Ale pou ou, tounen pou mwen.
Going is for you, returning for me. (My turn will come.)
Arenyen gen wit pat, si l’ pedi yon, sa pa anpeche l’ mache.
The spider has 8 legs, if it loses one that doesn’t prevent it from walking.
Avan chwal te gen maleng, mouch te viv.
Before horses had sores, flies lived. (Freeloaders have always existed.)
Avan ou monte bwa, gade si ou ka desann li. Before you climb a tree, look to see if you can climb down. (Make sure you know what you’re getting into.)
Bef pa janm bouke pote kon li. A cow never tires of caring her horns. (You never get tired of caring for your own.)
Bef plizye met mouri grangou A cow of many masters dies of hunger When no one is assigned responsibility, the job doesn’t get done
Bitay fè ou vanse. A stumble moves you forward. We learn from our mistakes. A mistake is better than doing nothing.
Bourik chaje pa kanpe. A loaded donkey doesn’t stand still. (No rest for the busy.)
Byen san swe pa profite. Possessions without sweat don’t profit. (People do not appreciate things they have not earned.)
Chen grangou pa kouche. The hungry dog doesn’t lie down. Hunger makes one restless.
Devan pòt tounen dèyè kay. The front door becomes the back of the house. Things change. Situations may become reversed.
Fe respe ou; m’a fe pa m’. Show your respect; I’ll show mine. (Respect must be mutual.)
Fòk ou bat tanbou a pou tande son l. You must beat the drum to hear its sound. (You must talk to people to know what they’re like.)
Fok ou mache pou ou we kote lari a kwen. You must walk to see where the street has corners. (One must live to see what life holds in store.)
Fòse moun fè sa yo pa vle fè se tankou esye plen lanmè ak wòch. Forcing people to do what they don’t want to do is like trying to fill the ocean with rocks. (You can’t force people to go against their will.)
Gason konn bouke, men pa fanm. Men get tired, but not women. (Woman’s work never ends.)
Kay koule twonpe solèy, men li pa twonpe lapli. A leaky roof fools then sun but it doesn’t fool the rain. (One’s faults will be exposed sooner or later.)
Kote chwal jete ou, la ou pase sou li anko. Where the horse throws you, there you throw your leg over it again. (Don’t give up. Get right back on the horse.)
Kote y’ap plimen kòdenn, poul pa ri. Where they pluck turkeys, chickens do not laugh.
Koulèv ki konn lagè [laje?] gòj li, se li ki vale krapo. The snake that knows the width of his throat is the one that swallows frogs. (A man who knows his abilities doesn’t take on more than he can handle.)
Larivyè anpeche ou janbe men li pa anpeche ou tounen. The river prevents you from crossing but it does not prevent you from turning back. (You can always quit.)
le gen lanmou, gen doule when there is love, there is pain
Le labouyi cho, ou manje l’a rebo. When the pudding is hot, you eat it from the edge. (Go slowly with an angry person.)
Machandiz ofri pa gen pri. Merchandise offered has no price. (Everything is negotiable.)
Machann lèt se rizièz. The milk vendor is a sly one. (You can’t tell if she has watered down the milk. You can’t tell what she is up to.)
Mande chemen pa di pèdi pou sa. Asking the way doesn’t mean one is lost. (Asking for advice is not shameful.)
Manje kwit pa gen met, Cooked food has no owner. (Once cooked, food belongs to everyone.)
Manti met kouri jan l’ kouri; laverite ap kenbe l’. A lie may run as it may but the truth will catch it. (The truth will be known.)
Men ale, men vini fe zanmi dire. A hand going out, a hand coming back makes a friendship last. (Helping each other makes a freindship last.)
Met do pa grate do. The owner of the back doesn’t scratch his own back. (You always need someone to help you.)
Moun ki kenbe kiye bwa se li ki konnen si li cho The person who holds the wooden spoon is the one who knows if it’s hot. (Don’t question first hand knowledge.)
