Proverbs 549 to 638

DIANE 549 - 638

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

549. O laoloa ke lonao.

She is under the control of her foot.

She will stay at home perhaps when her leg be broke.

550. O loleme.

She has a long tongue.

“She is a wag-tail” (or: Your tongue is made of very loose leather).

551. O malao a choenyo.

His lairs are troublesome (because he is so quarrelsome).

As full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat.

552. O matlho mantsi.

He has too many eyes (= preferences).

He is like a bell that will answer every pull.

553. O mpatlisitse gocoana loa phiri.

He made me search for the little rib of a wolf.

You seek a needle in a bottle of hay.

554. O nchoarisitse logaga.

He made me hold up the roof of the cave.

He has given him the leg bail.

555. O neile nca tlhong.

He has cast all sense of shame to the dogs.

He that has no shame has no conscience.

556. O njesitse dijo tsa ——.

You fed me on visionary food.

To fill the mouth with empty spoons.

557. O oketsa marago ka matlapa.

She uses stones to increase the size of her hips.

If every bird takes back its own feathers, you will be naked.

558. O palama ka mekotla ea babangoe.

He makes a ladder of other people's backs.

He climbs up on other people's shoulders.

559. O rapamela none ese    o.

He goes out of his way for blesbucks (antelopes) that do not belong to him.

His finger is in everybody's pie.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

560. O rata batho fela jaka tlala.

He is as fond of the people as hunger is fond of them.

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep.

561. O rile o gama Tlhabetsane' Are a kgaotse Kocuoki dinala.

He thought he had the better of Tlhabetsane.
And thought he had cut the fingers of Kocuoko.

You all know what thought did.

562. O tantse fela jaka kama.

… A clean shot.

The best throw of the dice.

563. O tla di tlhaolela di bekeroe.

He will separate his rams from the ewes when they have already mated (= too late).

Locking the stable door when the steed is stolen.

564. O tla re thubela motlopo oa khudu godimo.

You might crack the tortoise shell over us (so, don't).

 

565. O tsamaea le lorole.

He moves along with the cloud of dust (raised by the march of his companions).

He floats with the stream.

566. O tsecoe ka meno.

He is born with a full set of teeth. (Said of successful persons.)

Quickly too'd and quickly go.

567. O tsentse koena gae.

He has introduced a crocodile in the home.

Pheasants are fools if they invite the hog to dinner.

568. O tshaba e dumang o ea go e bobileng.

He flees from the roaring lion to the crouching lion.

To escape the rocks and perish in the sands.

569. O tsile kgomo di bolotse.

He came after the cattle had already left the fold (too late).

The day after the fair.

570. O upa maraka tau e setse etlhasetse.

He charms his fold after the lion has delivered an attack.

Shutting the stable door after the steed is stolen.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

571. Pala gabedi e sitile pala gangoe.

Count twice has defeated count once.

(a) Second thoughts, they say, are best (Dryden).
(b) Look twice ere you determine once.

572. Peba go huloa e arametseng.

It is better (for an archer) to shoot at the mouse within his view.

Better an egg to-day than a hen to-morrow. (I.)

573. Pelesa e belega ka mpa.

The pack-ox carries better with a well-fed stomach.

 

574. Pelo boela mannong se u no u se batla u se bonye.

O heart, return to position, for thou hast succeeded in thy quest.

All shall be well and Jack shall have Jill.

575. Pelo choeu e ntsha lobelo.

Satisfaction (lit. a white heart) incites bravery.

(a) Whoso hath love in his heart hath spurs in his sides. (It.)
(b) Bon jour, bon œuvre. (F.)
(c) Gluck macht Mut. (G.)

576. Pelo e jele mashoko.

 

(a) My heart is true as steel.
(b) Geduld gaat boven geleerdheid. (D.)

577. Pelo ga e ile 'motlana.

Even a poor man has a heart (i.e. he can feel and retaliate).

(a) Even a fly hath its anger.
(b) A worm will turn when trod upon.

578. Pelo ko teng phuti.

The heart inside is a duiker.

