This page is for proverbs from any of the languages of India.
There are 17 official languages and many more dialects (almost 500)
in India. Note that proverbs in Kannada can be copy-pasted into
Baraha(free transliteration software) to see them in its actual script. See List
of Indian Languages at Wikipedia
See also: Bengali proverbs, Hindi proverbs,
proverbs, Punjabi proverbs, Kashmiri
proverbs, Malayalam proverbs, Tamil proverbs,
proverbs, Kannada proverbs
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
- आलीया भोगासी, असावे सादर.(Marathi)
- Aada theriyadhava koodam konal endralam
- ஆட தெரியாதவள் கூடல் கோணல் என்றாளாம்
- ஆட தெரியாதவன் மேடை கோணல் என்றானாம்
- Literal: The woman who did not know how to dance called the
stage as not proper.
- Translation: Bad workman blame their tools.
- Hindi : नाच न जाने आंगन टेढ़ा।
- Hindi Transliteration : Naach naa jaane aangan
- Oriya Equivalent: Chali Na jani batara
dosa.(Some show defects of road, who don't know how to
- Telugu Translation : Aadaleka madhela vodu
- Aasa laavu peeka sannam (Telugu)
- ఆశ లావు పీక సన్నం (Telugu)
- Literal: Fat desire, thin throat.
- Translation:To desire for more than one what one can
- English Equivalent: To bite more than one can chew.
- Ati shahaana tyaacha bail rikaama
- आग रामेश्वरी आणि बंब सोमेश्वरी - Aag Rameshwari Aanee
Bamb Someshwari (Marathi)
- Literal: Fire in Rameshwar (city at southern tip of India) and
firefighting in Someshwar (city in North India)
- Translation: The problem is one thing and the solution is given
for something else.
- Bengali equivalent: ছেলে কটা? না পুড়িয়ে খাবো। Chhele koTa? na
- আগে রূপ নেহারি, পরে গুণ বিচারি। - age rUp nehari, pore
guN bichari. (Bengali)
- Literal: Looks attracts first, quality qualifies later.
- Ikkare Nilkumbol Akkare Pachha. (Malayalam
- Literal: The other side will be green when you are in this
- Translation: The grass is always greener on the other
- Telugu equivalent: Poriginti pullakoora ruchi; doorapu kondalu
- অতি সন্ন্যাসীতে গাজন নষ্ট। - Ati sannyasite gajon
unthon se mor marvane(hindi)
- Literal: Too many cooks spoil the broth.
- Maithili equivalent: ज्यादे जोगी मठ उजाड़।
- Aanakaaryam Pareyumbol Aano htrChenakkaryam?
- Literal: When you are discussing about elephant don't talk
about yam matters.
- Translation: Do not bring up small issues during major
- ದುಡ್ಡೇ ದೊಡ್ಡಪ್ಪ
- In roman script: duDDE doDDappa (Kannada)
- Literal: Money by itself is like a goDfather.
- Translation: Money is everything in real/practical world.
- English equivalent: In God we trust, all others must pay
- Hindi Transliteration: paise hi sab kuch hai.
- आपनॊ गूरॊ गूरॊ,दोसरा के गूरॊ समाठॊ लॆ कॆ हूरॊ
- Literal: Boils on one's own body is considered as painful while
those on others are deemed painless.
- Translation: One can not understand and realise the pain of
- Telugu equivalent: eddu pundu kaaki ki noppa.
- Literal: Ox's wound is not painful to crow.
- आसमान से गिरे खजूर में अटके (Hindi)
- Literal: Fell from the sky, got stuck in a date palm.
- Translation: From the frying pan into the fire.
- Marathi equivalent: Aagitun fufaatyaat padane. आगीतून फुफाट्यात
- Telugu equivalent: Anna prasanannpude avakayi annam
- Literal: A child is not fed with pickled rice at the time of
- Anni vunna aaku anigi manigi vuntae aemi laeni aaku
yegiri yegiri padithi(Telugu)
- అన్ని వున్న ఆకు అణిగి మణిగి వుంటే ఏమీ లేని ఆకు ఎగిరి
- Literal: Fully served leaf (used to serve food) sticks to the
ground whereas empty leaf flies all over.
- Translation: Empty vessels make more noise.
- Bengali equivalent: খালি কলসি বাজে বেশী। khali kolsi baje
beSI. ;হাতি-ঘোড়া গেল তল, মশা বলে কতো জল? hati-ghORa gelo tol,
moSa bole kotO jol?
- Araante ammakku pranthu pitichaal kaanaan nalla
selu.. (Malayalam proverbs)
- Literal : If somebody's mother goes mad, it is a good
scene to watch
- Translation : It is always enjoyable to make fun of others
tragedy till it actually hits you.
- Bengali equivalent : পরের ছেলে পরমানন্দ যত উচ্ছন্নে যায়
তত আনন্দ। কি যাতনা বিষে বুঝিবে সে কিসে কভু আশীবিষে দংশেনি
- Bengali Transliteration : porer chhele poromanondo Joto
ucchhonne jay toto anondo ; ki Jatona biShe bujhibe se kise
kobhu aSIbiShe dongseni Jare?
- Aalasyam amrutham visham (Sanskrit)
- Best Chances will become Odds if you don't react in time
- तुम जियो हजारों साल,साल के दिन हो पचास हजार
- Literal: May you live a thousand years and may each year have a
fifty thousand days
- Translation: May you live a long life.
- Aalu ledu Choolu ledu koduku peru
ఆలు లేదు చూలు లేదు కొడుకు పేరు సోమలింగం
- Literal: You don't have a wife or conception yet but you have
named your son Somalingam.
- Translation: You are making plans without acquiring the
- Bengali equivalent: না বিইয়ে কানাইয়ের মা। na biiye kanaiyer
ma. ; গাছে কাঁঠাল গোঁফে তেল। gachhe ka^Thal, gO^fe tel.
- Hindi equivalent: सूत ना कपास, जुलाहों में लाठा-लाठी
- Literal Meaning : There is neither cotton nor thread, yet
weavers are fighting.
- English Transliteration : Soot naa kapaas, julaahon me
- Maithili equivalent: गाछ में कटहल, ठोर में तेल।
- Another Maithili equivalent: पानि में मछली, नौ टुक बखड़ा।
- अपना हीरा ना खोलिये बीच कुन्जडा - कबीर (Hindi)
- Meaning : One should not show his diamonds to a
- Translation:...neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their
- English Transliteration : Apnaa heera naa kholiye
beech kunjdaa haat - Kabir
अब पछताए होत क्या जब चिड़िया चुग गई खेत
- Literal: What is the use of crying when the birds ate the whole
- Translation: There is no use crying over something that has
- Telugu equivalent: Chethulu kalaka akulu pattukunnattu
- Sanskrit equivalent: गोतोस्यो सोचोन नास्ति (यथा कर्मो तथा
- অর্থই অনর্থের মূল। - Arthoi anorther mool.
- Literal: Money is the root cause of unhappiness.
- Aap bhalaa toe jag bhalaa. (Hindi)
- Literal: If you are noble you will find world noble.
