Black History Culture : Igbo Idioms

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by skuderjaymes, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    · Agwo noro ibe ya na-enwe odu abuo.
    [The snake that swallows another will have two tails.]



    · Ihe di be evu di be añu
    [What is in the hornet's nest is in the bee's hive.]



    · Nwaanyi mara mma ma nwee ajo omume, a ga-alu ya alu; nwaanyi joro njo ma nwee ezi omume, a ga-alukwa ya alu; nwunye mmadu ka ha ga-abu; ma nwaanyi joro njo nwe ajo omume anaghi ebi be di.
    [A beautiful woman with bad character is marriageable; an ugly woman with good character is also marriageable -- they will both be wives; but an ugly woman with bad character does not live in a husband's house.]



    · Okorobia onu-ntu na-egbunye n'akpa ndi ozo.
    [A chronic bachelor is working for other people.]



    · Akpataghi aku na-akpata ntukwuba onu.
    [Destitution breeds disdain.]



    · Ike ka e ji-añu ogwu.
    [It takes some strength to swallow drugs.]



    · Udene na egbe anaghi azo nri: udene na-eri ozu; egbe na-ebu na nkike.
    [The vulture and the kite do not scramble for food: the vulture is a scavenger; the kite, a predator.]



    · Kama mmanya ga-esere ogo na ogo okwu, ya waa n'uzo
    [Instead a pot of wine will breed animosity among in-laws, let it break on the way.]



    · Onye riri osisi oji kpaa ya nku ka o nwere ike: anaghi ari enu oke oji kwa daa.
    [While on top of iroko tree, gather all the firewood you can: it is not every day that one scales the great iroko.]



    · Anaghi eje akwa onye kwulu udo
    [No one attends the funeral of a suicide]



    · Atulu na-acho ipu mpi jee jua ebune ka ekwo di ya.
    [A sheep that will grow horns should ask the ram how its neck feels.]



    · Anaghi eji na aguu na-agu noo ukwara.
    [No one swallows phlegm to appease the pangs of hunger]



    · Akpara akwu bu akpara-akwu; ibulu ishi akwu bu ohi.
    [To extract a palm nut is exactly that --to extract a palm nut; to take the entire head of palm nut is stealing ]



    · Ishi kote evu: evu agbaa ya.
    [If the head that disturbs the hornet's nest: it pays.]



    · Ekwughiekwu mere onu; anughianu mere nti.
    [Unspoken, blame the mouth; unheard, blame the ear.]



    · O'u onye ga-aka nwaanyi ajo mmuo gburu nwa mara maka amuosu.
    [Who will know better the evils of witchcraft than the woman who lost a child to evil spirits.]



    · Onye vu ozu enyi anaghi eji ukwu akpa mpuzu.
    [He who carries the carcass of an elephant does not search for crickets with his legs.]



    · Anaghi acho ihe na-akpa onye na-acho ihe?
    [You don't look for something in the pocket of someone who is looking for something.]



    · Ura ga-eju onye nwuru anwu afo.
    [A dead person shall have all the sleep necessary.]



    · Onye ite abughi onye ahia
    [A clay-pot retailer is not really in business.]



    · Okuko na-aboputa mma na-egbu ya.
    [The fowl digs out the blade that kills it.]



    · Ukpala gbabara n'ikpo okuko na-ala ala mmuo.
    [The grasshopper that runs into the mist of fowls ends up in the land of spirits.]



    · Onye a kporo apari, o na-ehi n'ama nna ya, abughi apari.
    [A presumed fool who sleeps in his father's house is not a fool.]



    · Ndi na-eje mposi abali na-ahu ukpana ndi mmuo.
    [Those who defecate at night see the ghost grasshopper.]



    · Nwata bunie nna ya enu, akpaamu ya ayochie ya anya.
    [If a child lifts his father, his scrotum will blindfold him.]



    · Onye hapu onu ya, uguru arachaa ya.
    [If one fails to lick his lips, the harmattan will do it.]



    · Okuko si na ihe ya ji-ele anya n'enu ma ya na añu mmiri bu na ihe na-egbu si n'igwe abia.
    [The chicken says it looks up when drinking water because what kills it comes from the sky.]



    · Ijiji na-enweghi onye ndumodu na-eso ozu ala n'inyi.
    [A fly that has no counselor follows the corpse to the grave.]



    · "Nwunye anyi, nwunye anyi": ka ndeli bia ka anyi mara onye o bu nwunye ya.
    ["Our wife, our wife": come midnight and we will know whose wife she really is.]



    · Ula towa uto, ekwowe ya ekwowe.
    [When sleep becomes enjoyable, we snore.]



    · "Nwa anwuna, nwa anwuna": nwa nwuo ka anyi mara ma chi agaghi efo.
    ["May the child not die, may the child not die": Let it die, and let's see if the day will not break.]



    · O bialu be onye abiagbuna ya, mgbe o ga-ala mkpumkpu apukwana ya n'azu.
    [May one's visitor not constitute a problem, so that on his departure he will not leave with a hunchback.]

    · Nwa ovu na-eto, o di ka o ga-aka nne ya.
    [When the baby wren is growing, it looks like it would be bigger than its mother.]



    · Okuko na-arogoro ite onu, chetekwe mma gburu ya.
    [The chicken frowns at the cooking pot, ignoring the knife that killed it.]



    · Ihe ka-nte bata n'onu nte, nte etefu.
    [When something greater than the pigmy cricket enters its hole, it takes off.]



    · A gbara aka na-azo ana, onye nwe ji a na-ako ji.
    [If you dispute land ownership empty-handed, the person who has yams will be planting them.]



