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Thursday / September 23.
HomeÒwe Yorùbá – Yorùbá Proverbs
Prov#En_wordsYoruba_adageLiteral_translationActual_meaningPronunciation
      
1Silently in the forest makes a birdÀ dé’gbó àì fọ’hùn ún mã ń mú k’ẹ́iyẹ ṣu lé’ni l’órí niArriving silently in the forest makes a bird shit on one’s headIf someone was insolent to a powerful person with authority to punish at will and went unpunished, this could lead to more disrespect from others. An example has to be made.
2Effortless like child’s playA dùn ún ṣe bọ̀rọ̀, Ohun t’Ọ́lọ́un l’ọ́wọ́ sí; a ṣòro ó ṣe, Ohun t’Ọ́lọ́un ò l’ọ́wọ́ síEffortless like child’s play, what God Has a hand in; difficult to do, what God Has no hand inThis might be a muse of someone who is embarking on a personal project.
3Shenanigans of a birdA dúró l’ókèèrè t’ó ñ wò’ṣe ẹiyẹStanding at a distance while observing the shenanigans of a birdIf someone is acting funny or behaving strangely, you stand and watch them or pretend like you don’t notice their improper behavior.
4Bush fowlA f’àparò s’ábẹ́, à ñgbin’kaWe place a bushfowl under us while we plant seeds– You’re entrusting the wrong individual with an important duty; be ready for a probable betrayal;
– Resolve the nagging issue on the ground before embarking on another effort.
5Gold bangleA fi Òjé bọ Ọwọ́ Olórìṣà; ìgbà tí nwọn ó fi bọ̀ọ́ l’ọ́wọ́, a mã ni’ra. Ìgbàt’ọ́n bá wọ̀ọ́ tán, kìí ṣeé yọ bọ̀rọ̀We put a gold bangle on the idol-god priest; when they were putting it on his wrist, it did not enter with ease. Though the bangle has finally entered, pulling it out is now a colossal problemBuilding someone up might have been a tremendous task; however, to get him down from the pedestal on which you had placed him is now an uphill task. Extreme caution needs to be exercised.
6Fear, throneA ìí j’ọba k’a l’ójo; t’énìà bá j’ọba t’ó l’ójo, Ṣàngó níí pa’rũ wọnWe don’t ascend to the throne and have fear; if a man becomes the king and is timid, it is Ṣàngó that kills his kindIf you knew you weren’t an able man, why did you contest to be king in the first place? Now whom do you want your citizens to rely on in times of war, etc.?
7Paying someone in bad coinA ìí m’awo tán, k’á tún wá fi p’ọmọ Emèrè jẹWe don’t master the knowledge of divinity and use it to kill a reincarnated childWe don’t acquire power from someone and use it to harm his family and loved ones.
8SaltA kì ñ f’ọlá j’iyọ̀We don’t eat salt as much to reflect our wealth– We do things in moderation and not engage in unnecessary activity because of who we are, however rich or however connected we think we are;
– Another example: We do not leave all the lights and ACs in our house on and go on holiday and say ‘what the heck, we have money to pay for the bill when we return’.
9Don’t rob Peter to pay PaulA kì ñ f’ọmọ Ọbà f’ọ́ṣunWe don’t pass off the son of Obà to Ọ̀ṣunRender unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
10AppreciationA kì ń gb’ókèèrè m’adùn Ọbẹ̀We don’t stay at a considerable distance and appreciate the taste of a stewTo be part of the event, you need to be there in person.
11Suffering without reasonA kì ñ l’ọ́kọ́ ń’lé k’a f’ọwọ́ kó’míWe do not have a hoe in our yard and use our bare hands to scoop up faecesWe do not have an army, government or an established authority and fight our own battles or face our challenges alone.
12HomeA kì ñ ní Ilé Ìyá, k’á má nî ti BabaWe do not have a mother’s home and not have a father’sWhoever the rival group sends as emissary, we send a secret spy to investigate the emissary without their knowledge.
13Nothing gets past themA kì ń s‘òòṣà l’ódò kí Làbẹlàbẹ má mọ̀nWe don’t worship an Òòṣà (messenger-god) in the river that Làbẹlàbẹ will be unaware of itNothing gets past the state secret service.
14Helper who doesn’t let you forgetA kì ń ṣ’oore fún’ni k’a tún ló’ṣõ tìíWe don’t do someone a favor and we ‘crouch on’ the assistance, i.e. making him never to forget the help renderedA person who helps someone out of dire straits but never lets them forget it.
15Speak for oneselfA kì ń t’ẹnu Ọ̀kùnrùn-ún j’oògùnWe don’t swallow medicine through the mouth of another personThe man is right here; let him speak for himself.
16Know friendsA kì ńbá’ni rìn k’a má mọn’lé ẹniWe don’t walk along with someone and don’t know where the person livesWe can’t be friends with someone and not know where he lives and his family.
17WhispersA kì ńgbọ́ Wuyẹ-wuyẹ n’ílé Àgbà lẹ́ẹ̀mejìWe don’t hear whispers in an elder’s house twiceIf you have to hear it twice, you’re not welcome in the house, i.e. it’s not a place you should be visiting.
18Be mindfulA kì ñt’ojú Ẹlẹ́sẹ̀ Mẹ́sãn kãWe don’t stand before someone with nine toes and start counting themWe should be careful and mindful of what we say within the earshot of whomsoever we’re gossiping about.
19RejoiceÀ kú sọ’rínù nii t’ọ̀gẹ̀dẹ̀In death, head slumped and leaning forwards is the appearance of dead banana treesOne might say this to express their glee that something they found odious is now as dead as a dodo. The adage is not really of any importance.
20It’s entirely up to youA lè mú Ẹṣin lọ Odò ni, a ò lè fi ipá mú Ẹsin m’omiWe may lead a horse to the stream, but we cannot force a horse to drink waterWe may show you a way out of the situation you are in, but we cannot force you to take up the counsel.
21Who are you?À ñ b’ẹ̀rù al’ájá, Ajá rò’pé Òun l’à ñ b’ẹ̀rùWe exhibit our fear of the dog owner, the dog thinks it’s him we’re afraid ofThis is a derisive saying, like “who do you think you are?”
22PreserveÀ ñ gb’òròmọndìẹ l’ọ́wọ́ Ikú, ó ní nwọn ò jẹ́ k’óun lọ s’áàtàn k’óun lọ jẹ̀We are trying to preserve a chick from death, it complains they don’t allow it to go and play on the refuse dumpThis allegory is warning someone for their own good.
23Pay back with maliceA ń l’éku sí wọ́n, nwọ́n ń l’éjò sí waWe are driving mice toward them, they’re driving snakes toward usWe are doing things to uplift or assist someone; the same person rewards us by plotting bad things against us in return.
24Doesn’t deserveÀ ń pọ́n Jẹ̀bẹ̀ lé l’a fi ń pèé ní ÀkísàWe are honoring Jẹ̀bẹ̀ [raggedy tatters fit for recycling] by calling them Àkísà [rags]Someone is just flattering another but the person in the narrative does not really merit any honor.
25EuphemizingÀ ń pọ́n’kú lé l’à ń p’ọ́fọ̀ ṣẹ̀We are euphemizing Ikú [death] by saying Ọ̀fọ̀ [demise] has occurred insteadWe are just being nice and courteous to someone out of politeness or respect and so we are not showing how we really feel.
26Good customer serviceÀ ń rọ́’jú j’ẹ̀kọ Ọ̀bùn, ó tún ń pọn kéréWe are managing to eat Ẹ̀kọ [hardened corn-pudding] of Ọ̀bùn [slovenly person], she portions it out in smaller wraps than the competitionThis is directed at someone whose business people are being magnanimous enough to patronize [to keep them afloat] and yet lacks enviable customer service.