The heart like the eye has its speech without words.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

579. Pelonomi e bolaile Ma-Mamasiloanoke.

Magnanimity has killed Mamasiloanoka.

Killed by kindness.

580. Phala erile “ga ke disioe” lefagontse jalo mipi loa eone lo fetoa ke loa podi.

The phala (an antelope) said “I am my own keeper,” yet its paunch-cover is smaller than the caul of a goat.

(a) He who obeys is almost always better than he who commands.
(b) Voulez-vous vivre heureux? Vive toujours sans maître (F.). Con.

581. Phala e ruta diphalana matlolo.

The phala teaches its young how to leap.

Delightful task! To rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot (Thompson).

582. Phelefele lefa e shule ue e phunya ngoana o tla betsaga.

Disembowel a dead female (antelope) and the young will jump out.

If a man beats a bush in Essex, out jumps a calf.

583. Phiri ga ka a latlha molelo oa gagoe.

The wolf never drops his bay.

Wolves lose their teeth but not their memory.

584. Phiri o rile ga bo se gangoe.

The world said: The day breaks more than once.

If to-day will not, tomorrow may.

585. Phokoje eo o ko morago nca dia bo di 'mona.

The dogs always see the fox that is behind.

Every fool will tread on him who is in the mud.

586. Phokoje eo mo tsetse ga na bobooa joa mpa.

The mother fox has no hair on her belly.

He that has children, all his morsels are not his own.

587. Phokoje go ja eo o diretse nyana.

The muddy fox alone doth eat.

He only gets the palm who has had the dust.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

588. Phoko-kgolo ga e coe ka nogoana motho.

A great matter (big scandal) passeth not through a respectable man's child.

Manners maketh man.

589. Phuduhudu e anyisa ka tsele je le nye.

The steenbuck sucks its young with the smaller nipple.

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.

590. Phuduhudu e e thamo telele e goalalela melamu ese ea eone.

The steenbuck which has too long a neck stretches it out to meet knob-kerries (clubs or missiles) that were not intended for it.

He that blows the coals in quarrels he has nothing to do with has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.

591. Pitsana-kgolo e apeela ko maragong.

In a large pot the food is cooked at the bottom.

Large trees yield more shade than fruit.

592. Pitsana-mpe maletisa dintle.

An ugly little pot is used while waiting for good ones.

Sur petit commencement fait on grand fin. (F.)

593. Poloka-kgolo ga e na molemo.

Great magnanimity is often useless.

The reward of love is jealousy.

594. Poo ea bogoe e tlhaba naka lo iname.

A son-in-law's bull tosses with his horn pointed downwards (so as not to injure).

The kick of the dam hurts not the colt.

595. Poo e patikoa ka lechoagola.

The best time to tackle a bull is after a castration.

One man's meat is another man's poison.

596. Poo ga di ke di tlhakanela lesaka.

Two bulls never share the same cattle fold.

We cannot all be masters.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

597. Popa-popa ea ipopaganyetsa;
phatla-phatla ea iphatlalaletsa.

Unite-unite doth unite to its own advantage.
Divide-divide doth divide to its own disadvantage.

(a) United we stand, divided we fall.
(b) (Providence provides for the provident).
(c) Entzwei und gebiete – tüchtig Wort.
Verein und leite – bessrer Wort. (G.)

598. Pula, pulatshanengU tla na-na-na leng.

Little rainy rain drop!When will you drop, drop drop?

Snaw, snaw faster
Bull, bull faster.
Owd women picking geese,
Sending feathers down to Leeds.

599. Raranyana oaga Rare,
Raranyana oaga Rare,
Godimo o go ileng,
A lale a robale.

My fathers' little father (bis)
Up above whither he hath gone, may he rest and sleep.

Even so, said the spirit, for they rest from their labour. (X.)

600. Re begile pitsa re chotse molelo.

We picked up a pot while ready carrying the fire.

He is going to grass with his teeth upwards.

601. Re duloe ke Modimo.

We are forsaken by God.

A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents.

602. Re lema lopetleke.

We plough over boundless fields.

I am monarch of all I survey.

