Nigerian Proverbs

We have covered Nigerian proverbs and Nigerian sayings in this article.

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old Nigerian proverbs, Nigerian quotes, and Nigerian sayings, collected over the years from a variety of sources. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

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Nigerian culture was profoundly affected by British colonial rule. Such as British colonial authorities’ denouncements and attacks upon polygamy, trial by ordeal, and certain types of sacrifices. At the same time, British colonial authorities maintained and promoted traditional Nigerian culture that strengthened colonial administration. Prior to colonization in the twentieth century, Nigeria’s tribes usually possessed the land as a community, such that land could not be bought or sold. Colonization brought the notion of individuals owning land and commercialization of land began.

Nigerian Proverbs in English

“Give me a push from my back” does not mean give me a hunchback. – Nigerian Proverbs

“Now the marriage begins,” says the woman who has been beaten with thorns. – Nigerian Proverbs

‘Go in that direction’ does not mean that you go. – Nigerian Proverbs

A bag that says it will not take more, and a traditional doctor who says he would not leave anything behind are both sure to suffer. – Nigerian Proverbs

A basket with its bottom burst is useless. – Nigerian Proverbs

A bird can drink much but an elephant can drink more. – Nigerian Proverbs

A bird does not change its feathers because the weather is bad. – Nigerian Proverbs

A bird that flies from the ground onto an anthill does not know that it is still on the ground. – Nigerian Proverbs

A boisterous horse needs a boisterous bridle. – Nigerian Proverbs

A bottle of oil warmed over the fire has no means of producing oil by itself. – Nigerian Proverbs

Abundance will make cotton pull a stone. – Nigerian Proverbs

A bush fowls’ playground is never appreciably spacious. – Nigerian Proverbs

Accomplishment of purpose is better than making a profit. – Nigerian Proverbs

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A chief is a reward of God – Nigerian Proverbs

A child does not die because the mother’s breasts are dry. – Nigerian Proverbs

A child is what you put into him. – Nigerian Proverbs

A child who fears beating, would never admit that he played with a missing knife. – Nigerian Proverbs

A child who has no mother will not have scars to show on his back. – Nigerian Proverbs

A child who is carried on the back will not know how far the journey is. – Nigerian Proverbs

A child’s face is his mirror. – Nigerian Proverbs

A clay pot of water is never hot-tempered. – Nigerian Proverbs

A crowd is like a smoldering log which can spark into a flame at any time. – Nigerian Proverbs

A diviner cannot accurately divine his own future. – Nigerian Proverbs

A doctor who invoked a storm on his people cannot prevent his house from destruction. – Nigerian Proverbs

A family name is not cooked and eaten, one’s life is the thing. – Nigerian Proverbs

A farmer does not boast that he has had a good harvest until his stock of yams lasts till the following harvest season. – Nigerian Proverbs

A farmer does not conclude by the mere look of it that a corn is unripe; he tears it open for examination. – Nigerian Proverbs

A farmer who would not work inside the rain and would not work under the sun, would have nothing to harvest at the end of the farming year. – Nigerian Proverbs

A fight between grasshoppers is a joy to the crow. – Nigerian Proverbs

A fowl does not forget where it lays it eggs. – Nigerian Proverbs

A fowl does not forget where it lays its eggs. – Nigerian Proverbs

A friend is someone who walks by your side. – Nigerian Proverbs

A friendly person is never a good-for-nothing. – Nigerian Proverbs

A generous man must eat if he wants to continue to be one. – Nigerian Proverbs

A glorious past is the work of a glorious man. – Nigerian Proverbs

A goat owned by two people sleeps outside. – Nigerian Proverbs

A good name is better than gold. – Nigerian Proverbs

A herbalist that refuses to ask laymen what leaves he looks for in the bush, must have difficulties getting what he wants. – Nigerian Proverbs

A herdsman must yell to enter the fence. – Nigerian Proverbs

A hill with trees is the hand or finger of God. – Nigerian Proverbs

A housewife who complains that there is not enough foodstuff in the market should remember that if her husband adds to what is already available, there would be more for everyone. – Nigerian Proverbs

A hunter with only one arrow does not shoot carelessly. – Nigerian Proverbs

A hunter who has only one arrow does not shoot with careless aim. – Nigerian Proverbs

A laughing jackal portends a witch in the rafters. – Nigerian Proverbs

A leader in the community without a pot belly is a stingy man. – Nigerian Proverbs

A lizard that fell from the top of a tree wastes its time looking back to where it fell from; if there was anything good the lizard deserved, it could not have missed it while it was there on top of the tree. – Nigerian Proverbs

Allah made the silk-cotton tree beautiful, so let the fig tree cease being angry. – Nigerian Proverbs

Allah preserve us from ‘If only I’d known!’. – Nigerian Proverbs

All is never said. – Nigerian Proverbs

All lizards lie on their bellies, but nobody knows which of them suffers stomach ache. – Nigerian Proverbs

A lounging lizard catches no crickets. – Nigerian Proverbs

Although the snake does not fly it has caught the bird whose home is in the sky. – Nigerian Proverbs

Always hold a true friend with both of your hands. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man’s heart is not a sack open to all. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man being short does not make him a boy. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man can not sit down alone to plan for prosperity. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man does not wander far from where his corn is roasting. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man that begets a barren cannot have a grand child. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who eases himself in public, gives cause to others to despise him. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who has one finger pointing at another has three pointing towards himself. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who is advised and he takes it, is still a man who acts from his own free will. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who is trampled to death by an elephant is a man who is blind and deaf. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who lives alone is either always overworked, or always overfed. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who lives on the bank of a river does not use spittle to wash his hands. – Nigerian Proverbs

A man who walks alone carries a load of palm-fronds. – Nigerian Proverbs

A masquerade does not perform to an outside audience until he performs well at the home base. – Nigerian Proverbs

A masquerade is not a spirit only because of its mask. – Nigerian Proverbs

A mother is gold, a father is a mirror. – Nigerian Proverbs

A mouse that removes the palm-nut that turns out to be the bait of a trap, would already have known that the palm-nut does not ripen on the ground. – Nigerian Proverbs

An abundance of food at your neighbor’s will not satisfy your hunger. – Nigerian Proverbs

An ant-hill that is destined to become a giant ant-hill will definitely become one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants. – Nigerian Proverbs

An elephant grows and becomes an adult, even if people do not like it. – Nigerian Proverbs

An empty sack cannot stand. – Nigerian Proverbs

An oil lamp feels proud to give light even though it wears itself away. – Nigerian Proverbs

