401. The bachelor does not know when he passes the compound of his potential in-law.
402. Food at the home of a debtor goes unappreciated.
403. When one has been killed by shame, no one will go to the house of death for him.
404. When a woman's cocoyams are plentiful, she forgets who planted them for her.
405. One who eats a ram's testicles is in debt to hydrocele. [Everything carries obligations with it.]
406. One who does not know that the monkey was sick should
look at the eye of the squirrel and light a fire for him [so he can
[The squirrel's eyes bulge and show signs of illness more than do the monkeys']
407. But I think that proverbs are the oil that is used to dip words in.
408. The child who avoids housework should not go to another place.
409. When husband and wife are in harmony, one piece of yam is
sufficient for their food. [Where there is love, any food they have
410. Rather than bite [something too hot] and having to suck the teeth [to cool it], let it stay on the firestand to cool off.
411. Sneezing has helped wrinkles [or some other type of opening in the face].
412. Let the basket grow old and go to the riverain [large stream] area. [May it be a good, long-lasting basket.]
413. Hunger does not know anything; if it did, it would not affect one who does not have yams.
414. One does not see a spirit and leave his mouth open. [One does not see something bad and allow it to happen.]
415. One who cannot afford beef says that it has sand in it.
416. Eke-ogwugwu [name of a god, perhaps one that haunts a depression
in the earth] [pit-python] does not know that a certain person does
not come to it [to attend the sacrifice].
417. One does not leave the head of the firewood and start pursuing its tail. [First things first.]
418. The female goat is increasing its growth to puberty.
419. An animal that is able to run comes out in the afternoon to eat.
420. When the market trading is over, the vulture takes possession of the stalls.
421. If one praises a dog's speed, it runs and gathers eggs. [Tortoise and hare situation.]
422. If a live muskrat stinks, how will it be when he dies?
423. When a man is dying from very hard work, he says that he is wasting his employer's time. [The man does not recognize his own plight.]
424. The chicken does not commit abomination on its nest.
425. One was told to take a (agbara ) and he took a hot snail.
426. Something that is going too fast will not last until nightfall.
427. One cannot get breadfruit from the oil bean tree.
428. When one chews palm kernels, a shy person eats some of the remainder.
429. It is the way a person dresses when he comes to a party that causes him to be looked at and then told to come and pound the food.
430. The way a person regards himself is the way others will regard him.
431. An old goat chews the bark of the firewood.
432. The water-carrier (omo ) turns the mortar upside down.
433. What does the vulture care about having a haircut?
434. One who is called and told to kill a leopard puts a crown on the leopard's head.
435. If a dog is called twice (by two different people), when it reaches the road, it falls down. [Doesn't know which way to turn.]
436. The thing that has been torn does not exceed [is not as good as] a stone. [A stone lasts longer.]
437. The lizard says that things that are hot do not stay long on the tongue.
438. One should not stay at the market and send others on market errands.
439. One who chases a dog does not know that the wasp [ram could also be used] is prepared for a fight.
440. Rather than saying no bringing on a fight, let the rain fall.
441. The chicken does not use two legs to stretch.
442. One who looks sees a large rabbit.
443. One who has one thing does not know that the other person has two.
444. Bamboo contains water that it generated by itself.
445. If one keeps beating his hand on his chest, he shows the spirit where the life it is looking for is located.
446. If a person knows too much, Agbara [the god] will know where he sleeps.
447. When one wakes from sleep, one holds life in the hand.
448. The leaf that the he-goat likes purges his stomach.
449. The sheep that gave birth to a ram was childless.
450. If the ear is spoken to but does not hear, when the head is cut off, the ear is cut off with it.
451. When the bird flies too far, it flies over its nest.
452. The white eagle does not darken.
453. There is no end to good and bad in the world.
454. One who kills his personal god kills his whole world.
455. If one thanks a benefactor, he does more.
456. The ocean does not dry up.
457. The rat said that he was not at home when the law against thievery was made.
458. One who owns only one arrow does not shoot it far away.
459. One who comes to exchange proverbs with me comes so that I can teach him proverbs.
460. One does not know how many people will eat when the pot has not (yet) been brought down [from the fire-stand].
461. One who enters and starts scooping up breadfruit does not ask where it was bought.
462. One who says, "Give me so I can draw" [on cigar or cigarette] does not know that it is costly.
463. One who longs to eat food cooked for burial purposes, when
he gets sick, he takes medicine [so others do not eat his burial food].
begs for it.
464. Am I the one who made good oil? [No one has that power--it is good by nature.]
465. The eye is not made to shine but to see the road. [More shininess does not mean that one will see more of the road.]
