Nigerian proverbs are considered wise sayings of the ancestors based on numerous decades of life experience. The insightful phrases of Nigerian sayings in English touch on topics you can easily relate to. If you enjoy Nigerian culture, these sayings will get you thinking.
Nigerian proverbs are often hillarious, although the bulk is profound and spoken in native languages. Many Nigerian proverbs are specific to their culture, while others are more widespread. Some sayings are not even indigenous to Nigeria–they are among the many amusing African proverbs used throughout the continent.
Nigerian sayings and meanings
Proverbs play an essential role in African culture. Nigeria, as Africa's colossus, takes great satisfaction in its wise sayings. Here are some of the most popular Nigerian sayings with their meanings.
- There is no smoke without fire.
As smoke is a by-product of fire, something is bound to be the cause. When things occur in life, there has to be a core cause. The proverb states that no action is arbitrary; something must initiate it.
- Even if the goat frowns, it won't stop it from being sold in the market.
This Nigerian saying is also a hilarious African proverb. Do you know how to identify if a goat is frowning? Nothing will affect the outcome if you push it or attempt the inconceivable.
- What an older adult sees sitting down, a child cannot see even if he climbs a tree.
The proverb's interpretation borders on wisdom, and it truly means that a youngster does not perceive or grasp things in the same manner a more experienced adult would and hence struggles to make sensible decisions.
- A snake can only give birth to extended things.
This proverb means that all kids resemble their parents, and all actions are like their doers. A snake can never have another creature as a child, and the offspring of his biological parents will resemble them.
- A fowl remembers who trims his feathers during the rainy season.
An individual will never forget the assistance given to him through difficult times. The rainy period in Africa has historically been challenging for fowls since it is hard for them to seek food as their feathers grow.
- A man who marries a beautiful woman marries troubles.
A gorgeous wife is typically said to cause a man many issues. Everyone wants her, and the poor hubby dies of jealousy, never knowing rest or quiet.
- Lion no fit born goat.
The expression "lion no fit born goat" is Pidgin English for "a lion is incapable of giving birth to a goat." Who you are determines who you will have children with. Depending on the situation, the saying can be used to either laud or blame someone. The kid will always be a Cinderella story.
- If you are not a good dancer, then keep on sitting down.
Trying to do something is pointless if you can't do it well enough. Behaviours might have both positive and negative consequences.
- A person with one eye doesn't thank the Lord until they meet a blind one.
Most individuals only value what they've got once faced with a much more difficult position than the one they are presently in. It is possible to feel grateful even for one eye, but individuals only realise this when encountering somebody who has even less.
- A ripe fruit will drop when it notices an honest person.
A trustworthy individual can obtain anything because they are honest and have other good virtues. It can also mean that luck will come to you if you are excellent and deserving.
Nigerian pidgin sayings
Nigerians invented Pidgin English as an auxiliary language. Pidgin proverbs are humorous sayings that contain wisdom. They are more significant than just sayings and challenging to crack.
- I go land you slap – I will slap you!
- I dey miss you – I miss you.
- Na from clap them take dey enter a dance - No matter how small something is today, there is an excellent possibility that it will become big tomorrow.
- I no agree – I can't entirely agree; I beg to differ.
- No matter how lizard dey does press up, e no go get a chest like an alligator - Pride can take you to nowhere; if you want to go far in life, kindly humble yourself before those you genuinely know are better than you are.
- One day, I go reason your matter - I will give you attention for all you do to me.
- Fly wey no dey hear word na im dey follow dead body enter grave - A stubborn child who ignores advice will regret it.
- One day, breeze go blow, and fowl yansh go open - Nothing can remain hidden forever; the truth always comes out.
- To p*ss no hard but fowl no fit - It is easy does not mean everyone can do it. What is easy for you is hard for another person.
- Jollof Rice wey dey for the bottom of pot today go dey for the top of cooler tomorrow - No matter how complex your life is, there is still hope that tomorrow will be better. Always be motivated in any condition you find yourself in.
Nigerian sayings about love
Nigerian love proverbs are culturally diverse. They have been handed down from one generation to another for millennia. Here are some of the popular ones.
- You can't jump from one tree to another, but you can from one man to another.
- You know who you love, but you can't know who loves you.
- Both hands become clean when the right-hand washes the left and left hands.
- When only the kola nut is presented with love, it carries more value than might be associated with a whole pod of several kola nuts.
- Love is like seaweed; even if you have pushed it away, you will not prevent it from returning.
- Every kind of love is love, but self-love is supreme among them.
- It is better to love one person than many because you might lose all if you fall out of love with them.
- Pretend you are dead, and you will see who loves you.
- Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.
- To love someone who doesn't love you is like shaking a tree to make the dew drops fall.
Nigerian sayings about strength
These African proverbs about strength are rich with insight. Many are brief but include valuable advice that may be implemented daily. They have inspired and guided many people over the years.
- The thrower of stones throws away the strength of his arm.
- The wolf's strength is in the pack; the power of the package is in the wolf.
- Productivity in work is better than the misleading use of strength.
- Man is like palm wine: when young, sweet but without strength; in old age, solid but harsh.
- Hurrying and worrying is not the same as strength.
What are the funny sayings when you realise the Nigerian prince isn't sending your money back?
Numerous Nigerian 'princes' are out there attempting to steal funds from their realm. All you have to do is allow them to use your bank accounts, and they will pay you several million dollars for assisting them. Here are some of funny replies when you find yourself in that situation.
- Looks like my Nigerian prince turned out to be a Nigerian jester!
- Well, that's what I get for expecting a royal refund from a 'prince' with a Gmail account!
- I guess my royal inheritance just took a detour through the land of scamalot!
- When life gives you Nigerian prince scams, make a funny meme and move on!
- Note to self: Nigerian princes are great at disappearing acts, not so great at sending money.
- If I had a dollar for every Nigerian prince scam, I'd probably be able to afford an actual prince!
- Lesson learned: If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably another Nigerian prince with money trouble!
Above are some wise Nigerian sayings that will surely get you thinking. The proverbs are wise sayings of elders based on life experience. Most of them are often humorous, although the bulk is profound and spoken in native languages.
Yen.com.gh published an engaging list of inspirational have-a-good day quotes and sayings to kick off a happy day. Many individuals struggle to get out of bed in the morning, mainly if they must wake up early.
People must be inspired to attain their intended life or professional objectives. You may progress in your personal and professional life with the correct motivation. Motivational "have a good day" quotes are ideal for getting everyone's day started.