27BygonesA ní k’á j’èkuru k’ó tán, a tún ń gbọn’wọ́ ẹ̀ s’áwoWe said let’s eat and finish Èkuru till there’s none left, and yet here we are, shaking the crumbs in the plateWe agreed to let bygones be bygones yet some members of the accord are still bringing up unnecessary issues that could add more fuel.
28UngratefulÀ ñjà nítorí Ọ̀jà, Ọ̀jà ní taló ñjà L’ẹ́hìnkùnlé Òun?We are fighting in defence of the hermit, the ungrateful recluse cries out “who are those fighting in my backyard?”We are doing all we can to restitute the wealth and dignity of someone who hardly deserves it, and here he is, complaining of us disturbing him.
29Two heads are better than oneÀ ñpéé gbọ́n ni; a kì ñpéé gọ̀We ‘complete’ [gather together] to get wiser; we don’t ‘complete’ to get dumber– We put heads together to reach a mutually-beneficial solution;
– Two heads are better than one.
30Two wrongs do not a right makeÀ ò níí b’ínú Orí k’a fi fìlà dé’dodoWe can’t be mad with the head and put the hat on the navelWe can’t be angry with someone enough that we would give what is rightfully theirs to someone else.
31Talk of the devilA p’orí Àparò, ó já’koWe call the bushfowl’s spirit, and out from the bush it pops outThe very moment we start to discuss someone who is not present, a knock comes on the door and the man appears;
Sort of “talk of the devil”.
 32Sculpture Gbedu drums A rí Igi gbogbo n’ínú Igbó k’a tó fi Ọ̀mọ̀ gbẹ́ Gbẹ̀du We saw all trees in the forest before we chose to use Ọ̀mọ̀ to sculpture Gbẹ̀du drums  We knew what we got before we elected to go this route.
33  Say something and see it passA s’ọ̀rọ̀ ṣẹ kìí s’ọ̀rọ̀ọ́ dànù – He who says something and it comes to pass never speaks for nothing. 
 34 Difficult to removeA ti fi Òjé bọ Olõṣà l’ọ́wọ́, ó ku Baba Ẹni tí ó bọ́ọ We have put the gold bangle on the messenger-god priest, let’s see whose father would dare to attempt to remove it You have helped create a monster and placed him on the throne; to unseat him will be almost an impossible endeavour. 
35  Talking drum À ti rán’múu Gángan kìí ṣe Ẹ̀hìn ÈékánnáThe Gángan’s (talking drum’s) capability to vary its tone is not behind [i.e. independent of] the drummer’s nailsYou didn’t get to where you are without the groundwork having been laid nicely by the very person being discussed. 
 36 Sacrificial food to the gods À ti ṣ’ẹbọ, à ti ṣ’òògùn, b’ã ti wá’yé pé aá rî nã l’àá ríWhether we offer sacrificial food to the gods or consult the oracle is irrelevant, what we had chosen to be before we were born is what we will be Do not seek wealth through shortcuts or maneuverings. 
37ForewarnA wí fún’ni k’ó tó da’ni, Òun ní Àgbà ÌjàkadìHe who apprises someone before he betrays them is the winner of a wrestling bout– The penalty for breaking rules has been announced, so let no one complain;
– In other words, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
38goiter sufferer, swallowAà kì ñsọ fún Onígbègbè k’ó gbé t’ọrũn ẹ̀ mìWe don’t tell a goiter sufferer to swallow the tumor in his neckWe don’t tell someone with an obvious problem not to seek remedy but to just shut up or go and die.
39Chase away the foxAá kọ́kọ́ lé Akátá lọ ná k’a tó wá f’àbọ̀ bá’dìẹWe should first chase away the fox before we return to admonish the fowl/chicken– We gather together to fight he who has done a loved one a wrong, then put our heads together to chastise the person we’re defending for having initiated or drawn first blood that had caused the ire of the person we’re complaining about.
– See proverb #40.
40Chase away the goatAá kọ́kọ́ lé Ewúrẹ́ lọ k’a t’ó f’àbọ̀ bá’dìẹWe first chase away the goat before we shoo away the chicken– We first confront the issue at hand and resolve it before we confront the instigator of the problem.
– See proverb #39.
  
41 Do without Aà lè fá’rí l’ẹ́hìn Olórí  We can’t shave a head behind the owner of the head– The party cannot go on when the celebrant is not around;
– The proceedings cannot hold without the accused being present in court. 
 42Compare Aà lè fi Ikú w’órun We can’t compare death to sleep The issue is simply incomparable, like chalk and cheese basically. 
43Pay twiceAà lè mã bọ Òrìṣà k’a tún mã bọ ObìWe can’t worship Òrìṣà god and worship the kola-nut as well (the latter is used to worship/appease the former)We can’t pay both ways; it’s either we pay for one and the concerned person takes responsibility for the other.
44Up to youAà ñ ṣípẹ̀ẹ nọ̀n’ró f’ábukéWe don’t tell a hunchback to stand uprightIf you won’t take heed and protect yourself or do something that’s going to be beneficial to your well-being, it’s your problem and all eyes will see and you’ll bear the consequence.
45Know the consequenceAà ní k’ọ́mọdé má wun’yín Ganganran, ìgbàt’ó bá ti lè r’ẹ́nu bòóWe don’t plead with the little kid to not grow buck teeth, as long as he’s got the lips to cover themYou may break any law or do something intolerable as long as you’re prepared for the consequences of your action.
46Nothing newAà rí’rú Eléyî rí, a fi ñd’ẹ́rù b’ọlọ́rọ̀ ni‘We’ve never seen this type of thing before’ is only uttered to frighten the ‘possessor of the story’Nothing new under the heavens.
47Instant resultAà tíì kó’fá n’lẹ̀, Ifá ti ń ṣẹWe haven’t removed the shells of Ifá oracle from the floor [divination mat], the divination is already manifestingWe have hardly spoken, what we just talked about is already beginning to take place.
48Do what you mustÀá wẹ̀ k’á jàre Ọyẹ́ niWe bathe to ‘subdue’ or ‘beat’ the HarmattanWe do what is necessary to placate a hot issue.
49A clue or hint is enoughÀàbọ̀ Ọ̀rọ̀ l’à ñsọ f’ọ́mọlúwàbí, t’ó bá dé’nú ẹ̀ á d’odi-ñdiThe little narrative we tell a wellborn & intelligent child, when he absorbs it, it becomes wholeYou have only to suggest or give a hint to someone, and if he is wise enough, he’d get the whole picture.
50It’s obvious; non sequitorÀãfã ñjó’ná, ẹ ńbèèrè Irùgbọ̀nA priest is ablaze and you’re asking whither is his beard?– Only a fool would ask the obvious;
– It is illogical or a non-sequitur.
51Show empathy or concernAájòó j’òwóShowing concern trumps giving someone money any timeConcern and empathy is way better than sending money to someone who would rather have your quality time.
52CompassionÀánú Ojú ìí jẹ́’á t’ọwọ́ b’ojúThe compassion we feel towards eyes precludes us from sticking fingers in eyes– If a blind person or a physically challenged person offends us, we wouldn’t raise our hand and strike them, so we let them be;
– Because of our inbuilt empathy we don’t beat someone who is down and out.
53United we standÀàrò mẹ́ta ò gbọdọ̀ d’ọbẹ̀ nùA three-stone fire must not tip over a pot of soupWith the three (or more) of us, the support for our collective goal would be much stronger.
54Comfort zoneÀàrò t’ó bá tutù l’ẹdìẹ ñ yé síA fire pit that is cold is where a chicken hatches inWhere things are cool and calm is where a woman births.
55In time of troubleÀbàtá ta kété bí Ẹni tíò b’ódò tanThe mud stands at an arm’s length like it’s not related to the brookIn time of trouble some close friends or colleagues may desert you and act like they don’t know you.