- Hindi equivalent: Man changa toe kathuti may Ganga.
- Cheyadagina sathavunna cheyaalemonanna bhayamu
Bhayamu shakthivantha mainadhe, kani nammakamu antha kanna
shakthivantha mainadhi... Nammakamutho mundukellu vijayamu neethone
- Translation: You have guts to do the things, but due to fear
you are not willing to complete the things; accepting that fear is
more power, but confidence is more power than the fear, so please
move with confidence, then you will always get success.
- Ati parichayaat avadnya (Marathi)
- Literal: Excessive familiarity causes disrespect.
- Translation: Familiarity breeds contempt.
- Oriya equivalent: Ati Parichaye Gaurava Nasta.
Insert non-formatted text here
- बाजारात तूरी आणि भट भटनीला मारी Bajaraat Toori anee
bhat bhatnila maari (Marathi)
- Literal: Lentils are still in the market and the Brahmin is
beating his wife (for her failure to cook them properly).
- Translation: Fighting for hypothetical failure of things you
- Bengali equivalent: গরীবের ঘোড়া রোগ। gorIber
- बन्दर कभी गुलाटी मारना नहीं भूलता (Hindi)
- English equivalent: Old habbits die hard.
- ಬೆಕ್ಕು ಕಣ್ಣು ಮುಚ್ಚಿಕೊ೦ಡು ಹಾಲು ಕುಡಿದ೦ತೆ bekku kannu
muchchikondu haalu kudidante (Kannada)
- Literal: It is like a cat drinking milk with eyes closed
- Translation: Others can see through a misdeed despite
- Bengali equivalent: বকধার্মিক
bokdharrmik ; বেড়াল তপস্বী beRal
- Telugu equivalent: pilli kallu musukuni palu thaginattundi
- పిల్లి కళ్ళు మూసుకుని పాలు తాగినట్టుంది. (తెలుగు)
- bekkige chellata ilige prana sankata
- bellagiruvudella haalalla (Kannada)
- biriya hunda brahmana bikshe bedidananthe
- bEline eddu hola mEdre hEge? (Kannada)
- Literal: The fence itself grazed through the field.
- Translation: A fence is meant to stop cattle from grazing. What
if the fence is the culprit? This proverb comes from a skepticism
of those who break laws they are supposed to uphold.
- Bengali equivalent: সর্ষের মধ্যে ভূত sorrSher
- కంచే చేను మేసినట్టు... (తెలుగు)
- bhangi dEvarige henDaguDuka pUjari (Kannada)
- (For the God who is on dope you need a priest who is a
- The underlings are usually quite a match for the rogues in
power whom they serve.
- Bengali equivalent: যেমন কুকুর তেমন মুগুর
Jemon kukur temon mugur যেমনি বুনো ওল তেমনি বাঘা
তেঁতুল Jemoni bunO Ol temoni bagha te^tul.
- Maithili equivalent: पीठ तब तेना करियौ, जेना बहे वयार। Move
your back according to the wind.
- bhikshukaha bhikshuken drishtwa kukkurenwat
- Literal: Upon seeing another beggar (on his turf) the beggar
growls like a dog.
- Professional jealousy affects everybody including beggars.
- बंदर क्या जाने अदरक का स्वाद Bandar kya jaane
adark ka swaad (Hindi)
- Literal: What does a monkey know of the taste of ginger?
- Translation: Someone who can't understand can't appreciate
- English equivalent: Laying pearls before swine
- Bengali equivalent: চাষা কি জানে কর্পূরের
গুণChasa ki jane karpurer gun
- Kannada equivalent: Katthegenu gotthu Kasthuri vaasne (A donkey
would not know the scent of Kasthuri)
- Malayalam equivalent: Nallathe ariyo nayike
- Marathi equivalent: गाढवाला गुळाची चव काय
Gaadhavala gulaachi chav kay (A donkey cannot appreciate the taste
- Tamil equivalent : Kazhudaikku theriyuma karpoora vaasanai
(What does Donkey know about the smell of Camphor?).
- Telugu equivalent : Gadida kemi thelusu Gandapu vasana
(or) Pandi kemi thelusu panneru vasana.
- గాడిదకేం తెలుసు గంధపు వాసన? (లేదా)పందికేం తెలుసు పన్నీరు
- Bhains ke aage been bajana (Hindi)
- Bhens aagal bhaagvat(Gujarati)/ **
Literal: Reading Bhagvat Geeta (Hindu holy book) to a buffalo
(is a waste)
- Translation: Tailor your speech to your audience.
- Bengali equivalent: ফুটো পাত্রে জল ঢালা phuTO
patre jol Dhala
- Hindi equivalent: Bhains ke aage been bajaave, bhains khadi
paguraae (buffalo busily chews cud ignoring the flute being played
- Kannada equivalent : Katthe munde kindari baarisida haage
(playing musical instrument in front of a donkey).
- Kannada equivalent : koNana munde kinnuDi baarisida haage
(playing musical instrument in front of a buffalo).
- Malayalam equivalent: Poathinoadu vedham oadheettu karyam
- Tamil equivalent: Sevindan Kaadhil sangu
- Telugu equivalent: chavitodi mundu shankam oodinatlu (playing
flute to a deaf person).
- చెవిటివాడి ముందు శంఖం వూదినట్లు...
- Bhend ki khaal mein bhendiya
Literal: wolf wearing skin of sheep.
- Translation: Person who looks totaly different from his
original cunning personality.
- Chakkinu Vechatu Kokkinu Kondu. (Malayalam
- Trap made for some one, but got trapped someone else
- Bengali equivalent: কাগটা দেখে মারলে তীর, বকটা গেলো
- Chakkikotha chankaran. (Malayalam
- Made for each other.
- Bengali equivalent: ১)রাজযোটক;২)যেমন
দ্যাবা তেমনি দেবী ।
- chelige parupatya kotta haage (Kannada)
- (It is like giving authority to a scorpion).pEnuku pettanamistE
talaMtaa tega gorigiMdaTa(telugu)
- If the mean people get into positions of authority they cause a
great damage like a scorpion, which needs no reason to sting, would
work overtime if asked to do so.
- cheviti vaadi mundu sankham oodinattu
చెవిటి వాడి ముందు శంఖం వూదినట్టు (తెలుగు)
- (like blowing a conch in front of a deaf person)
- interpretation: doing a useless thing
Chadhuvukunna vani kanna sakalodu melu. (Telugu) Dhobi is better
than educated person. (English)
- chinte illadavanige santeyallU nidde (Kannada)
- (One without worries can doze off in a market place).
- Chinta sachina pulupu chavaledhu (Telugu)
చింత చచ్చినా పులుపు చావలేదు (తెలుగు)
- Literal Meaning: Even though the tamaring is dead, the sourness
is not dead
- Interpretation: Even though the person has lost, he hasn't lost
- chapti dhul ni jaroor pade (Gujarati)
- Interpretation1-Sometimes only a pinch of sand is all you
- Interpretation2-Sometimes you do need a pinch of sand too.
- Even insignifcant people have their importance at times.
