ROP DRכ BUSH, BUSH KAM NA TכN.
SכL KLEM HIL (Temne)
Salt has climbed the hill.
Said when you meet someone in a situation you don't expect, as when you are admiring someone or the person is showing off.
WE YU MεN LεPεT, YU Nכ Fכ VεKS WE I DE IT YU GOT. (Sherbro)
When you raise a leopard, you shouldn't be upset when it eats your goat.
SNEL Nכ MIX PAN BLכD BIZNεS.
Snails are not involved with anything concerning blood.
Something is not someone's business (i.e., snails have no blood).
DAT PIKIN WE WεR IN PAPA IN TRכSIS, NA ROP GO DכN IN WES.
WE YU PAPA NA CHIF, NA Fכ SO GAWN; WE YU PAPA DAI, CHENJ DI GAWN TU RAPεL.
YU KIN MEK BABU NOS TETE, I WכWכ.
No matter how you fix a chimpanzee's nose, it's still ugly.
FISH Nכ GεT NATIN Fכ DU WIT RENKOT.
A fish has nothing to do with a raincoat.
DAT ROP WE BכSIN HεNG PAN, NA-IN NO DI WET.
YU Nכ GO BLO YU NOS εN WISHUL.
You can't blow your nose and whistle at the same time.
DI TIT WE DכG DE TEK Fכ PLE, NA-IN I DE TEK Fכ BεT.
The teeth a dog uses to play with are the same he uses to bite with.
DI MAMI IN εN IN GIAL PIKIN DE TAI DI SEM εHKICHA.
WE YU SE YU GO PUT FENCH PAN DI RIVA, BכKU WATA GO DכN PAS.
If you say you are going to fence the river, a lot of water will have got through.
An exercise in futility.
BIFO BכD FLAI, AH DכN KכNT DI EG NA IN BεLε.
Before a bird flies off, I've counted the eggs in its belly.
By the time you think, I’ve already read your mind.
WE YU YεRI PIKIN SE "MAMA DE KUK כKRכ", PAPA BIN DכN TכK AM.
If you hear a child say "Mama is cooking okra," it's because Papa said it.
WE YU OL DI SNEK IN HED, DI כDA WAN NA ROP.
WE YU YεRI KRESMAN LAF, I DכN SI SכMTIN FכNI.
When you hear a madman laugh, (it's because) he's seen something funny.
The madman sees something funny about you (since madmen supposedly don't laugh).
NA GOT IN YAI NA KAW KAKA BIG.
Nכ TEK MI HAN PUL BANGGA NA FAYA.
Don't use my hand to remove palm kernels from the fire.
BOT WE DE WAKA-WAKA Nכ DE εVA GεT LIF INSAI. (Temne)
Leaves never fall into a boat that is always moving.
A person who isn't steady in one place will not benefit.
IF YU BIT Fכ KRESMAN, YUSεF KRES.
If you beat (the drum) for a madman, you are crazy too.
IF KRESMAN TEK YU KLOS, YU Nכ Fכ RכN AFTA-RAM YU NEKεD WAN. IF YU DU AM, DεN GO TEK UNA TU AS KRESMAN DεN. (Kono)
If a madman takes your clothes you shouldn't run after him naked. If you do, people will think that both of you are crazy.
DAT TRU WE KIN PWεL MARED, Nכ TכK AM.
That truth that can ruin a marriage, leave it unsaid.
WE DεN SE MAN LεF NA FAYA, Nכ AKS IF IN BIABIA ROS (Kono)
When they say a person burned to death, don't ask if his beard burnt. Something that is obvious.
YU FεN FכL, I BכN FAIV PIKIN, Nכ GRכMBUL SE DI FכL Nכ BכN BεTε (Kono)
You find a chicken, and it has five chicks, don't complain about it not having enough chicks. "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth."
BIG MAN Nכ Fכ SIDכN WACH TE-TE PIJIN PכT TROWE NA FAYA, WE I NO SE NA-IN GεT Fכ IT DE (Kono)
An adult should not sit and watch the pot cooking pigeon spill into the fire when he knows that he will share in the food.
YU NכH KכMכT BLO Hכn YU BIGIN BLO YU NOS. (Kono)
You won't leave off blowing a horn and then start to blow your nose. A reference to embezzlement.
DI HכK IN MεHRεSεN, NA WE I PESHεNT (Kono)
The hawk's medicine is patience. Patience is rewarded.
DI SAN DE KכMכT TU-TU (Kono)
The sun comes out twice. If you do something bad to me today, tomorrow it will be my turn.
DAT BITUL WE DE RכL KAKA, I Nכ NO SE Fכ KAKA, I TRANGGA (Kono)
The dung beetle doesn't know that it's not easy to defecate.
DI BכD WE DE NO εN DI BכD WE DE כNDASTAN, NכTO DI SEM (Kono)
The bird that knows is different from the bird that understands. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom.
WE YU εN HכNTIN-MAN Nכ GRI NA TכN, Nכ GO WIT AM NA BUSH (Kono)
When you don't get along with a hunter in town, don't follow him to the bush. If you don't trust a person, don't take him into your confidence.
IF YU EBUL IT PכSIN IN HED, Nכ FRED DכTI NA DI YAI (Kono)
If you can bring yourself to eat a person's head, you don't have to be afraid to eat the dirt (the sand) in the eye. If a person can commit a serious crime, he won't hesitate to commit a small crime.
DכG Nכ GεT BISNIS Fכ KLEM NA DI HOS IN RUF (Kono)
A dog has no business climbing on the roof. If something is missing from the roof, the dog is not a suspect.
WETIN GO MEK PUS SIDכN TU BLAKSMIT TE FAYA GO FכDכN NA IN YAI (Kono)
What would make a cat sit near a blacksmith until a spark goes into its eye?
YU Nכ GO TICH SNEK HAW Fכ LEDכN (Kono)
You don't need to teach a snake how to lie down.
YU Nכ GO TICH BONDU IN MAMA HAW Fכ DU MAMI εN DADI BISNIS (Kono)
You don't need to teach the mother of five daughters how to have sex.
WE YU WIV DIFRεN-DIFRεN KכLכ, WE BLAK TRεD DכN, SKIL DכN TAP (Kono)
When a weaver weaves different colours of thread, when the black thread is gone, the skill is at an end. The secret of weaving multiple colours lies in the black thread, not in the skill of the weaver.
INCH NO IN MASTA, KABASLכT NO IN MISIS.
An implication knows its master (just as) a dress knows its mistress. Used to warn people when you are aware you are the object of their insinuating remarks.
WE YU IT ARATA, YU Nכ Fכ TAYA PAN DI TEL.
When you eat a rat, you should eat the tail as well. Finish what you begin.
OGIRI DE LAF KENDA Fכ SMεL.
Ogiri laughs at kenda on account of its smell. Kenda and ogiri, when uncooked, are both rank-smelling seasonings. "The pot calling the kettle black."
KAKI Nכ DU Fכ S.I., PכTA SE I WAN LכNG PANKS [Fכ YAD].
There's not enough khaki for the S.I. (Senior Inspector), the porter says he wants long pants (four yards).
PAMAI Nכ DU PAN BONDO PIKIN, YU RכB AM NA IN FUT? (Mende)
There's not enough palm oil for the Bondo girl, you rub it on her foot?
