Yoruba proverbs and their meanings

Yoruba proverbs and their meanings

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African proverbs, especially Yoruba proverbs have always struck us with their deep meaning. Even though most of them came to existence long ago, they are still applicable in the modern world. After scouring the web for the best proverbs, we have created a list of 50 Yoruba proverbs and their meanings. The following proverbs are presented in their original form in Yoruba next to a Yoruba to English translation that explains the proverb’s meaning.

✬ Ẹnu-u rẹ̀ ní ńdá igba, tí ńdá ọ̀ọ́dúnrún / What comes out of an untrustworthy person’s mouth should never be trusted.

✬ Ìrínisí ni ìsọnilọ́jọ̀ / Good appearance makes for a good impression.

✬ Omi tó tán lẹ́hìn ẹja ló sọọ́ di èrò ìṣasùn / A person is helpless without good support.

✬ Ẹyẹlé ní òun ò lè bá olúwa òun jẹ, kí òun bá a mu, kí ó di ọjọ́ ikú-u rẹ̀ kí òun yẹrí / If you share the good, be ready to share the bad. ✬ Ẹni tí ó sá là ńlé / If you are not guilty, why do you flee?

✬ Ẹ̀ẹ̀mejì letí ọlọ́jà ńgbọ́rọ̀ / While judging between two opinions, be sure to listen carefully to both sides.

✬ Tí a bá wo dídùn ifọ̀n, àá họ ara dé egun / If a person gives in to guilty pleasure, they will lose themselves in it.

✬ Eni bama m’obo akoko se bi lagido / To catch a fish, you must think like a fish.

✬ Yàrá kékeré gba ogún ọ̀rẹ́ / A cottage is a castle for those in love.

✬ Ẹgbẹ̀tàlá: bí a ò bá là á, kì í yéni / Different explanations for the same thing cause confusion.

✬ “Ó mọ́ mi lọ́wọ́” ní ńdi olè / Don’t grow attached to things that aren’t yours.

✬ Òfìífìí là ńrí, a ò rí òkodoro; òkodoro ḿbọ̀, baba gba-n-gba / No matter what, the truth always comes out.

✬ Ohun tí a ò fẹ́ kéèyàn ó mọ̀ là ńṣe lábẹ́lẹ̀ / The person who has nothing to hide should not do anything in secret.

✬ Ojo díẹ̀, akin díẹ̀; ìyà ní ńkó jẹni / Be consistent, or suffer the consequences.

✬ Omi titun tí ru, eja titun tí wonu e / It is a new dawn, it is a new day.

✬ Jẹ́ kí nfi ìdí hẹẹ́, lálejò fi ńti onílé sóde / Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

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