- Bengali equivalent: তৃণ হতে হয় কার্য রাখিলে যতনে
- chorer mayer boro gola.(Bengali)[চোরের
মায়ের বড় গলা।
- somebody who is the culprit shouts louder.
- Chaar din ki chaandni phir andheri raat
- Literal: Dark nights will return after these few moonlit
- Translation: While rejoicing during good times one should not
forget that more trying times will also return. This is a natural
cycle of events in nature.
- Chupdi aur doe doe! (Hindi)
- Literal: Want two instead of one (slice of bread) and that too
smeared with butter!
- Translation: Asking for too much.
- Bengali equivalent: বসতে পেলে শুতে চায়।
- dUrada beTTa nuNNage (Kannada)
- Literal: Distant hill looks beautiful
- English equivalent: Grass is always greener on the other side
of the fence.
- Hindi equivalent: Door ke dhor suhaane (distant mountains look
- Marathi equivalent: Duroon dongar saajre (distant mountains
- Tamil equivalent: Ikkaraiku Akkarai pachai
- Telugu equivalent: Doorapu Kondalu Nunupu
- Malayalam equivalent: Ikkaraiku Akkara pacha
- Ek anaar, sau bimaar (Hindi)
- Literal: One pomegranate is all there is, and a hundred men are
sick trying to get it.
- Translation: There is a great demand for something in short
- Elaimayil kalvi, silaiyil ezhuthu (Tamil)
- Literal: Education in your childhood is like the letters in a
- Translation: What you study during your childhood will never be
- ettige jwara banthu andre yemmege bare
- etthu ErigeLeyitu, kONa nIrigeLeyitu.
- Literal: The ox pulled to the shore, the buffalo pulled towards
- Translation: Mismatched company of people could lead to a
disaster (this is a scenario of a cart pulled by an ox and a
buffalo which do not co-ordinate well and do what they please
leading to a disaster).
- etthu Iyitu andare koTTigege kaTTu andarante
- Literal: The ox has delivered, Tie up the calf in the pen.
- Translation: Those who agree to everything without using their
brains are made fun of in this way.
- একতাই বল। - Ekotai bal. (Bengali)
- Literal: Unity is strength.
- Telugu equivalent: Aikhamathyame mahaabalam
- ettu suraikkai kootukku uthavaathu
(Literal translation: A picture of a gourd (the vegetable) is
not useful to cook with) (Simple Book Knowledge will not help in
real life situations)
- Ellet ayi gai, aadat dam ke sath.(Hindi/Urdu)
- Misfortunes will come and go but habit will depart from ones
body along with the soul.
- English equivalent: Habits die hard.
- Gaadhava pudhe vaachli Geeta, Kaalcha gondhal baraa
hota. गाढवापुढे वाचली गीता, कालचा गोंधळ बरा होता
भैंस के आगे बीन बजाना (Hindi) Bhains ke aage been bajana (pretty
close in meaning to the above proverb)
- Literal: After reading the Bhagwad Geeta to a donkey,
yesterday's commotion seems more bearable.
- Translation: It's no use wasting wisdom on a fool who thinks
and acts like he is the only correct person in the world (he will
yell louder than ever, that his words are wiser, and make more
- Bengali equivalent: পুরোহিতে মন্ত্র পড়ে, পাঁঠার
- ganDa henDira jagaLa unDu malago thanaka
- Literal: The quarrel between a husband and wife lasts till they
eat and go to bed.
- Translation: Disagreements between people in love are forgotten
- gaNEshanannu mADalu hOgi avara appanna
- Literal: It is like trying to make an idol of Ganesh and ending
up with his father.
- Translation: A warning for the bunglers who create more trouble
than fixing them.
- Gachhe kanthal , gonfe tel গাছে কাঁঠাল, গোঁফে
- English equivalent: Make castles in air.
- గాలిలో మేడలు కట్టడం.....(తెలుగు)
Hindi : Hawaai quile banana.
- geddettina bAla hiDida hAge (Kannada)
- Literal: Holding the tail of the winning ox.
- Translation: Showing affiliation to a winner.
- English equivalent: Success has many fathers but failure is an
- Gehoo(n) ke saath ghun bhi pista hai. (Hindi)
- Literal: Bugs infesting the wheat get ground along with
- Translation: Watch the company you keep.
- Bengali equivalent: সৎসঙ্গে স্বর্গবাস, অসৎসঙ্গে
- giDavAgi baggaddu maravAgi baggIthe? (Kannada)
- Literal: If it does not bend as a sapling, will it when it is a
- మొక్కై వంగనిది మానై వంగునా? (తెలుగు)
- Translation: Those who have trouble following rules as young
will get worse when they get older.
- Bengali equivalent: কালে না নোয়ালে বাঁশ, বাঁশ করে
- gubbi mEle bramhAstravE? (Kannada)
- Literal: Using a Brahmaastra weapon on a sparrow? (Brahmaastra
is the ultimate weapon of destruction with nothing to counter it
except another Brahmaastra).
- Translation: Using more force than necessary can have
consequences beyond proportion.
- Bengali equivalent: মশা মারতে কামান দাগা।
- Telugu equivalent: Pichhuka pai Brahmaastram పిచ్చుకపై
- Ghar ka Jogi jogna, Aan gaon ka Siddh (Hindi)
- Literal: A wise man to the rest of the world, but a nobody at
- Translation: We do not value the the things that we already
- English equivalent: A prophet is never acclaimed at home.
- Bengali equivalent:১) গেঁয়ো যোগী ভিখ্ পায় না। ২) এ
পাড়ার মেধো, ও পাড়ার মধুসূদন।
- Hindi equivalent: Ghar ki murgi daal baraabar (chicken curry
made at home is deemed the same as a simple daal curry).
- Tamil equivalent: Ikkaraikku Akkarai pachchai (one's own wife
seems very ordinary).
- Malayalam equivalent: Muttethe Mullakku Manamilla (the jasmine
shrub in your front yard has no fragrance).
- Ghar ka bhedi lanka dhayey. (Hindi)
- Literal: A person who betrays his own, can bring down Lanka (a
very prosperous city in Hindu mythology)
- Translation: Beware of the insider, for he can bring down the
- Bengali equivalent: ঘরের শত্রু বিভীষণ।
- Ghaas ke dher may sui khojna. (Hindi)
- Literal: To search for a needle in haystack.
- Translation: A very difficult task.
- Bengali equivalent: খড়ের গাদায় সূঁচ
- Ghiste ghiste to patthar bhi gol ho jata hai.
- Literal: Even a stone gets rounded by constant rubbing.
- Translation: Hard work pays off.
- English equivalent: Practice makes perfect.
- Bengali equivalent: একবারে না পারিলে দেখো
- halliddAga kaDle illa; kaDle iddAga hallilla
- Literal: There are no nuts when one has teeth and there are no
teeth when there are nuts.
- Translation: It is frustrating that one is poor in youth when
the ability to enjoy is abundant but when one finally gets rich,
the faculties to enjoy are gone.
- Daat ahet tithe chane nahit, Chane ahet thithe daat
- ಹೋದ್ಯ್ ಪಿಶಾಚಿ ಅಂದರೆ ಬಂದೆ ಗವಾಕ್ಶಿ ಅಂತಂತೆ Hodhya pisachi
amdhare bamdhe gavakshili anthanthe
- Literal: Just when you thought a burning issue was resolved,
you see the very issue appearing in another form.
