Owe YORUBA: 110+ proverbs and their meaning
The Yorubas are one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, alongside the Igbos and Hausas. They dominate the country’s western area and are found in all of the six states (Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Lagos and Ondo) in the zone.
Apart from Nigeria, the Yorubas are also found in Togo, Benin Republic, and Brazil.
The Yoruba culture is a beautiful one, like other cultures, they have proverbs and idioms that applies to every situation, while some of it may be funny they however carry strong meanings.
In this post we have been able to gather 150 proverbs and their meaning, they are listed below;
1. Kosi eni to ma gun ęşin ti o ní ju ìpàkó, Bí kò fę ju ìpàkó, ęşin tí ó ngùn á ję kojū
Meaning: Your behavior towards your counterparts, is inferred by your importance in life.
2. Bi eegun nla ba ni ohun o ri gonto gonto na a ni ohun o ri
Meaning: Less significant men would not give respect to a man who doesn’t regard them.
3. Lati kekere lati petan iroko to ba d’agba tan enu onika mo
Meaning: To groom a child successfully, discipline has to start from a very young age.
4. Oun ti agbalagba ri lori i joko, omo kekere ole ri lori iduro
Translation: An aged person can constantly see things a youthful person can’t.
5. Uyi wo ba agbe oun wa kai, we le gbe ila du o ka koko
Meaning: You get what you ploww.
6. Gbo gbo alangba lo d’anu dele, a o mo eyi tinu nrun
Meaning: Things may look the exact from the exterior, but you can’t tell what’s going on inside of them all.
7. I gi soso o ya a ghonen ‘ju, a to ke iye e ti ho
Meaning: To be foretold, is to be forearmed.
8. Ibe ese luse, oen yo gbe jake oun o se l’use
Meaning: Anyone who perseveres to the climax, would get rewarded
9. Oen ma nena’e do fi ghon n’onen, uya a a je pa
Meaning: Anyone who wants not to help themself, but depend on others, would suffer
10. Iyen wu mi Feyi wuen, oun e m’omaiye meji jeun ototo i
Meaning: Every human has a characteristic that makes them distinct.
11. Oun pele, oyo obi napo; ohun lile yo uda n’ako
Meaning: The word is a two-edged sword.
12. Dilejo ba a ma ejo nebi e ni i pe noiho ikonle
Meaning: If you acknowledge full commitment, you have attempted to put things straight, and you may be bestowed compassion.
13. Dilu be e don panen panen, a ka jo ni melo melo
Meaning: Stay off from performing things with significant outcomes.
14. Bi eyan ba a soko s’oja, o le lo ba ia l’onen
Meaning: Stay out of performing things with severe outcomes.
15. Oni buuk’ e ka koolo bi s’upekun da le da ma
Meaning: Appearance can be betraying
16. Oju ya a bonen t’ale e e m’owuo kutu s’ipen
Meaning: It takes timely planing and preparedness to achieve at an investment.
17. Ewu nbe loko longę, longę fun ara rę ewu ni
Meaning: You should be very thorough, when it comes to things that have confirmed to be harmful.
18. Oen enogun adoado ee gbayinyan win
Meaning: You should avert things that induce an adverse consequence on oneself.
19. Aja eje ogungun ya gbe ko ghon ouon
Meaning: Whatever is assigned to someone, is anticipated to be taken good care of.
20. Kole si agba l loja, ki ori omo titun o wo
Meaning: You have to conduct maturely, to avoid bad reputation.
21. Ooun paoko soja oun oja paoko si
Meaning: One who provides would also collect.
22. Tabá so òkò sójà ará ilé eni ní bá
Meaning: Be critical of what you do to others, as things you do might also impact you.
23. Omiyi iaya mon ee san gbonen ee
Meaning: You’d certainly achieve whatever you have been fated.
24. Oso siko du ka, o wo si ko du see
Meaning: The dilemma seems unsolvable.
25. Anpe gbẹ́nàgbẹ́nà ẹyẹ àkókó ń yọjú
Meaning: Avoid worrying too highly of yourself.
26. Die die je ma naja o siwin ku
Meaning: There should be some restriction, as thing should not be magnified.
27. Diedie nimú ẹlẹ́dẹ̀ẹ́ fi ń wọgbà
Meaning: Small dangers should be dealt with before getting out of hands.