56Too lateAbẹ́ gé’mọ l’ọ́wọ́, Ọmọ́ s’abẹ nù; ṣé Abẹ ò ti ṣe’hun t’ó fẹ́ ṣe ni?A blade accidentally cut a child’s finger, the child throws the blade away; has the blade not accomplished its mission?The damage is already done.
57NeedleAbẹ́rẹ́ á lọ k’ọ́nà Okùn t’ó díThe needle will pass before the thread’s path closesI’ll get safely out of town before the trouble, earthquake, disaster etc. begins.
58Stepping on toesAbìnrìnbẹ̀rẹ̀ ní ó m’óyè dé’léHe who crouch-walks is the one that returns home with a chieftaincy titleHe who is diligent, careful, not confrontational, avoids stepping on toes and ruffling feathers but works quietly in the background unseen, unnoticed, like a fly on the wall, is the one that succeeds and comes away with something tangible out of the commotion.
59Give all assistance you canÀbòtán ni Òòṣà ń bò’dí Ìgbín; t’ã bá d’áṣọ f’ọ́lẹ, aá pã l’áró niIt is with full shield that messenger-gods protect the snail; if we buy clothes for a lazy person, we tie-dye them before giving the dresses to himThe speaker is pleading for full help and assistance for someone (could be himself), even for the smallest thing so that he’ll not have to spend a penny or invest the least effort at all.
60Quiet reticentAdákẹ́-máfọhùn, aà mọn t’ẹni t’ó ñṣeThe reticent man, we don’t know whose side he’s onA habitually quiet stakeholder that gives no one a clue as to what he’s thinking.
61DenialÀdàpèmọ̀n l’ọmọ mi ñ fẹ́’wọ́; Olè l’olè ñjẹ́Denial is “my child borrows things without the permission of the owners and forgets to return them”; a thief is what a thief isCall a spade a spade; don’t shy away from the truth that is right before you.
62King, crown, chiefAdé Orí l’a fi ñ m’ọba, Ìrùkẹ̀rẹ̀ l’a fi ñ mọ̀n’jòyèThe crown on the head symbolizes a king; the horsetail fly-whisk is how we recognize a chiefWith certain peculiarities and qualities we know who’s in charge or who’s got the balls.
63Chicken, ropeAdìẹ t’ó bà l’ókùn; Ara ò rọ’kùn, Ara ò r’ẹdìẹThe chicken that lands and perches on a rope; the rope is not settled and neither is the chickenA vexatious bothersome person who keeps stirring up trouble wherever he goes, yet he’s not at peace himself.
64Wind, treesAfẹ́fẹ́ kan ò níí fẹ́ k’ó má kan Igi Oko l’áraNo wind will blow and not touch the body of trees in the forestRepercussions of a major governmental decision will be felt by every citizen in the Diaspora.
65ListenerAfetísáròyé, kò ní ñkankan-án ṣe niN/AA listener who just listens and doesn’t offer any advice with regard to the matter someone is narrating to him really has no clue what should be done.
66Wasting timeÀfi tí Oluwa bá kọ́ Ilé nã, Ẹ̀dá ñṣe l’ásán niExcept God builds the house, human beings are only “making” in vainIf you are trying hard to achieve something important, except it be given you from above, you’re only wasting your time.
67Mediator, judgeAgb’ẹ́jọ́ Ẹnìkan dá, Àgbà Òṣìkà niThe mediator that listens only to one side of a story is the elder statesman of the Evil OnesUsually uttered by someone who feels he needs to hear the two sides of a story before rendering his judgment.
68Elders, youth, celebrationÀgbà (Àgbàlagbà) ìí ṣ’orò bí ÈweThe elders don’t celebrate festive periods like the youthYou don’t expect elders or those in authority to behave in an unexpected manner that is unbefitting for their position in society.
69DisorderÀgbà ìí wà l’ọ́jà, k’órí Ọmọ tuntún wọ́Elders cannot be in the market and a toddler’s head is lopsidedThere should be no disorder when there is a power/leader or council that can control the situation and dowse the flames.
70Accept the situationÀgbà l’ó ń gb’ẹ̀kọ tíò l’éwéIt is the elder that accepts the hardened corn-pap that has not been properly dished out in leavesTry and accept the situation at it currently stands.
71Cry for helpÀgbà níí gba’ni l’ọ́jọ́ Ìṣòro, Òun l’ó mú kí Alákàrà mí sá ti Ẹlẹ́kọ ọ̀ rẹThe elders are those that rescue someone at a time of distress, that’s what made my Àkàrà seller chase after your Ẹ̀kọ seller. [The Àkàrà and Ẹ̀kọ both complement one another]The speaker is crying out for help from the listener.
72Sure of yourself, empty barrelÀgbá Òfìfo níí p’ariwoAn empty barrel makes the most noise– Those who are given to boasting about their accomplishments are often the worst underachievers;
– If you know your own self-worth and you’re a fantastic individual, you do not need to beat your own drum.
73Façade of importanceÀgbà tí ò bá gbó’jú-gbó’nu, Òun ní ñta MàrìwòThe elder who lacks genuine power is the one that wears palm frondsHe who lacks real influential power puts on the façade of importance when the real power-movers are not around.
74Count your lossesÀgbà tíò b’ínú Òun l’ọmọ ẹ̀ ń pọ̀ jọjọThe elder who is not upset is the one whose children number a lot– Accept what is going on as pre-ordained and endeavour to control your temper;
– Suffer pain or misfortune in a stoical manner;
– Grin and bear it;
– Count your losses and move on.
75Humiliation, mortificationÀgbà t’ó bá jẹ Àjẹ Ìgbẹ̀hìn, fún’ra Alára ẹ̀ l’ó mã ru Igbá ẹ̀ dé’léThe elder who relishes eating leftovers, by himself will he carry its calabash-container home [when everyone has left him to it]An upright member of the community who does not respect himself but dishonors himself by his actions should be ready to bear the humiliation all by himself.
76Swear, sinÀgbà wá bú’ra b’éwe ò bá ṣe ẹ́ ríElders should come and swear that they’d never been young onceLet he who is without sin come and cast the first stone. Something like that.
77Only God KnowsAgbààwẹ̀ má dá’tọ́ mì, Ọlórun l’ẹlẹ́rï ỌfunA faster who swears he never swallows spittle during a fast, God is the only witnessWhat someone says may be factual, only God Knows if it is the truth.
78United we standAgbájọ Ọwọ́ l’a fi ñ sọ̀’yàWith supportive hands [in unison] do we beat our chestUnited we stand, divided we fall.
79Forget the ideaÀgbàlagbà t’ó bá san Yangan mọ́n’dī ó ti di Alámũseré ẸdìẹThe elder who ties a belt of grains to his waist makes himself the chicken’s clownWhoever attempts to do what you have in mind will shame himself. Better perish the thought.
80Wreak havocÀgbàrá Òjò ni ẹ́, oò l’óò n’ílé é wóYou’re flood water, you can’t say you’re not ready to bring down a house– For example the hyperbole could rebuke someone thought to expose secrets going on in a business, and the revelation could make the company lose patronage and fold up as a result of everyone knowing secrets of how they’re making their profit;
– To judge from your lack of respect for money, you’re ready to ruin someone, spending anyhow the way you do.
81Rude, impoliteÀgbàrá t’ó ñ kọjá l’ójúde Ọba tí ò k’ọ́baFlood water that flows past the king’s palace but doesn’t stop to salute the king– Passing right in front of the house of someone you know and not saluting them;
– Imagine the Russian president coming to America on private business without paying a visit to the US president.
82Count your blessingsÀgbébọ̀ ń ràgà b’ọmọ ẹ̀ nítorí Àwòdì-òkè; Òròmọndìẹ wá ń wẹ́yì pé Àwòdì-òkè é ti ń ṣ‘àṣe jùA hen covers her hatchlings because of the eagle in the sky; meanwhile, the baby chickens are moaning that the eagle is overdoing it.Be content that the situation is not worse than it is!