- hALUrige uLidavanE GouDa (Kannada)
- Literal: The last one remaining in a ruined village becomes the
- Translation: A dig at people in power at weak
- hanigUDidare haLLa; tenegUDidare batha
- Literal: Drops join to make a stream; ears combine to make a
- Translation: Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.
- Hindi equivalent: Boond boond se samandar hota hai.
- hADidde hADO kisubAyi dAsA (Kannada)
- Literal: Sing the same song again, you grin-mouthed
- Translation: A rude putdown of those who keep repeating the
- hAsige iddashTu kAlu chAchu (Kannada)
ಹಾಸಿಗೆ ಇದ್ದಷ್ಟು ಕಾಲು ಚಾಚು
- Literal: Stretch your legs only as far as the bed is.
- Translation: Live within your means.
- Hindi equivalent: Jitni lambi chaadar, utnay hee paa(n)v
- Oriya equivalent: Aaya dekhi byaya kara.(Check the income, then
prepare the expenditure.)
- Tamil equivalent: Viralukku thagundha veekkam venum.
- Haate mapi chakhande chala(Oriya)
- Literal: Measure a yard, but walk a step.
- English equivalent: Look before you leap.
- Tamil Equivalent: Aalam Ariyamal Kaalai vidadhey
- hettorige hegNa muddu, kUDidorige kOdaga muddu
- Literal: A bandicoot is lovely to his parents; a mule is pretty
to its mate.
- Translation: Love is blind.
- Telugu equivalent: Kaaki Pilla Kakiki Mudhau (baby crows are
loved by parent crow).
- కాకి పిల్ల కాకికి ముద్దు...
- hiriyaNNana chALi mane mandiigellA (Kannada)
- Literal: The elder brother’s habits are for all in the
- Translation: The underlings follow the leader, especially his
- hithala giDa maddalla (Kannada)
- Literal: The plant in the backyard is not a medicinal
- Translation: Familiarity breeds contempt.
- hoLe nIrige doNenAykana appaNe Eke? (Kannada)
- Literal: Who needs the approval of a city official for the
water from a stream?
- Translation: This is a rudimentary opposition to taxation and
control of things taken for granted in a village life.
- hosataralli agasa gONi etti etti ogeda.
(Kannada)**(When he was new, the washerman beat the jute
- People who are new on the job work eagerly and enthusiastically
until they find their way and slack off.Clothes were washed in
villages by Dhobis who took them to a lake, soaked them and bet the
hell out of them on a rock to rid of the dirt. The amount of
beating was inversely proportional to the value of the cloth. A
jute bag hardly deserved attention except by one who was new to the
- hosa vaidyanigintha haLe rOgine mElu (Kannada)
- Literal: An old patient is better than a new doctor.
- Translation: This stems from a suspicion of inexperienced and
untested people with education vis-a-vis wise, familiar and old
fellows of dubious qualifications.
- hoTTege hiTTilladiddarU juTTige mallige hUvu
- Literal: There is no food to eat but there is jasmine in the
crown (wearing jasmine in the hair is considered elegant for
- Translation: Dressing beyond one’s means is frowned upon as a
sign of vanity.
- Telugu equivalent:
Thinadaniki Thindi Mingadaniki
Methuku Ledhu, Meesalaku Sampenga nune (there is no food to eat,
but there are perfumed oils for moustache)
- తినడానికి తిండి లేదు, మీసాలకి సంపెంగ నూనె...
*huTTisida dEvaru hullu mEyisuttaneye?
(Kannada)**(Will the God who brought us to the world make
us graze on grass).
- This proverb mouths faith and optimism in the face of
- huchhu munDe maduveyalli unDavanE jaaNa
(Kannada)**(In the wedding of the mad widow one who has a
meal is the clever one).
- This earthy saying implies that one who manages to get by in a
wild and chaotic situation deserves compliments.
- A widow's wedding, that too if she is insane, is highly
improbable. Only a smart person can manage to find such a wedding
and even enjoy a meal there.
- hUvina jote nAru svarga sErithu. (Kannada)
- Literal: The string used to tie the flowers also reached
- Translation: Those who are in the company of the noble will
reap the benefits by association.
- iddaddu idda hAge hELidre, siddappanige siDilu
- Literal: When facts are said as they are, it was like the
striking of lightning for Siddappa.
- Translation: This is a dig at those who cannot take criticism
and throw tantrums.
- Hyderabad Naam Muraadi Upar Choona Nechai Khali (Urdu)
- (Hyderabadi favourite saying in appeareance very smart but from
inside bears nothing)
- Jal mein rehkar magar se bair karna theek nahin'
- Literal: It is not wise to live in water and be an enemy of the
- English equivalent: It is hard to live in Rome and strive
against the Pope.
- Jo garajte hain woh baraste nahin hain (Hindi)
- Literal: Clouds that thunder seldom rain.
- Translation: Those who make the most threats seldom do
- English equivalent: Barking dogs seldom bite.
- Tamil equivalent: Kuraikkum naai kadikkadhu.
- jana marulo jatre marulo (Kannada)
- Literal: Are people stupid or the crowd stupid?
- Translation: This proverb bemoans the irrational behavior of
normal people in large crowds.
- जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी ॥
- jananee janmabhoomischa swargaadapi gareeyasi.
- Literal: One's mother and homeland are greater than even
- biddarU mIse maNNAgalilla (Kannada)
- (Upon falling, he didn't bother as his moustache didn't get
- Moustache is a sign of pride. One who manages not to lose face
despite defeat gets such compliment.
- जिस की लाठी उस की भैंस ( Jis ki lathi usi ki bhains )
- Whoever owns the stick owns the buffalo
- It's always the powerful who gets lion's share
- English equivalent: Might is right
- Jo feere woh chare (Hindi)
- Wandering stock graze the most
- English equivalent: A rolling stone gathers more
- Jibe prem kare jei jon , seijon sebichhe Ishwar(Bengali).
- One who loves animals, he serves God too.
- Je jae Lankae , sei hoi Ravana(Bengali.).
- One who goes to Lanka (land of the devils), becomes Ravana(king
- जंगल में मोर नाचा किस ने देखा ? ( Jangal main mor
nacha, kisne dekha ) (Hindi)
- Literal: Who saw a peacock dance in the woods?
- Even a very good thing will have to be made public, to be
acclaimed by people.
- Janmile morite hobe, amarattya kothaey pabey?(Bengali)
- If you are born, you are to die, you can't be immmortal.
- जान है तो जहान है ( Jaan hai to Jahan Hai ) (Hindi)
- Literal: (if) there's life, then there's the world.
