Igbo Proverbs (79 Proverbs)


  • A person who arrives at a feast when the cooked meat is being pulled out of the pot does not know what was endured by others to catch and cook it.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • An udara fruit that falls on the side of the road is asking to be eaten.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Knowing but not telling it is what kills old men. Hearing but not heeding it is what kills young men.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The riverside monkey is apt to be blamed for every twig found in the river.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Whether it was the tenant who seduced the landlord's wife, or the landlord who seduced the tenant's wife, it is the tenant who would leave the house.
    (Igbo Proverb)


  • A person who chases a chicken is due a fall. The chicken is a master of the dodged escaped.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • At whatever age a child gets a problem, at the same age she has to shoulder the responsibility.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Let the kite hawk have a perch, and let the eagle also have a perch. Whichever begrudges the other the right to perch, may he break a wing.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The same rain that drenches the slave also drenches the slave driver.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Whichever son is able should bury his father. The first son did not kill him.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A person who happens by a neighbor's house at dinner time, and is invited to join the meal, does not swallow such large morsels as to break the string of pearls around his neck.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Bump-thump-scratch. It's all on a big man's skin.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person's teeth.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The skunk rat can get as fat and plump as he pleases. If his whole hind leg costs one anini, I still will not buy it.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • While the wooden idols are tormenting me, the termites are tormenting them.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A person who is being carried to the market does not realize that the way is long.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Criticism of the brave is behind his back.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • One first drives off the fox, before taking the chickens home and blaming them for straying.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The world is like a goat's udder. It does not yile any milk, unless you punch and squeeze at it.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • You may be clever but you can never lose your shadow.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A person who underneath the tall palm tree is best positioned to tell on which side the ripe head is.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Dancing the drum will be done where the drum is.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • One who knows everything at times draws water with a basket.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A bad habit that lasts more than a year may turn into a custom.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A person who uses the world as his carrying pad will find himself carrying his load on his bare head.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Do not argue with a fool, for people will not be able to tell between the two of you.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Stream said that it is because it has nobody to direct it that... it goes in a zigzag way.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • What gives the child the itch has already given him the fingernails for scratching it.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A calm spirit will enable a man to survive even a six-month jail sentence.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A pot trader whose fortunes are all invested in her clay pots isn't much of a merchant.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Dog eats excreta, but goat gets rotten teeth.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Swearing in the name of one god while at the shrine of another god.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Whatever the type of firewood found in a place, it is usually good enough for the people of that place to cook with.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A guest mourner does not wail as though his heart is broken.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A servant serves a king, he serves the king well; a servant serves two kings, he is true to one.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • Everyone cut the grass. Cut the grass. Let no one call the others 'Prisoners'.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The best way to eat hot soup is little by little.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When a drunk meets a mad man, he learns the difference between being merely drunk and truly mad.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A guest should not cause his host's demise. When the guest is ready to leave, his host should not have given him a hunch-back.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A slave boy is blamed no matter what he does: If he does not wash his hands, he is accused of being dirty. If he washes his hands, he is accused of wasting water.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • God swats flies for an animal that has no tail.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The big game often appears when the hunter has given up the hunt for the day.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When a drunken man meets a mad man, he learns the difference between being merely drunk and being truly mad.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A man has the same last name as his brother.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A snake that swallows his friend will have a tail sticking out of his mouth.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • He who spits towards the sky is spitting on his face.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The dog said that it is better to walk behind those who have had a lot to eat, because if something doesn't come out of them one way, it is bound to come out of them another way.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When a once-beautiful piece of cloth has turned into rags, no one remembers that it was woven by Ukwa master weavers.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A man who believes that he can do everything, let him dig a grave and bury himself.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A snake that swallows its neighbor will have a tail sticking out of its mouth.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • If a baby crawls up to me and pinches me, I will get on my knees and pinch him back.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The little puppy said: "If I fall down and roll over for you, and you fall down and roll over for me, then we are playing. However, if I fall down and roll over for you, but you do not fall down and roll over for me, then that's a fight."
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When a person is not as she used to be, she does not behave as she used to behave.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A man who rushes into battle does not realize that battle entails death.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A travelled child knows better than the old man who sits at home.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • If a young man is not prudent in seeking what killed his father, what killed his father may also kill him.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The lizard says that he knows the condition of his underbelly.?The reason he has it pressed against the ground.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When a poor man gets a little money, his thoughts go off in ten different directions.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A man who shoots his arrows as he makes them does not realize when he has shot a whole sheaf.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A wayward woman is like the weaver bird. She uses her perch on one tree to scout other trees.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • If the kernels are not finished, the jaw will not rest.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The lizard would like to stand erect, but his tail will not permit him.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When a very short man causes the market to break up in a big fight, bystanders ask him to stand up so that they can see how short he really is.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A man with a missing tooth does not eat ugiri with relish.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A woman who needs to borrow a calabash cannot count on going early to the stream.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • If you decide to eat a toad, you should at least select one that is big.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The mind is like a bag; everyone has one.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When the leopard has a broken paw, the antellope comes to collect an old debt.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A palm tree climber is not expected to tell everything he sees from up above.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • All you can tell about a big belly is that the owner has had a lot to eat, not what he had to eat.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • If you wish to eat a mushroom, you cannot consider what the mushroom fed on.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The piglet has the same type of snout as her mother.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When the mother goat breaks into the yam store her kid watches her.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • A person can never run so fast as to run away from his backside.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • An udara fruit that falls by the roadside must want to be picked up and eaten.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • In the daytime do we chase the black goat.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • The prince is never guilty in his father's court.
    (Igbo Proverb)

  • When the music stops, a deaf person continues to dance.
    (Igbo Proverb)


    More Igbo Proverbs (Based on Topics)


    Man - God - Fathers - Dancing - Madness - Nature - Mothers - World - Fool - Slavery - Faces - People - Debts - Music - Custom & Convention - Mind - Youth - Kings & Queens - Water - View All Igbo Proverbs


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