TING WE Nכ DU Fכ WAN MAN, IF TU MAN IT AM, NA STAVESHכN.
There's not enough of a thing for one man, if two men eat it it's starvation.
BLAK TRεD Nכ RAWND PIJIN IN NεK, A Nכ GO SE DOV.
The black thread won't go around the pigeon's neck, much less the dove's. There isn't enough for me, so there's no question of my giving any away.
MכNKI TכK, MכNKI YεRI.
Monkey talks, monkey listens. Persons who think alike will understand one another.
YU DU MI, A DU YU: MOSES' LAW.
You do unto me, I do unto you: Moses' Law. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."
WE YU BכS MI YAI, A CHUK YU WES. YU PUL DI KANDA כNDA MI FUT, A PUL DI KANDA כNDA YU WES; A Nכ GO TINAP, YU Nכ GO SIDכN. (Kono)
"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." "Tit for tat."
DכTI WATA SεF KIN כT FAYA.
Even dirty water can put out a fire. The wider meaning is, "Any port in a storm," but it is often used as a sexual allusion.
BAD BUSH Nכ DE Fכ TROWE BAD PIKIN.
A bad child may not be thrown into the bush. No matter how bad a child may turn out to be, he can't be disowned by his family.
AS YU MEK YU BED, NA SO YU GO LEDכN PAN AM.
As you make your bed, so you shall lie on it. Used positively rather than negatively, it means that one will enjoy the fruits of one's labour.
PIKIN WE Nכ YεRI IN MAMA IN WכD, NA TRIT GO MεN AM.
A child who doesn't listen to its mother will be brought up by the street. A child who is disobedient at home will eventually have to face the consequences of a poor upbringing.
BEGA-BEGA Nכ DE PIK εN CHUZ. [BEGAMAN Nכ NO IN CHOIS.]
A beggar can't pick and choose.
Pכ MAN [HεNGGMAN] Nכ GεT SAIS.
A poor man has no size.
YU Nכ JεNTRI, YU SE YU Nכ DE IT DכG. (Kono)
You're not rich, you say you won't eat dog. "Beggars can't be choosers."
MכNKI NכBA [Nכ GO] LεF IN BLAK HAN.
A monkey will never be rid of its black hands. A bad person, especially a thief, will never give up his bad ways. "A leopard won't change his spots."
YU KכBA SMOK SOTE, I MכS KכMכT.
No matter how you try to cover up smoke, it must come out. A person's bad character cannot be long hidden.
ABכBכ Nכ WAN KOL WATA, PAS WAM WATA.
Cooked beans don't want cold water, only hot water. A child doesn't respond to persuasion, but only to compulsion.
YU NA SHALAT: YU Nכ DE VεKS.
WAN MAN Nכ DE FUL BכKS.
One man can't fill the box. A woman needs several lovers to fulfill her material wants.
FεT Fכ YU HED, MεK YU FUT KכBA: YU SE YU DADI DE GRAMA SKUL.
Fight for your head, cover your foot: You say your dad attends (the Sierra Leone) Grammar School.
PUSH-PUSH DE STכP PAN WכL.
Pushing ends at the wall.
IVIN WכM SεF KIN VεKS. (Kono)
Even a worm can get angry. Enough is enough. "Even a worm will turn." Worms live in swamps, and are therefore assumed to have a "cold" temperament.
KכMIεL Nכ DE WAKA, PAS DεN PUT FAYA NA IN WES. [TכTOIS Nכ DE WAKA, PAS DεN PUT FAYA NA IN BAKSAI.] [IF YU Nכ PUT FAYA NA TכTOIS IN BAKSAI, I Nכ GO WAKA.]
Some people will do a thing only under compulsion.
WAN FINGGA Nכ GO TEK STON.
One finger can't pick up a stone.
WAN FINGGA Nכ GO EBUL TEK BANGGA. (Temne)
One finger can't pick up a palm kernel.
WAN FINGGA Nכ GO EBUL PUL LכS NA HED. [WAN FINGGA Nכ GO EBUL PIK LכS.]
One finger can't pick a louse off the head.
WAN FINGGA Nכ GO EBUL OPIN BAKSAI. (Kono)
One finger can't open up an anus.
YU WAN KAKA, BכT YU Nכ WAN IT.
You want to shit, but you don't want to eat. You want the reward, but you don't want to work to get it.
MכNKI WOK, BABU IT.
The monkey works, the baboon eats.
MεN DכG Fכ GכVMεNT.
Raise a dog for the government.
BAKSAI DE WOK Fכ RAS.
IF YU LISTIN PAN MAKIT NOIS, YU Nכ GO BAI WETIN YU WANT.
If you listen to the market noise, you won't buy what you want.
OL FAYAWUD Nכ HAT Fכ KECH.
Old firewood is not hard to rekindle. Old friendships are not hard to rekindle.
WETIN DE PAN YAMS WE NεF Nכ SABI? [WETIN DE INSAI PכNGKI WE NεF Nכ NO?]
What is there about yams (inside a pumpkin) that a knife doesn't know?
SABI Nכ GεT WכRI. [SABI-MAN Nכ WכRI.]
Knowledge has no worry.
YAI Nכ DE IT ORINCH, BכT I SABI DI SAWA (SWIT) WAN. [YAI Nכ DE TOT (YAI Nכ GεT SKEL), BכT I SABI HEBI LOD.] [YAI Nכ DE TOT BכNDUL, BכT I SABI DI WET.]
The eye doesn't eat oranges, but it knows the sour (sweet) one. The eye doesn't carry (The eye doesn't have a scale) but it recognises a heavy load. The eye doesn't carry a bundle but it knows the weight.
FכS FUL NכTO FUL, BכT SEKכN FUL, NA-IN NA FUL (KRES).
If you're fooled once you're not a fool, but if it happens twice, then you're a fool.
OL GRANI Nכ GO DENAI FכS FכK, BכT DI SεKכN WAN, I Nכ GO GRI PAN AM. (Kono).
NA WAN NεT Fכ FכK KRESMAN; DI כDA NεT, I Nכ GO GRI Fכ-RAM EGEN. (Mende).
MI NA WATASAISTON: A Nכ DE MUV.
I am a waterside stone: I'm immoveable.
IF YU YAMS WET, KכBA-RAM.
If your yam is white, cover it. A warning about conspicuous consumption.
WANT-WANT Nכ GεT, GεT-GεT Nכ WANT.
Those who want don't have, those who have don't want.
TIFMAN Nכ LεK IN KכMPIN.
A thief dislikes his fellow thief.
TRεNKMAN Nכ DE FεN PALAVA.
A strong man doesn't provoke arguments.
BIG MכT Nכ NO IN MASTA IN Pכ WAN.
A big mouth doesn't know that its master is poor.
Pכ MAN BLכF (YENGEMA BLכF): TAWZεND DE NA MכT, GRANAT (BONGGA HED) DE NA PכKIT.
Poor man boast (Yengema boast): Thousands in the mouth, groundnuts (bonga head) in the pocket.
"IF A BIN NO," NA-IN DE LAS (NA-IN כLWES DE BIεN).
"If I had only known!" always comes too late.
כL KRAI DU Fכ BεRIN.
Any kind of crying is appropriate at a funeral.