Mwen pat manje pwa, mwen pa ka poupou pwa. I didn’t eat beans, I can’t poop beans. (You can’t make something out of nothing.)
Nen pran kou; je kouri dlo. The nose takes the blow; the eyes run with water. (When misfortune strikes one member of the family, the others also suffer.)
Ou nan ka. You’re in a case. (You’re in trouble.)
Pa janm mete chat veye bè. Never put a cat to watch over the butter. Don’t ask a person to watch over something he may want.
Pawol nan vant pa pouri trip. Words in the stomach don’t rot the intestines. (Not saying something doesn’t hurt you.)
Pito ou travay pase ou mande. Better to work than to beg. Any work is better than having to beg.
Pou fe kob la fe mwa a, lave li, bwe dlo li. In order to make the money last the month, wash it and drink its water. (Stretch the money to make it last.)
Prekosyon to pa lachte Precautions are not cowardly
Premye so pa so.. The first fall is no fall. (The first failure is not defeat; keep trying.)
Pye chat dous men zong li move. The cat’s foot is soft but it’s claws are mean. (A warning when things appear better than they are.)
Sa foumi genyen, se sa l’bay pitit li. What the ant gives her baby is what she has. (A mother gives her children what she can.)
Sa ki pa bon pou makout, li pa bon pou ralfo nanplis. What’s not good for the big sack, it’s not good for the little sack either. (Don’t give to the poor what you wouldn’t want for yourself.)
Sak vid pa kanpe. An empty sack cannot stand. (Hunger makes one weak.)
Sa nou bay pòv se Bondye nou prete l. What we give to the poor we lend to God. (A good deed never goes unblessed.)
Sa ou pa ta renmen wè nan latrin ou, ou wè l nan lasal ou. What you wouldn’t want to see in your latrine, you see in your living room. (Family members cause the greatest hurts.)
Se apre batay ou konte blese. It’s after the battle that you count the wounded. (Don’t give up until the end.)
Se gou bouyon ki mete lang deyò. It is the taste of the broth that brings out the tongue. (Good food leads to good conversation.)
Se je pa we ke pa tounen. What the eye doesn’t see, doesn’t move the heart.
Se kouto sel ki konnen sa ki nan ke yanm. Only the knife knows what is in the heart of the yam. (Difficult times reveal a person’s true character.)
Se le koulev mouri ou we longe li. It’s when the snake dies that you see its length. (A person’s guard is not let down until after death.)
Se le ou nan bezwen, ou konn ki moun ki zanmi ou. It’s when you are in need that you know your freinds. (A friend in need is a friend indeed.)
Senye, Si n’ap viv jodi a, malgre siklon, granngou, ak maladi, nou dwe di, ” Mesi Senye. Nou genle la pou yon bi” Lord, If we are alive today in spite of hurricanes, hunger and sickness, we should say, “Thank you Lord. We must be here for a purpose.
Sepantye fouye tou, zandolit kouche ladan l’. The woodpecker drills a hole and the lizard sleeps in it.
Se pa ou ki di ou verite. It is your own who tells you the truth. (Others will flatter you, but those who love you will tell you the truth.)
Se sou chemiz blanch yo wè tach. It’s on the white shirt that a stain is seen. (Those of the best reputation are the most susceptible to scandal.)
Se tè ki bat ki bwe lapli. It’s plowed earth that drinks the rain. (You must be prepared for opportunity.)
Si bèf te konn fòs yo, majoral pa ta lanse yo. If cows knew their strength, they would not be butchered. You are stronger than you realize. You have more power than you have been led to believe.
Si ou renmen gren andan, ou dwe renmen po a tou. If you like the nut, you ought to like the shell. (Don’t complain about working for something you want.)
Sòt pa touye, men li fè ou swe. Stupid doesn’t kill you, but it makes you sweat. (When you don’t do something right the first time you will have to do it again.)
Tanbou fouye nan bwa, se lakay li vin bat. A drum is hallowed out in the woods but comes home to be beaten. (Any secret will eventually be made known.)
Ti chen gen fos devan kay met li. A little dog is really brave in front of his master’s house.