466. The one who has given birth to a short [unusually small, fragile] child knows how to carry him.
467. One who sees a story (about to be told) draws up a chair.
468. A tattler, if he does not earn the black nail (driven through
his head as punishment) earns knees full of grit (from being forced to
469. People who are afraid to dance [because they don't know how to dance well] do their dancing at night.
470. One who goes [to a place] after a whole week has passed does not know what to say [when he arrives].
471. When the wife treats the husband badly, she says that the husband treated her badly.
472. If the wisdom of a child fills a basket, you must add things
to the basket to make it contain the elder's wisdom as well. [Igba
unu = adding
upright sticks around inside of basket to give it height to contain more.]
473. Jumping around is not dancing.
474. When the strong tooth chews hard palm nuts, it is just as though it were chewing soft palm nuts.
475. After the chicken finishes running around, it lays one egg.
476. If the he-goat knows the door to the yam-barn, when it is untethered it heads for the yam-barn.
477. If one who is going to do farm work eats palm kernels [for breakfast], what will he eat when he returns? [Indicates poverty.]
478. The uga [small girls' game] played by friends is not good on the farm. [It will destroy the crops.]
479. When a mad person runs out into the market, there is no curing him.
480. One who does not come to the market early enough buys leftovers [what the other buyers have refused].
481. One who carries yams and goes to the town market does not hesitate too long about the price.
482. The way one marries a woman is not the way a child is brought into the world.
483. What will a lizard's claws do to the base [lower part of trunk] of the kola tree?
484. Who gave a squirrel a palm kernel that has been roasted in the fire?
485. A snake does not swallow the thing that enters its burrow.
486. Going around separately [rather than moving in groups] caused the snake not to be powerful.
487. If all snakes were to live in one forest, human beings would not enter it.
488. The forest is filled with all kinds of leaves, but people come to gather only okazi [hard-leafed plant].
489. What a person does is what he will teach.
490. There is nothing lacking in the doctor's bag. [What you look for, you find.]
491. One who talks too much does not have much strength to fight.
492. One who travels alone can twist the meaning of the message.
493. If you leave one problem to solve another, there is still something undone.
494. In a land where there are no men, women eat the neck of the chicken. [Traditionally, certain people get certain parts of the chicken.]
495. If one does not lick his lips in time, the harmattan will lick them for him.
496. The child, seeing his father's scrotum, says that it seems that he did not know that his father had hydrocele.
497. If the vulture were an edible animal, those who got there first would have eaten it all up.
498. The vulture says that her pregnancy is good for her; if she gives birth, she eats the placenta; if she gives birth and the child dies during delivery, she eats the placenta and the child.
499. The vulture bathed its body and asked its children how it looked, and they told it that it looked uglier than ever [this badness exceeded all badness].
500. Ignorance is a sickness.
501. One who buys a new gun carries it when he goes to mgbaru [special gatherings--could be for good or bad purposes].
502. When the white cock goes out into water, it looks as though he has bathed.
503. A chicken is unable to urinate.
504. The chicken says that it sets out for home because it is dark--not because its stomach is full.
505. If I praise the dog for his running ability, will he run and bark at the same time?
506. If one picks off a tick from a dog and does not show it to him, it is like pinching him with the fingernails.
507. When the lizard climbs up the iroko tree, it challengess the dog to run faster.
508. When the lizard climbed up the iroko tree, it was no longer a child.
509. The young bird who does not see well gets a finger poked into its eye.
510. The sheep that has a ram (male child) has no children.
511. The ram uses its head for fighting.
512. When a child catches and (immediately) eats a grasshopper, that shows greed.
513. No one will admit that the soup prepared by his mother is bad.
514. Pumpkin seeds are the medicine of the soup. [Implies that they improve the soup.]
515. The rat ate the fufu--what happened to the soup? [Child giving excuse.]
516. The person who has fufu goes looking for the person who has soup.
517. Obuako [a sensible person] says that if he is told to go to Awka and he starts to break open his father's basket, there is corn, corn everywhere.
518. Obuako says that one who takes a termite [particular type, sometimes eaten] and cooks it with cassava [sliced and dried] has a sacrifice to pay his debts; what I prepared [sacrificial food] and its counterpart [using it as debt payment] are one and the same. [They cancel each other out, even things out.]
519. Obuako says that when he reaches the place where fire burned, he wishes he could defecate. [The scorched clearing provides a good place.]
520. A woman who bends over and exposes her buttocks to other women in the market sells her husband's respect.
521. The woman who lifts up her market basket lifts up talkativeness [bargaining jabber].
522. Tortoise says that one who is going to his in-law's house should put a bit of ripe [red] pepper in his bag, not knowing whether he will be given a piece of cocoyam.
523. If one sends the tortoise [on an errand], he sends well.
524. The tortoise got up early and was delayed at the small stream.
525. When the tortoise has fallen into the latrine and has been trapped for seven days and one goes to release him, he tells him to hurry because the smell of feces is killing him.