HAWεVA TIN TRANGGA TETE, I DE DכN.
(Kono) However bad things are, they won't last.
A Nכ DE BLEM FUFU, PAS כKRכ (NA כKRכ A DE BLEM).
I don't blame the fufu, I blame the okra.
KARAMOKO DE PRE Fכ GO HεVIN, BכT IF YU TεL AM Fכ GO TIDE, I Nכ GO GRI.
KABASLכT εN KOTOKU.
WETIN NA YU YON PAN HכG MכNI WE YU DADI NכTO BUCHA?
What's your interest in hog money when your father's not a butcher? Mind your own business.
ABOP PAN DAIMAN SUS WE YU Nכ SABI IN SAIS. [Nכ ABOP PAN DAIMAN SUS.]
Don't depend on a dead man's shoes when you don't know their size.
KAPU SεNS, Nכ KAPU WכD.
Seize upon the sense, don't seize upon the word.
YU FכDכN Fכ MI, A FכDכN Fכ YU.
You fall for me, I fall for you.
NA TU HAN DE KRכB BAK. (Kono)
It takes two hands to scrub a back.
UDAT LUK YAWO NA IN FES, NA-IN NO SE YAWO DE KRAI.
If you look into the bride's face, you'll know that the bride is crying.
USAI DεN TAI KAW, NA DE I DE (Fכ) IT (PUL GRAS).
Wherever they tie the cow, that's where it eats. A reference to corruption.
WE FכL WET, I WET.
When a chicken is white, it's white. The truth is clear.
WETIN SWIT NA GOT IN MכT, NA-IN GO RכN IN BεLε.
The very thing that a goat likes to eat will run his belly.
IF YU TEK TεM KIL ANCH (MASKITA) YU GO SI IN GכT.
If you kill an ant (mosquito) carefully, you will see its guts.
BIA DכG, NA-IN DE IT FAT BON.
The patient dog eats the fatted bone.
Nכ WכRI PAS MEKES.
Better safe than sorry.
IF YU WANT כL, YU DE LכS כL.
If you want everything, you will lose everything.
MBLAMA! MBLAMA! LUK MOTOKA TINAP!
Mblama! Mblama! There's the vehicle!
SIRA-MAN DכN FכDכN WIT IN MOTOKA.
The Lebanese has had a car accident. Said of a person who brings his troubles upon himself.
NכTO εVRI DE NA KRISMES.
Not every day is Christmas. You can't always get what you want.
NIUS Nכ GεT FUT, BכT I DE WAKA.
News has no feet, but it travels. A reference to gossip.
WכD Nכ GεT YES, BכT I DE YεRI FA.
A word has no ears, but it hears far. A reference to gossip.
BRIZ Nכ GεT WUMAN, BכT I DE LUS LAPA.
A reference to gossip.
KAKROCH Nכ DE GO NA MAKIT, BכT I DE IT PAMAI.
The cockroach doesn't go to market, but it eats palm oil. A reference to gossip.
KכNI-MAN DAI, KכNI-MAN BεR AM.
When a cunning man dies, it's a cunning man who buries him.
WETIN REN MIT, NA-IN I DE SOK.
When rain falls on something, it gets wet.
WE YU GO NA KכNTRI, IF YU MIT PIPUL DεN DE DANS WIT WAN FUT, YUSεF Fכ DANS WIT WAN FUT. BכT IF YU DANS WIT TU FUT, DεN GO KכT DI כDA WAN כNDA YU. (Kono)
When you go to a country where the people dance on one foot, you should dance on one foot as well. If you dance on two feet, they'll cut one of them from under you. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
KכBAKLOS Nכ GεT HEDSAI. (Kono)
A blanket doesn't have a head end.
MOTOKA Nכ BIG Fכ IN DRAIVA. (Kono)
A vehicle is not to big for its driver. A small man can handle a big woman.
MכNI NA HAN, BAK NA GRכN.
Money in the hand, back on the ground. A comment on certain women's virtue.
WETIN DכTI BOI WANT: PכMP LכK.
What the dirty boy wants: the pump is locked.
WE YAI SI, MכT Fכ SεT (LכK, KכBA).
When the eye sees, the mouth should close.
εMTI BAG NO DE TINAP.
An empty bag cannot stand. A person cannot work when he's hungry.
SMכL-SMכL, NA-IN DE MEK WATA FULכP. [SMכL-SMכL, NA-IN GO MEK PLεNTI. (Kono).
HOLכP Nכ KAM BAI TRεNK, NA BAI SAVO (RεSPεT, SKIL).
YU DE KIL TU BכD WIT WAN STON.
You kill two birds with one stone.
ROD LכNG TE, I DE εND PAN TכN (NA PAN TכN I DE STכP). (Mende)
No matter how long the road, it ends at a town. Everything comes to an end.
KAKA LכNG SOTE, I MכS KכT.
BIFO I BכN, Lε I SOK.
Before it burns, let it get wet.
TIF-TIF, GכD LAF.
כL MכTA-MAN Nכ IKWA NA DIS WכL, NA-IN MEK FINGGA DεNSεF Nכ IKWA.
Not everyone is equal in this world, in the same way that fingers are not of equal size.
SHIP-HED εN GOT HED NכTO WAN./MAN PAS MAN./TRכISIS PAS TRכSIS./AIεN DE KכT AIεN.
כKRכ LכNG SOTE, I Nכ GO LכNG PAS IN MASTA.
PIKIN BIG SOTE, I Nכ GO BIG PAS IN PAPA.
No matter how big a child is, he'll never be bigger (in the sense of prestige) than his father.
KכTIN-TRI FכDכN SOTE, I HAI PAS GRAS.
Even when the cotton tree falls down, it's higher than the grass.
WE BRIZ DE KεR MATA-ODO, WETIN FANA DE FεN (DU) NA GRכN.
ARATA NA BIG MכRE-MAN, BכT I Nכ GO PRE PAN PUS KANDA.
The rat is a big shaman, but he's not going to pray on cat skin.
DכG KRES SOTE, I Nכ GO IT KROOMAN KAKA.
POLIS WAM TE, I Nכ GO SLAP IN BכS.
No matter how angry a policeman is, he'll never slap his boss.
FLAI, IN YAI BROK SεF, I Nכ GO εNTA BAKSAI.
KAKROCH Nכ GεT PAWA NA FכL KכNTRI.
The cockroach has no power in chicken country.
WE KAKROCH WAN HALAKI, I DE GO INSAI PAMAI BכTUL [I SE I DE MARED NA FכL KכNTRI].
When a cockroach wants to come to grief, he goes inside a palm oil bottle [he says he will marry in chicken country].
IF KAKROCH SE I DE DANS, KכL KAK, Lε I KAM NAK SANGBA Fכ-RAM.
If the cockroach says he will dance, call the cock, have him come and beat the drum for him.
SεN KAKROCH Fכ GO KכL FכL.
Send a cockroach to go call a chicken.
TRכKI WAN BכKS, BכT IN HAN SHכT (BכT I Nכ GεT HAN).
The turtle wants to box, but its arms are too short (but it has no arms.)
TכTOIS WAN TRIMBUL, BכT I Nכ GεT DI BכDI. (Kono)
The tortoise wants to tremble, but it doesn't have the body for it.