28. Adiye funfun komọ ara rẹ̀lágbà
Meaning: Respect yourself.
29. Apeko to jęun, ki ję ibaję
Meaning: It pays to expend more moment specializing in a reliable outcome, than scrambling to accept an inadequate outcome.
30. Ile oba tojo, ewa lobusi
Meaning: Adversity has its benefits.
31. Ile la tin ko eso rode
Meaning: One’s behaviour is a introspection of their environment.
32. Ileọba tojoẹwà ló bùsi
Meaning: Adversity has its benefits.
33. Obekìí gbéinú àgbà mì
Meaning: You must be able to keep words private.
34. Ajo je o we yon
Meaning: There’s a lot of pleasure in working jointly.
35. Sesale oun e je Seike i
Meaning: Benevolence gives a continual feeling.
36. Aja ole gbagbe l’oilo owuo
Meaning: It’s a nice feat to exhibit gratitude.
37. Ojoole igbad’e gbo i
Meaning: He who doesn’’t labor shouldn’t dine.
38. Ni suru fun wa’a keneun i
Meaning: Having tolerance can help carry out any assignment.
39. Igberaga lon siwaju iparun
Meaning: Pride comes before a fall.
40. Koomo e kole fun enisimi
Meaning: Train your ward to deter them from giving your issue.
41. Dena enawo to gba e
Meaning: Cut your clothe according to your length.
42. Ee moiho Adewole
Meaning: A crowned individual isn’t humiliated.
43. Litonen eeh’oi osan da m’aipan
Meaning: An important individual should try to assist his relations.
44. Aa e wowo di lotu e m a le gbe un
Meaning: One must admit to their duties.
45. Ee doda maja, sugbon aja i gb’uha o so o i
Meaning: Close people would occasionally have differences, and they should understand how to settle disagreements among themselves.
46. Omiyi iaya amon e san gb’onen e
Meaning: God’s time is constantly precise.
47. Esin e da onen da ma ton gun
Meaning: Never surrender.
48. Oleyo jikakaki oba, o ku boon ti a fon
Meaning: It’s only a question of time before a culprit is hooked.
49. Inu ikoko dudi ni eko fifun ti jade i
Meaning: A book should not be assessed by its cover.
50. Onukan je nukan pawo ma
Meaning A greedy individual.
51. Isiro l’oko dido
Meaning estimation is the champion of bleeping
52. Aseju nirun aya, irun abe tito
Meaning pubic hair is sufficient
53. Moja mosa laa mo akinkanju loju ogun meaning restraint is a reasonable part of valour.
54. Iya ni otun iya ni osi, toju o ba fo, a ko ma wo bai bai ni
Meaning suffering here and there would certainly generate a shattered personility.
55. Oroyi sosi nilenu o buyo si. Iso ose ponla, iyo ose tu danu
Meaning one is in a situation to decide between 2 circumstances by evaluating the distinctions and demerits.
56. A tari ajanaku nkin seru omode
Meaning a stance of valour is not for naive intellects.
57. Ajekeni ana omoku neni, tani o mope aje ana lo pa omo je
Meaning there was a warning yesterday and disaster hit today, who doesn’t know that its the threatener of yesterday that is accountable for the disaster.
58. Igigogoro magun miloju, latokere laati wo
Meaning one avoids threat at the first phase.
59. Ninu odo adagun ni alakan ti le fo epo, t’odo ba di agadangba, a gbe alakan lo
Meaning one can brag only when the circumstance of things permits it.
60. Ejawo ninu apon tio yo, elogbomi’ila kana meaning quit the stale and attempt something different.
61. Enitobama muobo akoko se bi lagido
Meaning to grab a monkey, you must do like a monkey.
62. Omituntun ti ru, eja tuntun ti wonu e
Meaning its a fresh season, a fresh period.
63. Ki tan lara were koma ku “HOI”
Meaning even after recovering, a man formerly mad would regardless shout “HOI” once in a spell.
64. Enitoba ma ba esu jeun sibi e agun
Meaning you require a big spoon to eat with the devil.
65. Fi ori ti fi oriti lomu ki ori agba pa
Meaning long persistence is what generates aged maturity.
66. Ori leja fi la ibu ja
It is head fish utilizes to swim in the water.
