Proverbs 177 to 270

DIANE 177 - 270

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

177. Bo busa go itse ga 'Ma-Maborololoana,
Mo go pelo e matlabanyana.

The ignorance of Ma-Maboroloana, with its flat-hearted vision.

(a) Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
(b) L'Ignorance et l'incuriosité sont deux oreillers fort foux (F.).

178. Go choara tau ka mangana.

To hold a lion by its cheeks (to be in an uncomfortable position).

To have a wolf by the ears.

179. Go chosa ma meroro.

To frighten with roars only (but impotent to strike).

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

180. Go coa ko Looe.

From the beginning of time.

(a) From time immemorial.
(b) Ab initio. (L.)

181. Go di ema-ema.

To face the music.

To fetch over the coals.

182. Go epela mesetshe.

To drive one's pegs in firmly.

To set up one's sail.

183. Go fa ua bo u ipeela.

To give away is to put away for yourself.

Cast thy bread upon the water, for thou shalt find it after many days.

184. Go fetanoa go diroa mmogo.

Men surpass one another while they are working together.

Competition is the soul of business.

185. Go fetoga gase malato.

To change (one's mind) is not a crime.

The wise man changes his mind, the fool never. (Sp.)

186. Go fisa baeng marago.

To warm the visitors' backs. (A feast in honour of a recent visit by important friends.)

Welcome the coming, speed the parting, guest.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

187. Go gopoloa ka kgamelo.

To miss the cow for the first time when he wants to milk it.

 

188. Go ikodisa dibi.

See: O ikodisa dibi mole.

To fling one's handkerchief.

189. Go itekanya moroalo.

To make the burden fit his shoulders.

The back is fitted for the burden.

190. Go itlhaba ngololo.

To sham indifference.

“Laying low and saying nuffin.”

191. Go ja gago die, go dia go dira.

To eat does not delay; to work does.

Prayer and provender never hinder a journey.

192. Go ja monna ga se go mo oetsa.

Getting the better of a man is not necessarily finishing him.

Assommer un garde-champêtre, ce n'est pas assommer un homme. (F.)

193. Go jeloa maitlho a choene.

To eat my monkey's eyes (= serve me a bad turn).

He played me a dirty trick.

194. Go khola naka loa tholo.

To cut off the horn of a koodoo.

“A tough job.”

195. Go kgora ka mpana coopedi.

To be filled in both bellies.

Better belly burst than good drink lost.

196. Go leele ke ko marung.

Only “up at the clouds” is very far.

Gemsen steigen hoch und werden doch gefanged. (G.)

197. Go lela go tshitsha pelo.

To weep doth ease the heart.

Perque sinum lacrimae, flumimis instar enim. (L.)

198. Go lemala ga namane ke go thoba.

Let a calf (a child) once break out of the fold and the weakness will become its habit.

Custom is a second nature.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

199. Go lepa goa dia.

Long observations waste time.

Procrastination is the thief of time.

200. Go lesioa bo thologileng, go shomareloa bo seatleng.

Leave alone that (porridge) which is spilt and preserve that which is in the hand.

It is of no use crying over spilled milk.

201. Go mo tla moshogotlho.

To pass dangerously near one.

To have “a close shave”.

202. Go Naga-di-bogale go loeloa moruti le kgantlape.

In “fertile lands” folks do nothing all the day long but fight with lizards for the best places in the shade.

Lubberland! Where they have half a crown a day for sleeping,
Where the pigs run about ready roasted and cry “Come, eat me!”

203. Go noa tse di choca, tse di dinaka dia faralala.

Only hornless cattle can reach the water, the horns will not permit the others to enter.  1 

Wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch.

204. Goo digole ga go ioe dilelo.

It is of no use offering condolences at the abode of the sick, i.e. to the Infirmary.

 

205. Goora-motho go thebe phachoa.

A man's home has a white and black (fine) shield.

There is no sanctuary of virtue like home.

206. Goora-motho ke go&rquo; ramotho.

A man's home is a man's home.

