conditions deteriorate over time.
The effects of a mistake are not felt immediately; a person who has been taken advantage of may have some responsibility for his situation.

Bucket guh well ebryday wan day di battam mus drap out.
TRANSLATION:The bucket goes to the well everyday, one day the bottom will fall out.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Constant risk taking leads to trouble eventually.
If you constantly take risks, you will eventually get into trouble.

Ef yuh bawn fi heng yuh cyaan drown.
TRANSLATION:If you were born to be hanged, you cannot drown.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Whatever is your destiny, it will be fulfilled.
Nothing will happen to you that you are not already destined to experience.

Fiyah deh a musmus tail im tink a kool breeze.
TRANSLATION:Fire at the mouse’s tail, he thinks it is a cool breeze.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: When one does not recognise trouble in the making.
Sometimes people mistake trouble for something good.

Same nife tick di sheep tick di goat.
TRANSLATION:Same knife that sticks the sheep will stick the goat.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Be careful of people who make uncomplimentary remarks about others.
People who gossip about others will one day gossip about you.

Dawg nyam yuh suppa.
TRANSLATION:Dog will eat your supper.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: If you are not careful you will be deprived.
If you aren’t careful, you will lose what you have.
“The dog will eat your dinner.”

Hell an powda ouse.
TRANSLATION:Hell and powder house.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: An explosive situation about to take effect.
A situation is about to become explosive.
“Hell on wheels.”

Igle jackass guh a poun.
TRANSLATION:Stray jackass is taken to the animal pound.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Inactivity is detrimental.
Someone with nothing to do will get into trouble
“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

Chobble nuh set like rain.
TRANSLATION:Trouble does not give a forecast it is coming.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Problems come unexpectedly.
Trouble is unexpected.

Ef yuh lie wid dawg, yuh git up wid fleas.
TRANSLATION:If you lie with dogs you get up with fleas.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Be careful of bad company.
Keeping bad company will reflect badly on you.

Ah nuh all roof a shelta.
TRANSLATION:Not all roofs can provide shelter.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Not everything you think is a refuge actually is.
Things that appear to protect you may not actually do so.

Wha gawn bad a maanin, cyaan cum good a eveling.
TRANSLATION: What went wrong in the morning cannot be remedied in the evening.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: It is unwise to spend valuable time worrying about those problems we cannot solve. Also it makes no sense to take precautions after we carelessly allowed a situation to get out of hand.
If something starts out badly, it will not end well.

Wha sweet a mout hat a belli
TRANSLATION: What tastes sweet in the mouth burns the belly.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Some things are not good for us, although they appear to be exactly what we want. We should be cautious about what we latch on to, lest we cause ourselves much pain and embarassment.
Things that you think are good or enjoyable may not really benefit you.
“Be careful what you wish for.”

Pit inna di sky, it fall inna yuh  y’ye
TRANSLATION: If you spit into the sky, it falls into your eye.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: What you do to, or wish for others, could eventually be the cause of your own downfall.  Be careful of how you treat others.
If you treat someone badly, you will eventually be treated badly yourself.
“Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”

Quatti buy chubble, hunjedh poun cyaan pay far eeh
TRANSLATION: A penny-half penny (1 ½ ) buys trouble, one hundred pounds (£100) cannot pay for it.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Little blunders can cause us to find ourselves in situations so complex that we cannot extricate ourselves.
Small mistakes can lead to big problems.

Wen mawga plantin wan fi ded, im shoot
TRANSLATION: When a meager plantain wants to die, it shoots.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: After a plantain tree shoots and bears a bunch of the familiar fruit, it has ended its useful life, and dies thereafter. When we are no longer concerned about the safety of our persons, the preservation of our good character of job, or family, then we are to apt to behave stupidly.
When we don’t care about ourselves, we are likely to take unsuitable actions.
“Shoot yourself in the foot.”

Wen coco ripe, im mus buss
TRANSLATION: When the cocoa ripens, it bursts.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: It is easy to identify the intentions of an individual by his/her actions.
People can only take so much before they have to respond.
“To reach the end of his rope.”

A no ebryting cum fram abuv a blessin
TRANSLATION: Not everything that comes from above is a blessing.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Enjoy those blessings which come from above, but do not be misled by deceivers who use their superior positions to dispossess the unfortunate.
Things that appear to be beneficial may not come from a good source.
“Beware the Trojan Horse.”

Wen po-ah git up, im tun chobble tuh di werl
TRANSLATION: When the poor man gets up, he becomes trouble to the world.MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: See meaning for proverb above. Also, the elevation of someone who used to be disdained or sneered at by others, could be cause for much disturbance in the minds of those who did not wish him well.
When someone who has been held down decides to rise, it can mean trouble for those who were responsible for his previous condition.


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Staff Writer