526. When soup is prepared without vegetables it must speak English. [Refers to different sound it makes in boiling.]
527. If you go by the sweetness of the soup, a finger is bitten off [from too much licking].
528. Hot soup should be licked around the edges.
529. In an ill-kept house people are afraid of snakes.
530. The snake's killer is trying to save his life and the snake is trying to save its life as well.
531. The grasshopper that will not listen listens in the bird's nest.
532. [A person] starting to do something challenged the elephant. [ikwe mgba=challenge]
533. Seed-yam uses innocence to split the earth.
534. The lizard that does not change when the other lizards change becomes a leopard-skinned lizard. [Lizards undergo a scaly skin change at some point.]
535. The gathering together of monkeys is a great occasion.
536. The tree that is watched every day does not grow. [Cf. The watched pot never boils.]
537. When the moon shines, the old woman wants to travel.
538. One who eats yam in the evening bares his teeth for his god. [If yam is too hot, he opens his mouth to let in air--no one sees but god.]
539. A destitute person and money do not stay together.
540. Short arms prevent the tortoise from grabbing a rat in its burrow.
541. The tortoise is unable to stretch out.
542. The dog says that those who have buttocks do not know how to sit down.
543. The night does not know a good person. [Too dark to tell good from bad.]
544. When a person eats corn and gives a little to his child, he is the only one who chews it. [Because the child is a part of himself, within his family.]
545. Take what belongs to a chief and give to the chief; take what belongs to an ordinary person and give to the ordinary person.
546. You first count one before you count two.
547. One who knows bad, bad knows him.
548. Do not think about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself.
549. In the land where everyone is blind, the one-eyed man is king.
550. A story-teller is one who reveals secrets. [Sometimes inadvertently.]
551. On a good day the sun comes out early in the morning.
552. The tortoise says that it is bad bush so that he does not need money to get his pots. [He takes the pots people have brought sacrifices in.]
553. If you kill a cow for the hawk, its eye is still on the chicken.
554. A person suffering from hydrocele does not run from a fight. [Pain prevents it.]
555. You do not have to tell a blind person that there is no salt in the soup.
556. The earth does not make the heart leap.
557. If you cut off a cow's tail, what would he use to chase away the flies?
558. One who is owned does not own himself.
559. When there is no rat in the forest, the skunk becomes king.
560. When the lizard falls into a pit, he finds out who his enemies are.
561. If you tell a child to go to the shallow water he refuses, saying that the deep part is better for him.
562. Nothing happens at night that will not be heard of in daylight. [Nothing is secret.]
563. If the share goes to the left hand, it means you are indebted.
564. If you do things in a timely manner you will overcome obstacles.
565. One who is too meticulous can be foolish.
566. The animal that falls into a pit kills itself. [Contributes to its own death.]
567. If one commits suicide, one does not cry for him.
568. The hawk does not leave the øojî tree to visit around.
569. The chicken's egg does not grow a beard.
570. One who keeps to himself dies like a chicken [alone].
571. One who came on a journey must go home.
572. If you allow the dog to get too close to your person, it chews up your clothes.
573. If the child has finished eating , you ask him, what are you looking for inside the pot?
574. If you remove "pull-off" threads from a garment, the owner of the garment will go naked.
575. If you tell a person to say where he should be buried, he keeps going round and round.
576. The dog says, is there anyone who, continuing to look, is not given something?
577. If you take [something] the first time and take again the second time, the owner will know.
578. The healthy person does not need a doctor.
579. If the road is good, you go on it twice.
580. One knows very well that meat is tasty [but should still] come and give it to a poor person to cook. [One should always share with others.]
581. If the old woman practises divination and makes sacrifices at the same time, where did she see the spirits? [She did not allow enough time after divination to ascertain from the spirits what sacrifices should be made.]
582. A patient person catches [reaches] a large fish.
583. My father brought [food] so that we could eat our fill, my mother saved it so we could eat the next day.
584. One who believes that the earth is chasing him, where did he put his feet while running?
585. A foolish person heard that one was being served so he went and put on his clothes. [Always eager for freebies?]
586. What comes from the mouth of a human being is ratified by the spirits.
587. The chicken does not gather food into the stomach of the goat.
588. War consumes good people.
589. If a person keeps on saying, "When, when," [procrastination] it causes loss [or waste].
590. A guest does not know where boundaries are.
591. If one hunts but does not catch anything , will he sleep in the forest?
592. If one comes to the Imo [River] and rolls up his pants, is he going to fly across the Imo or is he going to jump over it?
593. One who seeks to beautify himself [or herself] is the one whose mouth darkens. [Certain cosmetics caused darkening.]
594. A dancer and his body. [A dancer uses up his body. Dancing has an effect on the body.]
595. If a corpse remains silent, it is carried across its village. [It was believed that some corpses were stubborn and demonstrated objections while being carried.]
596. Whenever one has finished quoting a proverb and has to explain it, that means there is a stubborn person there.
597. Two captains should not be at the head of a vehicle.
598. One who does something in secret does not know that the thing is well known but people are keeping quiet about it.
599. If a young woman does not behave aggressively [like a crazy person], she will not acquire a husband.
600. If one dreams without lyng about it, was there anyone
there dreaming with him?
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