83Just a messengerAgbèf’ọ́ba kan ìí j’ẹ̀biNo royal announcer is ever guiltyThe pronouncements he makes are given to him by the ruler or the chiefs.
84RetreatÀgbò t’ó tà’dí m’ẹ́hìn, Agbára l’ó lọọ mú wáThe ram that appears to withdraw or retreat has gone to bring might– He who retreats has probably gone to bring reinforcement;
– He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.
85It’s so obviousAgbọ́n ń sẹ́, Oyín ń sẹ́, Oju Oloko dẹ̀ rèé kùdùrù-kuduru niThe wasp is refuting, the bee is also denying knowledge of what caused the farmer’s face to look so puffed-up with blotchy weltsThe case is clear-cut as to what happened and who is responsible.
86New thingsÀgbọ̀nrín Èṣí l’ò ñjẹ l’ọ́bẹ̀The deer you killed last year is what you’re still eating in stewsNew things are in vogue;
The world has evolved and moved beyond your thinking.
87An angry manÀgékù Ejò ìí ṣ’oro bí Agbọ́nAn almost-hacked-to-death snake is not as lethal as a swarm of waspsA man who has been unjustifiably wronged without recompense is an angry man.
88Future problemÀgékù Ejò ò ṣeé fi s’ílẹ̀An almost-hacked-to-death snake cannot be left aliveThe son of an assassinated king, leader or warrior cannot be spared because when he comes of age, he may seek retribution, just like a decimated force cannot be allowed to regroup and wreak havoc in a later skirmish.
89HarmlessAgódó-ńgbó Ẹsin ni, kò tíì t’éréé sáHe is a colt; he is not yet fit to run– He’s a kid in the scheme of things; he can’t defend himself, let alone a whole town/community;
– He’s not up to someone I can pick a fight with; I guess I’ll pick someone my own size.
90Wrong crowdÀgùtàn t’ó bá b’ájá rìn á jẹ̀’gbẹ́A sheep that is friends with a dog will eat faecesAn upright individual who mixes with a bad crowd will commit crimes.
91How dare youÀì fi’ni pe’ni, àì f’ènìà p’ènìà tí ñmú Ará Oko sán Bàñtẹ́ wọ̀’lúNot having regard for someone, not having respect for a human that makes bush folks enter a town with only a loin cloth on the waistA rebuke for a flagrant disrespect shown by someone or group to some higher person such as a chief or a king.
92Are you a coward?Àì lè jà níí jẹ́ Oko Babaà mi ò dé’bíyïIt’s the lack of ability to fight that makes someone say “my father’s farm does not extend up to here”I have proof of what I’m saying, so let’s go to court;
It’s cowardly to utter such words when it’s really the fear of your opponent’s power or influence that made you say it.
93Makes no differenceÀì l’ówó l’ọ́wọ́ ò pa’ni l’órúkọ dà; ẹ kàn lè má fi ‘Ọ̀gbẹ́ni’ si niBeing not wealthy does not change a man’s name; only thing is you may not precede the name with ‘Mr.’Not having a particular thing or being part of a group does not negate the legitimacy or right of an individual.
94It’s all down to youÀì mọ Iṣẹ́ ẹ́ kọ̀ l’ó mú Ọmọ Orogùn ki Orí b’omi gbígbónáThe lack of ability to refuse errands is what makes the wooden spatula stick its head into boiling waterIf someone sends you to do some evil deed, it behooves you to refuse or proceed.
95Don’t fool yourselfÀìd’óko Bàbá Ẹlòmíìn rí l’a fi ñrò’pé Oko Bàbá Ẹni nìkan l’ó tóbi jùNot having had the privilege to visit the farm of someone else’s father makes us believe that our father’s farm alone is the largest in the worldIf you are cocooned by the belief that what you have is one of a kind, that may be because you’re only aware of yours and no one else’s.
96Don’t be naïveÀìgbọ́’fá l’à ń wò’kè; Ifá kan ò sí ní BáráNot adhering to Ifá oracle’s divinations is why we keep staring into empty sky; there’s no revelation in BáráIn gullibility we look up to someone or entity to feed us when there’s no manna from anywhere.
97Ain’t their faultÀìjiná Ọ̀ọ̀lẹ̀ kò ní k’á kan’ra m’éwéThe undercooking of Ọ̀ọ̀lẹ̀ [bean cake baked in broad leaves] does not make us short-tempered with the leavesDon’t punish the messenger.
98UnisonÀìrìn k’á pọ̀ l’ó ñj’ọmọ Ejò ñ’yàNot walking together in unison results in the suffering of hatchling snakes– There’s safety in numbers;
– Not having agreement and understanding with your own folks exposes a man to unnecessary suffering as a result of going it alone.
99Exhaustive enquiriesÀìrìnjìnà l’a ò kan Abuké Ọ̀kẹ́rẹ́It’s because you haven’t walked far enough that you haven’t encountered a hunch-backed squirrelIf you think you are the best/greatest at one thing, that’s probably because you haven’t heard of anyone else who might have accomplished the same ‘feat’. There is always something greater and more amazing than what you do know.
100No choice, no alternativeÀìrírárá l’à ñ j’ẹ̀kọDue to scarcity is why we eat Ẹ̀kọ [hardened corn-pudding]I’m accepting this [whatever] because there’s no alternative anywhere.
101Nothing one can do about it, helplessÀìsàn l’ó ṣeé wò; a ò rí t’ọlọ́jọ́ ṣeN/AIllness is what’s curable; we can’t do anything about death.
102No alternativeÀìsí ńbẹ̀ l’àì dá siNot being there is not participating in itYou can’t be at the event and not give a helping hand.
103Unambiguity; be clear and preciseÀìsọ̀rọ̀ Ẹ̀là l’ó pa Baálẹ̀ Atẹ̀gúnsí; ó ní “Ibi tí mo bá f’iṣu sí, Ibẹ̀ ni k’ẹ gún l’ódó.” Ńgbàt’ó dẹ̀ f’iṣu s’ẹ́nu, nwọ́n gún Ẹnu ẹ̀ l’ódó niNot speaking commonspeak [vernacular] was what killed the overseer of Atẹ̀gúnsí; he had instructed that “wherever I place the boiled yam is exactly where you should pound [with a pestle]”, and when he placed the yam in his mouth, they pounded his mouth– This is a hilarious take on someone telling another to do something they please when he’s not around, when he really means the opposite;
– This is a lesson to always make yourself clear and always say what you mean.
104Lack of convictionÀìt’éyín í ká l’à ń f’ọwọ́ bòóNot being up to the age of losing teeth is why we cover them– Not being certain of one’s own innocence is why anyone would not readily deny what they’ve been accused of;
– Not being confident of one’s own ability (or conviction) is why one might not venture to do something, not speak out and/or why one would rather keep [a truth] out of public knowledge and ‘keep it in the closet’.
105The pot calling the kettle blackÀìtètè m’ólè, Olè ñ m’ólókoIf a farm thief is not apprehended in time, he may turn out and accuse the farm owner of stealingYou’re accusing me of what you’re actually guilty of yourself.
106ImpossibilityAjá ìí ro’rò tàbí gbó’ná k’ó ṣọ́ ojú’lé méjìA dog is not brutal or ferocious so much that it guards two housesNo matter how rich you are, you cannot drive two cars at the same time, sleep in two beds in two houses in one night or eat the food of many people at one sitting.
107Leave it to the right peopleAjá Ìwòyí l’ó mọn Ehoro Ìwòyí í léOnly the dogs of today know how to chase the rabbits of today– It’s only the modern youth that can deal with modern issues;
– It’s only the crime fighters of today that can catch today’s criminals;
– The old ideas have been revamped and upgraded to meet today’s needs.
108What’s good for the goose is good for the ganderAjá m’ọmọ tiẹ̀ ẹ́ fún l’ọ́mú; ó mọ t’ọmọ Ẹlòmíìn ín bù jẹA dog knows how to breast-feed her own puppy; she knows how to bite the puppy of another dogRather like having one set of laws for a group and another set for others (one nation, two justice systems).