603. Re ntshana se se mo inong.

We pick each other's teeth (i.e. on excellent terms).

(a) They are cheek by jowl.
(b) Kop in een muts. (D.)

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

604. Re tla kopanela ko kobong ea kgomo.

We will meet near the ox-hide  1  (= at death).

(a) Can vengeance be pursued further than death>(b) Ein mächtiger Vermittler ist der Tod. (G.)

605. Sa ga Cho'-cho' ke se ledile gale.

It is the familiar lament of Cho-Cho: I am already used to weeping.

(a) Les malheureux sont aises à blesser. (F.)
(b) Damna minus consueta movent. (L.)

606. Sa monna ga se thsabeloe gatoe ke mono oa koto.

A man must not run away when his property is in danger, for it is said to be as precious as his toe.

Own is own and other men's endeth, quoth Hendying.

607. Sa nca le sa phiri.

Their relations are like those of “the dog and the wolf” (= very unfriendly).

(a) They lead a cat and dog life.
(b) Mir geht es wie die Katze mit der Maus. (G.)

608. Seaka sare batho botlhe ke diaka.

The lout considers all other people louts.

The bad man always suspects some knavish intention. (Sp.)

609. Sebe sa mogotlha ke go ea fela.

A veritable sin is empty-handedness.

Tripe broth is better than no porridge.

610. Seboba ke bata sa mokotla, sa mpa kea mpampetsa.

I smack the wasp that stings me on the back, the one on my front I fumble.

Who paints me before blackens me behind.

611. Sebo ja phokoje oa matlhale-fetsa ga le fele.

There is no limit to the sagacity of the super-wise fox.

To wisdom there is no end.

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

612. Seboko ga se ke se fetlha noko ele ngoe fela.

A worm never confines its penetrative qualities to one member (of the sugar cane).

Wer A sagt kommt zuletzt bis zum Z. (G.)

613. Sechoakga se fasa kgomo di goroga.

When the cattle return to the fold the lazy man will look alive.

Abends wird der Faule fleissig. (G.)

614. Se choaroa ke nca-pedi gase thata.

That which is seized by two dogs is never too strong.

Many hands make light work.

615. Sedibana se pele ga se ikangoe.

The water pool ahead is not to be trusted.

Look before you leap.

616. Se-ea bogoe se tletse se booa se tletse.

Se-ea bogoe se tletse se booa se tletse.

The vessel that is sent full to the mother-in-law's house returns well filled.
If thou wilt come with me bring with thee.

617. Segolo ga se je.

A large vessel holds the contents, however small.

Send not for a hatchet to break open an egg with. (Con.)

618. Segologolo se sa leo, Modie o sa bonoa a belege Modienyana.

Old-fashioned ways are still in vogue, I saw M. carrying little M. on her back.

Nothing more charming than to see a mother with a child in her arms, and nothing more venerable than a mother among a number of her children (Goethe).

619. Se ileng sea bo se ile, lesilo ke mo se-lateledi.

What's gone is gone, he who pursues it is a fool.

(a) The mill will never grind with the water that is past.
(b) Hin ist hin, verloren ist verloren. (G.)

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

620. Se ipelele tisie e fofa.

Do not rejoice over flying locusts.

(a) Catch the bear before you talk of skinning it.(b) Man muss die Aale nicht verkaufen ehe man sie gefangen hat. (G.)

621. Se-ja le motho ke shone semmolai.

He who eats with you may be the one to injure you.

 

622. Se jela thoko.

She who eats behind the screens.

She that is ashamed to eat at table eats in private.

623. Sejo se nye ga se fete mo-omo.

The small piece (of food) is not so small that it will pass by the mouth.

Half a loaf is better than no bread.

624. Sekukuni ga se ke se tlhoka sebataladi.

There is never a stalker without a croucher.

Every Jack has his Jill.

625. Se lelele kgama le mogogoro.

Do not lose the hide in the hand for the running hartebeest.

Catch not at the shadow and lose the substance.

626. Seloana ga se ke se tlhoka mogadika' shone.

There is nothing without its cousin.

No vice but hath its patron.