An old banana leaf was once young and green. – Nigerian Proverbs

An old man is there to talk. – Nigerian Proverbs

An old woman is not old in a song she dances well. – Nigerian Proverbs

Antagonism is not good for fowls, and it is not good for goats; worse still, it is not good for human beings. – Nigerian Proverbs

An undecided man is the worst disaster of the village. – Nigerian Proverbs

Anyone who urinates in a stream should be warned because any of his relatives may drink from the water. – Nigerian Proverbs

Any wealth that takes only a market week to acquire is sure to contain in it things for which the gods will surely come to make claims. – Nigerian Proverbs

A one-eyed person does not thank god until he meets a blind person at prayer. – Nigerian Proverbs

A pad that breaks a pot of water does not remain on the head. – Nigerian Proverbs

A performing masquerade who tries too hard to outclass his colleagues may expose his anus. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person always breaking off from work never finishes anything. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person is a guest for one or two days, but becomes an intruder on the third. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person once bitten by a snake will be scared by an old rope. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person on whose head lice are being removed, must be grateful. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person who does not bathe, must know it of himself that he is dirty. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person who has children does not die. – Nigerian Proverbs

A person who picks something and decides to make it his own, ought to think how he would feel if he was the person who lost the property he picked. – Nigerian Proverbs

A piece of iron can only become what the blacksmith says it should become. – Nigerian Proverbs

A pig that is used to wallowing in the mud looks for a clean person to rub against. – Nigerian Proverbs

A pot that build attracts the cook. – Nigerian Proverbs

A proverb is the horse of conversation: when the conversation lags, a proverb revives it. – Nigerian Proverbs

A rat is not born a rabbit. – Nigerian Proverbs

A shepherd does not strike his sheep. – Nigerian Proverbs

Ashes fly back into the face of him who throws them. – Nigerian Proverbs

A short man can only be able to hang his bag to that point that their hands can reach. – Nigerian Proverbs

Nigerian Proverbs

Nigerian Proverbs

A single man can not build a house. – Nigerian Proverbs

A single tree can not make a forest. – Nigerian Proverbs

As long as you stay in a group, the lion will stay hungry. – Nigerian Proverbs

A smiling face dispels unhappiness. – Nigerian Proverbs

A snake which escapes fills a basket. – Nigerian Proverbs

A spacious ground is the right place to demonstrate one’s skill in wrestling. – Nigerian Proverbs

A speedy wrestling and a bad fall go hand in hand. – Nigerian Proverbs

A sprouting palm kernel has no choice but to grow into a palm tree. – Nigerian Proverbs

A stolen object does not fill one’s heart with joy. – Nigerian Proverbs

A strong man is remembered on the day of the fight, and a gluttony on the day pounded yam is surplus. – Nigerian Proverbs

At a time a cockerel matures, it begins to crow to tell the world the time of day. – Nigerian Proverbs

A thorn that pierces the toe should be burned by the light of a new moon lest the devil possess the foot. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tiger does not have to proclaim its tigri-tude. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tiger does not need to boast that it is a tiger. – Nigerian Proverbs

A toad does not jump around in the daytime, unless something is after its life. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tortoise is the only animal that carries it shells, their house, along with it because of fear. – Nigerian Proverbs

A traveler to distant places should make no enemies. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tree does not move unless there is wind. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tree is best measured when it’s down. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tree is known by its fruit. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tree can not make a forest. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tree not taller than an ant cannot shade you. – Nigerian Proverbs

A tree on a hill in the savannah is a meeting place for birds. – Nigerian Proverbs

A turtle never abandons its carriage. – Nigerian Proverbs

A village without elderly is like a tree without roots. – Nigerian Proverbs

A wealthy man will always have followers. – Nigerian Proverbs

A wise man who knows proverbs can reconcile difficulties. – Nigerian Proverbs

A woman possessed by demons dreams of toads in red dancing shoes. – Nigerian Proverbs

A woman who has not been twice married cannot know what a perfect marriage is. – Nigerian Proverbs

A woman who is not successful in her own marriage has no advice to give to her younger generations. – Nigerian Proverbs

Beauty is not sold and eaten. – Nigerian Proverbs

Beetles that roll balls out of human feces demand to be hidden away from the rich man, because there is nothing he wouldn’t buy. – Nigerian Proverbs

Before firing, you must take aim. – Nigerian Proverbs

Before one cooks, one must have the meat. – Nigerian Proverbs

Before you ask a man for clothes, look at the clothes that he is wearing. – Nigerian Proverbs

Being happy in one’s home is better than being a chief. – Nigerian Proverbs

Being happy is better than being king. – Nigerian Proverbs

Better a single decision maker than a thousand advisors. – Nigerian Proverbs

Birth is the only remedy against death. – Nigerian Proverbs

Black goats must be caught early, before it gets dark. – Nigerian Proverbs

By being grateful, a man makes himself deserving of yet another kindness. – Nigerian Proverbs

Charms do not perform miracles on the shelf; they perform for those who are brave. – Nigerian Proverbs

Children of the same mother do not always agree. – Nigerian Proverbs

Choose your fellow traveler before you start on your journey. – Nigerian Proverbs

Choose your neighbors before you buy your house. – Nigerian Proverbs

Confiding a secret to an unworthy person is like carrying grain in a bag with a hole. – Nigerian Proverbs

Courage is the father of success. – Nigerian Proverbs

Criticism is easy but it does not create. – Nigerian Proverbs

Dead though the oil-palm may be, the maggot in it lives on. – Nigerian Proverbs

Does a man not know when he has pepper in his eyes? If we forget yesterday, how shall we remember tomorrow. – Nigerian Proverbs

Don’t ask me where I am going but where I have come from. – Nigerian Proverbs

Don’t look for speed in a cheap horse; be content if it neighs. – Nigerian Proverbs

Earth is the queen of beds. – Nigerian Proverbs

Even an old woman may run when a goat carries her snuff-box. – Nigerian Proverbs

Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands. – Nigerian Proverbs

Even if a goat has a frown face, it cannot lack a buyer at the market. – Nigerian Proverbs

Even in Mecca people make money. – Nigerian Proverbs

Even when fire has done its very worst, one still has to resort to it. – Nigerian Proverbs

Everybody joins to blame or condemn a child who overthrows the pot of soup. – Nigerian Proverbs

Everybody loves a fool, but nobody wants him for a son. – Nigerian Proverbs

Every fault is laid at the door of the hyena, but it does not steal a bale of cloth. – Nigerian Proverbs