A GεT BכKU SINGG Fכ PIKIN, BכT A Nכ GεT PIKIN.
I have a lot of songs for children, but I have no child.
AS YU SεL YUSεF, NA SO DI WכL GO BAI YU.
As you sell yourself, so the world will buy you.
IF YU SABI WAS YU HAN, YU KIN IT WIT BIG PIPUL DεN.
If you know how to wash your hands you can eat with important people.
DAT REN WE BIT BITA-LIF SOTE I BITA, NA-IN BIT SUGA KEN SOTE I SWIT.
The same rain that beats bitter-leaf until its bitter beats sugar cane until it's sweet.
"NO YUSεF" NכTO KכS.
"Know yourself" is not an insult.
YU NA WET BIG FכL, YU Nכ NO YU WET NA כKRכ SUP.
You're a big white chicken, but you don't know your weight in okra soup.
IF DεN TεL YU SE YU NA εLIFANT, Nכ PAS PAN ARATA ROD. (Kono)
If then tell you that you're an elephant, don't use the rat's road.
A BIN MIN SE NA εLIFANT (KAW), BIHOL, NA SHIP (GOT). (Mende)
CHεR-CHεR TROSIS SE I Nכ DE GO NA TכN, IN MASTA Nכ RεDI YET.
The torn trousers says it's not going to town, it's master isn't ready yet.
FכL-KUP SE I Nכ DE GO NA FAM, IN ONA Nכ RεDI. (Kono).
The chicken coop says it's not going to the farm, it's master isn't ready.
A-LεK SεF YU GET PAWA SOTE, YU Nכ GO PAS KAKA, BIKכS NA-IN DE PUL TRכSIS PAN KWIN [PUL YU כNDA REN].
WE PUS Nכ DE, ARATA TEK CHAJ.
When the cat's away, the rat takes charge.
WE LEPεT DAI, IN BכDI SכFA. (Kono)
When the leopard dies, his body suffers.
HOS TAIT SOTE, FכL MכS LE EG.
UDAT DI KIAP FIT, NA-IN GO WεR AM.
MAMI Nכ DE DU NA Dכ MכT, BכT WE WA KAM, I DE KכMכT NA BAK Dכ (I DE PAS NA WINDA). (Kono)
An old woman can't get through the doorway, but in time of war she can pass through the back door (through the window).
KAW WE Nכ GεT TEL, NA GכD GO DRεB IN FLAI.
God will drive the flies away from a tailless cow.
IF YU TROWE ASIS, ASIS GO FALA YU.
If you throw ashes, ashes will follow you. If you try to make trouble for others, you will bring it upon yourself.
MAN WE BכN IN BIABIA, NA-IN FכS GO SMεL AM.
If a man burns his beard, he'll be the first to smell it.
KAKA GO FALA FAT.
PIKIN WE SE IN MAMA Nכ GO SLIP, INSεF Nכ GO SLIP.
If a child says his mother won't sleep, he can't sleep either.
IF LכS Nכ DכN NA HED, BLכD Nכ GO DכN NA FINGGA.
UDAT TAI כKPכLכ NA IN FUT, NA-IN SNEK GO FALA.
If you tie a frog to your leg, a snake will follow you.
IF YU Nכ WANT Lε MכNKI TEL TכCH YU, Nכ GO NA MכNKI (IN) DANS. (Kono)
If you don't want a monkey's tail to touch you, don't go to a monkey dance.
IF YU Nכ WANT PALAVA, Nכ PLE WIT PIKIN.
If you don't want an argument, don't play with a child.
NYANGGA DE SLIP, TRכBUL DE GO WEK AM.
The louse sleeps, trouble wakes it.
NA TRכBUL MEK MכNKI IT PεPε.
It's trouble that makes a monkey eat pepper.
IF YU SI FRכG DE JכMP-JכMP SANTεM, NA SכMTIN DE BIεN AM.
If you see a frog hopping during the (heat of the) day, there's a reason for it.
IF YU SI MAN DE RכN INSAI IN DRAI RεS, IF NכTO IN DE RכN AFTA SכMTIN, WεL NA SכMTIN DE RכN AFTA-RAM. (Mende)
If you see a man running inside his dry (ready to harvest) rice, if he isn't running after something then something is running after him.
TWENTI DE Fכ TIFMAN, WAN DE Fכ MASTA-OS (ONA).
Twenty days for the thief, one day for the owner.
GO INSAI KWIK, KכMכT KWIK: IF MכTA-MAN Nכ SI YU, NA GOST DεN GO SE YU. (Kono)
Enter quickly, leave quickly: If no one sees you, then ghosts will see you. There is always a witness.
TIFMAN IN MεRεSIN Nכ HAT Fכ GεT, NA IN HAT TRכNG. (Kono)
BAD MAN BεTε PAS EMHTI BED.
A bad husband is better than an empty bed.
SHUB LILIBIT (PUSH YANDA) PAS εMTI BED. "Move over a little" is better than an empty bed.
MAN WE GεT WUMAN, I BεTε PAS PALAMPO.
A man with a wife is better off than a bachelor.
DRINKMAN IN WALεT NA BכTUL.
A drunkard's wallet is a bottle.
A Nכ DE BAI KAW PAN IN VOIS. (Kono)
I won't buy a cow only by the sound of its voice.
LAIMAN SE, IN WεF DכN GO NA FAM. (Kono)
The liar says his wife has gone to the farm.
YU GεT TU YES, BכT YU Nכ YεRI TU WכD TUGεDA. (Kono)
You have two ears, but you can't hear two words together.
TכK SכMTIN TU YES, Lε I YεRI, BכT WE YU DE TכK AM, I DE KכMכT NA DI כDA SAI. (Kono)
Talk something for the ear to hear, but when you say it, it goes out the other side. "In one ear and out the other."
DI WATA WE YU TEK Fכ WAS, NכTO כL DE GO PAN YU. (Kono)
Not all the water you take to wash goes on you. You don't get credit for everything you do.
USAI YU TIT KכMכT, YU TכNG Nכ GO KכMכT DE. (Kono)
YAI Nכ DE KכMכT BAD PLES (SAI).
The eye doesn't leave a bad place.
DANS WE DE MEK PכSIN Pכ, YU Nכ GO FכGεT IN SINGG.
A dance that makes a person poor, you won't forget the tune.
TU MASTA Nכ DE RכN WAN SHAP. (Kono)
Two masters can't run the same shop.
YU KUK BIF, I Nכ SWIT; NA BON YU GO KUK WE GO SWIT?
You cook meat, it doesn't taste good; if you cook the bone will it taste good?
IF JεNTRI DE NA HεVIN, DεN GO SABI AM PAN DI SIKMAN IN FES. (Kono)
If there are riches in Heaven, you will know it by the sick person's face.
IF YU PUT TIK NA HOL, I KIN LAI Fכ YU, BכT IF YU PUT YU HAN INSAI, I Nכ GO LAI. (Mende)
If you put a stick into a hole it can deceive you, but if you put your hand inside it won't lie.
TING WE YU Nכ TכK εN DU, NA-IN NA SIKRIT. (Mende)
Something you don't talk and do is a secret.
SNEK Nכ DE BεT PכSIN BIKכS I DE TINAP BIFO. (Mende)
A snake doesn't bite a person because he is standing in front.