627. Semene mpona.

Bent back, save me! (mainly used in running away).

(a) He hath shown them a fair pair of legs.
(b) Ventre à terre. (F.)

628. Se rekele kolojane kgetsing.

Do not buy a sucking pig in a sack.

Don't buy a pig in a poke.

629. Seroro sea ithoroma.

The miser deprives himself (of good things). (Greedy persons are harmed by their own greed.)

(a) Envy envies itself.
(b) Neid neidet sich selbst. (G.)

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SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

630. Se sa ikobeng ka ko morago ga se na molemo.

That which cannot look behind itself is of no use.

Surely she wears low-heeled shoes, she is so apt to fall backwards.

631. Se sa motho ke se sa motho.

One's own is one's own.

The cock is proudest on his own dunghill.

632. Do.

Do.

Be still an Eden bright to me, my own, my own fireside.

633. Se tlhoee motho tlhooa molato.

Do not hate the man, but hate the evil deed.

Men are everything, measures are comparatively nothing.

634. Setseno ga se se se jang ditlhare ka meno.

He is not the only madman who bites at trees with his teeth.

Tout les fous ne pas aux Petites-Maisons. (F.)

635. Setsetse se bolaoa ke namane.

The parent buffalo is killed by its (coming after) the calf.

(a) I have always found that the road to a woman's heart lies through her child.
(b) Ein Vater ernahrt eher zehn Kinder, denn zehn Kinder einen Vater. (G.)

636. Se tshege eo o oleng mareledi a sale pele.

Do not laugh at the fallen; there may be slippery places ahead.

Every dog must have its day (or: Every period of life has its peculiar temptations and dangers).

637. Shago ja moeng le beoa ke mong gae.

The visitor's seat is placed (on the chair) by the owner of the house.

Fish and visitors smell in three days (or: Like visitor, like guest).

638. Sho' Choo-choo ke se ledile gale.

See: Sa ga Cho'-cho'.

Sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.

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Proverbs 549 to 638

DIANE 549 - 638

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

549. O laoloa ke lonao.

She is under the control of her foot.

She will stay at home perhaps when her leg be broke.

550. O loleme.

She has a long tongue.

“She is a wag-tail” (or: Your tongue is made of very loose leather).

551. O malao a choenyo.

His lairs are troublesome (because he is so quarrelsome).

As full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat.

552. O matlho mantsi.

He has too many eyes (= preferences).

He is like a bell that will answer every pull.

553. O mpatlisitse gocoana loa phiri.

He made me search for the little rib of a wolf.

You seek a needle in a bottle of hay.

554. O nchoarisitse logaga.

He made me hold up the roof of the cave.

He has given him the leg bail.

555. O neile nca tlhong.

He has cast all sense of shame to the dogs.

He that has no shame has no conscience.

556. O njesitse dijo tsa ——.

You fed me on visionary food.

To fill the mouth with empty spoons.

557. O oketsa marago ka matlapa.

She uses stones to increase the size of her hips.

If every bird takes back its own feathers, you will be naked.

558. O palama ka mekotla ea babangoe.

He makes a ladder of other people's backs.

He climbs up on other people's shoulders.

559. O rapamela none ese    o.

He goes out of his way for blesbucks (antelopes) that do not belong to him.

His finger is in everybody's pie.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

560. O rata batho fela jaka tlala.

He is as fond of the people as hunger is fond of them.

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep.

561. O rile o gama Tlhabetsane' Are a kgaotse Kocuoki dinala.

He thought he had the better of Tlhabetsane.
And thought he had cut the fingers of Kocuoko.

You all know what thought did.

562. O tantse fela jaka kama.

… A clean shot.

The best throw of the dice.

563. O tla di tlhaolela di bekeroe.

He will separate his rams from the ewes when they have already mated (= too late).

Locking the stable door when the steed is stolen.

564. O tla re thubela motlopo oa khudu godimo.

You might crack the tortoise shell over us (so, don't).

 

565. O tsamaea le lorole.

He moves along with the cloud of dust (raised by the march of his companions).

He floats with the stream.