Timoun se riches malere Children are the riches of the poor.
Tout kod gen de bout. Every rope has two ends. (Every dispute has two sides.)
Tout tan tet pa koupe, ou pa di li p’ap bliye chapo. As long as he doesn’t lose his head, don’t say he won’t forget his hat. (Anything is still possible.)
Twòp grate kreve kwi. Too much scrubbing wears a hole in the wooden bowl. Too much work wears one out.
Wè sa m fè; pa fè sa m fè. See what I do; don’t do what I do. (Do as I say. not as I do. Don’t follow my example.)
Zwazo pose sou tout branch. Birds land on all branches. (Your turn will come.)
-Piti piti, zwazo fè nich. Little by little birds build their nests.
-Nan pwem lapriyè ki pa gen amen. There is no prayer without its amen.
-Sa’k rive kodenn nan, ka rive kòk la. What happened to the turkey, can happen to the rooster.
-Sak vid pa kanpe. An empty sack doesn’t stand.
-Manman chen pa mode pitit li jouk nan zo. Female dog never bites its’ puppies to the bones.
-Sonje lapli ki leve mayi ou la. Remember the rain that grew you your corn.
-Anpil men chay pa lou. Many hands make a load lighter.
-Avan ou ri moun bwete, gad jan ou mache. Before laughing at those who limp, check the way you walk.
-Bab pi long, men sousi pi vye. Beard is longer, but eyebrows are older.
-Chemen bezwen pa janm long. The road to need is never too long.
-Depi ou nan labatwa, fok san vole sou ou. If you are in the slaughter house, blood will get on you.
-Dèyè mòn gen mòn. Behind the mountains, there are mountains.
-Evite miyò pase mande padon. To avoid is better than to ask for forgiveness.
-Jan ou vini, se jan yo resevwa ou. The way you come, is the way they will receive you.
Lè ou wè yon vye zo sou chimen ou, sonje li t gen chè sou li. When you see an old bone on your path, remember that it had skin on it once.
lagè avèti pa touye kokobe. A warning of war doesn’t kill the handicaps.
Pitit tig se tig. The offspring of the tiger, are tigers.
Lè chat pa la, rat pran kay. When the cat is not there, the rat take over the house.
Zanmi lwen se lajan sere, zanmi pre se kouto de bò. Friends who are far away are money saved; friends who are close by are double edged knives.
Timoun fronte fè bab nan simityè. Rude kids grow beards in the cemetery.
Twou manti pa fon. The hole of lie, is not too deep.
Malere pa bwòdè. The poor is not picky.
Avan chen manje zo, li mezire machwè’l. Before the dog eats bones, he measures his jaw.
File kouto, veye dwèt ou. Sharpen the knife, watch out for your fingers.
Padon pa geri maleng. Sorry doesn’t heal the scars.
Pa konnen pa al lajistis. The “I don’t know” don’t go to court.
Makak Sou pa dòmi douvan pòt chen. A drunk monkey doesn’t sleep in front of a dog house.
Bay piti pa chich. To give little is not being cheap.
Avèk pasyans w’ap wè tete foumi. With patience, you will see an ant’s breast.
Bouch granmoun santi, pawòl nan bouch li pa santi. The mouth of an old person might stink, but the words of that mouth don’t stink.
Wont pi lou pase sak sèl. Shame is heavier than a bag of salt.
Toujou gen retay kay tayè. There’s always leftovers at the tailor’s house.
Sòt pa touye, men li fè ou swe. Stupidities doesn’t kill, but makes you sweat.
Nan pwen metye ki pa nouri mèt li. There’s no craft that will not feed the craftsman.
Maladi pa konn vanyan. Illness doesn’t know the brave.
Lang pa lanmè, men li ka neye ou. The tongue is not the sea, but it can drown you.
Kouto pa janm grate manch li. Knife can never scratch its handle.
Chen gen kat pye, li pa kouri nan kat chimen. Dogs has four legs, but can’t run in four paths at the same time.