(a) There is no place like home.
(b) An Englishman's home is his castle.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

207. Go patisa poo ka lechoagola.

To tackle the bull when it is sick (= less fierce)

Napping, as Moss caught his mare.

208. Go senang khumo ga gona lehuma.

Where there is no wealth there is no poverty.

Were defeat unknown, neither would victory be celebrated.

209. Go tlhaba kgobe ka mutloa.

To eat his grain with a thorn (using the thorn as a fork).

Like eating peas with a knife.

210. Go tlhaba-tlhaba mpa ka mutloa.

To prick at his belly with a thorn.

To pierce and prick a pretty pleasing pricket.

211. Go tlholoa ga se go lema dinaka.

It is not necessary to grow horns to be convinced of a defeat.

Farewell, thou art too dear for my possession.

212. Go tshego ba ba santse ba nale bo rrabo.

Happy are those who have their fathers still.

(a) O thou who hast still a father and a mother, thank God for it in the day when thy soul is full of joyful tears, and needs a bosom therein to shed them (Jean Paul).
(b) The sonne is blest whose syre is with the devill (Bishop Cory). (Con.)

213. Go thsego eo o tsetseng ngoana oa mosetsana; oa mosimane moroa mogogadiagoe.

Happy is she whom the gods have given a daughter, for a boy is the son of his mother-in-law.

My son is my son till he have got him a wife,
But my daughter is my daughter all the days of her life.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

214. Go utloela ga go choane le go bona ka matlho.

To hear is not like seeing with one's own eyes.

To see it rain is better than to be in it.

215. Hura ja 'motlana, boroko.

O sleep, the poor man's fat, — or:

Come sleep, O sleep …
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low.

216. Do.

Sleep, the only luxury which the lowly share equally with the lofty.

In sleep, what difference is there between Solomon and a fool?

217. 'Ina-lebe, seromo.

A bad name is an evil omen.

Give a dog an ill name and hang him.

218. 'Ina le senya motse.

(To mention) the name will destroy the city.

It is the cause, it is the cause, etc.

219. Itaea tshipi esale khubidu.

Strike the iron while it is still red.

Strike while the iron is hot.

220. 'Itlho je le josi le tshabeloa ke selabe.

The mote ever makes for the single eye (one eye).

The tongue ever turns to the aching tooth.

221.   2 

 

 

222. Ka bomo e senya dilo.

Wilfulness doth cause much destruction of property.

“I don't care” is a deadly snare.

223. Kea mo itse! Eo o tshego, letshego ja gagoe ekete ja phiri.

I know him, the lucky man, he is as lucky as a wolf.

Pitch a lucky man into the Nile and he will come out with a fish in his mouth. (Arab.)

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

224. Ke apeetse noko le mala.

I have boiled the porcupine with its bowels and all.

 

225. “Ke bonye” e choana le “ke tlholecoe”.

“I have experienced”, is as bad as “I am bewitched”.

Experience is a hard schoolmaster.

226. Ke choere tau ka mangana.

I am holding the lion by its cheeks (I have a most uncomfortable task).

(a) I am between the horns of a dilemma.
(b) Il ne sait pas sur quel pied danser. (F.)

227. Ke e bonye fela ka lechocha.

I have found it by the veriest accident.

'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.

228. Ke fa gare ga naka tsa nare.

I am between the horns of a buffalo.

(a) I am in a twittering case; betwixt the devil and the deep sea.
(b) Hac urget lucus, hac canis. (L.)
(c) Nous dansons sur un volcan. (F.)

229. Ke fitlhetse bana ba ga Tladi ba ntse dibothoana-bothoana.

I have found T's children all lying in heaps and heaps.

 

230. Ke gu bonetse letsatsi pele.

I have seen the sun before you.

For I was born before you could see.

231. Ke iteile ka koano.

I hit short of the target.

Wide at the bow hand.

232. Ke iteiloe ke sechane.

I am stricken with disappointment.

The glue did not hold.

233. Keledi tsa mathe.

Crocodile tears (those who shed them).

See: 24

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

234. Ke longoa ke nca ke e otlile.

The dog I have brought up now bites me.