109Let them who have ears listenAjá t’ó bá ma sọ’nù kìí gbọ́ Fèrè Ọlọ́dẹThe dog that is going to go astray will never hear the whistle of the communal night guardHe who is destined to suffer the loss of something valuable to him will not heed any dissuading advice contrary to his own decision.
110Courageous, well done!Ajá t’ó bá re’lé Ẹkùn t’ó bá bọ̀ l’áyọ̀, ńṣe l’ó yẹ k’a kíi kú Orí IreThe dog that visits the tiger and returns with joy unscathed, we should congratulate itWho has gone through this sort of trial and tribulation and lives to tell the tale should be able to face any challenges and adversities, so congratulate them.
111Can you dareAjá t’ó bá tó, k’ó dú’bũ Ẹkun l’ọ́nàA dog that is sure of himself, let him waylay a tiger on the pathThe speaker is challenging an adversary to meet him force with force if he would dare.
112Not trivial or insignificantÀjànàkú kọ’jã mo rí ñkan fìríAn elephant is beyond “I just glimpsed something in a twinkle of an eye”A huge event or a noteworthy object cannot be discarded as insignificant.
113Watch your backÀjẹ́ ké l’ánã, Ọmọ kú l’énî; tani ò mọ̀n pé Àjẹ́ t’ó ké l’ánã ló p’ọmọ jẹ?A witch howled last night, a child suddenly drops dead the next morning; who doesn’t know that it was the witch that screeched yesterday that killed the child [to eat] spiritually?What problem you may be experiencing was probably set in motion by betrayal from someone you foolishly confided in.
114Anything goesÀjẹpọ̀ nii t’àdánMix-eating everything is the character of the bat– Just like a bat, the person in reference can eat anything including certain forbidden foods without negative health repercussions; or
– The person in question may employ all kinds of tactics to achieve his goal;
– An individual has a devil-may-care attitude; he’s not daunted in the least by others’ opinion of him, he trudges on.
115AppreciateAjogún Ẹ̀wù ni ẹ́, oò mọn’yì Agbádá ńláYou are an inheritor of a dress, you do not really appreciate the value of an eminent AgbádáYou have inherited something but you don’t really know the value of it.
116You can’t hide itÀjòjì ò níí wọ̀’lú k’ólè má mọ̀nA stranger will not enter a town that thieves will not knowNothing goes on in the country that citizens will not notice.
117Stick to the planÀjọrò l’à ñpè ní ÀjeròWhat is thought of and agreed upon together is what is called ÀjeròWhat we planned and agreed together is what we should carry out.
118The secret is outÀkàrà ti tú s’époÀkàrà balls [beignets or fritters made of black-eyed beans] have cascaded into the palm oil [have broken the seal of their container]The secret is out in the open.
119Always readyAkọ ni mo wà bí ÌbọnCocked like a gun I amI am always in a firing state / launch-mode for anything – just say the word and I spring into action at any given time.
120Suffer the same fateAkọ́dà kan ìí fẹ́ k’ọ́n gbé Idà kọjá ní’wájú ÒunNo executioner likes anyone to carry a sword past right in front of himPeople who mete out punishment or terror do not appreciate the same being done to them or their loved ones.
121NaysayersAkọ́ni k’ó bàjẹ́ ni, nwọn ò kì ñ bá’ni dé’bẹ̀N/AThe instigators of “let’s ruin their celebration” usually don’t accompany the person they’re encouraging to the event.
122Was already madeÀkùrọ̀ mí ti l’ómi l’ódò k’ójò t’ó rọ̀ siMy wetland already had water before rain fell on itThings were already working great for me before your arrival/ before I knew you.
123No one can touch meAlẹ́ kìí lẹ́ k’ọmọ Ejò má rìn; t’ọmọ Eku l’ó ni’raThe night is never so dark that a snakelet won’t be able to walk; the matter of rat puppies is the problemYou might say this if you feel fearless or confident about something that you can either do now or postpone till there’s more assurance of free passage like, say, a curfew has been lifted.
124Lazy oneAlẹ́lẹ́ Ọ̀lẹ́ yọ̀; Àkùkọ́ kọ Ọ̀lẹ́ p’òṣéN/AAs dusk approaches, the sluggard rejoices; the rooster crows [in the dawn] the lazy one hisses.
125Beyond youAlubàtá kan ìí dá’rinNo Bàtá drummer ever initiates a songDon’t voice your opinion in the matter; it’s above your pay grade.
126Feign, play dumbAmọ̀rọ̀bini Ọ̀yọ́A person already wise to a situation but asking questions about it like he didn’t knowBasically saying to someone why are they asking questions they already know the answer to, like someone from Ọ̀yọ́ might do. Ọ̀yọ́ is an important city in Yorùbá land and used to be a great empire before the slave trade began.
127Has to be confrontedAmúnisin ò wá Àlọ̀, àfi k’ọ́n kòó l’ójúAn oppressor (or bully) does not want a dialogue or negotiation, except one confronts him squarely (with own weapons)– Shout at the devil [in question];
– Look your enemy in the eye.
128Lacks credibilityÀpaàdé’lé kò tíì jẹ́ k’a m’ológbò l’ọ́dẹNot bringing home its kill from the bush has not endeared the cat to be recognized as a predatorHis not having made his wife pregnant doesn’t make anyone believe that a fellow exists (as a real man).
129More or less the sameÀparò kan ò ga jù’kan lọ, àf’èyí t’ó bá g’orí EbèOne bushfowl is no taller than another, except the one that climbs on a moundOne is not better than the other.
130The truth is outÀparò ti já’kóThe bushfowl has broken out of the bushWhat you thought the world didn’t know about is now out in the open; basically, the cat is out of the bag.
131Better late than neverApẹ́lẹ́hìn ìí jẹ̀’bàjẹ́He who arrives last doesn’t eat the rotten foodHe who laughs last laughs best.
132Don’t be weakÀpọ́nlé ò sí f’ọ́ba tí ò l’ólorìThere’s no honor or respect for the king who has no queenNo one respects a leader who acts like a weakling or doesn’t do what’s expected of his esteemed office [lacking in guts/dignity].
133Occupational hazardAra Ìjà l’eyín wàBiting [using teeth] is part of a fight– You can’t moan about someone using any means available to them to fight you;
– It’s part of the game, so don’t complain about unorthodox tactics.
134Wow! What a surprise!Àrà ńgò rirí, mo r’órí Ológbò l’átẹ!Hack, I’d never seen the like; I saw a cat’s head on a market table-display!
The points-to-ponder sentence usually precedes a gossip:
An unexpected event has just occurred/has been witnessed.
135Sorry for youArá-ilé l’ó ń bá ẹ pèé l’ámõdi, Wèrè l’ará-ìta mã pèéIt’s only your close family members that might call it Àmódi (slight infection), mental illness is what everyone else will call itIf you’re engaged in illicit activity and no one has reigned you in at home because you’re family, if you were to demonstrate half of the deeds outside, you would probably be labeled a criminal and get in legal trouble.
136BackfireÀrígiṣẹ́gi t’ó ṣẹ́’gi, Orí ara ẹ́ ló ma fi rũThe junk bug that breaks pieces of wood, it’s its own head it’ll use to carry themWhoever plots evil against us will be hoisted by his own petard.
137Do not be presumptuousÀrísá Ẹkùn, t’ojo kọ́ tàbí…
Yíyọ́ Ẹkùn bíi t’ojo kọ́
The ‘sighting & running’ of the tiger is not out of dread OR…
The sneaking of the tiger is not out of dread
If someone doesn’t appear to want to engage you in a confrontation, it’s not necessarily because of fear of you; more likely it’s for something else that may not be so obvious to you.