Fanm pou yon tan, manman pou toutan. Wife for a time, mother for all time.
Grangou se mizè, vant plen se traka. Hunger is misery, a full stomach is trouble.
Kay koule twonpe solèy, men li pa ka twonpe lapli. A leaking house (roof) fool the sun, but cannot fool the rain.
-Kote yo plimen kodenn, poul pa ri. Where they pluck turkeys, chicken do not laugh.
-Lè pye bwa jwe ak van, li pèdi fèy li. When the tree play with the wind, it loses its leaves.
-Madichon ou bay bèlmè ou, se li’k rive manman ou. The curse that you give to your step mom, will happen to your mother.
-Malè pa gen klaksonn. Misfortune has no horn.
-Menm nan lanfè gen moun pa. Even in hell there are people from your clan.
-Moun ki bezwen deyò, chache chemen pòt. He who must go out, search for the door.
-Pa pèdi founo pou yon grenn pen. Don’t loose the oven for a bread.
-Pòt tè pa goumen ak pòt fè. A clay pot must not wrestle with the iron pot.
-Sa ou plante se li ou rekolte. What you sow is what you will harvest.
-Se soulye ki konn si chosèt gen twou. It is the shoe that knows if the sock has a hole.
-Sim te konnen toujou dèyè. “If I had known” is always behind.
-Wòch nan dlo pa konn doulè wòch nan solèy. Stones in water don’t know the pain of stones in the sun.
-Zafè kabrit pa zafè mouton. The goat’s business is not the sheep’s business.
Bwa pi wo di li wè, grenn pwomenen di li we pase’l. The high tree says he sees far, the traveling seed says he see further.
Zèb ou pa vle leve nan jaden ou, leve devan pot ou. Weeds you don’t want to grow in your garden, grow in your front door.
Se pa lè moun ap neye pou montre’l naje. Don’t wait for someone to drown before showing them how to swim.
Merite pa mande. The “deserved” don’t have to ask.
Promès se dèt. Promises are debts.
Lè bab kamarad ou pran dife, mete pa ou a la tranp. When your friend’s beard is caught on fire, put yours in water.
Chita pa bay. Sitting doesn’t give.
Kreyon bondye pa gen gòm God’s pencil doesn’t have an eraser.
Sa’k nan vant ou se li ki pa ou. What is in your stomach, is what’s yours.
Mache sou pinga’w pou pa pile si ou te konnen. Walk on caution so you don’t step on “if I had known.”
Kòfrefò pa swiv kòbya. Treasure coffer doesn’t follow casket.
Bèl fanm se traka. Beautiful women are troubles.
Se nan Chimen jennen yo kenbe chwal malen. It is in narrow path, they catch a maligned horse.
Byen pre pa lakay. very close is not home yet.
Bèf san ke, Bondye pouse mouch pou li. The ox with no tail, God clears out the flies for it.
Bouch manje tout manje, li pa pale tout pawòl. Mouth eats all kind of food, but doesn’t speak every word.
Gwo vant pa gwòs, gwo tèt pa lespri. A big belly doesn’t mean pregnancy, a big head doesn’t mean intelligence.
Tete pa janm twò lou pou met li. Breasts are never too heavy for their owners.
Renmen tout fè ou pèdi tout. Loving everything makes you loose everything.
Move zèb leve tou patou. Bad weeds grow everywhere.
Mwen pa manje pwa, mwen pap kaka pwa. I did not eat beans, I cannot poop beans.
Bourik fè pitit pou do’l ka poze. The donkey makes offsprings, so its’ back may rest.
Chak chen leve pye’l pise jan’l konnen. Every dog lifts its legs and pees its own way.
Djòl fè dèt, bouda peye. The mouth makes debt, the behind pays back.
Fanm se kajou, plis li vye, plis li bon. Woman is like mahogany: The older she is, the better she is.
Jan chat mache se pa konsa li kenbe rat. The way the cat walks is not the way it chases rats.
Si gen pwoveb ki manke, fe nou konnen.
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