(a) Clouds that the sun built up darken him.
(b) He has brought up a bird to pick out his own eyes.

235. Ke motho ka ba bangoe.

Through others I am somebody.

Cuilibet in sua arte perito est credendum. (L.)

236. Ke pina ke fitlhela e binoa.

It is a step-dance that I found the people dancing.

Every country has its own custom. (Sp.)

237. “Ke-rekang?” e reka matlotla.

“What-do-I-buy” will buy ruins.

Money is the root of all evil. (X.)

238. Ke sebodu se se tlhocoang dithotse.

He is a ne'er-do-well, but one from whom you may pick some good seeds.

For the sake of one good action, a hundred evil actions should be condoned.

239. Ke sha ke ogolang?

What was it that I burnt my fingers to snatch out of the fire?

A guiltless death I die.

240. Ke tla gu setela dimapo.

I will sharpen pegs for you (and place them in your path).

I will lay a stone at your door.

241. Ke tla tlhoboga khudu e rathoa.

I will despair when they cut up the tortoise.

Every shot does not bring down a bird.

242. Kgabo ea mbu e choara magakgala.

The flames from the ground are already catching the branches (i.e. the matter is becoming very serious).

From bad to worse.

243. Kgakala ke ko re coang ko re eang go gaufi.

Whence we come is far away; whither we go is near.

Young men may die, old men must.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

244. Kgaka-pedi ga di robale msima ole mongoe.

Two guineafowls do not lie in one hole.

(a) Sparrows upon one ear of wheat cannot agree.
(b) Two kitchen fires burn not on one hearth.

245. Kgengoe oa 'na a lekoe.  3 

It is best always to try the “kgengoe”¹, by tasting it.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

246. Kgetse ea tsie e kgonoa ke go choaraganeloa.

It is best to handle a bag full of locust with many hands.

Many hands make light work.

247. Kgetse e idioa ena sengoe, e senang sepe ga e idioe.

The full bag you guard, the empty bag you do not guard.

A full vessel must be carried carefully.

248. Kgetse go tlala ea lesioa.

When the bag gets full, leave it alone.

Actum, aiunt, ne agas. (L.)

249. Kgogoana go shoa e tsaing, e ntle ea ikgogolela.

The chicken within the egg will die, the one outside looks out for itself.

He that is born of a hen must scrape for a living — or:
Children and chickens must ever be picking.

250. Kgomo eare e bona mongoa eone ere: “mu”.

An ox on seeing its owner will generally low.

Every dog knows its own master.

251. Kgomo eatle e bapaloe, motho ga bapaloe.

You can earn (or work to buy) an ox, but not a person.

Life is a merchandise which no money can buy.

252. Do.

Do.

 

253. Kgomo e bonyoe!

“The ox is found!” A war cry meaning “the enemy is at hand”.

Hostis adest, eja! (Tally Ho, Tally Ho!)

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

254. Kgomo ga e ke e nyela boloko jeotlhe.

An ox never relieves itself of all its dung at the same time.

A fencer hath one trick in his budget more than he ever taught his scholar.

255. Kgomo ga e ke e tlhaba mongoa eone.

An ox will never toss its owner.

A wise son knoweth his own father.

256. Kgomo ga se sepe; nna ke di gogoba fela ka mono oa thoko.

Oxen to me are nothing; I gather them with my smallest finger.

(1) I pass for the richest man in the baptized world; the sun never sets in my dominions — or:
(2) Usurers live by the fall of heirs, as swine by the dropping of acorns.

257. Kgomo tsa mogale tsa hula ncoeng, tsa'moi tsa hula ncoeng.

The brave man's cattle grazed on the hills, and the meek man's cattle grazed on the hills.

 

258. Kgori e bona maee, loradu ga e lo bone.

The paauw (bustard) sees the eggs, but not the snare.

Fistula dulce canit volucres dum deficit auceps.
Impa sub dulci melli venena latent, (L.)

259. Kgosi e tsala diphera.

Chiefs often beget scapegraces.

Sweet meat will have sour sauce.