    · Onye bulu ihe isi, ijiji esoro ya.
    [The fly follows the person who is carrying a smelly stuff.]



    · Uzu na-amaghi akpu ogene lee egbe anya n'odu.
    [The blacksmith who does know how to forge a metal gong should look at the tail of a kite.]



    · Oke oshimmiri anokataghi rie onye obula nke o na-ahughi ukwu ya anya.
    [The ocean never swallows a person with whose leg it does not come in contact. ]



    · Onye buru chi ya uzo, o gbagbue onwe ya n'oso.
    [He who walks before his godly guardian does the race of his life]



    · Okuko nyuo ahu, ana achuwa ya oso
    [When the fowl farts, the ground becomes a nuisance.]



    · Onye na-acho igba oso si na-aroro ya anya
    · [A person who has plans to flee contends that someone made an evil eye at him.]

    · Ulili si na-ejekete ije si tuo nkwa oso maka ihe oso e mee.
    [The ground squirrel says he who walks should sometimes break into a trot, in case the need to run arises.]



    · Okwulu anaghi amiri ote ofe.

    [A master chef is not blessed with a good harvest of okra.]



    · Mmiri riri enyi ka mbe huru na-awa ogodo: o ga-efe mmiri a efe ka o ga-awu ya awu?
    [The tortoise gears up to besides a river that swallowed an elephant: is it going to fly over this river or just jump over?]



    · Nkwu abuo kwudebere na-ajutu igu.
    [The fronds of two adjoining palm trees abut.]



    · Ohia woro gi nku, sere gi onu
    [Th forest that denies you firewood has massaged your neck.]



    · O bia mgbe Alio Ene gburu atu, ya biakwa ma atu zogbuo Alio Ene.
    [He who calls whenever Elder Ene kills a deer, let him call if the deer kicks the living daylight out of Elder Ene.]



    · O bulu na i taa m aru n'ike, ma i zeghi nshi; mu taa gi aru n'isi, agaghi m ezere uvulu.
    [If you bite me on the butt, despite the danger of sinking your teeth into fecal matter, then if I bite you on the head, I will disregard the danger of sinking my teeth into cerebral matter.]



    · A na-asi onye e ji ugwo na agaghi akwu ya ugwo e ji ya, onye e ji ugwo na-asi na e nye ya ewu ojii na ya agaghi ewe.
    [A creditor is being told he won't be paid, and he is saying he won't accept a black goat!]



    Okuko mmanya na-egbu ahubeghi mmanwulu ara na-ayi.

    [A drunken fowl has not met a mad fox.]





    Bete anu, bete anu, o'u kwa n'ahu ehi?

    Cut meat, cut meat, is it not from the body of a cow?





    Obele mmanwu na-akpa ike maka na ijele anoghi nso.

    [A small masquerade is powerful because a big masquerade is not around.]



    Nwaanyi anaghi-eji na nwunyedi ya kwere ya ekene nke oma kpowa ya ogo.

    [A woman does not regard her sister-wife as sister-in-law just because she (her husband's other wife) accepted her greeting gracefully.]



    A na-akwa akwa ndi oke tagbulu, ngwere ewere nnu na-eso eze ha.

    While we mourn those who died from rat bites, lizards sharpen their teeth with salt.



    Okuko, rie ogugu: "Unu si m rie onwu?" Okuko, hapu ogugu: "Unu si aguu gbuo m?"

    Fowl, eat praying mantis: "Do you want me to die?" Fowl, let praying mantis be: "Do you want me to starve to death?"



    Onye si na ya anaghi ata anu nkita, ya arakwala mmiri ofe ya.

    [He who abhors dog meat should not eat dog-meat soup.]



    A tuoro omara, o mara, a tuoro ofeke, o fenye ishi n'ohia.
    [If you tell a wise one, he understands; tell a dunce, he runs into the bush.]



    Ukpana na-ere n'oku si na ya na-asha mmanu.
    [A grasshopper roasting over fire claims it is emitting fat.]



    Were ire guo eze gi onu abughi na o nwere nke na-efu.
    [Count your teeth with your tongue does not mean you are losing any.]



    O di mma iji onye iberibe akwa ozu; ma na o'u mgbe a juru si: o si na ama onye?



    Okpoko ugbo gburu, nti chiri ya.



    Nti na-anughi anu ihe, mgbe a ga-egburu ishi e gburu nti.
    The ear that won't hear, when the head is cut off, it goes.]



    A furu nwata chete nna ya.
    [A child reminds folks of his father.]



    Nwata si na nne ya agaghi arahu ura: ngwanu, ya na ura buruzianu enyi! "
    [A child that won't allow its mother to sleep: okay, let sleep be its friend!]

    =====@@more@@====



    A na-ekwu ekwu, a na-eme eme.

    Talk the talk, walk the walk.
     
  2. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Modupe

    What a great post brotha.
     
  3. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Okuko si na ihe ya ji-ele anya n'enu ma ya na añu mmiri bu na ihe na-egbu si n'igwe abia.

    [The chicken says it looks up when drinking water because what kills it comes from the sky.]
     
  4. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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  5. sacredwoman

    sacredwoman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Love Igbo/African proverbs. Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Ulili si na-ejekete ije si tuo nkwa oso maka ihe oso e mee.
    [The ground squirrel says he who walks should sometimes break into a trot, in case the need to run arises.]
     
  7. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Nti na-anughi anu ihe, mgbe a ga-egburu ishi e gburu nti.
    The ear that won't hear, when the head is cut off, it goes.
     
  8. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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