138Enjoyment, pleasureÀríyá ò l’ópinN/AEnjoyment and pleasure has no end.
139Quarrels, argumentsÀríyàn-jiyàn l’ó ń b’ọ̀rẹ́ ẹ́ jẹ́N/AArguments are what ruin a friendship.
140Trouble-makerAròmàlà ni ẹ́, t’ẹnu Apẹ l’o fẹ́ gbọ́You are a stirrer [cook] of Àmàlà, you’re only waiting to hear what the pot will sayYou’re a trouble-maker, you’re only spoiling for a fight.
141What are you going to do about it?Àṣá gb’ọ́mọ Àgbébọ̀, Àgbébọ̀ ọ́ mú’ra ìjà; Ìran Ẹ̀dìẹ a p’àṣá rí ni?A kite snatched a chick, the mother-hen prepares for a fight; has a descendant of chickens ever killed a kite?– The local thug/bully snatches a boy’s girlfriend, the father gets ready for a fight; has anyone in the village ever challenged the thug before?
– For instance, some powerful individual infringes on your rights, to whom will you complain?
142Watch the company you keepÀṣá ń b’ẹ́iyẹlé ń ṣ’eré, Ẹiyẹlé ń yọ̀; Ẹiyẹlé ń f’ikú ṣ’eré, kò ì ‘mọ̀n p’ó fẹ́ ṣe’kú pa Òun niThe kite is playing with the pigeon, the pigeon is rolling in tears of joy; the pigeon is playing with death, it has no inkling yet that the kite wants to kill itWatch the company you keep; don’t assume everyone laughing with you wants your success and happiness.
143BackfireAṣe’ní ṣe’ra ẹ̀The voodoo destiny-changer has inadvertently done himself in– Someone’s wicked or evil plans against another person has ironically backfired on him;
– He has been hoisted by his own petard.
144Why be suspicious?Aṣèbàjẹ́ ṣebí t’Òun l’à ñwí; Aṣebúburú ẹ kú Araá’fuThe evildoer thinks we are talking about him; to the trouble-maker: well done for vigilanceHe who engages in illicit activities suspects everyone is always talking about him.
145No impossibilityÀṣetì kìí b’ọ́jọ́ k’ó má yọ, Àṣetì kìí b’óòrùn k’ó má yọ l’ókèN/AUn-doability never happens to the day that it’ll fail to break, un-doability never befalls the sun that it’ll not shine.
146The right timeÀsìkò Ekún l’à ń jẹ EeṣinThe season of Ekún is when we eat fliesWe should do things when the time is right.
147Its own timeÀsìkò Eré fún Eré, Àsìkò Iṣẹ́ fún Iṣẹ́Playtime is for playing, work time is for workingEverything has its own time.
148Out of hand, too lateAṣọ ò b’ọ́mọ́yẹ mọ́n, Ọmọ́yẹ ti rìn’hõhò w’ọjàThe dress no longer fitted Ọmọ́yẹ, Ọmọ́yẹ has walked naked into the market– The matter has worsened and gotten out of hand;
– The thing can’t be remedied any longer, it’s too late.
149Too huge, too bigÀtàrí Àjànàkú ni, kìí ṣ’ẹrù ỌmọdéThe head of an elephant is not a load for a childThe problem at hand is beyond the remit of the youth.
150That’s how I found itÀtẹ́lẹwọ́ ni mo bá’là, mi ò m’ẹni t’ó kọọ́On the palms did I find lines, I know not who made the incisionI found things the way they are; I don’t know who made them so.
151 Expensive Àti j’ẹlẹ́dẹ̀ yùngbà-yungba, àti san’wó ẹ̀ tìkọ̀tikọ To eat pig [pork] is finger-licking delicious, but to pay for it is teeth-gnashing unsavory Obliging an expensive taste has its unsavory payback. 
152  Rein it in, resolve itÀti kékeré lati ñp’ẹ̀kan Ìrókó; t’ó bá d’igi ñlá, á mã gb’ẹbọ From young we nip the Ìrókó tree in the bud, otherwise, when it becomes big, it will demand sacrifices continually  – It’s from young you inculcate a child to have good character; when he grows it may be more difficult to bend him the right way;
– If we don’t put a check on a nascent concern, it will take more than a concerted effort to deal with the problem it will create.
153 What are you going to do about it? Àwòdì-òkè t’ó ń wo Ìkarahun kọ̀rọ̀, kín l’ó lè f’ìgbín ṣe The eagle in the sky that’s eyeing a snail askew, what’s it going to do with the snail? An example: the local thug eyeing a little disabled kid cockeyed, what’s he going to do to the kid? 
154 Won’t make a difference, occupational hazard Àyímọ́n ìí p’ọlọ́kà Stirring here and there does not kill an Àmàlà cook – Let the activist do as he pleases or say what he wants to say;
– Let whoever wants to complain [about an issue under discussion] go ahead and complain; that’s not going to affect anything;
– It’s an occupational hazard of the profession; it’s part of the job. 
155 No difference B’ã ṣe b’ẹ́rú l’a b’ọ́mọ As we birthed slaves, so were free children born – As children of the rich and famous were born, so were the children of the poor and unknown;
– What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. 
156 Respect B’ájá bá ń sínwín, ã m’ojú Olówó ẹ̀ If a dog develops insanity, he’ll still recognize his master No matter how rich or powerful you become, you’ll still show respect for your parents or some authority. 
157 What’s the point? B’ájá gbe’yọ̀ kín l’ó mã fi rò? If a dog grabs a pack of salt, what’s he going to stir it in? What’s the use of giving something to someone who doesn’t know the value or purpose of it? 
158 Look after B’áládîn ò bá sí ñ’lé, ńṣe l’ọmọ wọn ñ j’ogún Ẹbu If the palm-kernel-oil seller is away from home, the children inherit desiccation If the leaders/parents are absent, things could go poorly for the people/children. 
159 Hope B’áò kú, Ìṣe ò tán If we don’t die, activities and deeds are not yet over If what we currently seek appears unobtainable, we should not despair; there are bound to be opportunities before long, so keep your spirit up. 
160 Your deed B’árã bá kú tán, Orúkọ Ẹni kìí kú If one’s body ages and dies, one’s name remains immortal – One’s deed in life will succeed him;
– You’ll be remembered by what you did while alive. 
161 Punishment unlikely B’àṣèjẹ́ Obì t’ó ñso n’ígbà Ẹ̀rùn Dinner-ruiner-kolanut that grows in the height of summer A lament to complain after a felony has been committed, especially when the perpetrator is someone that cannot really be made to pay for the deed, i.e. a little child, a prince/princess etc. 
162 Poverty, hunger B’ébí bá kúrò n’ínú Ìṣẹ́, Ìṣẹ́ bù ṣe N/A When hunger is out of the equation, poverty is reduced. 
163Do such a thing B’éégun bá dán’rú ẹ̀ l’áṣà, yíó d’ènìà If a masquerade attempts such a thing, he’ll become human It’s unthinkable to contemplate such a deed because the consequence of such action will be dire. 
164Despondent B’ẹ́kún bá d’alẹ́ kan, Ayọ̀ ńbọ̀ l’ówúrọ̀ If tears linger for one night, joy is coming in the dawn Do not be despondent about the crisis you are currently facing, peace and joy is just round the corner. 
165Accept your culpability B’ẹ́lẹ́jọ́ bá m’ẹjọ́ ẹ̀ l’ẹ́bi kò níí pẹ́ ní Ìkũnlẹ̀ If the accused acknowledges his culpability, he won’t be long on his knees If a respondent accepts his guilt, his sentence may be much reduced for saving the taxpayers money for a lengthy court proceedings. 
166 Do what you’ve got to doB’énìyán bá f’ogún Ọdún pinlẹ̀sẹ̀ ẹ Wèrè, Ijọ́ wo l’ó fẹ́ já? If someone plans for twenty years on becoming a madman, how long has he got to begin playing out the role?If you want to do something, do it and stop mucking about; spare us the suspense. 