WAN PLAYA Nכ GO EBUL TEK TU AIεN TUGεDA NA FAYA. (Mende)
One pliers can't take two irons from the fire at the same time.
FכL Nכ LE EG, I SE I DE GO HACH AM. (Mende)
The chicken hasn't laid an egg, it says it's going to hatch it. "Putting the cart before the horse."
Lε WI KLEM HIL, Lε WE IT KANYA. (Kono and Mende)
Let's climb the hill and eat kanya. Then what will give us the strength to climb the hill? "Putting the cart before the horse."
εMTI BכKIT, NA-IN DE MEK PLεNTI NOIS. (Mende)
An empty bucket makes a lot of noise. "An empty vessel makes the most noise."
YU GO SABI PכSIN IN TRAIB BAI DE WE I DE KRAI. (Mende)
You can recognize a person's tribe by the way he cries.
FכL DE TEK FROM IN KכMPIN FכL. [FכL DE PUL FRכM IN KכMPIN FכL IN MכT.] (Mende)
A chicken takes from his fellow chicken.
YU Nכ SIDכN, YU WAN LEDכN; YU GO FכDכN. (Mende)
You haven't sat down, you want to lie down; you will fall down.
FRכG Nכ GεT WES WE I YכNG: WE I OL, I GO GεT?
If a frog doesn't have a rear when its young, will it have one when it's old?
MARED WE GO SWIT, NA FRכM DI BACHLכ'S IV YU GO NO.
MARED NA WAN DE; CHכP MכNI NA εVRI DE.
WAN TIK Nכ DE MEK FכRεST. (Mende)
One tree does not a forest make.
IF YU Nכ LεK DI FRUT, YU Nכ Fכ LεK DI SID. (Mende)
If you don't like the fruit, you shouldn't like the seed.
IF YU WAN Fכ FAIN, DεN DE BכN YU WIT AM. (Mende)
If are meant to be handsome, you are born that way.
NכBכDI Nכ DE WAS WATA. (Mende)
Nobody washes water.
YAI NA WATA: A Nכ DE FRED YU BIKכS YU DE LUK MI. (Mende)
The eye is water: I'm not afraid of you because you glare at me.
LεPεT, I DE MεMBA IN BAD WAN, NA-IN MEK I Nכ DE LEDכN NA GRכN. (Mende)
The leopard remembers his bad deeds, that's why he doesn't lie down on the ground.
A SεL WAN HOL KAW, A Nכ PRכFIT: NA IN KAKA GO MEK A GO PRכFIT?
MכNI Nכ DE AKS IN KכMPIN USAI I KכMכT.
Money doesn't ask ask its fellow money where it comes from.
כL KABכ NA KABכ.
AH DכN SεL 99 GRANI; NכTO MI GRANI IN PRAIS AH Nכ GO SABI.
I've sold 99 old women; I can't fail to know the price of my grandmother.
DAIMAN Nכ DE FεN MכNI, NA WεL BכDI DE FεN MכNI.
UDAT LAS MARED OL GRANI, NA-IN DE BεR-AM.
The one who last marries an old woman is the one who will bury her.
YU GO TEK NATAI FRAI STON.
E KRABIT LεK PUN BAK.
JεNTRI Nכ KAM BAI TAKITI.
WE ALIGETA WAN IT FISH, I DE DכTI DI WATA FכS.
When a crocodile wants to eat fish, it first muddies the water.
IF YU IT BIF, YU GO BεLT. IF YU IT FISH, YU GO BεLT. IF YU IT PכNKI, YU GO BεLT. (Temne)
NA WAN WUMAN KIN PWεL WATASAI ROD. (Kono)
It only takes one woman to spoil the waterside path.
PכSIN Nכ DE LAN PAN YU MARED WUMAN. (Kono)
A man doesn't learn on your wife.
IF WUMAN BIN TAN LεK FUFU, MAN GO FIL AM BIFO I MARED AM.
If a woman were like fufu, a man could feel her before he married her.
IF MכTA-MAN BIN TAN LεK PכNKI, YU Fכ NAK AM Fכ SI SE I FUL BIFO YU PIK AM.
If a human being were like a pumpkin, you could thump him to see if he was full before you picked him.
TEMNEMAN IN WITNεS NA PA KAMARA (Kono)
NA LכV MEK TεN PIPUL IT FAZIN AKARA.
It's love that makes ten people eat (share)
NIU LכV Nכ SABI BεN WES.
New love doesn't notice a crooked rear. "Love is blind"...at first.
NIU LכV Nכ DE LεF KOLA NA HOL. (Kono)
New love doesn't leave cola nuts in a hole.
KAKA Nכ GεT BON, BכT WE YU MAS AM, YU GO TIPTO.
Shit doesn't have bones, but when you step on it you'll tiptoe.
LεPεT Nכ GεT SHAP TIT, BכT NA-IN JABON TRכNG.
The leopard doesn't have sharp teeth, but its jaw is strong.
SNEK Nכ GεT BכNDUL.
A snake has no baggage.
TU TRכBUL, WAN GכD.
Two troubles, one God.
WETIN GכD DכN PLANT, YU Nכ GεT Fכ WATA-RAM. (Temne)
When God has planted something, you don't have to water it.
UDAT DE SE I Nכ DE IT KRAWO, NA IN MAMA KUK, NA-IN MEK. (Temne)
If a person refuses to eat krawo (burned rice), it's because his mother cooked it.
GOT WE YU NO SE YU GεT Fכ TOT AM (HεNGG AM NA YU SHOLDA), Nכ WET Lε I RכB PכTכ-PכTכ (NA IN BכDI). (Temne)
If you know you have to carry a goat, don't wait for it to rub in the mud.
DI TεM WE YU PA DE, NA DI TεM WE YU Fכ SHO BIG GAWN. WE I DAI NAW, YU GO EBUL KכT AM MEK SHכT TRכSIS. (Temne)
WE YU YεRI WATA DE HALA, SכMTIN DE כNDA. (Temne)
When you hear water roaring, something is under it.
YU GO TAYA PAN KASADA DI TεM WE YU DE PLANT AM. (WE YU DE PLANT KASADA, NA DI TεM WE YU GO TAYA Fכ PUL AM.) (Kono)
YU WAN (DכN) IT DI FכL WIT IN EG?
You want to eat the chicken along with its egg? A reference to having a relationship with both a woman and her daughter.)
LIכN Nכ GεT HכN, BכT I DE KECH BIF DεN WE GεT HכN.
The lion has no horns, but it catches animals which have horns.
FLAI WE DE FASHIN PAN DεD BכDI, NA DεN TU DεN GO BεRI. (Kono)
If a fly insists on remaining on a dead body, they'll bury both of them together. If you join bad companions, they will drag you down with them.
Lε כLMAN PADUL IN YON KENU. (Kono)
Let everyone paddle his own canoe.
NA WAN-WכD KIN PLIT KOLA.
Unity (agreement) can split a cola nut.
WATA Nכ GO FכGεT IN OLD ROD. (Kono)
Water never forgets its old bed.
Nכ DAI BIFO YU TεM. (Kono)
Don't die before your time.
Nכ KכL DכG WE YU GεT TIK NA YU HAN. (Kono)
Don't call a dog when you have a stick in your hand.