260. Kgosi ke kgosi ka morafe.

A chief is a chief by grace of his tribe.

The wealth of kings is in the affections of their subjects.

261. Kgosi thipa, e sega molootsi.

A chief is like a knife that will cut the sharpener.

All Governments are to some extent a treaty with the Devil.

262. Kgosi thutubudu e oleloa matlakala.

A chief is like an ashheap on which is gathered all the refuse.

The higher the position the greater the responsibility.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

263. Khudu ea mariga e itsioe ke mmei.

The winter lair of the tortoise is known only to the keeper.

He that hides can find.

264. Khudu e dule logapeng.

The tortoise is out of the shell.

Let the cat out of the bag.

265. Khudu erile “ntla pula e ka na, raa ja motila-tile,”Engoe eare: “Fa u ntse u rialo he, a mocomi u mo lebetse.”

One tortoise said: “I wish it would rain, so that we may feed on green herbs.”
The other one asked: “In saying so, have you forgotten the hunter?”

Whoso reckons without his host must reckon again.

266. Khudu-tlou e robetse bo lobeto ba ipha naga.

The giant-tortoise is asleep and the little ones graze where they like.

When the cat's away, the mice will play.

267. Khukhu e ragile thokolo.

The beetle has kicked the dung.

Heigh ho! The devil is dead!

268. Khukhu e senya mbu (-ea shoa).

The beetle is kicking the clay (= he is dying).

“Kicking the bucket.” (Same meaning as 267).

269. Khumo ea pena.

Wealth engenders pride.

(a) The abundance of things engenders disdainfulness.
(b) Felicitate corrumpimur. (L.)
(c) Assai basta, e troppo quasta. (I.)

270. Khumo kgolo ea rama.

Great riches are demoralizing.

(a) Pour gold on him and he'll never thrive.
(b) Fortuna magna magna domino est servitos. (L.)

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Proverbs 177 to 270

DIANE 177 - 270

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

177. Bo busa go itse ga 'Ma-Maborololoana,
Mo go pelo e matlabanyana.

The ignorance of Ma-Maboroloana, with its flat-hearted vision.

(a) Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
(b) L'Ignorance et l'incuriosité sont deux oreillers fort foux (F.).

178. Go choara tau ka mangana.

To hold a lion by its cheeks (to be in an uncomfortable position).

To have a wolf by the ears.

179. Go chosa ma meroro.

To frighten with roars only (but impotent to strike).

Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

180. Go coa ko Looe.

From the beginning of time.

(a) From time immemorial.
(b) Ab initio. (L.)

181. Go di ema-ema.

To face the music.

To fetch over the coals.

182. Go epela mesetshe.

To drive one's pegs in firmly.

To set up one's sail.

183. Go fa ua bo u ipeela.

To give away is to put away for yourself.

Cast thy bread upon the water, for thou shalt find it after many days.

184. Go fetanoa go diroa mmogo.

Men surpass one another while they are working together.

Competition is the soul of business.

185. Go fetoga gase malato.

To change (one's mind) is not a crime.

The wise man changes his mind, the fool never. (Sp.)

186. Go fisa baeng marago.

To warm the visitors' backs. (A feast in honour of a recent visit by important friends.)

Welcome the coming, speed the parting, guest.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

187. Go gopoloa ka kgamelo.

To miss the cow for the first time when he wants to milk it.

 

188. Go ikodisa dibi.

See: O ikodisa dibi mole.

To fling one's handkerchief.

189. Go itekanya moroalo.

To make the burden fit his shoulders.

The back is fitted for the burden.

190. Go itlhaba ngololo.

To sham indifference.

“Laying low and saying nuffin.”

191. Go ja gago die, go dia go dira.

To eat does not delay; to work does.

Prayer and provender never hinder a journey.

192. Go ja monna ga se go mo oetsa.

Getting the better of a man is not necessarily finishing him.

Assommer un garde-champêtre, ce n'est pas assommer un homme. (F.)

193. Go jeloa maitlho a choene.

To eat my monkey's eyes (= serve me a bad turn).

He played me a dirty trick.