Every kind of love is love, but self-love is supreme among them. – Nigerian Proverbs

Every river knows where its water would not be soaked up into the earth, and that is where it flows past. – Nigerian Proverbs

Evil knows where evil sleeps. – Nigerian Proverbs

Familiarity breeds contempt; distance breeds respect. – Nigerian Proverbs

Fine words do not produce food. – Nigerian Proverbs

Fire has no brother. – Nigerian Proverbs

Fishing without a net is just bathing. – Nigerian Proverbs

Flog my erring child comes from the lips, ‘don’t hurt him/her’ comes from the bottom of the heart. – Nigerian Proverbs

Fowls will not spare a cockroach that falls in their mist. – Nigerian Proverbs

From the well of envy, only a fool drinks the water. – Nigerian Proverbs

Funeral is for us all. – Nigerian Proverbs

Give me a push from my back, does not mean give me a hunchback. – Nigerian Proverbs

God is greater for everything. – Nigerian Proverbs

God keeps away flies from the tailless cow. – Nigerian Proverbs

Goodness gets a seat. – Nigerian Proverbs

Grass does not grow on the nose of a thief. – Nigerian Proverbs

Greatness and beauty do not belong to the gods alone. – Nigerian Proverbs

Guilt is like the footprint of a hippopotamus. – Nigerian Proverbs

He, who wishes to barter, does not like his belongings. – Nigerian Proverbs

He that forgives gains the victory. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who boasts much can do little. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who digs a pit for others must invariably fall into it. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who dines with the dogs will eat feces. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who does not look ahead always remains behind. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who does not lose his way by night will not lose his way by day. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who does not mend his clothes will soon have none. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who has people is richer than he who has money. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who is afraid of doing too much always does too little. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who is called a man must behave like a man. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who is courteous is not a fool. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who is sick will not refuse medicine. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who lives in the attic knows where the roof leaks. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who marries a beauty marries trouble. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who pursues an innocent chicken always stumbles. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who runs from the white ant may stumble upon the stinging ant. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who swallows a complete coconut have absolute trust in his anus. – Nigerian Proverbs

He whose throat is longer than his arm must pray constantly for gods’ protection. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who waits for a chance may wait for a long time. – Nigerian Proverbs

He who wishes to barter, does not like his belongings. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hold a true friend with both hands. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hold a true friend with both your hands. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hold on to a true friend with both hands. – Nigerian Proverbs

Horns do not grow before the head. – Nigerian Proverbs

Horses have four legs though there often fall. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hot anger is not capable of cooking yams. – Nigerian Proverbs

How can man be remembered when the giant trees in the forest are soon forgotten. – Nigerian Proverbs

However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source. – Nigerian Proverbs

However hard a thing is thrown into the air, it always falls to the ground. – Nigerian Proverbs

However long the moon disappears, someday it must shine again. – Nigerian Proverbs

However much the world degenerates, man shall never find worms in salt. – Nigerian Proverbs

However poor the elephant, it will be worth more than ten frogs. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hunger makes the big fish come out of hiding in the great river. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hurrying and worrying are not the same as strength. – Nigerian Proverbs

Hyenas are caught with stinking bait. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a blind man says, ‘Let’s throw stones,’ be assured that he has stepped on one. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a child is not well-behaved, she is not sent by the mother to go alone to the market to buy things for her. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a child shoots an arrow that reaches the top of a tall palm tree, then it must be that an elderly person carved the arrow for him. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a drum is not made, it is the fault of the master; but if the drum is made and is not beaten, then that is the fault of the boys. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a greedy eater is near a patient, such a patient can never survive. – Nigerian Proverbs

If all seeds that fall were to grow, then no one could follow the path under the trees. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a man is not clean and smooth, there is nothing he can really do about pride. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a man wants to grow a long tooth, he should have the lip to cover it. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a monkey is amongst dogs, why won’t it start barking? – Nigerian Proverbs

If a person who curses another is not better than the person he curses, a request is never made of him to rescind the curse. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a soup is sweet, it is money that cooks it. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a toad jumps around in the daytime, it is either chasing something or something is chasing it. – Nigerian Proverbs

If a woman gets married twice, they can never tell on the beauty of marriage. – Nigerian Proverbs

If crocodiles eat their own eggs, what would they do to the flesh of a frog? – Nigerian Proverbs

If death be terrible, the fault is not in death, but thee. – Nigerian Proverbs

If gold rusts, what will iron do? – Nigerian Proverbs

If hunger forces a farmer in a particular year to eat both his yam tubers and the seed-yams, the succeeding years would still be worse because he would have no yams to eat and none to plant. – Nigerian Proverbs

If life has beaten you severely and your face is swollen, smile and act like a fat man. – Nigerian Proverbs

If men were now to turn their hostility towards the cat, it would not be long before the domestic cat becomes a wild animal. – Nigerian Proverbs

If neither animal nor vegetable you be, then mineral you are. If one finger brought oil it soiled others. – Nigerian Proverbs

If one finger brought oil it soiled others. – Nigerian Proverbs

If one goes to a land where they cut off ears, he should cut off his own and contribute them. – Nigerian Proverbs

If one imitates the upright, one becomes upright; if one imitates the crooked, one becomes crooked. – Nigerian Proverbs

If one were to remove every smoking wood from a fire and condemn it as bad, one would be killing the fire itself. – Nigerian Proverbs

If one would not eat pounded yam for its own sake, one can still eat it for the sake of the soup that goes with it. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the bull would throw you, lie down. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the load is too heavy for someone to carry, one would be better off to give the load to the ground to carry. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the owner of a calabash calls it a worthless calabash, others will join him to use it to pack rubbish. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the owner of the goat is not afraid to travel by night, the owner of a hyena certainly will not be. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the owner of two adjacent farms cannot be friends, then they must wait till their next reincarnation to be able to make friends. – Nigerian Proverbs

If there is a character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. – Nigerian Proverbs

If there is character, ugliness becomes beauty; if there is none, beauty becomes ugliness. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the stomachache were in the foot, one would go lame. – Nigerian Proverbs

If the sun claims that it has power over the moon, let it shine in the night. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you can’t dance well, you’d better not get up. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you don’t wish to have rags for clothes, don’t play with a dog. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you fail to take away a strong man’s sword when he is on the ground, will you do it when he gets up? – Nigerian Proverbs

