Somali Proverbs

He who does not seize opportunity today, will be unable to seize tomorrow’s opportunity.
A camel can tolerate a heavy load, but not a crooked rope.

A man throws stones not words.

A person stands next to a shade not next to words

You don’t go searching for bones in a lion’s den.

Every camel was once upon time two years old.

A coward dies before the courageous dies.

An escaped lie does not reach the truth.

You lend a false ear to false words.

A married couple are neither enemies nor friends.

A man one year elder to you is one cunning year elder to you.

One should rise to a person who see you sitting.

A deer is an elder to its family.

Let what is on this side of the bank be washed out by the flood, and what is on that side of the bank be carried away by the wind.

A madman does not lack wisdom.

You should discuss over a dog’s hide when it concerns your interest.

Dogs understand each other by their barking, and men by their words.

The ear cannot hold as much water as it does news.

A dog which refuses a bone is not alive.

A brave man dies once, a coward a thousand times.

One shares food not words.

When a man sleeps, it is the same person when he wakes up.

The most dangerous thing a man needs is woman.

The child you sired hasn’t sired you.

There is always a better man for every good man.

A man who has eaten something becomes shy.

These youth taught their mother to give birth.

One refusing a sibling’s advice breaks his arm.

A cat in her house has the teeth of a lion.

One doesn’t tell a man ‘go away’ but one shows him something so he will go.

A man prolonging his age sees a camel giving birth.

Your woman should be in the house or in the grave.

A thousand assignations, one marriage.

Men for tea, women for talk.

Somalis don’t say a false proverb.

To be without knowledge is to be without light.

An old wound will not go away

Do not walk into a snake pit with your eyes open.

Wisdom does not come overnight.

In the ocean, one does not need to sow water.

Where I make my living, there is my home.

He who does not shave you does not cut you.

The bridge is repaired only after someone falls in the water.

To try and fail is not laziness.

Poverty is slavery.

Think before you do.

Sorrow is like rice in the store; if a basketful is removed everyday, it will come to an end at last.

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