194. Go khola naka loa tholo.

To cut off the horn of a koodoo.

“A tough job.”

195. Go kgora ka mpana coopedi.

To be filled in both bellies.

Better belly burst than good drink lost.

196. Go leele ke ko marung.

Only “up at the clouds” is very far.

Gemsen steigen hoch und werden doch gefanged. (G.)

197. Go lela go tshitsha pelo.

To weep doth ease the heart.

Perque sinum lacrimae, flumimis instar enim. (L.)

198. Go lemala ga namane ke go thoba.

Let a calf (a child) once break out of the fold and the weakness will become its habit.

Custom is a second nature.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

199. Go lepa goa dia.

Long observations waste time.

Procrastination is the thief of time.

200. Go lesioa bo thologileng, go shomareloa bo seatleng.

Leave alone that (porridge) which is spilt and preserve that which is in the hand.

It is of no use crying over spilled milk.

201. Go mo tla moshogotlho.

To pass dangerously near one.

To have “a close shave”.

202. Go Naga-di-bogale go loeloa moruti le kgantlape.

In “fertile lands” folks do nothing all the day long but fight with lizards for the best places in the shade.

Lubberland! Where they have half a crown a day for sleeping,
Where the pigs run about ready roasted and cry “Come, eat me!”

203. Go noa tse di choca, tse di dinaka dia faralala.

Only hornless cattle can reach the water, the horns will not permit the others to enter.  1 

Wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch.

204. Goo digole ga go ioe dilelo.

It is of no use offering condolences at the abode of the sick, i.e. to the Infirmary.

 

205. Goora-motho go thebe phachoa.

A man's home has a white and black (fine) shield.

There is no sanctuary of virtue like home.

206. Goora-motho ke go&rquo; ramotho.

A man's home is a man's home.

(a) There is no place like home.
(b) An Englishman's home is his castle.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

207. Go patisa poo ka lechoagola.

To tackle the bull when it is sick (= less fierce)

Napping, as Moss caught his mare.

208. Go senang khumo ga gona lehuma.

Where there is no wealth there is no poverty.

Were defeat unknown, neither would victory be celebrated.

209. Go tlhaba kgobe ka mutloa.

To eat his grain with a thorn (using the thorn as a fork).

Like eating peas with a knife.

210. Go tlhaba-tlhaba mpa ka mutloa.

To prick at his belly with a thorn.

To pierce and prick a pretty pleasing pricket.

211. Go tlholoa ga se go lema dinaka.

It is not necessary to grow horns to be convinced of a defeat.

Farewell, thou art too dear for my possession.

212. Go tshego ba ba santse ba nale bo rrabo.

Happy are those who have their fathers still.

(a) O thou who hast still a father and a mother, thank God for it in the day when thy soul is full of joyful tears, and needs a bosom therein to shed them (Jean Paul).
(b) The sonne is blest whose syre is with the devill (Bishop Cory). (Con.)

213. Go thsego eo o tsetseng ngoana oa mosetsana; oa mosimane moroa mogogadiagoe.

Happy is she whom the gods have given a daughter, for a boy is the son of his mother-in-law.

My son is my son till he have got him a wife,
But my daughter is my daughter all the days of her life.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

214. Go utloela ga go choane le go bona ka matlho.

To hear is not like seeing with one's own eyes.

To see it rain is better than to be in it.

215. Hura ja 'motlana, boroko.

O sleep, the poor man's fat, — or:

Come sleep, O sleep …
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low.

216. Do.

Sleep, the only luxury which the lowly share equally with the lofty.

In sleep, what difference is there between Solomon and a fool?

217. 'Ina-lebe, seromo.

A bad name is an evil omen.

Give a dog an ill name and hang him.

218. 'Ina le senya motse.

(To mention) the name will destroy the city.

It is the cause, it is the cause, etc.

219. Itaea tshipi esale khubidu.

Strike the iron while it is still red.

Strike while the iron is hot.

220. 'Itlho je le josi le tshabeloa ke selabe.

The mote ever makes for the single eye (one eye).