167Log in the eye B’énìyán bá mã d’áṣọ fún’ni, t’ọrùn un ẹ̀ l’a ma kọ́kọ́ wò If someone wants to clothe us, we first look at the clothes he’s wearing For example, someone who wants to show you how to be successful. If he were successful himself, he wouldn’t be squatting with his parents. 
168Contempt B’énìyán bá pẹ́ l’órí Imí, Eeṣin-k’éeṣin yíó ba ńbẹ̀ If someone tarries too long while passing stool, all kinds of flies will start to swarm round himStop wasting unnecessary time over trivial things that only bring contempt and move quickly on to tangible stuff. 
169Don’t try it! B’énìyán bá wọ’lé pé k’òun m’ẹ́iyẹ Ọ̀nìnì, Àwòmọn Ìran l’ó wò l’áiyé ẹ̀ If someone entered to grab an Ọ̀nìnì (it’s an African supernatural bird that human eyes must not glimpse), that would be the last time he would ever see anything in his lifetime This proverb is a severe warning from someone to another that what they’re trying to do is forbidden and could be fatal. 
170 Psychopathic, evilB’ẹ́pà ò bá ti dáa, Ọmọ inú rẹ̀ ò lè dáa If groundnuts are not good, the seeds [peanuts] inside the shells will not be good If the leader is evil, his offspring are likely to be too. 
171Explore opportunitiesB’ésõ bá pọ́n rẹ̀dẹ̀rẹ̀dẹ̀, aà lè fi s’ílẹ̀ l’áì ka When fruits are fully ripe, we cannot abandon them and not pluck them When solutions are available, we exploit them to our advantage. 
172Similar characteristics B’éwé bá pẹ́ l’ára Ọṣẹ, á d’ọṣẹ If a leaf stays too long wrapped around soap [African natural black soap], the leaf will also become soap The notion is if someone or something has been too long in a place, he/it becomes a part and parcel of the main indigenous product or culture, with the same characteristics to boot. 
173Insult, slur, slight B’íyà ñlá bá gbé’ní sán’lẹ̀, kékeré a sì g’orí Ẹni If a major adversity brings someone down, a little one will ascend it  – Kind of after an unjust punishment, one is receiving another; only this time it’s being inflicted by someone in lesser status than the narrator;
This is a muse about one’s plight that they are facing another insult that has ‘added salt to the injury’.
174The way you left it B’õ bá ṣe t’ẹ́ní ẹ l’o ma sùn le How you have spread your mat is how you are going to sleep on it – You’ve made your bed, now lie in it;
– How you have built your house is how you’re going to live in it. 
175Perseverance, don’t give up B’ó pẹ́, b’o yá, Akólòlò á pe Baba Sooner or later, a stammerer will pronounce ‘Baba’ – After a spate of trials and errors you’ll succeed if you don’t give up;
– If you persevere long enough you’ll have what you so desperately seek. 
176Find a way B’ó ti wùn kí Èkúté gbọ́n tó, Ẹ̀sọ̀pẹ̀lẹ́ ni Olõgìnní ó fi mu No matter how clever the mouse is, quietly is the way the cat will snare it No matter how cunning an enemy is, a great warrior will find a way to get him. 
177Fall back on B’óde bá le’ni, Ilé l’ã wá If ‘outdoors’ or an outing chases one away, it’s our house we return to If someone drives us from their house, we still have our own home to return to. 
178 Fallout, repercussion, consequence, reckoningB’ógún bá jẹ lọ ńkọ́, Ọgbọ̀n ń jẹ bọ̀ ńgb’ẹ̀hìn If twenty goes a-eating, thirty will return a-eating in the end –  You may think you can do what you like now and get away with it, but the consequence is coming;
– There’ll be a time to face up to something one has been running away from for some time;
– There’s a fallout for every decision one takes.
179Get out of the situation B’ójò õ bá ń pa’ni, a mã tọ̀ sí Ṣòkòtò Ẹni If rain is falling on someone, he could pee inside his trousers – If someone finds himself in trouble, he could say things he could be ashamed of later, after the problem is over;
– One would do anything to get out of his dire straits. 
180Finally, assuredly B’ọ́kọ̀ bá r’òkun b’ó r’ọ̀sà, ó ní láti gún’lẹ̀ s’ébũté If a ship travelled through the Atlantic ocean or river Niger, it would still berth at a port or marina – All this talk has got to lead to something;
– All the efforts that have been invested in this business must surely produce something. 
181Predicament, zero option B’ómí bá p’ọmọ Ẹni, Omi nã l’a ma lòN/A If water kills one’s child [i.e. by drowning], we would still use water. 
182Beware, look out B’ómī bá pọ̀ j’ọkà lọ, á mã dí Kókó If water is too much in the pot of Ọkà [a.k.a. Àmàlà], it comes out with unsavory lumps in it – Example: let the new government establish itself and find its feet first before everyone starts demanding for this and that, otherwise what the country may end up with won’t be a model government;
– Too many cooks spoil the broth. 
183Legacy B’ọ́mọ Ẹni bá wà l’áiyé, b’árã bá bàjẹ́, Orúkọ Ẹni ò níí bàjẹ́ As long as one’s offspring remains alive, if the body withers, one’s name will not go to ruin The child that one leaves behind will continue one’s legacy.
184Devastation, ruination B’óo ba o pá; b’óò ba o bùú l’ẹ́sẹ̀ l’ọ̀rọ̀ Ọmọ Aráiyé If you catch up with him, kill him; if you don’t catch up with him, shear him in the leg (by applying voodoo potion to someone’s footstep spiritually that can strike a deep cut in the physical) is the legend of human beings Devastation and ruination is what people secretly wish their fellow human beings, so be careful and watch your back. 
185Don’t go beyond your means B’ọ́wọ́ Ekú ṣe mọn l’ó ṣe fi ñ bọ́’jú As tiny as the hands of a mouse are is how it uses them to rub its face – Someone should do as well as possible with the limited money they have;
– Buy a car you can afford and maintain;
– Send your children to a school you can afford to pay for;
– You only buy things that you have sufficient money to pay for. 
186Consequence, strength, as a result of B’áa bá fa Gbùùrù, Gbùùrù á fa’gbó  If we drag liana, liana will in turn drag the bushThree example scenarios:
– If the breadwinner of a household gets taken out by, say, ill health, the children may suffer greatly, especially in a household without a father with an income;
– If a huge storm occurs, it could destroy dwellings thereby making a large number of people homeless;
– If the insurance premium on an apartment goes up, the landlord may feel no compunction to also increase the rent. 
187Speak out  B’áa wí, aá ku, b’áà wí, Ọ̀run l’à nlọIf we speak, we’ll die; if we don’t speak, we’ll die; it’s Heaven we’re headed This is said by someone wishing to speak out about the appalling state of affairs in the country when everyone appears to be scared of speaking their mind. 
188What has it got to do with you? Báwo l’a ṣe pín’tan Ajá t’ó kan Lèmọ́nmù? How did we manage to divide the dog’s thigh that a part ended up at the Imam’s house? [Muslims don’t eat dogs] This idiom is directed at someone rudely bringing their opinion into a discussion [that doesn’t really concern them] without having been invited. 
189Sidetrack B’ẹ́iyẹ́ bá ṣe lọ ni ẹ jẹ́ k’á sọ̀’kòo ẹ̀ Let’s aim the stone towards the trajectory of the bird Let’s not focus more attention on an issue than it merits. 
190Suspicious behaviour B’énìà ò bá rìn’rìn Àwàsà, nwọ́n ò lè f’èkùrọ́ lǭ If someone did not walk the walk of Àwàsà, no one would offer him palm kernels If one didn’t behave in a suspicious way, no one would suspect and accuse them of anything. 