If you fill your mouth with a razor, you will spit blood. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you find ‘Miss This Year’ beautiful, then you’ll find ‘Miss Next Year’ even more so. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, if you teach him to fish; you feed him for a lifetime. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you have one finger pointing at somebody, you have three pointing towards yourself. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you have run out of gunpowder, use your gun as a club. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you marry beauty then you should know that you married trouble. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you neglect the pot, it boils over and extinguishes the fire. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you put a razor in your mouth, you will spit blood. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you rise too early, the dew will wet you. – Nigerian Proverbs

If your parents take care of you up to the time you cut your teeth, you take care of them when they lose theirs. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you sleep with itching anus, you will definitely wake up with your hands smelling. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you think you have someone eating out of your hands, it is a good idea to count your fingers. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you want to give a sick man medicine, let him first be really ill ‘ so that he can see how well the medicine works. – Nigerian Proverbs

If you watch your pot, your food will not burn. – Nigerian Proverbs

In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and foolish build dams. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is a lazy man who says ‘it is only because I have no time that my farm is overgrown with weeds’. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is an irresponsible adult that creates enmity because of a disagreement that arises between two children. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is an unthinking man who achieves prosperity, and then finds with time, that his body can no longer pass through the door. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is a pot of water that is already half full that the world would like to help in filling to the brim. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is by the strength of their number that the ants in the field are able to carry their prey to the nest. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is for saying that he has no time that the monkey’s body became over-grown with long hairs. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is from a small seed that the giant Iroko tree has its beginning. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is he who has no place to call at that moves fast through life. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is little by little that a bird builds its nest. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is more fun doing evil than putting it right. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is not enough to run, one must arrive and know when one has arrived. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is not only the fox, even the snail arrives at its destination. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is not only the hare, the tortoise arrives also at the destination. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is one person in a street that kills a dog and the street is named a street of dog killers. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is one word of advice that one needs to give to a wise man, and that word keeps multiplying in his mind. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is only the toad that gets up from its knees and falls back again on its knees. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is only a tortoise that moves and carries its shell about, which it calls it house. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is only the tortoise that moves and carries its shell about, which it calls its house. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the boast of every juju priest that unless he dies, no thief can ever come to steal his juju away. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the brutally outspoken man that earns enmity. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the fear of offense that makes men swallow poison. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the fear of what tomorrow may bring that makes the tortoise to carry his house along with him wherever he goes. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the first step that is difficult. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the fortunate person that the physician undertakes to help. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the habit that a child forms at home, that follows them to their marriage. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the same moon that wanes today that will be the full moon tomorrow. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the self-love of the king parrot that made him become a talkative. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the toothless animal that arrives first at the base of the fruit tree, to eat his fill before others arrive. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the woman whose child has been eaten by a witch who best knows the evils of witchcraft. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is the work of one’s hands that decides what one eats for dinner ‘ for some it is pounded yam, for others it is pounded plantain or nothing. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is usual of a person found guilty in a trial to boast that he would press his case further. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is what the eyes of one man sees that is described as a boa constrictor. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is when there is a stampede, that a person with big buttocks knows that he carries a load. – Nigerian Proverbs

It is wisdom to prevent someone from whom one cannot accept repayment to have access to one’s valuable possessions. – Nigerian Proverbs

It takes all sorts to make a world. – Nigerian Proverbs

It takes a village to raise a child. – Nigerian Proverbs

It takes a whole village to raise a child. – Nigerian Proverbs

Jealousy is as ash. – Nigerian Proverbs

Languages differ but coughs are the same. – Nigerian Proverbs

Lending is the firstborn of poverty. – Nigerian Proverbs

Leopards lurk in dark corners. – Nigerian Proverbs

Let’s fight, let’s fight, no one knows whom fighting would favor. – Nigerian Proverbs

Little by little the bird builds its nest. – Nigerian Proverbs

Look for a black goat while it is still daytime. – Nigerian Proverbs

Love is better than a whip. – Nigerian Proverbs

Love will always be better than whip. – Nigerian Proverbs

Man is like pepper ‘ you only know him when you’ve ground him. – Nigerian Proverbs

Marriage is like a groundnut, you have to crack it to see what is inside. – Nigerian Proverbs

Meat does not eat meat. – Nigerian Proverbs

Midday sun is the remedy for a cold. – Nigerian Proverbs

Money does not announce how it is earned but whereas properly earned money appreciates, improperly earned money depreciates. – Nigerian Proverbs

Money has the capability of making people laugh; but when they laugh, the foolish ones sometimes forget to close their mouths. – Nigerian Proverbs

Money kills more than do weapons. – Nigerian Proverbs

More than one mother can make tasty soup. – Nigerian Proverbs

Mother’s soup is always the best in the world. – Nigerian Proverbs

Mud houses don’t burn. – Nigerian Proverbs

No frog is tied by a rope to a pond. – Nigerian Proverbs

No matter how far a stream flows, it can never forget its source. – Nigerian Proverbs

No Matter how long the moon disappears, someday it must shine again. – Nigerian Proverbs

No matter how dark it is, the hand always knows the way to the mouth. – Nigerian Proverbs

No one feels the pains that arise from unintended injury. – Nigerian Proverbs

No sane person sharpens his machete to cut a banana tree. – Nigerian Proverbs

Not to know is bad, not to wish to know is worse. – Nigerian Proverbs

Not to know the good we have Till time has stolen the cherished gift away, Is cause of half the misery that we feel, And makes the world the wilderness it is. – Nigerian Proverbs

Not to oversee workmen, is to leave your purse open. – Nigerian Proverbs

Now the marriage begins, says the woman who has been beaten with thorns. – Nigerian Proverbs

Old age does not come in just one day. – Nigerian Proverbs

Once a cock begins to crow, it never again becomes dumb. – Nigerian Proverbs

Once the manioca is in your stomach it’s gone. – Nigerian Proverbs

One cannot go back to the farmer from whom one borrowed seed-yams to plant to say that the beetles have eaten up the seed-yams. – Nigerian Proverbs

One can only try to get what one can from the head of an elephant, no one ever carries it home. – Nigerian Proverbs

One can’t get beans out of wild melons. – Nigerian Proverbs

One cry of ‘Thief!’ and the whole marketplace is on the lookout. – Nigerian Proverbs

One does not become a master diviner in a day. A forest is not made in a season. The swoop of an eagle has seen many seasons and floods. – Nigerian Proverbs

