Twi Proverbs And Their Meanings
1.Okoto nwo anoma
Literally: A crab does not give birth to a bird.
- Woforo dua pa a na yepia wo
Literally: It is when you climb a good tree that you are pushed.
- Ti koro nko agyina
Literally: One head (or person) does not hold council.
- Abofra bo nnwa na ommo akyekyedee
Literally: A child breaks a snail, not a tortoise.
- Obanyansofoo yebu no be, yennka no asem
Literally: The wise is spoken to in proverbs, and not in plain language.
- Hu m’ani so ma me nti na atwe mmienu nam
Literally: It is because of “blow the dust off my eyes” that two antelopes walk together.
- Aboa bi beka wo a, ne ofiri wo ntoma mu
Literally: If an animal will bite you, it will be from your cloth.
- Anoma anntu a, obua da.
Literally: If a bird does not fly, it goes to bed hungry.
- Obi nnim obrempon ahyease
Literally: Nobody knows the beginning of a great man.
- Agya bi wu a, agya bi te ase
Literally: When one father dies, another father lives.
- Animguase mfata Okanni ba
Literally: Disgrace does not befit the child of an Akan.
- Obi nkyere akwadaa Nyame
Literally: Nobody teaches a child God.
- Agoro beso a, efiri anopa
Literally: If the festival (or carnival or party) will be entertaining, it starts from the morning.
- Kwaterekwa se obema wo ntoma a tie ne din
Literally: If a naked man promises you a cloth, listen to his name.
- Obi akonnodee ne odompo nsono
Literally: Someone’s delicacy is the intestines of an odompo.
- Wamma wo yonko anntwa anko a, wonntwa nnuru
Literally: If you don’t let your friend cross and reach his destination, you will also not cross and reach yours.
- Yesoma onyansofoo, enye anamontenten
Literally: We send a wise person, not one with long legs.
- Aboa a onni dua no, Nyame na opra ne ho
Literally: For the animal who does not have a tail, it is God who sweeps his body.
- Biribi annkoka papa a, anka papa annye kyerede
Literally: If something had not touched the papa (dried palm frond?) it wouldn’t have made a sound.
- Boofre a eye de na abaa da asee
Literally: It is the pawpaw that is sweet that has a stick under it.
The sweet pawpaw has a stick under it because everybody who reaches it wants to pluck a fruit.
- Praye, se woyi baako a na ebu: wokabomu a emmu
Literally: When you remove one broomstick it breaks but when you put them together the do not break.
22.Nsateaa nyinaa nnye pe
Literally: All fingers are not the same.
The spirit of this proverb is captured in part by the Adinkra symbol Mako which is derived from the proverb “Mako nyinaa mpatu mmere.”
- Obi nnim a, obi kyere
Literally: If someone does not know, someone teaches.
There is no shame in not knowing. We should share knowledge to improve one another.
- Abofra hunu ne nsa hohoro a one mpanyinfoo didi
Literally: When a child learns how to wash his hands, he eats with adults.
- Yewo wo to esie so a, wonnkye tenten ye
Literally: If you are born unto a mound, it does not take you long to grow tall.
- Ayonkogoro nti na okoto annya tiri
Literally: It is because of friend-play that the crab does not have a head.
- Wo nsa akyi beye wo de a ente se wo nsa yam
Literally: If you will find the back of your hand sweet, it is not as sweet at the palm of your hand.
You may enjoy life elsewhere but home is home. The palm of your hand is softer than the back of your hand. Therefore, it is better to enjoy it than the back of your hand.
- Etua wo yonko ho a etua dua mu
Literally: If it is in the body of your neighbour, it is in a tree.
Sometimes we are able to empathize with one another. However, it is more common for people not to care about others because they do not feel what they feel.
- Obi fom kum a, yenfom nnwa
Literally: If someone kills by mistake, we do not dissect by mistake.
- Wohu se wo yonko abodwese rehye a na wasa nsuo asi wo dee ho
Literally: If you see your neighbour’s beard burning, fetch water by yours.
An individual is supposed to learn from the experiences of others.
- Tootoote tootoote, yerenom nsa na yerefa adwen
Literally: Little by little, little by little, as we drink we make plans.
We can discuss serious business while relaxing.
- Dua a enya wo a ebewo w’ani no, yetu asee; yensensene ano
Literally: One does not sharpen the stick that would pierce his eye. Instead, he uproots it.
This means an individual must get rid of potential dangers early, rather than encouraging them to grow.
- Obaa to tuo a etwere barima dan mu
Literally: When a woman buys a gun, it lies in a man’s room.
- Baanu so a emmia
Literally: When two carry, it does not hurt.
The load is lighter when two people carry it.
- Nyansapo wosane no badwemma
Literally: Wise knots are loosened by wise men.
Delicate issues need the attention of wise men to handle.
- Abaa a yede bo Takyi no yede bebo Baa
Literally: The stick that is used to hit Takyi is also used to hit Baa.
- Yetu wo fo na wanntie a, woko Anteade
Literally: If you do not heed advice, you go to the town for those who don’t heed advice.
- Abe bi rebewu a na ɛsɔ
Literally: It is when some palm trees are about to die that they give good wine
- Hwimhwim adee ko srosro
Literally: What comes easily goes easily.
- Abofra a omma ne maame nna no, bentoa mpa ne to da
Literally: For the child who does not let his mother sleep, the enema will never depart from his bottom.