566. O tsecoe ka meno.

He is born with a full set of teeth. (Said of successful persons.)

Quickly too'd and quickly go.

567. O tsentse koena gae.

He has introduced a crocodile in the home.

Pheasants are fools if they invite the hog to dinner.

568. O tshaba e dumang o ea go e bobileng.

He flees from the roaring lion to the crouching lion.

To escape the rocks and perish in the sands.

569. O tsile kgomo di bolotse.

He came after the cattle had already left the fold (too late).

The day after the fair.

570. O upa maraka tau e setse etlhasetse.

He charms his fold after the lion has delivered an attack.

Shutting the stable door after the steed is stolen.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

571. Pala gabedi e sitile pala gangoe.

Count twice has defeated count once.

(a) Second thoughts, they say, are best (Dryden).
(b) Look twice ere you determine once.

572. Peba go huloa e arametseng.

It is better (for an archer) to shoot at the mouse within his view.

Better an egg to-day than a hen to-morrow. (I.)

573. Pelesa e belega ka mpa.

The pack-ox carries better with a well-fed stomach.

 

574. Pelo boela mannong se u no u se batla u se bonye.

O heart, return to position, for thou hast succeeded in thy quest.

All shall be well and Jack shall have Jill.

575. Pelo choeu e ntsha lobelo.

Satisfaction (lit. a white heart) incites bravery.

(a) Whoso hath love in his heart hath spurs in his sides. (It.)
(b) Bon jour, bon œuvre. (F.)
(c) Gluck macht Mut. (G.)

576. Pelo e jele mashoko.

 

(a) My heart is true as steel.
(b) Geduld gaat boven geleerdheid. (D.)

577. Pelo ga e ile 'motlana.

Even a poor man has a heart (i.e. he can feel and retaliate).

(a) Even a fly hath its anger.
(b) A worm will turn when trod upon.

578. Pelo ko teng phuti.

The heart inside is a duiker.

The heart like the eye has its speech without words.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

579. Pelonomi e bolaile Ma-Mamasiloanoke.

Magnanimity has killed Mamasiloanoka.

Killed by kindness.

580. Phala erile “ga ke disioe” lefagontse jalo mipi loa eone lo fetoa ke loa podi.

The phala (an antelope) said “I am my own keeper,” yet its paunch-cover is smaller than the caul of a goat.

(a) He who obeys is almost always better than he who commands.
(b) Voulez-vous vivre heureux? Vive toujours sans maître (F.). Con.

581. Phala e ruta diphalana matlolo.

The phala teaches its young how to leap.

Delightful task! To rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot (Thompson).

582. Phelefele lefa e shule ue e phunya ngoana o tla betsaga.

Disembowel a dead female (antelope) and the young will jump out.

If a man beats a bush in Essex, out jumps a calf.

583. Phiri ga ka a latlha molelo oa gagoe.

The wolf never drops his bay.

Wolves lose their teeth but not their memory.

584. Phiri o rile ga bo se gangoe.

The world said: The day breaks more than once.

If to-day will not, tomorrow may.

585. Phokoje eo o ko morago nca dia bo di 'mona.

The dogs always see the fox that is behind.

Every fool will tread on him who is in the mud.

586. Phokoje eo mo tsetse ga na bobooa joa mpa.

The mother fox has no hair on her belly.

He that has children, all his morsels are not his own.

587. Phokoje go ja eo o diretse nyana.

The muddy fox alone doth eat.

He only gets the palm who has had the dust.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

588. Phoko-kgolo ga e coe ka nogoana motho.

A great matter (big scandal) passeth not through a respectable man's child.

Manners maketh man.

589. Phuduhudu e anyisa ka tsele je le nye.

The steenbuck sucks its young with the smaller nipple.

God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.

590. Phuduhudu e e thamo telele e goalalela melamu ese ea eone.

The steenbuck which has too long a neck stretches it out to meet knob-kerries (clubs or missiles) that were not intended for it.

He that blows the coals in quarrels he has nothing to do with has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.

591. Pitsana-kgolo e apeela ko maragong.

In a large pot the food is cooked at the bottom.