67. A kin fi oju o loju shewo ka jare
one does not achieve by giving his affairs to somebody else
68. Sonn Laarin Aje Nii Munii Pekoro
urgencies makes one cut corners
69. Aja to ba fe sonu on gbo fere ode
An individual who is shown the toth but decides to get lost
70. Ojo to ro lo pe eye le ati adiye papo
some situations bring a clash of persons
71. Pan sa o fura, pan sa ja, Aja ofura, aja jin! onile ti ko ba fura, ole lomako
You need to be cautious not to fall into harm
72. Asoro iyanro ni o pa elenpe isaju ti o ni igba wuwo ju awo lo
Select your words carefully so as not to be misinterpreted
73. Agbagba to je ese’bi e pe arayin jo
To tell stakeholders the need to take care of a crisis arising from their earlier conclusions
74. Bi egungun nla ba so wipe oun ko ri ejounto, ejounto naa ko ri egungun nla
Respect begat respect
75. tu ito s’oke, f’oju Gabar
Be very angry
76. Mo nle eku si o; o n le ejo si mi
77. T’owo omo re bo aso
To curb one’s excesses
78. Fi ori ejo/oka ho imu
Playing with a serious issue
79. Fi ina si orule sun
80. Fi aake k’ori
81. a ja’di apere
an inefficient venture
82. Ye igi fun
83. be ijo Maori
do your bit
84. Agba ofifo
85. fi enu fe ara bi abebe
86. fi enu ho ara
a foolish person
87. kan idin ninu iyo
surprising terrible event
88. fi idi fo igba
disperse the issue beyond reconciliation
89. fi idi pa igba
Refusing to vacate when expected
90. fi enu ko
entangle self with vulnerable statements.
91. gbe gun esin aayan
92. s’obe s’elu
93. fi ori j’ona, gbo oorun ara e
To overstep one’s bound
94. wo aago alaago se ise
Imitating somebody footsteps blindly
95. fami lete, kii n puto si e
Get me angry and I’ll be foul-mouthed against you
96. Amuni buni eran Ibiye
To be slighted
97. A pe ko to Jeun, Kii n jeun Ibaje
The patient person enjoys best
98. Ta lo mo Okolo e l’Oyo
To tell someone they are unknown
99. Ma gbe mi more
Don’t deceive me
100. T’aa ba tori isu j’epo, aa tori epo j’esu
To carry action for the sake of another
101. Bu omisuru mu
102. Omi lo danu, agbe ko’do
A form of consolation, especially when a woman had a stillborn
103. Akineni ni mosan kiama mu kikan
To be fully represented in an issue.
104. Agbon nse, oyin na nse, beesini ojo oloko ree kondu-kondu
when people involved in an issue are all claiming to be innocence despite the evidence are glaring.
105. Ko s’eni ti f’obe to’nu je’su:
When something wrong happens everyone play innocence.
106. Melo, melo laaso ninu oja, die n’iso oniru, die n’iso ologiri, eni ba so ni’so alaso, esinsin a boo
Do what you have to do now
107. Aye laa jogun ore, boba ku tan, ogun ko seje
Do it when you still have time
108. kaka ki eku ma je sese,afi she awadanu ni
Not accepting defeat
109. Oun tin tan leegun odun ti n mu omo alaagba wa fowo rakara jeko
There is an end to everything
110. Teni ni teni , b’apon sun isu a bu fu aguntan re
It is yours
111. melo ni eera to wo wipe aran nyo oun lenu
An upcoming person complaining about responsibilities
112. Ile ti a ba fi ito mo, iri ni yo wo
Avoid cutting corners
113. Olowo o ni gba arodan ki iwofa lo oun agun mate.
It is not possible for two captains to be on a ship
114. A kìí bá ara eni tan kí á fara eni nítan ya
Don’t abuse the privileges given to you
115. Abuni nje abuni, afinihan nje afinihan, ewo tun lewo ara ibadan ti nlo lojude ogunmola
A joke that could put someone else in trouble
116. Ikunpa alagemo tonyole nrin, kambelete opolo ton gbe are re jale
Take life with caution
117. Orí tí yóó gbeni ní gbé aláwo ‘re ko ni.
your destiny is in your hands
118. Ile la ti n ko eso rode
charity begins at home
119. Eni tí ó n ko orin tí kò dùn, o ṣa nfeti ara e gbo
Be careful of your actions
120. Lapalapa ni ibere ete, ki eniti o ba ni ifo lehin orun kiyesi aara e
Respond to warning signs early