One does not love if one does not accept from others. – Nigerian Proverbs

One finger cannot remove lice from the head. – Nigerian Proverbs

One goat cannot carry another goat’s tail. – Nigerian Proverbs

One hand does not catch a buffalo. – Nigerian Proverbs

One must have to wait till the evening of one’s life time to know what gratitude to pay to one’s guardian spirit. – Nigerian Proverbs

One must row in whichever boat one finds one’s self. – Nigerian Proverbs

One pebble doesn’t make a floor. – Nigerian Proverbs

One speaks badly of the absent but fears the present. – Nigerian Proverbs

One who has been bitten by a snake lives in fear of worms. [Once bitten, twice shy.] – Nigerian Proverbs

Only a mother would carry the child that bites. – Nigerian Proverbs

Only the thing for which you have struggled will last. – Nigerian Proverbs

Only when a tree has grown can you tie your cow to it. – Nigerian Proverbs

Other people’s wisdom prevents the king from being called a fool. – Nigerian Proverbs

Our elders quote the cock as saying that ‘it would not be good if one becomes the only person in the world, and that is why they crow every morning to show their number’. – Nigerian Proverbs

Our elders say that at sunset, it is one’s cloth that one goes to remove from the village square. – Nigerian Proverbs

Our examples are like seeds on a windy day, they spread far and wide. – Nigerian Proverbs

Overabundance is not far from want. – Nigerian Proverbs

Patient people are patient to gain longevity. – Nigerian Proverbs

People in trouble remember Allah. – Nigerian Proverbs

People in trouble remember God. – Nigerian Proverbs

Preparing cocoyams for planting does not mean that they are already planted. – Nigerian Proverbs

Profit is profit even in Mecca. – Nigerian Proverbs

Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten. – Nigerian Proverbs

Rain does not make friends with anybody’ it falls on any person it meets outside. – Nigerian Proverbs

Rather than tell a lie to help a friend, it is better to assist him in paying the fine for his offense. – Nigerian Proverbs

Rat no dey born rabbit. – Nigerian Proverbs

Remember, after the storm there will be a rainbow. – Nigerian Proverbs

Seeing is better than hearing. – Nigerian Proverbs

Sinews and big muscles do not make a farmer. – Nigerian Proverbs

Sleep and indolence are not cousins of a good harvest. – Nigerian Proverbs

Some birds avoid the water, ducks look for it. – Nigerian Proverbs

Some birds avoid the water, ducks seek it. – Nigerian Proverbs

Someone else’s legs are no good to you when you’re traveling. – Nigerian Proverbs

Sometimes the rain might force a man more than once to seek shelter under the same tree. – Nigerian Proverbs

Struggle to farm, gifts can’t satisfy your needs. – Nigerian Proverbs

Stupidity is the lover of ignorance. – Nigerian Proverbs

Success is 10% ability, and 90% sweat. – Nigerian Proverbs

Talks that are considered to be important must be made to drag on for so long as to make even the deaf begin to hear it. – Nigerian Proverbs

That man that dream too marry a woman with many admirers might end up not marrying at all. – Nigerian Proverbs

That man that has one eye will only thank God if he or she sees a man that is blind. – Nigerian Proverbs

That which brings misfortune is not big. – Nigerian Proverbs

The advice of a woman ends with ‘Oh, if I had only known!’. – Nigerian Proverbs

The alcohol that is insufficient for a whole town ought not to intoxicate one man. – Nigerian Proverbs

The bird flies high, but always returns to earth. – Nigerian Proverbs

The bird that remembers its flockmates, never missed the way. – Nigerian Proverbs

The blind say that eyes have no sense of smell. – Nigerian Proverbs

The body of joy is not so big. – Nigerian Proverbs

The bottom of wealth is sometimes a dirty thing to behold. – Nigerian Proverbs

The child of an elephant will not be a dwarf. [Like father, like son] – Nigerian Proverbs

The child that will not allow his parents to sleep through the night must be prepared to stay awake himself. – Nigerian Proverbs

The cricket is never blinded by the sand of its burrowing. – Nigerian Proverbs

The crocodile does not die under the water so that we can call the monkey to celebrate its funeral. – Nigerian Proverbs

The crocodile drinks from the same river as the centipede. – Nigerian Proverbs

The day a man taste the “sweetness” of a woman, that day he also taste the bitterness. – Nigerian Proverbs

The day on which one starts out is not the time to start one’s preparations. – Nigerian Proverbs

The day you are leaving is not the time to start your preparations. – Nigerian Proverbs

The death that will kill a man begins as an appetite. – Nigerian Proverbs

The disobedient fowl obeys in a pot of soup. – Nigerian Proverbs

The drum sounds when the hawk appears wit ha rabbit. – Nigerian Proverbs

The dying man is not saved by medicine. – Nigerian Proverbs

The earth is not an inheritance of our fathers, nor one for our sons. – Nigerian Proverbs

The earth moves at different speeds depending on who you are. – Nigerian Proverbs

The elders of a community are the voice of God. – Nigerian Proverbs

The elephant and the tiger do not go hunting on the same pasture. – Nigerian Proverbs

The elephant’s tracks cover the camel’s tracks. – Nigerian Proverbs

The eye of a crow boiled at the new moon brings good luck for the New Year. – Nigerian Proverbs

The family is like the forest. If you are outside, it is dense; if you are inside, you see that each tree has its own position. – Nigerian Proverbs

The fire that burns a royal palace only enhances its splendor. – Nigerian Proverbs

The fish that can see that its water is getting shallower, cannot be stranded. – Nigerian Proverbs

The fly that has no one to advise it follows the corpse into the grave. – Nigerian Proverbs

The fowl perspires, but the feathers do not allow us to see the perspiration. – Nigerian Proverbs

The frog does not jump in the daytime without reason. – Nigerian Proverbs

The frog does not tire in the water. – Nigerian Proverbs

The glow-works light the nights, but more so the night that their mother prepares porridge. – Nigerian Proverbs

The gods may still send a gentle breeze when they want to bless us. – Nigerian Proverbs

The gods only hear one wish at a time, and nothing more. – Nigerian Proverbs

The habit of thinking is the habit of gaining strength. – Nigerian Proverbs

The habits that a child forms at his or her home will determine how they behave in their marriages. – Nigerian Proverbs

The hand assists the foot, but the foot cannot do the same. – Nigerian Proverbs

The head could not have got to where it is now if it did not give. – Nigerian Proverbs

The head of your neighbor is a kingdom and his heart a wood. – Nigerian Proverbs

The heap of yams you will reap depends upon the number of mounds you have plowed. – Nigerian Proverbs