Large trees yield more shade than fruit.

592. Pitsana-mpe maletisa dintle.

An ugly little pot is used while waiting for good ones.

Sur petit commencement fait on grand fin. (F.)

593. Poloka-kgolo ga e na molemo.

Great magnanimity is often useless.

The reward of love is jealousy.

594. Poo ea bogoe e tlhaba naka lo iname.

A son-in-law's bull tosses with his horn pointed downwards (so as not to injure).

The kick of the dam hurts not the colt.

595. Poo e patikoa ka lechoagola.

The best time to tackle a bull is after a castration.

One man's meat is another man's poison.

596. Poo ga di ke di tlhakanela lesaka.

Two bulls never share the same cattle fold.

We cannot all be masters.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

597. Popa-popa ea ipopaganyetsa;
phatla-phatla ea iphatlalaletsa.

Unite-unite doth unite to its own advantage.
Divide-divide doth divide to its own disadvantage.

(a) United we stand, divided we fall.
(b) (Providence provides for the provident).
(c) Entzwei und gebiete – tüchtig Wort.
Verein und leite – bessrer Wort. (G.)

598. Pula, pulatshanengU tla na-na-na leng.

Little rainy rain drop!When will you drop, drop drop?

Snaw, snaw faster
Bull, bull faster.
Owd women picking geese,
Sending feathers down to Leeds.

599. Raranyana oaga Rare,
Raranyana oaga Rare,
Godimo o go ileng,
A lale a robale.

My fathers' little father (bis)
Up above whither he hath gone, may he rest and sleep.

Even so, said the spirit, for they rest from their labour. (X.)

600. Re begile pitsa re chotse molelo.

We picked up a pot while ready carrying the fire.

He is going to grass with his teeth upwards.

601. Re duloe ke Modimo.

We are forsaken by God.

A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents.

602. Re lema lopetleke.

We plough over boundless fields.

I am monarch of all I survey.

603. Re ntshana se se mo inong.

We pick each other's teeth (i.e. on excellent terms).

(a) They are cheek by jowl.
(b) Kop in een muts. (D.)

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

604. Re tla kopanela ko kobong ea kgomo.

We will meet near the ox-hide  1  (= at death).

(a) Can vengeance be pursued further than death>(b) Ein mächtiger Vermittler ist der Tod. (G.)

605. Sa ga Cho'-cho' ke se ledile gale.

It is the familiar lament of Cho-Cho: I am already used to weeping.

(a) Les malheureux sont aises à blesser. (F.)
(b) Damna minus consueta movent. (L.)

606. Sa monna ga se thsabeloe gatoe ke mono oa koto.

A man must not run away when his property is in danger, for it is said to be as precious as his toe.

Own is own and other men's endeth, quoth Hendying.

607. Sa nca le sa phiri.

Their relations are like those of “the dog and the wolf” (= very unfriendly).

(a) They lead a cat and dog life.
(b) Mir geht es wie die Katze mit der Maus. (G.)

608. Seaka sare batho botlhe ke diaka.

The lout considers all other people louts.

The bad man always suspects some knavish intention. (Sp.)

609. Sebe sa mogotlha ke go ea fela.

A veritable sin is empty-handedness.

Tripe broth is better than no porridge.

610. Seboba ke bata sa mokotla, sa mpa kea mpampetsa.

I smack the wasp that stings me on the back, the one on my front I fumble.

Who paints me before blackens me behind.

611. Sebo ja phokoje oa matlhale-fetsa ga le fele.

There is no limit to the sagacity of the super-wise fox.

To wisdom there is no end.

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

612. Seboko ga se ke se fetlha noko ele ngoe fela.

A worm never confines its penetrative qualities to one member (of the sugar cane).

Wer A sagt kommt zuletzt bis zum Z. (G.)

613. Sechoakga se fasa kgomo di goroga.

When the cattle return to the fold the lazy man will look alive.

Abends wird der Faule fleissig. (G.)

614. Se choaroa ke nca-pedi gase thata.

That which is seized by two dogs is never too strong.

Many hands make light work.