Fכ PUT HAN כNDA BכLS, NA Fכ RεSPεT, BכT I Nכ MIN SE IF YU PUL YU HAN DE, I GO KכT. (Kono)
To put your hand over your testicles (when washing) is for your self respect, but that doesn't mean that if you take your hand away they'll fall off.
WE YU WEP YU BAKSAI PAN TIK εN HOL DI TIK BIεN YU, I Nכ MIN SE IF YU Nכ HOL DI TIK, DI TIK GO FכDכN. (Kono)
TEK DRAI-YAI KכBA SHEM.
Trying to brazen it out.
IF YU WAN WET Fכ SAN, SIDכN NIA FAYA. (Kono)
If you want to await the sunrise, sit near the fire. If you want to achieve something, you have to suffer first.
TכLכN MAN KIN FIL AM, BכT I Nכ GO BI LεK BכLHED PכSIN. (Kono)
A man with a shaved head can suffer, but it's not like a bald person.
WAKABכT BIF, NA-IN KIN BRINGG SWIT FRUT. (Kono)
An animal that roams can bring delicious fruit.
Fכ PUT YU HAN PAN YU KכMPIN IN SכLDA NA DANS, NA GLADINεS, BכT I Nכ MIN SE IF YU Nכ PUT YU HAN PAN IN SכLDA, DI DANS Nכ GO BεTε. (Kono)
BIG MAN SABI TεN KOLA BכNDUL. (Kono)
A big man knows a ten-cola nut bundle.
BIG MAN SABI DI RεS WE GO BεLεFUL AM INSAI PכT. (Kono)
A big man knows the rice that will fill him up while it's still inside the pot.
Nכ SεN STON USAI MAN DכN HAID IN KLE PכT. (Kono) [PכSIN Nכ DE FεN KLE PכT WIT STON. (Mende)]
STON WE DE RכL Nכ GO EBUL PUL STON WE FASHIN NA GRכN, BIKכS NA DE I MIT AM. (Kono)
SNEL DεN, NA KORANKO KכNTRI DεN KIN BLכF ("FכM") (Kono)
PIKIN SE, "A SI DεN DE PAS, BכT WIT CHεR MATA NA DεN HED?"
The child says, "I saw him pass, but with a torn mat on his head?" (A reference to an indiscreet person who gives more information than is requested.)
PIKIN DE PLAW RεS IF I MITכP PLES WE IN MAMA IN BOIFRεN DכN KLIA. (Kono)
YU GO DRεB MI BIFO YU HOS, BכT YU Nכ GO DRεB MI BIFO YU GREV. (Kono)
You can drive me away from your house, but you won't be able to drive me away from your grave.
TING WE Nכ GεT HED, I Nכ GεT TEL, NA Fכ NAK MIDUL. (Kono)
If a thing doesn't have a head and it doesn't have a tail, knock it in the middle.
BIF WE Fכ DAI, I Nכ DE YεRI WISHUL. (Kono)
An animal which is destined to die doesn't hear a whistle.
IF DεN TεL PIKIN SE KAKA DE PAN BANGGA, I SE I Nכ RICH PAN DI SID. (Kono)
If they tell a child that there is shit on a palm kernel, he says it doesn't reach to the seed.
IF PIKIN SE NA IN NEM BANANA LIF, WE BRIZ KכMכT, UNA LεF AM. (Kono)
If a child says his name is Banana Leaf, when a wind comes up, drop him.
WE HכNI GO INSAI YU FUT, IF YU LεF AM DE, YU DכN LεF HכNI OIL DE; IF YU PUL AM, YU DכN PWεL YU FUT. (Kono)
When a bee goes inside your foot, if you leave it there you've left honey there; if you remove it, you've spoiled your foot.
BIFO PIKIN PLE WITH BIG PכT NA FAYA, PLE WIT YU BεLε. (Kono)
Before a child plays with the big pot on the fire, play with your belly."
PכSIN WE SNEK IN HED Nכ DE TU, NA-IN DE SE "SHEK AM." (Kono)
The person who's not standing near the snake's head is the one who says "shake it."
NA KRESMAN DE TEK BAD BUSH YAMS NA HANGRI SIZIN. (Kono)
A madman gathers bad bush yams in the hungry season.
IF PIKIN SE, "NA YA WE DE LE FAM DIS YIA," IF I Nכ YεRI AM FRכM IN PAPA, I GO DכN YεRI AM FRכM IN MAMA. (Kono)
If a child says "This is where we'll make a farm this year," if he didn't hear it from his father he will have heard it from his mother.
IF BAMBU WAN DAI, I DE RICH KWIK Fכ KכT (I DE PUL Fכ RAFIA). (Kono)
IF WATA WAN DRAI, I DE FULכP FכS. (Kono)
IF YAI WAN BכS, I DE TכMεNT FכS. (Kono)
IF DεN TεL PIKIN Fכ PUT IN HAN NA IN BAD SAI, I DE PUT AM PAN IN BAKSAI. (Kono)
SAN KRAB Nכ NO SE I HAT Fכ KAKA, NA-IN MEK כLWES I DE RכL DI KAKA NA BICH. (Temne)
A sand crab doesn't know how hard it is to shit, and that's why it always rolls its shit on the beach.
FכL WE Nכ YεRI "SSST" GO YεRI STON.
A chicken who doesn't hear "ssst" will hear a stone.
BכD WE DE TכK Nכ DE IT RεS.
A bird that talks doesn't eat rice.
WATA Nכ DE JכMP HOL.
Water doesn't jump over a hole. It's my turn.
WE KAW SE I DE PWεL ROD, NA IN BAKSAI I DE PWεL.
SAFUL-SAFUL, NA-IN DE KECH MכNKI.
εLIFANT HED NכTO PIKIN LOD.
An elephant head is not a load for a child.
KOLA KכMכT NA MכT, I FכDכN NA PכKIT.
The cola nut falls out of the mouth, it drops into the pocket.
PכSIN Nכ GO TEK TON SKεD BεLε WUMAN, BIKכS I DכN כRεDI GI AM IN MAK.
You can't frighten a pregnant woman with a penis, because it's already left its mark on her.
MכNKI Nכ DE TεL IN PIKIN, "HOL MI" WE I WAN JכMP. [MכNKI Nכ DE TεL IN PIKIN, "HOL TAIT, LUK DכN."]
PכSIN Nכ GO RכN, I DE KRACH IN WES.
BIG MAN BIGIN IT FISH PAN DI TEL, WETIN PIKIN GO GεT?
If an adult begins eating a fish from the tail end, what will be left for the child?
KONO MAN GRIDI TE, NכTO Fכ IN WOKMAN. (Mende)
USAI YU DE, NA DE YU SABI. (Mende)
Nכ LUK USAI YU FכDכN, LUK USAI YU BכK YU FUT. (Kono)
Don't look where you fell, look where you tripped.
IF YU Nכ DAI YET, YU Nכ DE YεRI כL NIUS. (Kono)
If you're not dead yet you haven't heard all the news.
NA SNEK WE DIS Fכ TεL ADU. (I DE TεL ADU LεK SNEK.)
This is how a snake greets (He greets like a snake.)
IF PIJIN SUP NכTO BIG MAN IN TABU, Nכ LεF SIDכN Lε I TROWE. (Kono)
If pigeon soup isn't a big man's taboo, don't sit around and let it spill.
