Jamaican Proverbs - The National Library of Jamaica

Jamaican Proverbs

...proverbs along with their translations into standard English, with explanations.
All the Proverbs

Proverb: Finger neber say “look here,” him say “look yonder.”

Proverb: If you get your han’ in a debil mout’ tek it out.

Proverb: Peacock hide him foot when him hear ’bout him tail.

Proverb: No wait till drum beat before you grine you axe

Proverb: You ‘fraid fe yeye, you neber nyam head

Proverb: A no want a fat mek nightingale foot ‘tan’ so

Proverb: Ebry dyay debble help teef; wan dyah Gad wi help watchman.

Proverb: Cowad man kip soun’ bone

Proverb: Cack mowt kill cack

Proverb: Dawg no hol ef im ha bone

Proverb: If yu noh mash ants, yu noh fine him guts

Proverb: Ole fiyah tick easy fe ketch

Proverb: Chicken merry, hawk deh near

Proverb: Yu cyaan sidung pahn cow bak cuss cow kin

Proverb: Yu shake man han, but yu noh shake im hawt

Proverb: Fiyah deh a muss-muss (moos-moos) tail, in tink a cool breeze

Proverb: When chubble tek yu, pikney shut fit yu

Proverb: Wha gawn a maanin, cyaan kum gud a evelin.

Proverb: Big blanket mek man sleep late

Proverb: Wha sweet a mout’ hat a belly

Proverb: Me come yah fe drink milk, me noh come yah fe count cow

Proverb: Pit inna de sky, it fall inna yuh y’eye

Proverb: Yu cyaan ketch Quaku (Harry), yu ketch im shut

Proverb: Payshent man ride danki

Proverb: Waant aal, lose aal

Proverb: Chubble deh a bush, Anancy cyah I’kum a yaad

Proverb: Wanti wanti cyaan getti, an’ getti getti noh wanti

Proverb: New broom sweep clean, but owl broom noe dem cahna

Proverb: Mischiff kum by de poun’ an’ go by de ownse

Proverb: Poun’ ah fret cyaan pay ownse ah dett

Proverb: Willful was’e bring woeful waant

Proverb: Noh buy puss inna bag

Proverb: Mek wan jackass bray

Proverb: Quatti buy chubble, hunjed poun’ cyaan pay farri

Proverb: Lang run, shaat ketch

Proverb: Wan han wash de oda

Proverb: De more yu luk, de less yu si

Proverb: No matta how kokkuch junk, im noh waak pass fowl yaad

Proverb: Hag nyam wha im myne gi im fah

Proverb: Bowl go, packy come

Proverb: Wan finga cyaan kill louse

Proverb: Yuh pred yuh bed haad, yu haffi liddung pan i’haad

Proverb: No mug no bruk, no cawfee no dash weh

Proverb: Ebry dawg hab him day, an ebry puss him 4 o’clock

Proverb: Wen mawga plantin wan’ fi dead, ‘im shoot

Proverb: Wen coco ripe, im mus buss

Proverb: Wen man belly full, im bruck pat

Proverb: Wa de goat du, de kid falla

Proverb: Yu nebba see sumoke widout fiyah

Proverb: Tek whey yuh get tell yu get whey yu want

Proverb: Ef yu cyaan get turkey, yu haffi satisfy wid Jancro

Proverb: Good frien’ betta dan packet money

Proverb: Bifoe gud food pwile, meck belly bus

Proverb: Tu much ratta nebba dig gud hole

Proverb: Self praise a no no rekumendayshan

Proverb: A no ebryting kum fram abuv a blessen

Proverb: Wen po’ git up, im tun chubble tu de wole

Proverb: Rain neber fall a’ one man door

Proverb: Parson christen him own pickney first

Proverb: When ashes cold dog sleep dere.

Proverb: Alligator lay egg, but him no fowl.

Proverb: Cry-cry picney neber hab him right

Proverb: Nanny goat neber scratch him back till him see wall

Proverb: Rocka ‘tone a ribba bottom no feel sun hot

Proverb: Ebry day da fishing day, but ebry day no fe catch fish.

Proverb: Hungry hungry and full full no trabel same pass. (Anderson, Cundall)

Proverb: Shoes alone know if stocking hab hole

Proverb: John Crow neber make house till rain come.

Proverb: Stranger no know where da deep water in de pass.

Proverb: Sleep hab no massa

Proverb: John Crow tink him own pickney white.

Proverb: Too much si-dun bruk breeches. (Anderson, Cundall)

Proverb: Woman mout’ an’ fowl a one. (Beckwith)

Proverb: No mek one donkey choke you. (Anderson, Cundall)

Proverb: Darg among doctor, cockroach among shaver. (Anderson, Cundall)

Proverb: If you can’ get turkey you must sati’fy wid John Crow. (Anderson, Cundall)

Proverb: Driber fum him wife fus’. (Anderson, Cundall)