The heart is not a knee, it does not bend. – Nigerian Proverbs

The hen with baby chicks doesn’t swallow the worm. – Nigerian Proverbs

The house roof fights the rain, but he who is sheltered ignores it. – Nigerian Proverbs

The house sweeper’s buttock is never at one direction. – Nigerian Proverbs

The hunger that has hope for its satisfaction does not kill. – Nigerian Proverbs

The hunter does not rub himself in oil and lie by the fire to sleep. – Nigerian Proverbs

The king who shuts his eyes during famine in the land will soon see ancestors – Nigerian Proverbs

The king’s ambassador is without sin. – Nigerian Proverbs

The leech that does not let go even when it is filled, dies on the dry land. – Nigerian Proverbs

The lion basks in the rays of the giraffes sun. – Nigerian Proverbs

The lion’s power lies in our fear of him. – Nigerian Proverbs

The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree said he would praise himself if no one else did. – Nigerian Proverbs

The man being carried does not realize how far away the town really is. – Nigerian Proverbs

The man that won’t marry a woman with other admirers won’t marry a woman at all. – Nigerian Proverbs

The man who is honored, has first honored himself. – Nigerian Proverbs

The man who remembers others, remembers also his creator. – Nigerian Proverbs

The mouth that eats pepper is the one that the pepper influences. – Nigerian Proverbs

The one-eyed man thanks God only when he sees a man blind in both eyes. – Nigerian Proverbs

The one being carried does not realize how far away the town is. – Nigerian Proverbs

The one on whose head we would break a coconut never stands still. – Nigerian Proverbs

The only insurance against fire is to have two houses. – Nigerian Proverbs

The owl is the wisest of all birds because the more it sees, the less it talks. – Nigerian Proverbs

The ox will die but its harness remains. – Nigerian Proverbs

The pillar of the world is hope. – Nigerian Proverbs

The quarrel that doesn’t concern you is pleasant to hear about. – Nigerian Proverbs

The rat cannot call the cat to account. – Nigerian Proverbs

There is no elephant that complains about the weight of its trunk. No elephant is burdened by the weight of its tusks. – Nigerian Proverbs

There is no god like the throat: it takes sacrifices daily. – Nigerian Proverbs

The Rhinoceros never dances with the monkey. – Nigerian Proverbs

The river may dry up but she keeps her name. – Nigerian Proverbs

The roaring lion kills no prey. – Nigerian Proverbs
The same sun that melts wax is also capable of hardening clay. – Nigerian Proverbs

The shepherd of a herd of toads must be very patient with his rod. – Nigerian Proverbs

The spider that knows what it will gain sits waiting patiently in its web. The praying mantis is never tired waiting all day. – Nigerian Proverbs

The spirit that keeps one going when one has no choice of what else to do must not be mistaken for valor. – Nigerian Proverbs

The stars shine brightest when the moon is gone. – Nigerian Proverbs

The stone in the water does not know how hot the hill is, parched by the sun. – Nigerian Proverbs

The thirsty fig sits waiting patiently, waiting for the arrival of the rains. – Nigerian Proverbs

The tree that cannot shed its old leaves in the dry season, cannot survive the period of drought. – Nigerian Proverbs

The truth passes through fire and does not burn. – Nigerian Proverbs

The turtle does not suffer when running. – Nigerian Proverbs

The weak warrior wearing sandals overcomes the brave with a thorn in his foot. – Nigerian Proverbs

The well gives, but the bucket refuses. – Nigerian Proverbs

The whip hits at the legs, not the guilt. – Nigerian Proverbs

The wind effects leaves, while violence men. – Nigerian Proverbs

The woman is cold water that kills you; deep water that you drown in. – Nigerian Proverbs

They are the gods themselves that white-wash the fruits of the pumpkins. – Nigerian Proverbs

The youth walks faster than the elderly but the elderly knows the road. – Nigerian Proverbs

Those who are carrying elephants home on their heads, need not use their toes to dig up crickets on the way. – Nigerian Proverbs

Those who derive fun watching lunatics, ought to have one as a child or relation to know the pains of it. – Nigerian Proverbs

Those who do not listen to the voice of the elderly are like trees without roots. – Nigerian Proverbs

Thoughts and dreams are the foundation of our being. – Nigerian Proverbs

Time destroys all things. – Nigerian Proverbs
To do one’s duty is to eat the prized fruit of honor. – Nigerian Proverbs

To eat from the same pot with another man, is to take an oath of perpetual friendship with him. – Nigerian Proverbs

To go means, ‘let’s go together!’ – Nigerian Proverbs

To have no enemies is equivalent to wealth. – Nigerian Proverbs

Two footsteps do not make a path. – Nigerian Proverbs

Two men quarreling do not share the same seat on a canoe. – Nigerian Proverbs

Two raindrops do not make a pool. – Nigerian Proverbs

Ugliness with a good character is better than beauty. – Nigerian Proverbs

Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters. – Nigerian Proverbs

Until lions have their own historians, accounts of the hunt will always celebrate the hunter. – Nigerian Proverbs

Voluntary work is better than slavery. – Nigerian Proverbs

Walk under a fresh tree, the dry one will break. – Nigerian Proverbs

Warm water never forgets that it was once cold. – Nigerian Proverbs

Water may cover the footprint on the ground but it does not cover the words of the mouth. – Nigerian Proverbs

We are what our thinking makes us. – Nigerian Proverbs

We can not choose who our relatives should be, even though we may come to like some better than others. – Nigerian Proverbs

We do not use our bare feet to search for hidden thorns which we have seen in day time. – Nigerian Proverbs

We live by hope, but a reed never becomes an Iroko tree by dreaming. – Nigerian Proverbs

What affects the nose must also affect the eyes that must weep for it. – Nigerian Proverbs

What an old man sees while lying down, a young man can never see even when he climbs up in a tree. – Nigerian Proverbs

What a prostitute earns she calls presents from her husband’s friends. – Nigerian Proverbs

What is Past is Prologue. – Nigerian Proverbs

What is sensible today may be derangement at another time. – Nigerian Proverbs

What the child says, he has heard at home. – Nigerian Proverbs

What you do in black hair you will eat in white hair. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a dying man cries, it is not because of where he is going which he knows nothing about, but because of what he wishes he would have done in the world he is leaving behind. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a face is sullen it remains there to be seen on its owner. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a fire starts from the shrine, no precaution can be possible. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a fowl gets to a new town, it stands on one leg until it knows that it is a town where people stand on their two legs. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a man finds that he was wrong to have refused to eat, he should leave his anger and play a harp to call for harmony. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a man loses his prestige, he does not regain it by going to where he is not known. – Nigerian Proverbs