HכK IN BכDI Nכ BIG PAN AM, PAS IN FεDA IN VOIS. (Kono)
The hawk's body isn't big, just the sound of its wings.
SIKMAN SE, "A Nכ WANT...BכT A Nכ SI AM?!" (Kono)
The sick man says, "I don't want any...but I don't see it?!"
WE PIKIN BUTU, REN KכT; IF BIG MAN BUTU NAW, NכTO DRAI SIZIN GO KAM? (Kono)
When a child bends down, the rain stops; if an adult bends down then, won't dry season come?
SWIT DANS, NA-IN DE PUL BIG MAN NA-Dכ. (Kono)
An enjoyable dance bring a big man out of doors.
YU SI KLAWD DεN DE KAM, YU MεMBA SE Dכ DכN KLIN. (Mende)
You see clouds coming, you conclude it's daybreak. Don't be deceived by appearances.
WE YU DU FAYA BAD, NA YUSεF YU DE DU. (Kono)
WE YU KAKA NA YU HEDSAI, NA YU FUTSAI NAW YU Nכ GO KAKA? (Kono)
WE YU KAKA NA DI BED IN HEDSAI, NA YUSεF GO SMεL AM. (Kono)
When you shit at the head of your bed, you are the one who will smell it.
PIKIN SHεT Nכ DE DU PAN BIG MAN, BכT I Nכ MIN SE IN CHכP Nכ GO DU NA BIG MAN IN MכT. (Kono)
NA FRכG IN HETRεDNεS MEK KATFISH DεN FULכP BANDA. (Kono)
It's a hate for frogs that makes catfish fill a basket.
Nכ LεF Fכ FALA KAW, YU KECH KAK.
Lε YU TE LεK HANGRI. (Kono)
NA YU GεT YU FכL, BכT YU FכL GεT IN EG.
You own your chicken, but your chicken owns its egg.
Nכ LεF YU TON Fכ IN DAI WAN, I GO DE SεF Fכ PIS. (Kono)
DAI TON GO TכK Fכ SE I Nכ GO KIK, BכT I Nכ GO SE I Nכ GO PIS. (Kono)
KכTIN-TRI BIG, BכT PכSIN Nכ GO EBUL DU εNI BεTε TING WIT IN LIF. (Kono)
DI TIK WE YU MIT INSAI KENU, NA-IN YU GO TEK PADUL WIT.
The stick you meet inside a canoe is the one you use to paddle with.
YU DכN IT DI MUN, WETIN DI STA GεT Fכ DU YU? [YU DכN IT DI MUN, I Nכ BεLεFUL YU.
A DI STA GO BεLεFUL YU NAW?] (Kono)
You've eaten the moon, what is the star going to do for you?
"KAM כP, GO DכN," Nכ GO FIT כDA PכSIN IN WεF. (Kono)
"Come up, go down," is not appropriate with another man's wife.
KAKA, YU PUT SMכL NIA-RAM, I BεTε YU GεT FAIN PLES Fכ SIDכN. (Kono)
YU BIT KRESMAN TE TUMARA; IF NA IN KRES I DE PAN, NA-IN I GO DE PAN. (Kono)
SMכL BכD FIL SE NA IN MAMA I DE SεL; BIHOL, NA INSεF I DE SεL. (Kono)
IF YU Nכ TRכNG, YU RεP, NA YU WAN SAI GO RכTIN. (Kono)
MכRE-MAN NכBA DENAI Fכ IT GINI KON, BכT YU Fכ GI AM WIT RεSPεT.
PA DכN SPεN TIDE, IF I DE. (Kono)
PכSIN Nכ DE BכN PIKIN BIKכS YU TON BIG. (Kono)
KAK IN TON Nכ BIG (WUMAN FכL IN BOMBO Nכ BIG), BכT NA-IN DE BכN BכKU PIKIN DεN. (Kono)
ARATA WE WAN Fכ BεLεFUL RENI SIZIN, IN BכDI Nכ Fכ DRAI. (Mende)
BIF WE I DE SOK, NA-IN GεT FAT BכDI. (Kono)
NA SכRIHAT BOMBO DE BכN BASTAD PIKIN.
TRENJA Nכ SABI BAD ROD.
A stranger doesn't know a bad road.
PIKIN SE "TA-TA," BכT PIKIN Nכ GO SE, "MI MAMA IN MET IN BAKSAI." (Kono)
PIKIN SE "TA-TA," BכT PIKIN Nכ GO SE "MI MAMA Nכ GO SLIP TU PA DIS NεT." (Kono)
A child says "ta-ta" bot a child will not say "My mother won't sleep with dad tonight."
WE PIKIN SE I WANT IN HεRITEJ (FAMBUL PRכPATI), NA Fכ GI AM KכKכ. (Mende)
WE PIKIN SE I WANT WICH PRכPATI, GI AM KכKכ. (Kono)
WUMAN WE Nכ GεT MAN, NA-IN NA RARIGIAL NA TכN.
IF YU Nכ RICH YET Fכ MEK DεN SI YU, ILεK SεF YU GO כP PAN HAI HAI HIL, DεN Nכ GO SI YU. (Kono)
If you haven't reached the point yet for people to see you, even if you go up on a high hill they still won't see you.
DI RεS WE YU DE GI TRENJA, NA YU HOS I DE IT AM. (Kono)
When you give a guest rice, he eats it in your house.
PכSIN Nכ Fכ PWεL OL PADI Fכ NIU PADI.
A person shouldn't abandon old friendships for new friendships.
PכSIN WE Nכ BLANT DAI, IF I DAI, I GO HAT Fכ WEK. (Kono)
If a person isn't used to dying, once he dies it will be hard to wake him.
WE YU FALA DכG, I KεR YU GO NA DכTI BכKS. (Kono)
If you follow a dog, it will lead you to the rubbish heap.
IF KRESMAN TEK YU KLOS, YU Nכ Fכ RכN AFTA-RAM YU NEKεD WAN. IF YU DU AM, DεN GO TEK UNA TU AS KRESMAN DεN. (Kono)
If a madman takes your clothes you shouldn't run after him naked. If you do, people will think that both of you are crazy.
WE DAI DIA SI UDAT Fכ TOT AM, I BεN IN HED. (Kono)
KUMBRA FכL Nכ DE JכMP FAYA.
A mother hen doesn't jump over the fire.
BIG-FUT MAN Nכ DE JOεN PAN SMכL-FUT DANSâ€”DεN GO LεF AM NA YU HAN.
PIKIN WE LεK Fכ SεT TRAP, I Fכ SεT AM NA IN MAMA IN WIRI-WIRI: BIFO Dכ KLIN YU GO MIT YU PAPA DE FεT-FεT INSAI. (Kono)
A DE PLAW YU FUNDE, YU GO PUT TIK NA MI BAKSAI? (Kono)
NA SO Fכ DU PכSIN WE DE BRכSH YU SWAMP: WE I BUTU, YU DRכ IN BכLS WIT FAK? (Kono)
Is that any way to treat a person who brushes your swamp: When he bends over, you snag his balls with a forked stick?
PכSIN WE DE IT εGUSI, YU Nכ Fכ SMεL IN MכT. (Kono)
If a person is beating egusi, you don't have to smell her breath. It stands to reason she will have tasted it.