- Only if you are alive, things matter
- जले पर नमक छिड़कना ( Jale par namak chidakhna ) ( Hindi)
- Translation: To sprinkle salt on ones burn
To prick on ones problems and make them feel worse; to add
insult to injury
- " kehna modna nahin, dakka todna nahin
- means - Will never say NO, but still won't do anything at
- " Kaal Karai So aaj Kar, Aaj Karai so ab, Pal mein
Parlai Hoyegi, tab bahuri karega kab" (Hindi)
- The quotation means that whatever you want to do tomorrow, do
it today. And whatever you desire to do today, do it now because
nobody knows in this uncertain world what will happen in a
- Kaali agge toi (Punjabi)
- There will always be a ditch in front of a person in
- Kaiyila Kaasu Vayila Dosa (Chennai Tamil)
- Once you pay the money, you will receive the dosa a rice flour
- You will receive the benefits only after paying the due
- Kal irundhaal, naai illai. Naai irandhaal, kal illai.
- (When you have a rock in hand, usually there won't be a dog to
hit nearby. When there is a dog nearby, you usually won't have the
rock to hit it with.)
- When it takes 2 items to do an action, when you have one you
will have most likely misplaced the second item. Once you finally
find the second item, you will have lost the first.
There is a second meaning to this: A dog is sculptored on a
rock. If you look at that as a rock, you will not recognise the
dog. If you look at that object as a dog, the rock is not
recognised. This has huge philosophical content.
- Kannada: Halliddaga kadle illa, kadle iddaga Hallu
There is no nut when you have teeth, no teeth when you have
- Kallaik kaNdAl nAyaik kANum, NAyaik kaNdAl kallaik
- (When you see dog's figure in the rock you can't realise it's a
rock, when you see the rock you can't realise it's a dog (Dog's
- This is a more common form of the previous proverb, and is
easily misunderstood as "When there is a dog nearby, you usually
won't find a stone (to throw at it)." However what it really means
is that, if you look superficially, you fail to see the real
meaning. The proverb itself is a good example.
- Kaamale kaNNavanige kanDidella haLadhi. (Kannada)
- (One suffering from Jaundice, thinks that the world around him
- This proverb drives home the point that narrow minded people
never look at any issue holistically.
- काखेला कळसा आणी गावाला वळसा. (Marathi)
Thing next to you is searched everywhere (easily available thing
is searched around the world)
- कावळा बसायला आणी फांदी तुटायला एकच गाठ. (Marathi)
Literally- bird sat and branch broke- (apparently non related
events are correlated because of coincidence)
- Katrathu Kaimann aLavu, kallathathu ulaga aLavu
- (What you know is as big as the size of sand in your palm, what
you do not know is as big as the size of the universe)
- Mainly emphasizes the importance of humility, and an open mind.
Only when we realize the magnitude of our own ignorance, we remain
open to knowledge.
- Kai kesaraadare baai mosaru (Kannada)
- (You have to make your hands muddy to get curds to your mouth
(In relation to agriculture))
- English equivalent: Hard work reaps sweet success
- kAryavAsi katte kAlu (Kannada)
- (If you need a job to be done, be prepared to fall at the
of a donkey).
- Kudure kandre kaalu novvu. (Kannada)
- Your leg starts to ache when you see a horse
- When you see a useful resource/means , you feel lazy to do the
- Kumhar phooti me khata hai. (Hindi)
- Potter always eat out of a broken plate
- While serving others one tends to overlook his own needs
- keTTa mEle buddhi bantu, aTTa mEle ole uriyitu (Kannada)
- (Got wisdom after being ruined, the stove caught fire after the
cooking was done).
- In olden days the earthen stove (ole) used dried cowdung cakes
to burn and it was no mean task to get it going. The dawn of wisdom
after it is too late is often compared to the frustration with the
stove which was too slow in becoming functional.
- Khuda meherban tho gadha pehelwan (Hindi)
- (If god blesses a donkey it can become a wrestler).
- With grace of god even the most useless person can become
- konkaNa suthi mailArakke banda hAge (Kannada)
- (It is like circling Konkan to reach Mailar).
- Those who do even a simple thing in a roundabout manner deserve
- (Tamil equivalent: Thalaiyai suthi mookai thottathu pola.
Meaning - Taking the hand around the head to touch one's
- kOpadalli koyda mUgu shAntiyalli baruttadeye? (Kannada)
- (Will the nose cut in anger recover in calmness?)
- Rash acts done in anger lead to damages which cannot be
- (Tamil equivalent: Aathirakkaranukku buthi mattu: Meaning - An
angry person has less thinking power)
- kOthi kaige mANikya kotta hAge (Kannada)
- (It is like giving a gem to a monkey).
- When undeserving or unqualified people are given valuable tasks
such snide comments are made of them.
- Kurangu kaiyile poo malai (Tamil)
- Kurangande kayil poomala (Malayalam)
- (It is like giving a garland to a monkey).
- kOti tAnU keDOdalde vanAnU keDisitu (Kannada)
- (Not only did the monkey ruin himself, he also ruined the
- This warns one not to meddle with those who can bring down
their detractors with them. This proverb is a bit mischievous
because the reference is to a story in the Ramayana in which Hanuman sets fire to large parts of Lanka on
his mission to find Sita who was under house arrest. In fact he
succeeded in his mission to deliver a message of hope to her and
intimidate her abductor, Ravana. His tail was set on fire by Ravana for
which Hanuman paid back by torching his palaces.
- koTTaddu tanage; bachchiTTaddu pararige. (Kannada)
- (What you give away is yours and what you hide will go to
- The virtue of charity and the evil of greed are emphasized
- koTTavanu kOdangi, iskondavanu Irabhadra (Kannada)
- (The one who gave is a mule, one who got it is a winner).
- This proverb is in contrast to the above one. It suggests that
it is better to get the best deal under bad circumstances than
trying to be fair and patient. You may end up with nothing in the
- kumbaLakAyi kaLLa andre hegalu muTTi nODida. (Kannada)
- (When "Pumpkin thief!" was cried out, he touched his shoulder
- One with a guilty conscience needs no accuser.
- kumbAranige varusha; doNNege nimisha. (Kannada)
- (It is a year for the potter and it is a minute for the
- It is easier to destroy than to build.
- kuNiyalAradavaLu nela donku andaLante (Kannada)
- (One Who could not dance said that the ground was uneven).
- This is a dig on those who find excuses for their incompetence.
This proverb comes from a time when women of ill repute, supported
by the aristocracy, were expected to sing and dance to please their
- Eng: A bad workman blames his tools.
- kUsu huttOke munche kulAvi holisidaru (Kannada)
- (They got a cap stitched even before the baby was born).
- This is a reference to things done prematurely. This proverb
goes back to a time when infant mortality was very high and people
postponed getting things for children until they were born and were
in reasonable health. Clothes, toys etc. of children were a painful
reminder to the bereaved parents. It was even considered a bad omen
to prepare excessively for a child before its birth.
- Kaikku Ettinathu Vaaikku Ettala. (Tamil)
- kaige banda tuttu bAyige baralilla. (Kannada)
- (The food which came to the hand did not come to mouth).
- There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Here the
imagery is one of a child being fed by a mother who makes balls of
rice mixed with curry (tuttu). This is an intimate moment of great
joy and satisfaction for the child. It could lead to great
unhappiness if the ball did not reach the mouth.
- kaiyalli sharaNarthi, kankuLalli doNNe. (Kannada)
- (Hands are folded but there is a stick under the arms).