When an elephant falls, meat is sure to be surplus for those who follow the hunter. – Nigerian Proverbs

When an only kolanut is presented with love, it carries with it more value than might otherwise be associated with a whole pod of several kolanuts. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a palm-branch reaches its height, it gives way for a fresh one to grow. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a person regrets endlessly, he gets to pay more for what he regrets. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a ripe fruit sees an honest man, it drops. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a sickle is drawn, it in turn draws the tree to which it is hooked. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a soup is unpalatable, and the paste of the pounded yam that goes with it is not smooth, that is the time to know a man who loves to eat pounded yam. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a woman cannot have good palm-nuts to give her rich oil, she still has to maintain decency in order to remain one of those that sell good quality oil. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a woman has ten children, there is nothing that happens in the night that she does not know about. – Nigerian Proverbs

When a woman prepares a dish which others find unpalatable, she says that she prepared it to suit her own taste. – Nigerian Proverbs

Whenever you give, be sure of getting over 10 times. – Nigerian Proverbs

When it is the turn of a man to become the head of a village, he does not need to diviner to tell him that he is destined to rule. – Nigerian Proverbs

When mother cow is cropping grass, her young one watches her mouth. – Nigerian Proverbs

When one is in trouble, one remembers God. – Nigerian Proverbs

When one is taking a chicken from its roost, the hen is bound to attack with at least its claws. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the axe entered the forest, the trees said “look, the handle is one of us”. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the elderly ones in a house travel, the younger ones quickly grow in experience. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the face is washed, you finish at the chin. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the laborer is praised, his cutlass begins to cut more keenly. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the mice laugh at the cat, there is a hole nearby. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the mouse laughs at the cat there is a hole nearby. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the music changes, so does the dance. – Nigerian Proverbs
When the next house is on fire, ’tis high time to look to your own. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the right hand washes the left hand and the left hand washes the right hand, both hands become clean. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the roots of a tree begin to decay, it spreads death to the branches. – Nigerian Proverbs

When the teeth fall off, the nose is sure to collapse. – Nigerian Proverbs

When will the goat be strong enough to kill a leopard. – Nigerian Proverbs

When you are eating with the devil, you must use a long spoon. – Nigerian Proverbs

When you are sick you promise a goat, but when you are well again make do with a chicken. – Nigerian Proverbs

When you cook a guinea fowl, the partridge gets a headache. – Nigerian Proverbs

Where a river flows, there is abundance. – Nigerian Proverbs

Where hands are needed , words and letters are useless. – Nigerian Proverbs

Where there is a hippopotamus, be careful when passing with a pirogue. – Nigerian Proverbs

Where you fall, you should know that it is God who pushed you. – Nigerian Proverbs

Who does not know the path should ask. – Nigerian Proverbs

Whoever is patient with a cowrie shell will one day have thousands of them. – Nigerian Proverbs

Whoever says ‘let’s fight’ does not know who will be victorious. – Nigerian Proverbs

Who says the oasis in the desert is happy because of its hidden spring of water? – Nigerian Proverbs

Who takes a hut, also takes the rats and cockroaches. – Nigerian Proverbs

With a little seed of imagination you can grow a field full of hope – Nigerian Proverbs

Without history, no life. – Nigerian Proverbs

Without knowing a person we must not hate him. – Nigerian Proverbs

Without knowing a way thoroughly at day time, never attempt to pass it at night. – Nigerian Proverbs

Without retaliation, evils would one day become extinct from the world. – Nigerian Proverbs

Words can kill before arms. – Nigerian Proverbs

Words are sweet but they can never replace food. – Nigerian Proverbs

You can never know when a chicken sweats because of their feathers. – Nigerian Proverbs

You cannot compare the living with the dead. – Nigerian Proverbs

You cannot roast corn with two eyes. – Nigerian Proverbs

You cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. – Nigerian Proverbs

You can’t jump from one tree to another but you can from one man to another. – Nigerian Proverbs

You can’t use your hand to force the sun to set. – Nigerian Proverbs

You do not beat a drum with one finger. – Nigerian Proverbs

You do not look for a black sheep at night. – Nigerian Proverbs

You do not need a big stick to break a cock’s head. – Nigerian Proverbs

You know who you love, but you can’t know who loves you. – Nigerian Proverbs

Your own rags are better than another’s gown. – Nigerian Proverbs


Nigerian Proverbs

Nigerian Proverbs

Nigerian Proverbs and Saying With Meanings

White fowl with beautiful feathers. 
Meaning: This proverb tells about either thing or person that is good for nothing. A good for nothing person or thing. It is a famous African proverb. It is commonly used when people talk about a beautiful woman with an evil character.

Turtles carry their homes around on their backs out of the pure fear of tomorrow.
Meaning: This may easily mean that rainy days come from time to time and it’s better to have everything you need prepared for such an occasion.

Look for a dark goat first in the daytime because you may not find it at night.
Meaning: You should always order your goals and follow them before it is too late to accomplish them.

Today’s newspaper becomes a trash wrap tomorrow.
Meaning: It’s as clear as that: nothing lasts forever in its initial shape. Even if you are a king today, you can wake up and be a beggar tomorrow. Appreciate what you have every given day.

A snake can only give birth to long things.
Meaning: The meaning of this saying is that all children are like their parents and all deeds are like their doer. A snake can never give birth to another animal and he who’s son of his parents will be like them.

The day I need a wife, the market is filled with mad people
Meaning: When you want something, you will never get it. It is a widely used proverb depicting bad luck.

You can’t make food out of fine words.
Meaning: This is bare truth: talking, no matter how pleasant and fine, can’t turn into something material. You can talk a lot about food but you will stay hungry unless you take some real food

When a man makes a fence, you will know his level of wisdom
Meaning: Your knowledge always reveals in your activities.

A fowl that’s disobedient learns obedience in a cooking pot.
Meaning: This is about the life’s lessons. Almost all the rebellious, disobedient and daring ones are cut short by some life situations that teaches them humbleness. Often, it happens too late…

A fowl does not forget who trim his feathers during the raining season
Meaning: A person will never forget help rendered to him for the duration of hard times. Raining season in Africa has always been a difficult period for fowls since it is tough for them to hunt for food while their feathers keep growing.