The tongue ever turns to the aching tooth.

221.   2 

 

 

222. Ka bomo e senya dilo.

Wilfulness doth cause much destruction of property.

“I don't care” is a deadly snare.

223. Kea mo itse! Eo o tshego, letshego ja gagoe ekete ja phiri.

I know him, the lucky man, he is as lucky as a wolf.

Pitch a lucky man into the Nile and he will come out with a fish in his mouth. (Arab.)

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

224. Ke apeetse noko le mala.

I have boiled the porcupine with its bowels and all.

 

225. “Ke bonye” e choana le “ke tlholecoe”.

“I have experienced”, is as bad as “I am bewitched”.

Experience is a hard schoolmaster.

226. Ke choere tau ka mangana.

I am holding the lion by its cheeks (I have a most uncomfortable task).

(a) I am between the horns of a dilemma.
(b) Il ne sait pas sur quel pied danser. (F.)

227. Ke e bonye fela ka lechocha.

I have found it by the veriest accident.

'Tis more by fortune, lady, than by merit.

228. Ke fa gare ga naka tsa nare.

I am between the horns of a buffalo.

(a) I am in a twittering case; betwixt the devil and the deep sea.
(b) Hac urget lucus, hac canis. (L.)
(c) Nous dansons sur un volcan. (F.)

229. Ke fitlhetse bana ba ga Tladi ba ntse dibothoana-bothoana.

I have found T's children all lying in heaps and heaps.

 

230. Ke gu bonetse letsatsi pele.

I have seen the sun before you.

For I was born before you could see.

231. Ke iteile ka koano.

I hit short of the target.

Wide at the bow hand.

232. Ke iteiloe ke sechane.

I am stricken with disappointment.

The glue did not hold.

233. Keledi tsa mathe.

Crocodile tears (those who shed them).

See: 24

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

234. Ke longoa ke nca ke e otlile.

The dog I have brought up now bites me.

(a) Clouds that the sun built up darken him.
(b) He has brought up a bird to pick out his own eyes.

235. Ke motho ka ba bangoe.

Through others I am somebody.

Cuilibet in sua arte perito est credendum. (L.)

236. Ke pina ke fitlhela e binoa.

It is a step-dance that I found the people dancing.

Every country has its own custom. (Sp.)

237. “Ke-rekang?” e reka matlotla.

“What-do-I-buy” will buy ruins.

Money is the root of all evil. (X.)

238. Ke sebodu se se tlhocoang dithotse.

He is a ne'er-do-well, but one from whom you may pick some good seeds.

For the sake of one good action, a hundred evil actions should be condoned.

239. Ke sha ke ogolang?

What was it that I burnt my fingers to snatch out of the fire?

A guiltless death I die.

240. Ke tla gu setela dimapo.

I will sharpen pegs for you (and place them in your path).

I will lay a stone at your door.

241. Ke tla tlhoboga khudu e rathoa.

I will despair when they cut up the tortoise.

Every shot does not bring down a bird.

242. Kgabo ea mbu e choara magakgala.

The flames from the ground are already catching the branches (i.e. the matter is becoming very serious).

From bad to worse.

243. Kgakala ke ko re coang ko re eang go gaufi.

Whence we come is far away; whither we go is near.

Young men may die, old men must.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

244. Kgaka-pedi ga di robale msima ole mongoe.

Two guineafowls do not lie in one hole.

(a) Sparrows upon one ear of wheat cannot agree.
(b) Two kitchen fires burn not on one hearth.

245. Kgengoe oa 'na a lekoe.  3 

It is best always to try the “kgengoe”¹, by tasting it.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

246. Kgetse ea tsie e kgonoa ke go choaraganeloa.

It is best to handle a bag full of locust with many hands.

Many hands make light work.

247. Kgetse e idioa ena sengoe, e senang sepe ga e idioe.

The full bag you guard, the empty bag you do not guard.

A full vessel must be carried carefully.

248. Kgetse go tlala ea lesioa.

When the bag gets full, leave it alone.

Actum, aiunt, ne agas. (L.)