191Please everyone Bí a bá gún’yán nínú Ewé, bí a se’bẹ̀ nínú Èèpo-ẹ̀pà, Ẹní mã yó, á yó (During a feast): if we ground pounded-yam in a leaf, cooked the stew in a groundnut shell, those who would be full and satisfied would be full and satisfied No matter what you do for some people, there’ll be those who will be pleased and grateful, and those that will not be. You can’t satisfy everyone, in other words. 
192No matter what, steadfast Bí a bá ñ jà bíi k’á kú kọ́ If we are quarrelling, it’s not till one of us drops dead No matter what, we should still be there for each other even when we disagree. 
193You know what you’re doing Bí a bá ñ sun’kún, a mã ñ rí’ran If we’re crying, we are always able to see No matter what the situation might be, you always know what’s right and what’s wrong. 
194Anyone but… Bí a bá ní Ẹran On’íwo ní ó kan’ni pa, kìí ṣe bíi t’ìgbín If we say an animal with horns will head-butt someone to death, it’s not such as a snail – A boastful saying. For example: if news has been circulating that B is planning to take over A’s company, A could contemptuously retort that it won’t be someone like B;
– The story of Goliath probably illustrates this metaphor best: if, on the night of his famous battle with David, anyone would have said to Goliath, “you know, in my dream, I saw someone beat you in a fight”, Goliath might have replied, “well, not like David.” 
195Entrust, assign, delegate Bí a bá ni k’a fi Aṣiwèrè s’ílẹ̀ k’ó ṣeé wò lóõtọ́, yí ó ba ñkan jẹ́ If we adjudge and leave the madman to actually try it, he might ruin things Entrusting such an important task to the individual in question would not be such a smart idea. 
196 SupportBí a ò bá r’ẹ́ni f’ẹ̀hìn tì, bí Ọ̀lẹ l’àá rí If one doesn’t have any support/backer, one appears to be a lazy man/skiverTwo heads are better than one. 
197Off guard Bí a ṣe gbọ́n ń’ílé Ọkọ l’a ṣe gbọ́n n’ílé Àlè As astute as we become in our husbands’ houses, so are we wise in our lovers’ As we’re getting ready, so are our enemies getting ready also, to meet us force with force, fire with fire; so get your wits about you, people! 
198You tell them one thing, they do another Bí a ti ñ ge l’ọ̀wọ́ nã l’ó ñ bọ̀’rùka As we snip her fingers, she keeps putting on rings We are telling her off about one thing, she is doing another. 
199 AlternativeBí aà bá rí Àdán, a mã f’òòdẹ̀ ṣ’ẹbọ If we can’t find a bat, we use a vesper-bat to do sacrifices In the absence of proper normal channels, find and use other means to achieve your goals. 
200Relax, don’t worry Bí Àfòmọ́ bá ń fò mọ́n’gi Àràbà, t’ó ń fò mọ́n’gi Ìrókò, ó ní láti yọ’gi Ìbẹ́pẹ sọ́tọ̀ If the creeper clings to Àràbà [oak] tree, clings to Ìrókò tree, it always stays clear of the pawpaw tree – Could be a sort of prayer that the troubles currently sweeping the country [or layoffs occurring at the organization where you work] will not affect you;
– Relax, nothing is going to touch your kith and kin. 
201Name dropping, influence Bí aò bá r’ẹ́ni f’ẹ̀hìn tì, bí Ọ̀lẹ l’ã rí; Bí aò bá r’ẹ́ni gbọ́kàn lé, aá tẹ’ra mọ́n’ṣẹ́ Ẹni If we had no one to lean on, we would look like layabouts; if we had no one to depend on, we would put more effort in our occupations If one lived in a country where influence of big names one knew didn’t guarantee a path to easy jobs, one would strive more in his education and make sure to graduate with excellent grades. 
202Do not despair Bí aò kú, Ìse ò tán If we don’t die, activities/events do not end Don’t despair, if at first you don’t succeed, you should try and try again. 
203BetrayalBí Àtùpà [Fìtílà] ṣe l’ágbára tó, kò leè rí ìdí ara ẹ̀ tán.Either use Àtùpà or Fìtílà in a single context, not both. As powerful as a lantern might be, it cannot see its own base fullyNo matter how powerful a king or warlord is, he cannot be fully certain of unequivocal loyalty among his ranks and guess who could betray him.
204Time for changeBí Bàtà bá ti ñ ró pọnlá-pọnlá, ó ṣe tán tí ó ya nìyẹnWhen shoes [or slippers] start making a peculiar flap-flap noise, they are ready to splitWhen the people want a change, riots, protests, disturbances etc. will be the order of the day.
205Backer, supportBí ẹ bá ń gbọ́ Dòdóñdãwà Dòdóñdãwà, Ènìà ní mbẹ l’ẹ́hìn Dòdó; Dòdó kan ìí dã wà!Dòdó ñ dã wà [Dòdó supposedly stays all by itself].
If you hear Dòdóñdãwà Dòdóñdãwà, it’s a human being that’s behind Dòdó; no Dòdó ever stays alone
Behind every successful man there is a woman; so to speak.
206Betrayal Bí Ẹbí bá da Àjànàkú, Ifọ́nrán Owú kan lásán gbée dè If a relation betrayed an elephant, a mere thread of wool could ensnare her If a leader is betrayed to his enemies by one of his own family, the shock would be so much that a little nudge is all it would take to bring him to his knees.
207Reimburse, money back Bí Ẹ̀bìtì ò bá p’eku, á f’ẹyìn f’ẹ́lẹ́yìnIf a trap will not kill a rat, it will return the palmnut [bait] to the palmnut owner If someone will not carry out what he was hired for, it behooves him to return all that was given to him to execute the project in the first place.
208Fame, recognition Bí ẹẹ̀ m’erin, ẹẹ̀ gbó’hùn Erin; b’ẹ́ẹ̀ m’ọ̀sà, ẹẹ̀ j’iyọ̀ l’ọ́bẹ̀? If you didn’t know the elephant, didn’t you hear the sound of the elephant; if you didn’t know the she-river, didn’t you eat salt in stews? – The name of the man in reference precedes him;
– Show respect for the man of the moment and hail him.
209Vogue, trend, fad Bí Èní ṣe rí, Ọ̀la ò rí bẹ́ẹ̀ tàbí…
Bí Èní ṣe rí kọ́ l’ọ̀la ó rï 
As today is, tomorrow won’t be What is the norm today may not necessarily be the case tomorrow (or in the near future).
210Becoming a reality Bí Eré, bí Eré, Àlàbo’rún di Ẹ̀wù Like play, like a jest, the shoulder scarf turns into a dress Gradually, what we thought was a joke is fast becoming a certainty.
211Trouble, disorder, chaos Bí Ìdágìrì bá wọ̀’lú, Ẹsẹ̀ gìrì á tẹ̀le If disorder or trouble comes to town, innumerable feet will follow it If anarchy occurs, countless thugs and marauders will accompany it.
212Mimic, imitate, emulate Bí Ìgbín fà, Ìkaraun ẹ̀ a tẹ̀le If a snail crawls, its shell follows it Where you find one, you’ll likely find the other or if the leader does something, his followers will follow suit.
213 Follows Bí Ìjàpà bá r’àjò, a mã mú’lé ẹ̀ dáníIf the tortoise goes on a journey, it takes its house [shell] with it Wherever the king goes, his retinue accompanies him. 
214No choice Bí Irín bá já, Irin nã la ma fi só N/A If steel breaks, it’s steel we’ll use to mend it. 
215 Count onBí Ìwọ bá ṣe Rere, Ara kì yíò a yá ọ If you do good, your body will feel ‘weightless’ OR If you have done well, won’t your body feel light? This metaphor dictates that if you’ve not been nasty to a particular person(s) in your life, you can always count on them as allies in time of need. As there has been no old axe to grind or no angst that might make you feel undeserving of their support when you need it most, you can freely enlist their help, surely. 
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