- This is a warning about those who speak softly but carry a big
stick to strike when you least expect.
- koopasta mandookamu. (Sanskrit)
- (A frog in a well).
- This is used to refer to narrow minded inviduals. According to
the stories, a frog living in a well thinks the well itself is the
- Kutte Kee Poonch ko pipe main daloge to bhi seedhi nahin hogi
- ( You cant straighten dog's tail by putting in a hose pipe
- This is to refer to the hard core people who don't change there
- (Tamil equivalent: Naai vaalai nimirtha mudiyathu)
- कामापुरता मामा आणि ताकापुरती आजी - Kama Poorta Mama Ani Taka
Poorti Aaji (Marathi)
- (Literal) Calls you uncle when he needs you, Calls you grandma
when he needs to borrow buttermilk
- (Translation)Selfish creature
- Kandhe pe bithaya to kaan main moota (Mumbaiya Hindi)
- You made him sit on your shoulder and he pisses in your
- English version: Give a camel an inch and he will take an
- (Tamil equivalent: Idathai koduthal madathai pidippadhu pola.
Meaning: Give a person place to stay for a while, and he claims
that the place belongs to him)
- Bengali equivalent: Boste dile sute chai ( Meaning: When you
give some one a space to sit, he will ask for a place to sleep
- Khakhra ni Khiskoli Sakar no swaad su jaane (Gujarati)
- A squirel who eats dried chapatis would not know the taste of
sugar (literal translation)
- Good things in life cannot be appreciated by someone who has
never experienced the good things.
- Kaala agare mulA chobeibA (Oriya)
- To munch a raddish before a deaf person.
- This is to refer to a futile exercise.
- Kusuma parashe pata nistare (Oriya)
- Literal Meaning: The thread (as in a garland) gets salvation in
touch with the flower.
- A novice can get recognition in the company of noble
- (Tamil equivalent: Poovodu serndha naarum manakkum: The thread
of the garland also smells sweet)
- koto dhaane koto chal (Bengali)
- to know what it costs to get the result.
- Kana thile suna nahin; Suna thile kana nahi (Oriya)
- It takes a long time to be prosporous and when you are
prospored you are not in a position to enjoy.
- Kansari gharar para, kula dhaun dhaun dara (Oriya)
- You can not scare a shrewd person with small provocation.
- Khali kalsi baaje beshi.(Bengali)
- An empty vessel makes much noise.
- Ksudhar moto khadyo nai, ghoomer moto bichhana nai.(Bengali)
- There is no other food as Hunger, there is no other bed as
- Kakkakkum than kunju pon kunju (MalayalamMalayalam
- Literal: Even for a crow, its own baby is a treasure
- Translation: Own creations will be invaluable, even though it
may not be so for others
- kare koi bahre koi.
- Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on
- લક્ષ્મી ચાદલો કરવા આવે ત્યારે મોં ધોવા ન જવાય.
- Laxmi chaandlo karva aave tyaarey mo dhova na javay
- Literally: When the goddess of wealth comes to give you a
blessing, you should not go to wash your face
- English equivalent: When opportunity knocks one's door, one
should grab it
kaialavu manasu kadal alavu kanavu(tamil) english
equivalent : more dreams in a small heart.
- Leek leek sab he chalen, leek he chale kapoot
Leek chod teen he, chalen shayer singh sapoot.
- Execept for a poet, a lion and a worthy child, every one
including a worthless child always trail a beaten track.
- Laathon ke bhoot baaton se nahi maante.
Translation : There are people who only understand the
language of beating and not of talking.
- maduve mADi nODu, mane katti nODu. (Kannada)
- (Perform a wedding and see, build a house and see).
- Telugu equivalent:Illu katti choodu,Pelli chesi choodu.
- ఇల్లు కట్టి చూడు, పెళ్ళి చేసి చూడు..
- When worthwhile but difficult acts are done, it is gratifying
in the end.
- maduveyAgO gunDa endare nInE nanna henDathi anda. (Kannada)
- (I said “Get married, Gunda”. He said :”then you are my
- This is a warning about fellows who latch on to those who try
to help them.
- mADOdu durAchAra, mane munde brindAvana. (Kannada)
- (What they do is evil but they have holy herbs in the front
- This is said of people whose outward behavior is impeccable but
actions are despicable. Having a little garden of the Thulasi plant
in front of a house was considered a sign of piety and
- maLLi maLLi manchanke eShtu kaalu andre; mooru mahtondu
- manege benki biddAga bhavi tODidaru (Kannada)
- (When the house caught fire they began digging a well).
- Too little, too late.
- maneyalli ili, beediyali huli(Kannada)
- He is a rat at home, but when he comes to the street he becomes
- Telugu equivalent:Intlo pilli,bayata puli.
- ఇంట్లో పిల్లి వీధిలో పులి...
- mantrakkinta uguLe jasti (Kannada)
- (There is more spit than the chant).
- This is said of people whose actions do not match their
- mAtu ballavanige jagaLavilla, UTa ballavanige rOgavilla
- (One who knows how to talk will have no fights, one who knows
how to eat will have no sickness).
- The meaning is obvious here.
- Mukilla Rajyathu Murimukkan Rajavu (Malayalam)Malayalam
- (In the land of people with no nose, the half-nose man is the
- Similar to "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is
king". Referring that among unscholared people, a half-knowledged
man is a scholar.
- Telugu equivalent: Yey vriksham leni voorloe, aamudha chettu
maha vriksham (In a treeless town, the castor tree is treated a
- Tamil equivalent: Aaalai Illa oorukku Illuppai Poo Sakkarai (In
a town without a (sugar) factory, the Illuppai flower is treated as
- mUrthi chikkadAdru kIrthi doDDadu (Kannada)
- (Though the idol is small the fame is big).
- This is a reference to self effacing people with
accomplishments. Incidentally people with accomplishments are
expected to be self effacing. If not, they may be termed
- muttathe mullaikku manamilla. (Malayalam)Malayalam
- (The jasmine flowers in the backyard do not have any
- That is, the things that people already possess do not hold any
charm and people fall for the delusion that what others possess is
somehow more attractive.
- mare bina swarg nahi milta (Hindi)
- (without death, there can be no heaven)
- Great things can be achieved only with great effort
- mor na inda chitarva na pade. (Gujarati)
- (You don't have to go and paint the eggs of peacocks.)
- It suggests that great art,culture,skills comes in blood. As
peacock is beautiful, so are its eggs, you need not to paint them
separately to make them beautifull.
- Mokkai vanganidi maanai vanguna(Telugu): It is easier to bend a
sapling than a tree. Same as "Better to nip in the bud" in
మొక్కై వంగనిది మానై వంగునా? (తెలుగు)
- Aindhil vizhaiyathathu aimbathil vizhaiyuma(Tamil)
- (If it doesn't bend as a small plant, will it if it grows
- (Stem that doesn't grom at the age of 5(of a plant) will not
grow at the age of 50)(Tamil)
- Mutraththe mullaiku manamilla(Malayalam)Malayalam
- Literal: There is no smell in Jasmine growing in one's front
- Meaning people dont recognize the talent seen in
- Naach na jaane aangan tedha. (Hindi) नाच न जाने आँगन
टेढ़ा. ناچ نہ جانے آنگن ٹیڑھا
- Literal: A person who cannot dance claims that the stage is
- English equivalent: A bad workman blames his tools.