OKURU DכG, NA-IN DE BRING LεPεT KAM NA TכN.
KכNDכ Nכ DE FASHIN NA STכMP Fכ NATIN, I MכS GεT HOL כNDA-RAM. (Mende)
PIKIN Nכ GO KכNFεS SE NA-IN KIL IN DADI IN TON: IN MAMA GO KWIZ IN TROT.
(Mende) A child won't confess that he made his father impotent (through witchcraft): his mother will strangle him.
IF YU WAN TINAP NA PLES Lε I SHEK, YU Fכ GO NA DכTI BכKS. (Mende)
If you want to stand on a place and have it shake, you should go to the rubbish heap.
PIKIN WE Nכ SI HAW TכP DE JAM, DI MAN WE IN MAMA DכN LεF, NA-IN I GO PUT FAYA NA IN BIABIA. (Kono)
IF PIKIN GεT TU BIG PכT NA FAYA, I Fכ BLO DI TU TUGεDA. BכT IF I BLO DE WAN, I FכGεT DI כDA, DI WAN GO כT, I GO HAT Fכ KECH BAK. (Kono)
If a child has two big pots on the fire, he should blow on the two together. But if he blows on the one and forgets the other, it will go out and it will be hard to rekindle. Advice to a man to treat two girlfriends equally.
IF MAN BIG LεK IN TON, NA DI TON FכS GO DAI. (Kono)
NA PLE-PLE KIL BכD. It's playing around that kills the bird.
NA PLE-PLE MEK DכG PAS AM GI IN MAMA. (Kono)
KAW OL TE, IN LIBA Nכ DE OL. (Mende)
No matter how old a cow gets, its liver doesn't get old. The liver is believed to be the seat of the passions. Thus, a reference to an old person with a strong sex drive.
DI GLADINεS WE DE PAN DI HכK, I Nכ DE PAN DI FכL.
The happiness of the hawk isn't the happiness of the chicken.
PIKIN SABI RכN, BכT I Nכ SABI HAID.
A child knows how to run, but he doesn't know how to hide.
YU GO CHAM Fכ PכSIN, BכT YU Nכ GO SWALA Fכ-RAM.
You can chew for a person, but you can't swallow for him.
YUBA Nכ SABI BεRIN, BכT I SABI FכTI DES.
The vulture doesn't attend the funeral, but it attends the forty days ceremony.
YU Nכ GO TICH KUMBRA HAW Fכ FכK.
DεN SE FADA DכN BכN, YU SE WE IN BIABIA. (Mende)
BLAK GOT WE YU Nכ EBUL KECH SANTεM, YU Nכ GO EBUL KECH AM NA NεT.
If you can't catch a black goat during the day, you certainly can't catch it at night.
IF PIKIN SE NA IN NEM BIG STON, KכL AM AIεN. (Kono)
If a child says his name is Big Stone, call him Iron.
WE DεN POINTHAN PAN GRANI IN FRεN BISNεS, I SE TεNDA DE KRAK. (Kono)
When they start talking about an old woman's boyfriends, she says she hears thunder. Changing the subject.
MAN FAIN SOTE, NכTO MAN GO MARED AM. (Kono)
No matter how good-looking a man is, it's not a man who will marry him. A man may marry for beauty, but women marry for money.
FUT, WETIN A IT, A Nכ GO GI YU?
ARATA IN TON Nכ BIG, BכT NA-IN DE BכN BכKU PIKIN DεN. (Mende)
[PRAYING MANTIS] DE JOK WIT FכL, BכT I Nכ DE JOK WIT DכKS. (Kono)
A praying mantis will joke with a chicken, but it won't joke with a duck.
PכSIN WE DE LUK FεT, I Nכ NO SE FεT TRANGGA.
A person who's watching the fight doesn't know that the fight is hard.
PכSIN WE Nכ DE TOT LOD NO Nכ SE LOD HEBI.
A person who's not carrying the load doesn't know that the load is heavy.
PכSIN WE Nכ GεT BכSIN Nכ NO SE BכSIN HEBI.
εSKEP BכD Nכ DE LεF FAIN KAKA. (Kono)
IF YU DE GO NA HIL Fכ PUL SARA Fכ DεN DεBUL DεN, YU MITכP DεN NA ROD, YU GO GO EGEN? (Mende)
If you are going to the hill to make a sacrifice for the devils there and you meet them on the way, will you still go?
IF WI BכDI DE DכTI, I GO BIGIN PAN WI FUT.
If the body gets dirty, it begins with the feet.
WOK WE YU DE DU, NA-IN YU DE TEK PE Fכ.
It's the work you do that you get paid for.
WE BכD DE PAS כP NA SKAI (FLAI NA SKAI), SεNSMAN DE KכNT DI EG NA IN BεLε. (Kono)
When a bird flies overhead, an intelligent man can count the eggs in its belly.
PכSIN Nכ Fכ HAID SכMTIN כNDA YU AMPIT WE YU DE BIT. (Kono)
You shouldn't hide something under your armpit while you are beating (something in a mortar).
MENDE MAN GRIDI TE, Fכ DI WIVA SεF? [MENDE MAN GRIDI TE, BכT I SABI WOK.]
MεRεSIN WE YU DE PUT NA YU KכMPIN IN SכFUT, NA-IN DεN GO PUT NA YU YON. (Kono)
WE DכTI WAN FכDכN PAN YכNG GIAL IN YAI, Fכ LEDכN FLAT LUK כP, NA-IN I KIN εNJUE. (Kono)
WE YU SI HOUSWAIF DE TEK PIKIN NA IN YES, NA IN HABIT. (Kono)
When you see a housewife take a child by its ears, it's her habit.
MAN WE DE CHAM GRANAT NA TRIT, I GO SWALA DE HAF NA HOSPITUL.
A man who chews peanuts on the street will swallow the half in the hospital.
TINK WETIN YU DE TכK, Nכ TכK WETIN YU DE TINK.
Think what you say, don't say what you think.
AGBכLכ BεLεFUL, I FITYAI YUBA.
GכD Nכ DE GI YU LOD WE YU Nכ GO EBUL TOT.
God won't give you a load you can't carry.
YU GI KAW, YU HOL DI ROP.
You give away a coup, you keep holding the rope.
NA FכL DE PUL NA FכL MכT.
One chicken takes from another chicken's mouth.
SMכL BIF WE DE LUK INSAI GכN IN MכT, DεN GO TEST IN SUP WIT SPUN.
Don't tempt fate.
BABU WכWכ SOTE, I MARED TU MכNKI IN SISTA.
TכK HAF, LεF HAF.
WAN GREN MAN TכK NOכ DE OL WATA.
WAN TEM KAKA Nכ DE PLIT BAKSAI. (Temne)
NA GLADI MEK DεN KIL BεLε WUMAN GOT. (Temne)
WE YU Nכ GεT DכG, YU TEK GOT GO HכNTIN.
CHIF DE MEK Lכ WE IN HAT PLIZ. (Temne)
NA KכLNEM DE BRINGG PALAVA.
YU Nכ Fכ LεF DI FISH NA YU HAN Fכ DI FISH WE TכCH YU FUT.(Kono)
Don't drop the fish you have in your hand for the fish that touches your foot. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.