Speak JA

Jamaican Proverbs on Appearances

Do you know what the proverb “Kitchen claat tun table claat” means? Learn it’s meaning in our Jamaican Proverbs on “Appearances.”

Kitchen claat tun table claat.
TRANSLATION: A Kitchen cloth being used as a table cloth.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Someone received a promotion that they didn’t deserve and/or don’t have the skills to perform.

Wha a joke to yuh  a death to mi.
TRANSLATION: What is a joke to you is death to me.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. What you consider funny hurts me and other people.

Yuh  tink Seh mi sleep a fiyah side?
TRANSLATION: Do you think I sleep by the fireside?
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. Why would you think I’m incapable of understanding that? 2. Do you think I’m dumb?

Finga nuh Seh look ya, it Seh look deh.
TRANSLATION: A finger does not say look here, it says look there.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Work on your own faults before finding fault with others.

A nuh ebry mango got magish
TRANSLATION: Not every mango has maggots
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Don’t assume all people are the same.

A nuh ebry fish a sea a shark
TRANSLATION: It is not every fish in the sea is a shark
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Every person is different.

Farm fowl hab size, common fowl ave taste.
TRANSLATION: A farm fowl has size, a common fowl has taste.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Just because something is bigger doesn’t mean it’s better or the highest quality.

Peacock hide im foot wen im ear bout im tail.
TRANSLATION: The peacock hides his foot when he hears about his tail.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: 1. People don’t want their faults or weaknesses disclosed because it makes them feel vulnerable.

Dawg mawga but im head big.
TRANSLATION: The dog is meager but his head is big.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: A person with big dreams and ambitions, but has limited financial resources.

A nuh wan a fat mek nightingale foot tan suh
TRANSLATION: It is not for the want of fat that the nightingale’s legs stand so.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: Never judge someone by the way they look.

Yuh shake man han, but yuh nuh shake im hawth
TRANSLATION: You can shake a man’s hand, but you cannot shake his heart.
MEANINGS AND EXPLANATIONS: You can’t understand someone unless you take time to really know them.

About the author

Staff Writer