Talk:Lugbara proverbs

Add topic
Active discussions



  • Aco/ Ebu si aza oye ku.
    • Translation: Using a hoe is not madness for nothing.
    • Meaning: Whatever you do, expect a profit.
    • English equivalent: You reap what you sow!
  • Ama woro anzi Mungu ni.
    • Translation: We are all GOD’s children.
    • Meaning: Don’t discriminate based on race, tribe or beliefs!
    • Quoted from a famous Lugbara song
  • Aria gaa ti anya ose.
    • Translation: A small bird defecated a large mass of digested millet.
    • Meaning: Don't underestimate people or things because of their size.
    • English equivalent: Don't judge a book by its cover.
  • Ata abu-a ri, le mima nga azi raka mima nya ndo.
    • Translation: Even in the valley plantation, you must first work before you eat.
    • Meaning: No work, no food!
  • Awoko so ti andre.
    • Translation: Anger pierced the cow's tongue.
    • Meaning: Do not let anger harm you!
  • Ayia ma ndu yo.
    • Translation: There is no other mother.
    • Meaning: Everyone is entitled to only one mother.
  • Ayia nduri ozuku fi ni.
    • Translation: A stepmother is (like) a porcupine's intestines.
    • Meaning: Stepmothers are usually bitter.


  • 'Ba je o'buka mva alea risi ku.
    • Translation: People don't buy a baby strap for an unborn foetus.
    • Meaning: You cannot predict the future.
    • English equivalent: Don't count your chickens before they hatch!
  • 'Ba yori ni ba je oku ku.
    • Translation: For an absent bridegroom, you cannot marry a wife.
    • Meaning: Follow the procedure!


  • Embeleke ka i-agi ma eti ne, eri gu sibe inve.
    • Translation: When an ape sees its friend's (red) bottom, it laughs with white teeth (showing).
    • Moral: Do not laugh at other people's shortcomings! Afterall, you have your own.
    • Quoted from the Lugbara song entitled 'Embeleke' by Leila Chandiru
  • Eri mi te era liri etia.
    • Translation: It is waiting for you under the high granary.
    • Meaning: Future problems (issues) are waiting for you if you don't listen to advice.
  • E'yere nya ni.
    • Translation: Patience is the one that ate.
    • Meaning: Patience pays.


  • Isaku luni i-eti ceni ku.
    • Translation: The Isaku container for sieving local salt doesn't drill holes in its bottom by itself.
    • Meaning: Nothing changes unless you do something.
  • Izo anji angu vo re.
    • Translation: Girls slash very far.
    • Meaning: Girls can get married far away and prepare a new place for their relatives to visit.


  • Kaka ni ka 'ba sikokori ni.
    • Translation: Maize matures for people without teeth.
    • Meaning: Good things happen to people who least need them.


  • Mi owu lesu i-adapibori si ku.
    • Translation: Do not cry because of spilt milk.
    • Meaning: Whatever has already happened cannot be changed.
    • English equivalent: Let bygones be bygones!


  • Nyatu li odji.
    • Literal Translation: Too much eating cut the baboon. Odji, the baboon was sitted on a tree branch and ants were flying in circles. He picked ants one by one but greed in his mind made him jump to catch the whole circle and he fell.
    • Moral: Do things sparingly and not greedily!


  • Obibiasi, etto ma jo ve ra.
    • Translation: Because of copying, the rabbit's house got burnt.
    • Meaning: Be yourself!
  • Ocoo ini ri atuluku dria.
    • Idiomatic translation: A black dog is sitting on the kitchen-stove.
    • Meaning: No food will be cooked nor eaten tonight.
  • Odidia nya puro ibi.
    • Translation: Newness ate raw grasshoppers.
    • Meaning: Be vigilant while a newcomer in any place, you can be made to do anything!
  • Odru fu Anera/ Anira ni te.
    • Translation: The buffalo killed Anera (who thougt he had seen it all)/ Anira (who thought he knew it all).
    • Meaning: Listen to advice!
  • Okuku dra drinjasi (oboa).
    • Translation: The tortoise died because of shyness (in its boat).
    • Meaning: Shyness will make you miss opportunities.


  • Pati ifi ideni re ku.
    • Translation: The seed of a tree doesn't fall far.
    • Meaning: A parent's behaviour is reflected in his kid.
    • English equivalent: An apple doesn't fall far from the tree.


  • Sindani tokoa bongo sozuri ka di tagiri nde.
    • Translation: A mere cloth-sewing needle can defeat a rich man to own.
    • Meaning: Poor people are actually wealthier than rich people in certain aspects.
    • Quoted from the Lugbara song entitled 'Alio Madrisi'
Return to "Lugbara proverbs" page.