He who’s short is not always a child.
Meaning: This saying obviously means that there’s no use sticking to the very first impression of a person. It’s better to find out more and then to compose an opinion. Literally, it means that things often appear something they really are not

What an elderly person sees sitting down, a child cannot see even if he climbs a tree.
Meaning: This proverb is very common among mothers. They never fail to let this Nigerian proverb roll off their tongues. The meaning of this proverb borders around wisdom and what it really means is a child does not see or understand things the way a more experienced elder would and therefore struggle to make wise decisions.

You can’s cook yams with your anger, however hot it is.
Meaning: This saying speaks about the constructive approach to everything. Your emotions can be tough and they can grab you but you need to remember that your anger, sadness, jealousy or offense are not able to build anything useful.

A man who marries a beautiful woman usually marries troubles.
Meaning: It’s often believed that a beautiful wife can cause a man a lot of problems. Everybody around want her and the poor husband dies of jealousy knowing no rest or peace

An old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb
Meaning: This proverb means that your mind will judge you when you are guilty in some crime, and it is being said now.

Even if a goat frowns, it will be taken to the marketplace and sold.
Meaning: The hidden meaning of this saying is in the fact that if something is predestined to happen, it will happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. If you need to pass exams at school, you will have to pass them, however painful it would seem to you.

No matter how much your anger boils, it can’t cook yam.
Meaning: Anger is a wasteful and deadly emotion. A lot of people allow anger to consume them, as opposed to finding ways to move forward and that is where this funny Nigerian proverb comes to the play and it is the truth, no matter how much your anger boils, it cannot cook yam, meaning nothing beneficial will become of it.

He who goes to sleep with an itchy anus wakes up with smelly hands.
Meaning: Many may not know the meaning, but this proverb is talking about procrastination. You can put off your duties as much as you want, when tomorrow comes, they will still be there. A problem will persist until it is solved.

Even if the goat frowns, it won’t stop it from being sold in the market.
Meaning: This Nigerian proverb is a funny African proverb as well. Can you tell when a goat is frowning? No matter what the goat does, it will still be sold in the market, meaning, what will be will be. Do not force it or do the unthinkable because nothing will change the outcome.

Trouble dey sleep yanga go wake am.
Meaning: This is by far one of the funniest Nigerian proverbs and it is best said in Pigin English. In English the proverb translates to “trouble was sleeping, and pride woke it up.” The proverbs simple urges you to humble yourself, though used as medicine after death, it is said as advice for future purposes just as you ask someone to let sleeping dogs lie. When you see trouble humble yourself, if you allow pride to becloud you, you will surely wake conflict up. This proverb is so relevant, legendary Afrobeat pioneer, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, sang it in a song.

A chick that will grow into a rooster can be spotted the very day it hatches
Meaning: There is the sign to every situation where it tends to at the early stages if you look judgmentally.

Lion no fit born goat.
Meaning: You know it is a Nigerian proverb when the only and best way to explain it is with another proverb. The saying that lion no fit born goat is Pigin English which translates to a lion cannot give birth to a goat. This ultimately means that the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Who you are is who you will give birth to. The proverb can be used as a form of praise or condemnation, it all depends on the situation. The child will always be a chip off the old block.

A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam, which his mother puts into his hand
Meaning: No matter what it is, your inheritance will never kill you.

The disobedient fowl obeys in a pot of soup.
Meaning: Disobedience will not take you far, it will only teach you a bitter lesson and this is what the proverb says. Disobedience leads to trouble or a life cut sure, therefore, you must always be humble. You may seem to have gotten off the hook for stubbornness and disobedience, the repercussions will always come back to bite you and those repercussions could be grave and beyond humbling. Look at the disobedient fowl, it now obeys in the pot of soup.

Send your child where he wants to go, and you will see his pace
Meaning: Passion must always drive our actions.

If you are not a good dancer, then keep on sitting down.
Meaning: What can be clearer than this? If you can’t do something well enough, there’s no use trying to do this, not even starting to do this. In reality, there can not only be no result of such actions but also a certain harm

It’s not fishing if you don’t have a net, it’s simply bathing.
Meaning: The meaning of this proverb is clear enough. You should not start doing anything if you don’t have tools because it will be a waste of time and nothing more

Afẹfẹ ti fẹ a ti ri idi adiyẹ
Meaning: This Nigerian proverb is best said in Yoruba language. The next best way to say it is in Pigin English when it is translated to “when wind blow, fowl bumbum go open”. However, it is said it all translates to the same thing which means “The wind has blown, the buttocks of the fowl will be revealed”. The proverb simply means that no secret remains hidden as circumstances just as strong as the wind will reveal them. The proverb is best used when the following are exposed, a cheat, serial liar, impersonator, pretender and so on.

What an elder saw while sitting, a youth could not see it standing
Meaning: Elder people always have more knowledge and wisdom than the young people.

A person with one eye doesn’t thank the Lord until they meet a blind one.
Meaning: This proverb clearly means that people don’t normally appreciate what they have until they face a much tougher situation than the one they are currently in. It’s possible to be thankful even for having one eye but people understand it only when they see someone who has even less.

No matter how many push-ups the lizard does, it will never be as muscular as the alligator.
Meaning: The proverb may sound funny, but it is the gospel truth. No matter how many push-ups the lizard does, it will never be as muscular as the alligator. The Nigerian proverb simple means that you never be who or what you are not, no matter how hard you try. You can try every possible method available, who you are is who you are.

A ripe fruit will drop when it notices an honest person.
Meaning: The secret meaning of this one is in the belief that an honest person can get everything by their honesty and other dignities. Even fruits will drop in front of them. At the same time, there can be another clarification: something like, if you are decent and worthy, the luck will go into your hands by itself.

To break a palm-knell nut for a fowl
Meaning: This proverb is used when a person grieves in vain for something.

If you sell eggs at a market, you should never be the one who starts a fighting.
Meaning: The intricate meaning of this proverb is the following: whatever you are scheming can turn against you and ruin everything you have. Just like an egg seller can be beaten by his own eggs, you can be beaten with your own weapon and lose it in the end.

There is no smoke without fire.
Meaning: This proverb refers to actions, reactions and effects usually in conflict. Something must be the cause a result just as smoke is a result of a fire. In life when things happen there must be a root cause. The proverb simple establishes that no action is random, something must have triggered it.

However hard a lizard would do press up, it will never have an alligator’s chest.
Meaning: This is one of the funniest proverbs from Nigeria and it means a very simple truth: you will never be who you are not, no matter how hard you try.

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