- Bengali equivalent: Naachte na janle uthan baeka.
- Marathi equivalent: Naachataa yeInaa aangan waakade.
- Tamil equivalent: Aada teriyada tevadiya, mutram konal.
- Nhaate dhote reh gaye muh te makhi bai gaye (Punjabi)
- English Translation: Got nothing after so much hullaabaloo
- Nahin mamu tharu kana mamu bhala (Oriya)
- It Is better to have something than nothing.
- navilannu nODi kembuta gari kedarisaitu (Kannada)
- (Seeing the peacock, the rooster spread his wings).
- Those who try to imitate people of talent and beauty, not
having either of them as their own, are ridiculed like this.
- nAyi bogaLidare dEvalOka hALe? (Kannada)
- (If the dog barks will it ruin the heaven?)
- This is said of spiteful people who speak ill of others.
- nAyi bAla Donku (Kannada)
- (The tail of a dog is always crooked).
- You cannot convince some people no matter what you do.
- ના મામો કરતાં ક1ણો મામો સારો Na maamo karta kano maamo
- Literal: Having an uncle with one eye is better than having no
- English equivalent: Something is better than nothing.
- Nirai kudam Neerthalumbathu! (Thamizh/Tamil)
- Literal: Experts Dont Advertise themselves!
- English equivalent: Empty vessel makes the greatest sound.
- Malayalam equivalent: Nirakudam Thulumbilla
- Nai na dekhunu langalA (Oriya)
- Literal: Getting ready to bathe even before seeing the
- Translation: This is to refer to undue haste in anticipation of
a future event.
- NaanA Muni NaanA mata (Oriya)
- Literal: Different sages have different opinions.
- English equivalent: Doctors Differ.
- Sanskrit equivalent: Munde munde matir-bhinnaha|
- Nanhe se woh nanhe rahe jese nani dub, ghas fis sabh
udh gaya dub dub ki khun (Hindi)
- Literal: Strong winds may blow the tree down, but the grass
will still stand
- Translation: It's better to be small than big.
- English equivalent: The taller you are, the harder you
- Naak ka baal hona (Hindi)
- Hindi: Bahut pyaara hona.
- English equivalent: Very close to heart
- Odi Odi maruLAda kUchu bhaTTa (Kannada)
- (The fellow became stupid by reading and reading).
- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- ollada ganDanige mosaralli kallu (Kannada)
- (The disagreeable husband finds stones in curds).
- Vendatha pondatti kai pattal kutram kaal pattal kutram
- (An unwanted wife is always found culpable by her hubby.
- Faults are thick when the love is thin. The wife who is loved
by her husband is complimented for her cooking. When faults are
found which are clearly untrue the marriage is truly on the
- Onnukil Aashante nenjath, allenkil Kallarikku
purath. (Malayalam)Malayalam proverbs
- (During the traditional Kerala Martial arts practice, the
trainee is either flinging himself at the chest of the instructor
or landing outside the arena
- Dabbling in extremes is not helpful
- Oont ke Muh mein Jeera. (Hindi)
- Literal: A (small) cumin seed in a camel's mouth.
- Translation: Too small an amount for a very large need.
- Malayalam equivalent: Aana Vayil Ambazhanga (a small fruit in
an elephant's mouth).
- Omtea Kolshear udok (Konkani)
- Translation: Poring water with pot upside down
- Meaning: Poring water with pot upside down results in no water
going in the pot, i.e. the entire work is wasted
- Paise dee Sale nahin, Sier khurkan dee vale
nahin - (Punjabi)
- means - There is no business at all, but still very busy
- Palam Kadakkuvolam "Narayana Narayana" Palam Kadannal
"Korayana Korayana". (Malayalam)Malayalam
- Praise the God upto gain, then after ....
- पाद्राला पावट्याचे निमित्त.(Marathi)
Literally—chronic farter blames the beans—lazy man finds an easy
- Pinnem Chankaran Thengel. (Malayalam)Malayalam
- Still repeating the same type of mistakes
- Pratyakshya ko praman ki aavashykta nahi (Hindi)/ Hath
kangan ko aarsee kya (Hindi/Urdu)
- Translation: Facts don't require proof to stand correct/ You do
not require a mirror to see the bracelet
- Things that are visible do not need proof for their
- pakkinti pulla koora ruchi (Telugu)
పక్కింటి పుల్ల కూర రుచి... (తెలుగు)
- translation: the neighbour's curry even if sour is tasty
- interpretaton: things that are not ours always appear
- pApi samudra hokkrU moLakAludda nIru (Kannada)
- (If a sinner enters the ocean the water only comes up to the
- This is said of those unlucky fellows for whom nothing goes
- Pattikku muzhuvan thenga kittiyathu
- (Like a dog that gets a whole coconut.)
- Used in the event of someone getting something that they cannot
- Papi chellunnidam paathaalam. (Malayalam)Malayalam
- (It's a hell wherever a sinner goes)
- Said of those who seem to have all the bad luck.
- Pen chollu kettavanu peruvazhi
- (He who listens to a woman will end up on the main street--that
is, he will be reduced to begging in the street)
- Said to any man who is so enamoured of a woman that he does not
bother to use his own judgement, but blindly agrees to her
- poriginti pulla kurra ruchi(telugu)
- the fields on the other side look greener
- pagole kina bole, chagole kina khay(Bengali)
- no one can predict behaviours of a mad man.
- pazhaga pazhaga paalum pulikkum (Tamil)
- Even milk becomes sour if you drink too much
- Familiarity breeds contempt
- Phoolon ki ruth hai
Ab unki marzi
Aaen na aaen (Hyderabadi sher)
- rAmeshwarakke hOdaru shanIshwarana kATa tappalilla.
- Raameswaram vellina shaneeswaram tappaledu. (Telugu)
- రామేశ్వరం పోయినా శనీశ్వరం తప్పలేదు. (తెలుగు)
- (Even after going to Rameshvaram (a holy place) the torture of
Saturn (god of bad luck) did not stop.)
- This is said of people whose bad luck does not go away whatever
they do. Saturn is considered a bad sign in astrology bringing bad
luck. A visit to holy places often counters the effect except for
those unfortunate souls referred to in this proverb.
- Raatra thodee, songe faar. (Marathi) रात्र थोडी सोंगे फार
- (Too many things to do in too short a time.)
- rOgi bayasiddu hAlu anna vaidya hELiddu hAlu anna. (Kannada)
- (The patient wanted rice with milk and the doctor prescribed
rice with milk).
- This is what you say when things turn out fine under
circumstances expected to be harsh. A meal of rice with milk is a
euphemism for getting what one wants.
- Rogi ichichathum pAlu, vaidyan kalpichathum pAlu (Malayalam)Malayalam
- (The patient wanted milk and the doctor prescribed milk).
- This is what you say when things turn out fine under
circumstances expected to be harsh.