249. Kgogoana go shoa e tsaing, e ntle ea ikgogolela.

The chicken within the egg will die, the one outside looks out for itself.

He that is born of a hen must scrape for a living — or:
Children and chickens must ever be picking.

250. Kgomo eare e bona mongoa eone ere: “mu”.

An ox on seeing its owner will generally low.

Every dog knows its own master.

251. Kgomo eatle e bapaloe, motho ga bapaloe.

You can earn (or work to buy) an ox, but not a person.

Life is a merchandise which no money can buy.

252. Do.

Do.

 

253. Kgomo e bonyoe!

“The ox is found!” A war cry meaning “the enemy is at hand”.

Hostis adest, eja! (Tally Ho, Tally Ho!)

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

254. Kgomo ga e ke e nyela boloko jeotlhe.

An ox never relieves itself of all its dung at the same time.

A fencer hath one trick in his budget more than he ever taught his scholar.

255. Kgomo ga e ke e tlhaba mongoa eone.

An ox will never toss its owner.

A wise son knoweth his own father.

256. Kgomo ga se sepe; nna ke di gogoba fela ka mono oa thoko.

Oxen to me are nothing; I gather them with my smallest finger.

(1) I pass for the richest man in the baptized world; the sun never sets in my dominions — or:
(2) Usurers live by the fall of heirs, as swine by the dropping of acorns.

257. Kgomo tsa mogale tsa hula ncoeng, tsa'moi tsa hula ncoeng.

The brave man's cattle grazed on the hills, and the meek man's cattle grazed on the hills.

 

258. Kgori e bona maee, loradu ga e lo bone.

The paauw (bustard) sees the eggs, but not the snare.

Fistula dulce canit volucres dum deficit auceps.
Impa sub dulci melli venena latent, (L.)

259. Kgosi e tsala diphera.

Chiefs often beget scapegraces.

Sweet meat will have sour sauce.

260. Kgosi ke kgosi ka morafe.

A chief is a chief by grace of his tribe.

The wealth of kings is in the affections of their subjects.

261. Kgosi thipa, e sega molootsi.

A chief is like a knife that will cut the sharpener.

All Governments are to some extent a treaty with the Devil.

262. Kgosi thutubudu e oleloa matlakala.

A chief is like an ashheap on which is gathered all the refuse.

The higher the position the greater the responsibility.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

263. Khudu ea mariga e itsioe ke mmei.

The winter lair of the tortoise is known only to the keeper.

He that hides can find.

264. Khudu e dule logapeng.

The tortoise is out of the shell.

Let the cat out of the bag.

265. Khudu erile “ntla pula e ka na, raa ja motila-tile,”Engoe eare: “Fa u ntse u rialo he, a mocomi u mo lebetse.”

One tortoise said: “I wish it would rain, so that we may feed on green herbs.”
The other one asked: “In saying so, have you forgotten the hunter?”

Whoso reckons without his host must reckon again.

266. Khudu-tlou e robetse bo lobeto ba ipha naga.

The giant-tortoise is asleep and the little ones graze where they like.

When the cat's away, the mice will play.

267. Khukhu e ragile thokolo.

The beetle has kicked the dung.

Heigh ho! The devil is dead!

268. Khukhu e senya mbu (-ea shoa).

The beetle is kicking the clay (= he is dying).

“Kicking the bucket.” (Same meaning as 267).

269. Khumo ea pena.

Wealth engenders pride.

(a) The abundance of things engenders disdainfulness.
(b) Felicitate corrumpimur. (L.)
(c) Assai basta, e troppo quasta. (I.)

270. Khumo kgolo ea rama.

Great riches are demoralizing.

(a) Pour gold on him and he'll never thrive.
(b) Fortuna magna magna domino est servitos. (L.)


Footnotes & References

#NoteDescription
1In this maxim hornless oxen represent people without encumbrances; they can venture anywhere for good things.
2Editor's noteProverb 221 was omitted in the book.
3KgengoeKgengoe is a wild melon used in the Kalahari desert for quenching thirst; one kind of it is too bitter for use.