615. Sedibana se pele ga se ikangoe.

The water pool ahead is not to be trusted.

Look before you leap.

616. Se-ea bogoe se tletse se booa se tletse.

Se-ea bogoe se tletse se booa se tletse.

The vessel that is sent full to the mother-in-law's house returns well filled.
If thou wilt come with me bring with thee.

617. Segolo ga se je.

A large vessel holds the contents, however small.

Send not for a hatchet to break open an egg with. (Con.)

618. Segologolo se sa leo, Modie o sa bonoa a belege Modienyana.

Old-fashioned ways are still in vogue, I saw M. carrying little M. on her back.

Nothing more charming than to see a mother with a child in her arms, and nothing more venerable than a mother among a number of her children (Goethe).

619. Se ileng sea bo se ile, lesilo ke mo se-lateledi.

What's gone is gone, he who pursues it is a fool.

(a) The mill will never grind with the water that is past.
(b) Hin ist hin, verloren ist verloren. (G.)

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

620. Se ipelele tisie e fofa.

Do not rejoice over flying locusts.

(a) Catch the bear before you talk of skinning it.(b) Man muss die Aale nicht verkaufen ehe man sie gefangen hat. (G.)

621. Se-ja le motho ke shone semmolai.

He who eats with you may be the one to injure you.

 

622. Se jela thoko.

She who eats behind the screens.

She that is ashamed to eat at table eats in private.

623. Sejo se nye ga se fete mo-omo.

The small piece (of food) is not so small that it will pass by the mouth.

Half a loaf is better than no bread.

624. Sekukuni ga se ke se tlhoka sebataladi.

There is never a stalker without a croucher.

Every Jack has his Jill.

625. Se lelele kgama le mogogoro.

Do not lose the hide in the hand for the running hartebeest.

Catch not at the shadow and lose the substance.

626. Seloana ga se ke se tlhoka mogadika' shone.

There is nothing without its cousin.

No vice but hath its patron.

627. Semene mpona.

Bent back, save me! (mainly used in running away).

(a) He hath shown them a fair pair of legs.
(b) Ventre à terre. (F.)

628. Se rekele kolojane kgetsing.

Do not buy a sucking pig in a sack.

Don't buy a pig in a poke.

629. Seroro sea ithoroma.

The miser deprives himself (of good things). (Greedy persons are harmed by their own greed.)

(a) Envy envies itself.
(b) Neid neidet sich selbst. (G.)

SECHUANA PROVERB

LITERAL TRANSLATION

EUROPEAN EQUIVALENT

630. Se sa ikobeng ka ko morago ga se na molemo.

That which cannot look behind itself is of no use.

Surely she wears low-heeled shoes, she is so apt to fall backwards.

631. Se sa motho ke se sa motho.

One's own is one's own.

The cock is proudest on his own dunghill.

632. Do.

Do.

Be still an Eden bright to me, my own, my own fireside.

633. Se tlhoee motho tlhooa molato.

Do not hate the man, but hate the evil deed.

Men are everything, measures are comparatively nothing.

634. Setseno ga se se se jang ditlhare ka meno.

He is not the only madman who bites at trees with his teeth.

Tout les fous ne pas aux Petites-Maisons. (F.)

635. Setsetse se bolaoa ke namane.

The parent buffalo is killed by its (coming after) the calf.

(a) I have always found that the road to a woman's heart lies through her child.
(b) Ein Vater ernahrt eher zehn Kinder, denn zehn Kinder einen Vater. (G.)

636. Se tshege eo o oleng mareledi a sale pele.

Do not laugh at the fallen; there may be slippery places ahead.

Every dog must have its day (or: Every period of life has its peculiar temptations and dangers).

637. Shago ja moeng le beoa ke mong gae.

The visitor's seat is placed (on the chair) by the owner of the house.

Fish and visitors smell in three days (or: Like visitor, like guest).

638. Sho' Choo-choo ke se ledile gale.

See: Sa ga Cho'-cho'.

Sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.


Footnotes & References

#NoteDescription
1The primitive Bechuana made their coffins from hides.