*सर सलामत, तो पगडी हज़ार(Hindi) .. Sar Salamat, to
- (Literal) If your head is intact, you can have a thousand
- Meaning, in troubled times, save your head first, your
possessions should not be your priority. You can buy worldy things
*सौ सोनार की, एक लोहार की (Hindi) Sau sunar ki, ek
- (A single blow of a blacksmith is equal to a hundred blows of a
- Generally used to demonstrate the power of a strong person to a
- The power in one blow of hammer used by blacksmith equals
hundred blows of hammer used by goldsmith.
*Nau Sau चूहे खाकर बिल्ली हज को चली (Hindi) Nau Sau
choohey khakar billi hajj ko chali**
(Feasting on hundreds of mice the cat embarks on a pilgrimage)
- A remark for a person who tries to veil his/her shameful - and
in most cases deliberate acts - by trying to do righteous deeds in
order to improve his/her image in the sight of the world.
- An attempt to apparently undo detestable acts committed by a
- Saddi na bulai, main laaddhe di tai (Punjabi)
- (I need no invitation, I am aunt of the bridegroom)(She was not
invited, but came, calling herself as aunt of bridegroom)
- Appearing at a party with full enthusiaim but without an
- Sawan ke andhe ko sab hara hi hara nazar aata hai. (Hindi)
- One who goes blind in spring, sees only greenery all around
- Used for people who fail to see reality, especially dire
circumstances when they have lived through prosperous times.
- "Sweet are the sounds of the flute and the lute," say those
who have not heard the prattle of their own children.
- The Tirukural by Saint Tiruvalluvar (translation)
- sAvira suLLu heLi onDu maDuve mAdu (Kannada)
- (Utter a thousand lies and perform a wedding).
వెయ్యి అబద్ధాలాడైనా ఒక పెళ్ళి చేయమన్నారు...(తెలుగు)
- A little deceit in the performance of good deeds is forgivable.
Arranging a wedding was considered a good deed worthy of praise in
India. An old maid was a source of stigma for the family and one
who came to the rescue by whatever means was considered a
- samsAra guTTu; vyAdhi raTTu (Kannada)
- (Family matters should be kept secret; a disease should be
brought to the open).
- This is in a society where insurance companies are not
watching. The reason to reveal ailments is with a hope that a cure
may be found in the process. Laundering the dirty linen in public
serves no purpose however.
- sankaTa bandAga venkaTaramana (Kannada)
- (Seeking God when in sorrow).
- This is said of those who have no true faith or belief but seek
God's help only when calamity strikes.
- shiva pUje madhye karaDi biTTa hAge (Kannada)
- (Like bringing a bear in the middle of a pUja).
- This is said when bungling idiots intrude when they should not.
NOTE: It was brought to my attention that the original version of
the proverb is as follows:
- shiva pUje madhye karaDige biTTa hAge (Kannada)
- Lingayats wear a string around their body that has a small
Linga, called KaraDige, tied to it. The gAde says that the Shiva
Puje cannot go on if you forget the karadige, not withstanding all
else you may have done in preparation. Over a period of time, the
KaraDige has become KaraDi.
Tini Tumdare Chheli Kukura (Oriya)
- Literal:Three persons can proof a goat as a dog.
- English Equivalent: It takes two to lie — one to lie and one to
Thinking well is good, Planning Well is better, Doing well is
- tala pAgA chuTTukOvaDam rAka tala vankara
- తల పాగా చుట్టుకోవడం రాక తల వంకర
- Literal: Not knowing how to tie headgear, someone said the head
- English Equivalent: A bad workman blames his tools.
- Thala Irikkumbol, Valu-attaruthu.
- When Head (elders) are present, tail should not wag (let them
- Thala marannu enna thekaruthu. (Malayalam)Malayalam
- (Don't forget the head when applying oil to your body)
- Should always remember the things (favour done to us) in
- Don't forget the past
- To the mediocre, mediocrity appears great
- To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak
- tumbida koDa tuLukuvudilla. (Kannada)/ Adh jal gagri chalkat
- (The pot which is full does not splash).
నిండు కుండ తొణకదు. (తెలుగు)
- This is said to contrast the unassuming good guys against the
shallow show-offs. Or also, silence is an attribute of the
- Tumhara pyar pyar, mera pyar chakkar (Hindi)
- (Your love is true love, my love is an affair)
- When a person considers his cause greater than another person's
- tum kare to chamatkaar, hum kare to balaatkaar (Hindi)
- (whatever you do is fair, the same thing if I do it, its
- तेल गेले, तुप गेले, हाती आले धुपाटणे (tel gele toop gele, haati
- (Literal)Lost oil, lost butter, only left with two sided
- unDeyEnO gunDA endare munDAsu mUvattu moLa anda. (Kannada)
- (When asked “Did you eat, Gunda?” he said “the turban is thirty
- This is said of people who do not get what is asked of them and
go round in circles.
- unDU hOda, konDU hOda (Kannada)
- (He ate and took some too).
- This is said of a guy who snatches the hand if a finger is
- Given an inch, one takes a mile.
- UrigobbaLu padmAvati (Kannada)
- (only one beauty for the village).
- This is a put down of leaders of mediocre groups.
- Unda ele etto gunda andre, undavaru eshtu anda
- Vaadi Prati Aayi.(Malayalam
- Literal: plaintif became the culprit
- Vadi Koduthe Adi Madikkuka. (Malayalam
- Literal: Get hit by the stick you provided
- Vaidyan kalpichathum roogi itchichedum paal.
- Literal: What doctor prescribed and what patient wanted were
- Kannada equivalent: rOgi bayasiddu haalUanna, vaidya hEliddU
- Vaidyan Oothi Oothi Pilla Keninju Keniju. (Malayalam
- Literal: Doctor tried all the medicine, still no result on the
- वासरात लंगडी गाय शहाणी(vasarat langadi gaay
shahani)(Marathi)/ Andhon main kana raja (Hindi)
- Literal: Amongst calves handicapped cow is wise
- Translation: In the land of the the blind, a one-eyed man is
- Telugu equivalent: Yey vriksham leni voorloe, aamudha chettu
maha vriksham (In a treeless town, the castor tree is treated a
- Tamil equivalent: Aaalai Illa oorukku Illuppai Poo Sakkarai (In
a town without a (sugar) factory, the Illuppai flower is treated as
- विनाशकाले विपरित बुध्दी(Vinashkale Vipareet
- Translation: When doomsday comes, one takes wrong
- Kannada equivalent: haaLugeDO kaalakke hadageTTa buddhi.
- When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your
life in such a way that when you die, the world will cry and you
will rejoice. (Kabir Das)
Jab hum paida huye jag hanse hum roye. Aisi karani kar chalo hum
hanse jag roye.
- When u remember the best days of your life, You will remeber
the day when u gave love to someone special.
- jhajha hath raLiyamaNa ઝાઝા હાથ રળિયામણા(Gujarati)
- Unity is strength.
- More the merrier
- Othupidichal malayum porum. (Malayalam proverbs)
- Literal: If everybody tries together even a mountain can be
- Unity is strength.